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Madonna: 'N-word' hashtag was 'term of endearment' to son, not racial slur

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 6:22 PM EST, Sat January 18, 2014
Over her long career, Madonna has been a genius at reinventing herself. Take a look back at how her style has evolved over the years, starting with this shot of her as she was first emerging on the music scene in New York in December 1982. Over her long career, Madonna has been a genius at reinventing herself. Take a look back at how her style has evolved over the years, starting with this shot of her as she was first emerging on the music scene in New York in December 1982.
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Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
Madonna: Through the years
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Madonna set off a controversy when she posted a photo her son boxing
  • "It was not meant as a racial slur," Madonna says
  • "I am sorry if I offended anyone," the singer says

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Madonna apologizes to you if you were offended by her Instagram hashtag that used a form of the "N word."

"It was not meant as a racial slur," the Material Girl said in a statement sent to CNN by her representative Saturday.

Madonna set off a controversy when she posted a photo of her 13-year-old son Rocco Ritchie boxing.

Madonna slammed for 'N-word' use

"No one messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out!" she wrote in the Instagram posting, to which she added the hashtag "#disni--a."

A bit later, as the roar of disapproval began surging online, the singer replaced the caption with "Ok let me start this again. #get off of my d--k haters!"

Her full apology from rep Liz Rosenberg:

"I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur.. I am not a racist. There's no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention... It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it's a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me."

CNN's Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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