The Material Girl wants to heal the world

She may be one of the biggest pop icons in history, but Madonna would rather be remembered as a spiritual leader.

In a radio interview, Madge, 48, was asked to defend the crucifixion number in her recent tour which was teamed with video images of AIDS orphans in Africa.

She told Sirius Satellite Radio: ‘Of course some people thought, “Oh, she’s just being controversial, she’s just getting on a cross and trying to p*** people off,” but that wasn’t my intention at all.

‘I want to be like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and John Lennon – but I want to stay alive. For me we all need to be Jesus in our time.

‘Jesus’s message was to love your neighbour as yourself, and these are people in need. I hope that people got that message.’