Madonna was a pioneer, I will give her that one, but she is trying so desperately to hold on to her youth that she is turning out crap music. If you don't believe me, just go to Youtube and check out her most recent videos/songs. She has heavy use of autotune, lyrics that are unimaginative (which is sad because she used to be a good songwriter) and overall desperately attempting to appeal to teen/20 somethings. If I were Madonna, I would instead allow myself to mature gracefully and write relevant music for her original core audience that has aged along with her. So, I would be targeting 40/50 somethings instead. It is like she is regressing instead of progressing. With that said, I think Lady Gaga was definitely inspired by Madonna, but as you can see also, Lady Gaga has been reinventing herself. She is more mature now, which is especially true with the collaboration with Tony Bennett. As far as pure talent goes, I think Lady Gaga by far has a greater voice. Madonna was better at showmanship.