The queen of pop is celebrating 61 years (Yeap, you heard it right, 61!) It should be a bank holiday after what Madonna has been doing in the industry during the past four decades! The greatest selling female artist of all time has been a constant supporter of the queer community and a breaker of boundaries for women in the music business and for musicians full stop.
To celebrate the 61st birthday of the ultimate pop star and LGBT+ ally, the GCN staff plunge into her humongous back catalogue of hits and handpick their favourite songs by the Queen of Pop.
Into The Groove (Peter)
Not just the best Madonna song, but the GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME, ‘Into The Groove’ featured on the soundtrack to the ultimate in 80’s film cool, Desperately Seeking Susan. It was her first of many Irish and UK number one singles. Originally written with her then-boyfriend Stephen Bray for another artist – Chyne, Madonna decided to record the single herself. When producer Mark Kamins reacted furiously to her decision, she responded: “I’m tough, I’m ambitious and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, that’s okay”.
Like A Prayer (Dave)
From her generally regarded best album, the eponymous title track to Like A Prayer was accompanied by a then hugely controversial video. The reaction to the clip led to Pepsi cancelling a planned series of advertisements featuring the singer following threats which came all the way from the Vatican saying they would encourage people to boycott the brand. Ever the businesswoman, while the ads were pulled, Madonna kept the $5 million payment.
Human Nature (Lisa)
Written as a clap back to critics who had protested her explicitly sexual, infamous Sex book, her Erotica album and The Girlie Show world tour, the fourth single released from the hugely underrated ‘Bedtime Stories’ encouraged listeners to “Express yourself, don’t repress yourself”. The awesome S&M inspired music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino who had previously teamed up with the legend on the legendary, banned-by-MTV, ‘Justify My Love’. A song which gets more love now than it did at the time, it closes with the ultimate Madonna statement – “Absolutely no regrets”.
What It Feels Like For A Girl (Katie)
Opening with a sample of Charlotte Gainsbourg in The Cement Garden, this single from the colossal Music would be accompanied by her, not first, not second, but the third video to be banned by MTV. The ungrateful wretches. Directed by her not first, but second, hubby, it was in great company alongside ‘Justify My Love’ and ‘Erotica’.
Faz Gostoso (Guill)
As a result of Madonna’s collaboration with Anitta, the song released last June as part of Madonna’s album “Madame X” and acclaimed by foreign critics, “Faz Gostoso” is the re-recording of a huge success by Luso-Brazilian singer Blaya which topped the charts in Portugal for months. The queen of pop surprises from the start, singing parts in Portuguese, followed by the Brazilian diva with her parts in English.
Papa don’t preach – (
“Papa Don’t Preach” is a song by American singer Madonna from her third studio album True Blue (1986). The song was written by Brian Elliot with additional lyrics by Madonna, who produced it with Stephen Bray. The song also appears remixed on the 1990 compilation album The Immaculate Collection and in its original form on the 2009 compilation album Celebration. The song’s musical style combines pop and classical styling, and its lyrics deal with teenage pregnancy and abortion. It was based on teen gossip Elliot heard outside his recording studio.
Music – (Emmet)
“Music” is the eighth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on September 18, 2000, by Maverick and Warner Bros. Records. Following the success of her previous album Ray of Light (1998), she intended to embark on a tour. However, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio and record new music before going on the road. Her collaboration with producers Mirwais Ahmadzaï and William Orbit resulted in a more experimental direction for the album. Music has an overall dance-pop and electronica vibe, with influences from rock, country and folk.
Ray Of Light – (Marlon)
“Ray of Light” is the seventh studio album by American recording artist Madonna, released on February 22, 1998, by Maverick Records. After giving birth to her first child, Madonna started working on the album with producers Babyface and Patrick Leonard. Following failed sessions with them, Madonna pursued a new musical direction with English producer William Orbit.
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