Today it has been 40 years since Madonna released her debut album Madonna. As several media outlets celebrate (see articles below), Madonna herself has posted a short reel on her Instagram, showing her dancing to Lucky Star. It's great to see her dancing for the first time since she was hospitalized.
In the post, she says:
To be able to move my body and dance just a little bit makes me feel like the Luckiest Star in the world!
Thank you to all of my fans and friends!
You must be my lucky stars too!
And Happy 40th Birthday to my very. First Album
And it's no coincidence she selected this song. Today, the original maxi single, featuring the 7" single and the US Remix, has been released on digital streaming platforms. Go give it some love!
On her debut album, Madonna thought about taking a holiday. And here at Interview, it is one, since Madonna, the 1983 self-titled debut from the high priestess of pop, turns 40 today. To celebrate a woman who's helped define pop culture we know it, and who's appeared in this very magazine numerous times over its 54-year history, we asked the biggest stans on staff to recall their favorite Madonna moments. From our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg, who took in the raunchy spectacle of the Blond Ambition tour alongside his impressively open-minded parents, to our intern Emma, whose Nebraska Catholic school played Like a Virgin after every school dance, let the memories below serve as a reminder that, four decades on, Madonna remains the Queen of Pop.
Madonna the album turns 40 today. One of my favorite albums of all time, and my top artist of all time. Everybody is my favorite song on the album. My best Madonna memory is a lucky one. I was 14 and my parents took me and my 10 and 11-year-old siblings to the Blond Ambition tour. Major shoutout to my parents Jane and Richard for taking us, as the Blonde Ambition tour was the most controversial thing in America while Madonna was touring it. People were going haywire about it and my parents thought it was an important cultural moment for us to witness. Anyway, being a dorky 14-year-old with my family watching Madonna simulate masturbation in her gold Jean Paul Gaultier bustier look, pumping her crotch into the bed and going nuts while performing Like a Virgin — that was the best. MADONNA FOREVER!
Having two dads meant that Madonna was a staple in our house, so I have plenty of favorite Madonna moments to choose from. My favorite would have to be the iconic Britney kiss at the 2003 VMAs, and my favorite era is her Blond Ambition tour. She was so radical in her music and stage presence that she was even almost arrested in Toronto during that tour for lewd behavior. In keeping with the theme of radicalism, my favorite lyric is from her song What it Feels Like For a Girl, where she says, 'But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, 'cause you think that being a girl is degrading."
My mother played Ray of Light religiously in the car while I was growing up, but my understanding of M as our most groundbreaking and visionary pop star didn't really crystallize until 2003, when I saw her and Britney make out at the VMAs. A stan was born, if you will. A little while later, after formally enrolling in diva studies, I went through her discography more comprehensively and lingered on her debut, which is pretty remarkable as both a pop album and a sort of artistic mission statement. So many great songs, though I'm partial to Borderline and Lucky Star.
I went with Daphne Guinness to Steven Klein's birthday party one year and Madonna stood on the sofa next to me when the cake came out and I thought, my god, my third-grade self would die knowing this woman's leg was right next to my head.
It's hard to believe that it's been 40 years since Madonna Louise Ciccone shocked the world with her debut album. Even more impressive is her tight grip on culture—there would be no pop stars today without Madonna. Period. Lucky Star and Holiday remain two of my all time favorite Madge songs, closely followed by Future Lovers, and her transatlantic accent post her London era. Life is a mystery, time goes by so slowly, and oftentimes in circular motion, so when I had the privilege of seeing Madonna perform Hung Up at the Boom Boom Room during that infamous Pride party, just like a prayer, she took me there.
My dad and his siblings reminisce about Madonna when she comes on the radio. The soundtrack to late nights at the roller rink, morning breakfast with MTV playing Borderline and Like a Virgin, musings of New York City, pulsing energies. Decades later, my all girls Catholic high school in Nebraska still plays Like a Prayer at the end of every school dance. A few girls stand on the bleachers, high priestesses leading a chorus of plaid skirts in a prayer to that same feeling my dad felt in the 1980s. Of raw excitement, anger, fear that builds in adolescence. Stigmata-era Madonna riled us up, even as the nuns watched with raised eyebrows.
Madonna's career apex for me was her role as Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy. The reveal that she was also the mysterious faceless villain The Blank counts as one of the biggest shocks of my early moviegoing career. Sorry for the spoiler, but if you haven't seen Dick Tracy yet that's on you.
40 years ago today, Madonna burst onto the music scene with her first self-titled album—changing the pop landscape forever with her mega-hits such as Holiday and Lucky Star. There are few musical artists who can say they began their career by simultaneously igniting a whole new fashion craze, but it's precisely what the singer did back in 1983. Fans were totally obsessed with Madonna's signature tulle skirts, big bow'd hairstyles, and lace gloves from the get-go. Madonna wasn't just a hot new artist to watch, then—she became a global trendsetter. And she's continued to be for four decades now. So, in honor, Vogue is taking a look back on 40 of her best fashion moments throughout her career.
Over her impressive 40-year career, Madonna has only continued to deliver show-stopping ensembles—be it on stage, on the red carpet, or in her many music videos. Nobody does "fashion eras" better than the star. With each new album she's released, Madonna has always embraced a brand new look to go with it—whether it be her western-inspired getups for 2000's Music, or her disco-ready attire for 2005's Confessions on a Dance Floor. Like a true artist, she sees what she wears as true performance art. Remember at the 1996 premiere of Evita, when she channeled her character, Evita Péron, in Givenchy, gigantic floral headpiece and all? Pure camp!
Along the way, Madonna has delivered plenty of other looks that people still talk about today. The Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra that she wore for her Blond Ambition tour in 1990, for one, is still one of her most iconic moments to date. When the superstar headlined the Super Bowl halftime show in 2012, then-Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci and famous milliner Philip Treacy created a regal, gold-and-black ensemble that totally stole the show. More recently, she also appeared at the 2021 VMAs in a leather dominatrix-style bodysuit. "They said we wouldn't last," she saucily told the crowd, "but we're still here, mother-f**kers."
Check out the Vogue article to explore 40 of Madonna's best fashion moments over the years.
On July 27, 1983, Madonna released Madonna, a self-titled debut that introduced the world to a Michigan-born, New York City-based woman who would become one of the most influential pop stars of all time. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 190, eventually hitting No. 8 and producing three top 20 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and two No. 1 hits on the Dance Club Songs chart.
Even so, skeptics and hostile gatekeepers were as omnipresent as the bracelets around the 25-year-old's wrists. Some dismissed her as a flash in the pan, deriding her vocals, fashion and dance-pop sound. Some of that was a symptom of the times. By 1983, the disco backlash — a movement at least partially motivated by homophobia and racism – was still a major motivator among industry players and tastemakers, and Madonna's deification of the dancefloor didn't jibe with those who wanted to see rock stay on top – without making room for anyone else.
Madonna, influenced by disco and coming up just as the burgeoning freestyle genre was taking shape in her adopted hometown of NYC, helped push unabashed dance-pop music back into the top 40 mainstream. She would go on to notch 12 No. 1s on the Hot 100 and become one of the best-selling artists of all time.
But in 1982, when Madonna made an early appearance in the pages of Billboard, she wasn't there yet. In fact, she wasn't even one person, according to us. The Nov. 6 issue described Madonna as "a young New York duo produced by DJ Mark Kamins" when writing of her debut 12-inch Everybody. Well, one of those statements was correct: Everybody, which would appear on her debut LP the next year, was produced by Kamins. As for the rest of the album, Reggie Lucas – a Miles Davis sideman who had previously produced Roberta Flack and the Spinners – produced six tracks on the album, in addition to writing Borderline and Physical Attraction; John "Jellybean" Benitez produced one song, Holiday, which was written by two members of the dance band Pure Energy; Madonna wrote the other five songs.
Head over to Billboard to see their ranking of the 8 album tracks.
Amidst the whirlwind of her preparations for The Celebration Tour (which has now been delayed as she was hospitalized with a severe infection), Madonna has managed to keep the music flowing in 2023. The iconic pop singer has been steadily dropping new singles recently, collaborating with superstars like The Weeknd and Sam Smith.
But there's more to her musical output this year than meets the eye. In between her high-profile ventures, Madonna has been quietly gifting her most devoted fans with a series of exciting new projects. While these projects may not have made headlines, they are a testament to the singer's never-ending release schedule and the utility of her back catalog.
Throughout 2023, Madonna has discreetly launched not one, not two, but six distinct albums. But these are not your conventional collections of all-new material. Instead, they are remix compilations, each focusing largely on one or two songs and featuring at least five (but most have many more) reworkings. Some albums revolve around a single hit, while others divide an EP or full-length album into multiple tracks. In a few instances, the albums even include semi-rare tunes previously found only on international deluxe editions of her past albums.
The rollout of these remix albums began in March, with Madonna releasing four of them in rapid succession. Kicking off the spree on March 3 was the nine-song remix album for Ray of Light. Just six days later, on March 9, came the Burning Up/Physical Attraction EP. On March 17, fans were treated to the Love Don't Live Here Anymore remix collection, followed by an album featuring nine different versions of Nothing Really Matters on March 31.
In April, Madonna didn't slow down, delighting her fans with American Life (The Remixes), an eight-track album released on the twenty-first of that month. After that, the focus shifted slightly, with the pop sensation turning her attention to her new singles, Popular with The Weeknd and Playboy Carti, and Vulgar with Sam Smith. Both tracks performed well on several Billboard charts, with Popular maintaining its strong presence to this day.
Mid-July saw Madonna return to the remix format with Hollywood (Remixes), which debuted on streaming platforms on July 14.
These remix EPs and albums cater to dance aficionados and super fans, offering them multiple takes on the same song. The releases sometimes include not just one remixer's reworking but several variations on the same track, including extended editions and other specific renditions.
These remix albums aren't designed to propel Madonna back up the charts; instead, they serve a different purpose. Their primary aim is to breathe new life into her back catalog, a venture she has been busy with for several years now. For Madonna, these releases satisfy her die-hard followers, while also keeping her music generating royalties as she concurrently works on other new projects, such as additional singles and her highly anticipated tour.
Live Nation has confirmed that the first leg of The Celebration Tour in North America is unfortunately postponed. Rescheduled dates will be announced as soon as possible. Fans are encouraged to hold onto their tickets as they will be valid for the new dates once announced.The tour is currently scheduled to kick off in Europe in October.
After almost two weeks without any official update on Madonna's health, a personal message from Madonna has been posted on her Instagram profile.
Giving an update on her health, she thanks everyone for the get well-wishes, and says her focus is now on her health and getting stronger, adding "I assure you, I'll be back with you as soon as I can!"
Regarding the tour, the current plan is to reschedule the first North American tour leg (which was scheduled from July 15 until October 8) to 2024, and to start the tour in Europe. This would mean the London show on October 14 becomes the opening night.
Lauren Collin captured Madonna while she was out and about in the streets of New York City. It is the first M is spotted in the public since the start of her health scare.