Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Britney have been keeping Madonna's seat atop the pop diva food chain warm for the past year. Madonna -- the original diva -- is planning to release an album in the spring of 2012, with a new single to hit the airwaves in early 2012. Madge is working with producer William Orbit, the man who twiddled the knobs for the electronica-tinged 'Ray of Light,' which is one of her best albums, on this new platter.

The Material Girl will be in the studio in New York through the end of the year, which she revealed to Svergies Television, a Swedish TV outlet (via NME.)

Madonna also revealed that the first single from the as-yet untitled album should be out next winter, with a February or March date being eyed. So that's something to look forward to to get you through the bitter chill of winter. The singer/dancer/actress/director, making her a quadruple threat, is currently riding the promotional circuit at the Venice Film Festival for 'W.E.,' the movie she directed.

Madonna's forthcoming album will be her first since 2008's 'Hard Candy.' It's also the first album of her partnership with concert giant Live Nation. Madge left Warner Bros. upon completing her contract and then defected to Live Nation to the tune of a whopping $120 million deal, which includes her albums and tours.

Madonna's manager Guy Oseary revealed in June via Twitter that Madonna was set to begin recording this summer.