On what grounds did the "sharpest executives" in the music industry base their conclusion that Madonna is "on a downward slide of her career" ("Few Pillars, No 'Thrillers,' " by Robert Hilburn, Oct. 22)? Is it the fact that her latest album, "Bedtime Stories," received favorable critical reviews? Or was it because that album produced several hit singles? Or possibly it had something to do with the fact that her videos consistently made the MTV Top 20 list during the past year?

Most likely, their conclusion was based on a single number, 36--her age. No doubt the assumption is that her physical appeal will be diminishing and therefore no one will be interested in listening to her music. Clearly, a 36-year-old male artist with the same credentials would not be dismissed as being at the end of his career.

Fortunately, Madonna owns her own record company and thus will be able to continue creating music and videos in spite of industry prejudice. I wish her well in proving these "sharp executives" wrong.


San Clemente

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