“Unapologetic” and “defiant” have been the two most-used words to describe Madonna since she first graced the music scene in 1982 with hits such as “Holiday” and “Borderline.” Pushing boundaries and breaking barriers has been Madonna’s mission long before Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus even existed. With an estimated net worth of over $800 million, two divorces and four children, a slew of younger boyfriends, over 300 million records sold worldwide, Grammy and Golden Globe awards and the title of the “best-selling female recording artist of all time” by the Guinness World Records, Madonna is rightfully known around the world as the “Queen of Pop.”
The year was 1984 and the stage of the MTV Video Music Awards was set for the debut of Madonna’s newest hit “Like a Virgin,” that had topped the Billboard hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks. Although Madonna claims she was originally terrified of the performance, she shocked the airwaves and the audience by appearing atop of a giant wedding cake while wearing a wedding dress and white gloves; this moment has forever been noted by MTV as an iconic VMA performance. Of course, with any performance of Madonna’s, backlash ensued. Commenting on the backlash of that performance to Rooksby magazine, Madonna said, “I was surprised by how people reacted to ‘Like a Virgin’ because when I did that song, to me, I was singing about how something made me feel a certain way—brand-new and fresh—and everyone interpreted it as ‘I don’t want to be a virgin anymore. F*** my brains out!’ That’s not what I sang at all. ‘Like a Virgin’ was always absolutely ambiguous.”
After the massive popularity of “Like a Virgin,” the hits kept on coming for Madonna with “Material Girl,” “Crazy for You,” and “Into the Groove.” Along with a slew of number one hits, Madonna married actor Sean Penn in 1985; they later divorced in 1989. In July of 1985, Penthouse and Playboy published nude photos of Madonna that were taken when she was younger and in need of money. The photos caused a media and public uproar but Madonna had no remorse. In current times, Madonna still has no remorse to this day as she is known to flash he
r breasts to her audience while she is on tour.
In 1989, Madonna pushed the boundaries again when she signed a deal with Pepsi and debut her new song “Like a Prayer,” in one of the commercials. The music video for the new hit spawned controversy everywhere as it depicted the Catholic cross burning and a dream about making love to a saint; this lead to the Vatican condemning the video. Religious groups tried to ban the video and boycott Pepsi products, which led Pepsi to cancel Madonna’s sponsorship and revoke her commercial. “Like a Prayer” reached number one and by the end of 1980s, Madonna was named as “Artist of the Decade” by MTV, Billboard, and Music magazine.
At the same time she released her fifth studio album, “Erotica,” in 1992, Madonna also released her first book entitled “Sex.” Although the book caused a strong, negative reaction from the public and the media due to its explicit and sexually provocative pictures, it sold 1.5 million copies in just a few days. Madonna also starred in hit movies in the 90s such as “A League of Their Own,” and the critically acclaimed “Evita.” Madonna won a Golden Globe for her leading role as Evita for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. While filming “Evita,” Madonna was pregnant and gave birth to her daughter Lourdes in 1996.
In 1998, Madonna released her seventh studio album, “Ray of Light,” which won her four Grammy awards. In 2000, Madonna married her second husband, director Guy Ritchie, and gave birth to her second child, Rocco. She also released her eighth studio album, “Music,” that same year. In 2003, Madonna released her lowest-selling album of her career, “American Life,” but also made sure to shock TV screens again. At the MTV VMAs Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera re-created Madonna’s iconic performance of “Like a Virgin,” where they both came out singing the song in wedding dresses. The music stopped and Madonna, dressed in a tux, popped out of the top of a white wedding cake singing “Hollywood.” Halfway through the performance, people were in for a surprise when Madonna kissed both Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage; cue the controversy again.
Madonna then went on to release “Confessions on a Dance Floor” in 2005, “Hard Candy” in 2008, “MDNA” in 2012 and her most recent album, “Rebel Heart,” in which she secretly released to iTunes in March of 2015. At 56 years old, Madonna will begin to tour for 13th album from August to December 2015, and you can guarantee she will find new ways to create controversy along the way.
“Although Madonna claims she was originally terrified of the performance, she shocked the airwaves and the audience by appearing atop of a giant wedding cake while wearing a wedding dress and white gloves; this moment has forever been noted by MTV as an iconic VMA performance.”
“At 56 years old, Madonna will begin to tour for 13th album from August to December 2015, and you can guarantee she will find new ways to create controversy along the way.”