In case you need a refresher: An intense rivalry between the two started back in 2011, when Gaga was accused of ripping off the instrumentals from Madonna’s song “Express Yourself” in her career-defining hit “Born This Way.” Madonna responded by calling Gaga’s record “reductive”.
Then in 2016, Gaga took a swipe at Madonna, saying: “Madonna and I are very different. I wouldn’t make that comparison at all … I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours and hours a day in the studio. I’m a producer. I’m a writer. What I do is different.”
Well, last night, the singers appeared to finally put their differences aside when they were photographed together at the pop icon’s annual Oscar’s afterparty.
Or did they?
In the photo, which was shared on Instagram by TIME magazine, Madonna, dressed in a billowing silk robe and diamond veil, cradles Gaga, sporting a dark spray tan and an elegant black dress, atop a blanket of white paper. In Gaga’s hand: the well-deserved Oscar.
Another way of looking at it: In the photo, Madonna, dressed in a billowing silk robe and diamond veil, holds Gaga, sporting a dark spray tan and an elegant black dress, in a headlock. In Gaga’s hand: the coveted award Madonna could never get herself.
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The 91st Academy Awards were filled with historic firsts and emotional moments, from @blackpanther‘s Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler becoming the first black women to win in their respective categories (Costume Design and Production Design) to @ladygaga and Bradley Cooper’s stirring performance of their award-winning song “Shallow.” After the event, the biggest names in #Hollywood celebrated at “The Party,” entertainment mogul @guyoseary and @madonna’s famed after-party, where there is a strict ban on social media posts. TIME partnered at the event with the artist and photographer JR—a 2018 #TIME100 honoree—for an exclusive look at last night’s winners and partygoers. See more pictures at the link in bio. Photograph by @jr for TIME
What do you think? It this a friendly embrace between two contemporaries, or is Madonna getting ready to snap Gaga’s neck? Vote in the poll below.