Madonna apologises after posting ‘rebel’ pictures of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King online

Singer said that she is "not comparing" herself to anyone

Madonna has apologised after she posted pictures of people including Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and John Lennon photoshopped in the same style as the artwork to her new album, ‘Rebel Heart’.

The singer posted the pictures to her Instagram page yesterday (January 2). The images were submitted by fans and included musicians Lennon and Bob Marley as well as Martin Luther King and Mandela with ribbons across their faces.

Madonna was criticised by users in the comments on each image. Under the picture of King, which Madonna tagged “This #rebelheart had a dream!”, one person wrote: “No, Madonna, just no.”

This ❤️#rebelheart had a dream!

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

Madonna was then forced to post a statement online in which she clarified that she was “not comparing” herself to anyone, but “admiring and acknowledging” the figures in the images.

“I’m sorry. I’m not comparing my self to anyone. I’m admiring and acknowledging their Rebel Hearts,” she wrote. “This is neither a crime or an insult or racist! I also did it with Michael Jackson and Frieda Khalo and Marilyn Monroe. Am I say 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 those 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 is due to release ‘Rebel Heart’ in March. On Christmas Day, 14 tracks supposedly taken from the record were leaked, while six unfinished demos were previously released without the singer’s consent earlier in 2014.