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Tove Lo Says Lady Wood Album Art Was an 'Accidental Homage' to Madonna's Iconic 1989 Like a Prayer Cover

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With a focus on sexuality and female empowermentTove Lo‘s new album brings to mind another “Unapologetic Bitch” — but its cover drew those comparisons first!

Last month, the Swedish pop star released Lady Wood, her triumphant second album. But when she first revealed the record’s cover art, fans wondered if the “Cool Girl” singer was paying tribute to Madonna‘s 1989 Like a Prayer.

“It honestly just happened,” Lo, 29, tells PEOPLE. “The Madonna cover did not come into my mind, but I saw it when someone put it up on Instagram and tagged me, and I was like: It’s definitely like an homage — an accidental homage!”

Lady Wood — which shows Lo in a blue vintage men’s bathing suit from the ’50s, her midriff exposed as she flaunts her bling-out fingers — is similar to Madge’s denim- and jewel-decked cover.

“It’s part of a whole picture where I’m just kind of like looking down at my crotch, no makeup on, with all my rings that I always wear,” Lo says of the image. “That’s Lady Wood, right there, that photo!”

The “Habits (Get High)” singer says the striking shot perfectly represents the vibe of the album, on which she opens up about sex, drugs, love and more.

And though their matching cover art was a coincidence, “I’m happy to be associated with her for sure,” Lo says of Madonna, 58. “She was a big part of the female sexual liberation.”

  • For more on Tove Lo, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere now.

 

Indeed, the icon continues to push cultural boundaries and break records. Following the completion of her international Rebel Heart World Tour, Madonna has sold more than $1.31 billion in tickets throughout her career, making her the highest-grossing touring solo artist in Billboard Boxscore history. For the feat, the singer will be honored as Billboard‘s Woman of the Year in New York next month.