How many artists can sell over 10 million albums with their debut and then go and double those figures with their second album just 18 months later? That’s exactly what Madonna did with Like a Virgin. The blonde popstar teamed up with Nile Rodgers for the set, which went on to sell over 21 million copies worldwide. Its title track remains an iconic pop number, while ‘Material Girl’ became the zeitgeist of a booming commercial market of the ’80s. What’s more, when you’ve got a song as amazing as ‘Into the Groove’ as a bonus track (or a B-side in some countries), you know you’re on to a classic record.
Like a Virgin was the first instance where Madonna demanded creative control. She wasn’t given it completely by her label Warner Bros, but she had enough to deliver an album that would cement herself as the future Queen of Pop. The album’s aesthetic of Marilyn Monroe-meets-Saint Mary was provocative, radical and exciting in mainstream music. Madonna performed lead single ‘Like a Virgin’ for the very first time at the very first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, and like her peers such as Michael Jackson, positioned herself and the record as pioneers in a music visual revolution that would turn her into an icon. Oh, and Madonna’s label allegedly pushed back the release of Like a Virgin because they thought it wasn’t going to work… It’s still Madonna’s only album to be certified Diamond in the US.
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Madonna Louise Ciccone is known universally as the ‘Queen of Pop’, and with career record sales topping 300 million worldwide, she is acknowledged as the biggest selling female recording artist of all time. Indeed, in Billboard’s 2008 100 All-time Top Artists, she was ranked second only to the Beatles. During a 30-year career she has released 12 studio albums (plus numerous more compilations, live albums, soundtracks, remixes, EPs, and box sets). With each album she has consistently reinvented her music and image, pushing the boundaries both lyrically and in the form of elaborate and often sex-charged stage shows. But she is far more than just a ‘pop star’. With a career that has encompassed not just music but books, movies, fashion and humanitarian work, she has transcended the world of pop to become a global cultural icon and a role model to millions of women. Indeed, almost every successful female recording artist of the last 30 years – from Jennifer Lopez to Rihanna and, of course, Lady Gaga – cites her as a major influence.
Madonna book by Caroline Sullivan (available on Amazon)
Today it is already 21 years ago, that Madonna kick off her Girlie show in London.
After a few European, American and Canadian stops,
she went for the first time in her career to Israel, South America and Australia.
Hans was one of them that saw the world premier at the ‘Wembley Stadium’ to read his story here
“We go Hard or we go Home,” the Queen of Pop informs her subjects.
“We go Hard or we go Home we Gon Do this all night long! #werk” Madonna captioned the photo, while Minaj posted the photo to her own Instagram a few hours earlier. “My trip to New York isn’t the same unless I bump into the Queen. #BitchItsMadonna,” she wrote, suggesting that the photo was the result of a chance encounter… however, “Bitch, I’m Madonna” is the name of a rumored new track produced by Diplo, so maybe Minaj was in town to record a guest verse?
Madonna and Minaj, of course, collaborated on her 2012 single “Give Me All Your Luvin,’” and performed the song together at the Super Bowl halftime show that year. Minaj was the guest artist on the song who did NOT give the middle finger to hundreds of millions of viewers at the Super Bowl (that’d be M.I.A.).
Madonna’s follow-up to MDNA is due out in 2015, and there are already over a dozen rumored collaborators on the as-yet-untitled project.
(Jason Lipshutz / Billboard.com)