It's hard to imagine music without Madonna. It seems like she's always been there, changing the game and reinventing herself. But the Material Baby — born Madonna Louise Ciccone — arrived as a gift from the pop heavens over 60 years ago on Aug. Twenty-four years later she released her first single, "Everybody," and then dropped her self-titled debut album in Since then, she's never looked back. To celebrate the woman who has always justified our love, EW has expanded our initial Best Madonna singles list to Read ahead for a full ranking of releases from the Queen of Pop's royal career.
From "Borderline" to "Give Me All Your Luvin'"
The history of pop music can essentially be divided into two eras: pre-Madonna and post-Madonna. Michael Jackson sold more albums and Prince was more prolific, but of the three singular musical icons born in , Madonna is still the one who most set the template for what a pop star could and should be: bold, brilliant, ambitious, consistently innovative and constantly evolving. Before Madonna, artists could be considered daring if they reinvented themselves with each new album; she sped up the pace to where she was doing so practically with each music video, defining "iconic" so many times over she eventually had to make a song about it. Unlike many of her superstar predecessors and peers, there is no one true definitive Madonna sound or album -- rather, there are a couple dozen definitive Madonna eras, which could last as long as four years or as short as, well, four minutes. For decades, Madonna wasn't ahead of the curve so much as consistently bending its angle with her gravity. She talked and sang, and wrote, and performed frankly about sex and desire at a time when doing so largely inspired mockery at best and condemnation at worst. She confronted misogyny, abuse and gender double standards inside and outside of the music industry for decades before there was any kind of nationwide MeToo movement to support her.
American singer Madonna has released 87 singles and 23 promotional singles and charted with 16 other songs. In , she signed a contract with Sire Records , and released her first two singles before launching her eponymous debut album. The following year, she achieved her first number-one single in Australia, Canada, and the US with " Like a Virgin " from the album of the same name. In , Madonna released her second US number-one single, " Crazy for You ", and her first UK number-one single, " Into the Groove ", both from feature film soundtracks. The title track from Madonna's fourth studio album, Like a Prayer , made her the female artist with the most US number-one singles in the s shared with Whitney Houston. In , Madonna released " Vogue " from the album I'm Breathless , which topped the charts in all major music markets. Her studio album Bedtime Stories spawned the lead single " Secret ", which became her record-setting 35th consecutive UK top-ten single. The album's second single, " Take a Bow ", remains her longest-running US number-one single with seven weeks atop the chart.
Colombier went in a "film-score-esque" direction. The final song on "Like a Prayer" is the perfect way to cap off one of the most Catholic albums ever. Whatever was in my head.