Madonna thinks artists deep into their careers should stop if they don't have anything more to say. But at 56, the singer says she still has things to talk about, and in short, she feels like Pablo Picasso.
"I like to compare myself to other kinds of artists like Picasso. He kept painting and painting until the day he died. Why? Because I guess he felt inspired to do so," she said. "Life inspired him, so he had to keep expressing himself, and that's how I feel."
Madonna released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and her latest album, "Rebel Heart," earlier this year. She said the key to sticking around is her continual desire to inspire others.
"I don't think there's a time, a date, an expiration date for being creative," she said. "I think you go until you don't have any more to say."
The pop icon will launch her Rebel Heart Tour on Sept. 9 in Montreal. The tour includes more than 60 shows across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
"The theme I really truly explore in this show more than anything is love and romance," she said in a phone interview from her home in New York City last week. "I want people to walk out like they're feeling inspired and like they've seen something they've never seen before (and) felt something they've never felt before."
Comedian Amy Schumer, whose new movie "Trainwreck" opened impressively at No. 2 with $30.2 million last weekend, will open for three Madonna shows in New York.
"She's a role model for women, and I am too, and I think it's a good match," said Madonna, who added that the idea to bring Schumer on board came from the singer's management team. "I love her and ... I just thought, 'That's interesting.' (I'll) try something new and different rather than the usual run-of-the-mill — have a band, have a DJ. It's definitely a new thing. I hope it works — fingers crossed."
Madonna says picking the set list for her upcoming tour has been hard, mainly because she wants to sing her newest songs but also satisfy her longtime, die-hard fans.
"I realize I have 32 years of other songs, so I have to pick and choose. I sit there for weeks and weeks and weeks trying to figure out which of my old catalog I want to do," she said. "It's a puzzle that we have to put together 'cause thematically the songs — the old and the new — they have to go together; sonically they have to go together."
She's even picky about the costumes onstage.
"What people wear, from their footwear to the buttons on their jacket, is all very important to me," she said.