Madonna has revealed “influential” people tried to take advantage of her by asking for “sexual favours” when she was a budding singer.

The pop icon told NME there were “plenty of situations where men were wanting to abuse their power”, back when she was hoping for a big break.

“I was the starting-out artist begging for help and I would go to people who ran labels or influential DJs saying: ‘Can you help me out? Can you listen to this song? Can you hook me up?’ Can you sign me to your record label?’ and, a lot of people said: ‘Yeah, if you’ll do this,’ and usually it was a sexual favour,” she said.

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Madonna recalled one occasion when she was “so broke” that she considered going through with it – but ultimately “couldn’t bring [herself] to do it.

“I knew I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I did,” she added, ”so I just kept going on as I had, being a starving artist and waiting for my ship to come in and – ironically – I was signed by a gay man who didn’t want anything to do with me in that way and he just really appreciated my music.”

Madonna has just released her 14th album, Madame X, which came out on Friday.

Her latest one before that was Rebel Heart, released in 2015.

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Two singles have been released from Madame X so far: ”Medellín”, a collaboration with Colombian singer Maluma, came out in May.

“Crave”, with American rapper Swae Lee, followed in May.

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