Madonna

Boy Toy, Inc./Interscope Records

Madonna has clarified that she is not comparing herself to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King. Jr., Bob Marley and other deceased leaders and pop culture legends that appear in photos she had posted that impersonate the cover of her new album, Rebel Heart.

The 56-year-old singer, known for decades as the Queen of Pop and who had famously paid tribute to Hollywood icons in her 1990 hit "Vogue," on Friday began sharing the fan-made photoshopped pics, which show the figures with black ribbon wound tightly around their faces. Her Rebel Heart album hits stores in March. She had released six tracks last week after several songs were leaked online.

The responses to her photo postings have been mixed. Some people have deemed them insensitive.

On Friday night, Madonna posted the following message on Facebook:

"I'm sorry

I'm not comparing my self to anyone
I'm admiring and acknowledging there Rebel Hearts
This is niether a crime or an insult or racist!
I also did it with Michael jaclson and frida khalo and marilyn monroe
Am I saying I am them
NO
I'm saying they are Rebel Hearts too.
And
I didn't do it
My fans did
And I just re posted those photos
My fans aren't racist either
If they put me in the same category as these other people
Thank you. I'm very flattered and I hope one day to live up to 1 100th of what those people accomplished." - Madonna

On Saturday, she shared more photos. One of them shows the late Princess Diana, mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, who died in 1997 and was known for her charity efforts across the globe.

"Yes Princess Diana was. #rebelheart! Anyone who fights for freedom is a #rebelheart," Madonna wrote on Instagram.

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

Another shows late former Beatles member and peace activist John Lennon, who was shot dead at age 40 in 1980.

"I would like to thank all my fans for recreating my album cover with the Rebel Heart ribbon on the faces of so many Great Hero's. It shows that you are also celebrating and in admiration of these great freedom fighters!" she wrote.

"When I repost these images i am saying YES! These people are all Rebel Hearts in one way or another from Martin Luther King to Jesus to Nelson Mandela to John Lennon," she added. "YES! Lets celebrate them! The world needs more people like them."

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

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