Numerous young female singers and songwriters cite Madonna as a key influence in their music, including 25-year old Ava Max, who co-wrote and sings her break-out global hit “Sweet but Psycho” –it’s charted #1 in over 17 countries, including the trend setting UK and hipster Germany.

There’s an attitude in Max’s vocal style that echoes Madonna–the brash confidence and conviction, the image of an alluring, highly sexualized man-eater, a bit of tongue in cheek humor.  (There’s also more than a slight nod to Lady Gaga, who also has inspired Max).    Lyrics like…

“Oh, she’s hot but a psycho”  and “She’s poison but tasty” are tempered by personal revelations:

At night she’s screamin’
“I’m-ma-ma-ma out my mind”

“Sweet but Psycho,” an uptempo, uncomplicated, danceable Pop song, has connected in a big way with US audiences and is ranking Top 10 on Top 40 and Top 15 on Adult Top 40.

The song’s story line and lyrics deserve a better video:  This one is more psycho than sweet.

Ava Max was born in Milwaukee, WI  to Albanian parents.