Madonna poses topless in US mag
Pop icon Madonna has proved that she can continue to shock by posing topless at 56.
The multi-millionaire Like A Virgin star, whose career spans four decades, posed for a series of provocative shots for US magazine Interview.
They included a picture posing on a bed in a spartan room, wearing a negligee pulled down to her waist and an open pink cardigan.
She also posed in corset underwear and a PVC coats by Alexander McQueen for the series of shots by Marcus Piggott and Mert Alas.
Some shots feature her wearing a flower-decorated metal face mash, others feature a snake.
They accompany an interview carried out in November by American magician David Blaine, touching on Madonna's artistic inspiration among other subjects.
The preamble to the piece describes her as a "living paradigm for the character-based, image-centric presentation of an artist", adding: "And perhaps Madonna the Icon is herself her own greatest work of art-something so vastly influential as to be unfathomable, knitting together all of us for whom she has provided the soundtracks, all of the sensibilities she has informed, rattled, challenged, provoked, and then reimagined again, all of the notions of beauty, of an artist, of a performer that she has shaped, reshaped, and upset yet again.
"With a 13th studio album due out in 2015, Madonna is reaching a new level of artistry, creativity, and, perhaps, identity.
"Even as she reimagines herself yet again, she remains a masterpiece."
It is far from the first time the extrovert star has stripped off for the camera. Her erotic book Sex was released alongside her fifth album Erotica in 1992 and despite controversy over its contents it became a bestseller.
She also appeared topless in her 1993 film Body Of Evidence.
The star also seemed to make an admission about drug use, in response to a question about a song on her upcoming album called Devil Prays.
She told the magazine: "Well, no, it's about how people take drugs to connect to God or to a higher level of consciousness. I keep saying, "Plugging into the matrix.
"If you get high, you can do that, which is why a lot of people drop acid or do drugs, because they want to get closer to God. But there's going to be a short circuit, and that's the illusion of drugs, because they give you the illusion of getting closer to God, but ultimately they kill you. They destroy you.
"I mean, I tried everything once, but as soon as I was high, I spent my time drinking tons of water to get it out of my system."