Madonna has posted a message on Instagram.com to dismiss rumours of a feud with Lady Gaga amid speculation she takes a swipe at her pop rival in the lyrics of a leaked track.
Last week (ends21Dec14), the music veteran released a six-song compilation from her forthcoming Rebel Heart album in response to a hack attack, which led to her unfinished demos hitting the Internet last month (Nov14).
Another 14 songs were leaked shortly afterwards, and among them is a track called Two Steps Behind, which is rumoured to be a sly jab at Lady Gaga. It features lyrics such as: "You're a copycat, get back/I'm always on your mind" and fans have speculated the star is taking aim at Gaga over her track Born This Way, which prompted comparisons with Madonna's 1989 hit Express Yourself.
However, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary took to Twitter.com to silence the rumours, writing, "That song is NOT about Gaga or anyone in particular. The song is an unfinished demo she had no intention of finishing or releasing along with many others. She has NO ill will towards Gaga. It's nonsense. She was listening to Gaga's Tony Bennett duet album last week and appreciating it."
Madonna herself later went on Instagram to clear the air, explaining, "There are those who want to shut me up but they cannot! We still live in a world that discriminates against women. Their (sic) are people that are so hateful. They want to create feuds between strong women that do not exist! I do not wish ill will towards any other female artist and I never have!
"The world is big enough for all of us! I will fight for my rights as an artist, a human and a woman till the end of my days! Because I am a #rebelheart and I walk in the footsteps of giants and I will not apologise or defend my unpublished, unfinished, stolen work.
"If you don't like who I am or what I have to say then why are you reading this? #unapologeticb**ch."
Rebel Heart is slated for a March 2015 release.