Madonna is currently on the road with her Celebration Tour. The Queen of Pop is performing some of her biggest hits from the last four decades, and fans have been eating it up.

15 years ago, in October 2008, she released “Miles Away” as the third single from her eleventh studio album Hard Candy. It was co-written by the singer, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Nate Hills (a.k.a. Danja).

The song was about navigating a long-distance relationship and the strain it can put on a couple. Speaking about it later, Madonna explained that she came up with the melody spontaneously and said the lyrics were unintentionally autobiographical. (At the time, her marriage to Guy Ritchie was unraveling.)

Probably in many respects most of the songs [on Hard Candy] are [autobiographical]. But in more of an unconscious way. I don’t really think about telling personal stories when I’m writing music. It just comes. And then a lot of times, six months later, eight months later, I go, ‘Oh, that’s what I wrote that song about.’ But that’s when I play the song for lots of people and they all go, ‘Oh, I can totally relate to that’. In “Miles Away” I’m tapping into the global consciousness of people who have intimacy problems.

Upon its release, “Miles Away” was praised by critics and reached the top 40 in almost all countries. It peaked at No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and Billboard Hot Singles charts, and it did exceptionally well in Japan, where it became the best-selling digital single of 2008 by selling over 250,000 copies and over 500,000 ringtones (remember those?).

Madonna included the song on the setlist of her Sticky & Sweet Tour, and a music video was released using footage from the concert, spliced together with video of her traveling, as well as stock footage of busy cities, airports, and roadways.

Watch.

“Miles Away” was also included on Madonna’s 2009 greatest hits album Celebration, which later became the inspiration for her current tour, though it’s not on the Celebration Tour setlist.

Now, here’s where Victoria Beckham (a.k.a. Posh Spice) enters the picture.

Almost exactly seven years earlier, in October 2001, she released her first (and only) solo album, Victoria Beckham.

If you didn’t know this, you’re not alone.

Despite being the fifth most expensive album ever produced (the label blew a whopping £5 million on 12 songs–that’s over $415,000 per track),Victoria Beckham was a critical and commercial failure, selling less than 55,000 copies before being relegated to record store bargain bins.

Only two singles were released from the album–“Not Such an Innocent Girl” and “A Mind of Its Own”–before Virgin Records declared it a flop and stopped promoting it.

The sixth song on the album was called “Midnight Fantasy” and was co-written by Beckham and Swedish songwriters Johan Åberg and Paul Rein.

The lyrics tell of a woman waiting in her bedroom for her lover to come home so she can fulfill all his naughtiest late-night desires.

“I’m gonna take you places that you’ve never been before/I come in to your dreams, make you beg for more/I’ll hold on to your body, I’ll give you what you need/Go deeper with me baby, I’m your midnight fantasy,” she coos.

As for the melody and chord patterns of the chorus, those sound surprisingly similar to the one Madonna spontaneously came up with seven years later on “Miles Away.”

Listen carefully…

Considering how few people actually purchased Beckham’s album, and considering the fact that “Midnight Fantasy” was a deep track and never released as a single, the similarities between the two songs could be a total coincidence.

Then again, Madonna was living in the U.K. at the time Victoria Beckham was released, and she’s gone on record saying she’s a huge fan of the Spice Girls in the past.

In 1998, she told Elle magazine, “They’re just running around having fun, wearing sexy clothes. I love them. I was a Spice Girl when I started out.”

So it’s not outside the realm of possibility that she was still keeping tabs on the girls after they went solo.

It’s also not the first time the Queen of Pop has maybe probably (but maybe probably not) borrowed from one of them.

Three years earlier, in September 2005, she released the music video for “Hung Up”, the lead single off her tenth studio album Confessions on a Dance Floor, which seemed to take a lot of inspiration from Geri Halliwell’s (a.k.a. Ginger Spice) 2004 music video “Ride It.”

Sooooo, did she or didn’t she? Who really knows? Who really cares? But it’s interesting to think about, discuss, and compare.

And, as we’ve said before, artists borrow from one another all the time. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery.

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