Madonna – Artist Extraordinaire

March 5, 2011 by  
Filed under New World Music

Madonna is a music and dance artist who needs no introduction. Seven letters, no last name, yet a powerful brand. Almost from the time she started her career in 1982 with her first single “Everybody” and her debut album Madonna, the talented singer and dancer rose to fame in the US first and only two years later worldwide after the release of her second album Like a Virgin.

Madonna at the TriBeCa Film Festival in 2008

Photo: David Shankbone

Few know that Madonna started her education with a dance scholarship at the University of Michigan and worked as a backup dancer when she moved to New York City in 1977. From there, it was only a small step to singing in two bands, Breakfast Club and Emmy. Madonna went solo in 1982 and already her third single, “Holiday”, became a big hit that kids around the world would play on their ghettoblasters (remember those “portable” stereos?).

“Like a Virgin” followed in 1984 and became an instead hit. With it, Madonna patented her trademark look that consisted of lots of lace, torn fishnet stockings, bleached hair, religious jewelry and skirts paired with capri pants. Girls and women all over the world began imitating Madonna, making her an ‘80s style icon.

Already in April of 1985, Madonna embarked on her first North America concert tour that did not fill clubs and theatre but whole arenas. It spawned hits like “Papa Don’t Preach”, “Open Your Heart”, “True Blue” and an all-time favorite of mine, “La Isla Bonita”. “Express Yourself”, “Cherish” and the controversial “Like a Prayer” followed.

In the ‘90s, Madonna released Erotica (1992), Bedtime Stories (1994) and Ray of Light (1998); the latter influenced by her involvement with Kabbalah and the birth of her daughter Lourdes. Music followed in 2000, then American Life (2003), Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005) and her last album, Hard Candy in 2008.

Madonna during the Sticky and Sweet Tour in 2008

Photo: iShot71

As to be expected, the topics and pace of her albums matured from ‘80s disco beats and boy-meets-girl romance to a broader spectrum. Classical and rock influences can be heard on the later albums and she broaches topics like sexuality, loss, parent-child relationships and many others. Never one to avert controversy, Madonna is an artist who’s forgiven for anything in the end, especially once she comes out with a new album or dance routine.

She is an artist who invented and re-invented not only her musical but also her personal self, even calling her 2004 word tour thus. Who could forget Madonna’s many avatars that took her from feisty ‘80s kid to vamp to mother in just three decades? Her hairstyles changed from short to long, blond to brunette and back to blond and her outfits, though daring, were and still are an inspiration to artists today. In one word, her guts and talent are enviable.

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4 Responses to “Madonna – Artist Extraordinaire”
  1. Alina Ross says:

    Madonna music is very very nice!

  2. Tyler Prescot says:

    Madonna latched onto gay men behind the scenes because she didn’t have to put out for them on shoots. She figured out to use them to make money, so she ripped off lists of original works of art and artists , figuring out what artist is hot and not, by gallery jumping, clubbing and schmoozing… while to this day it continues. Interviews with songwriters show singles such as “Like A Virgin” were written by a paid male songwriter experiencing life after a break-up-these are facts. She blathers in footage on her creative pursuits, only for the discerning eye to learn this pursuit is the locating, plagiarizing or replicating of works made not by she but alas by persons of no relations. Madonna is as manufactured as Britney Spears, with an art like appeal and subversive sales pitch.
    “Swept Away” is a remake of a film from the 70’s; “Vogue” is a knock off of a song written by Malcolm McLaren years prior titled “Deep In Vogue”; there are complete facts upon research.
    A prime example of her care for the world, is that failed girls school in Malawi, eyewitness accounts prove her friends she “hooked up” there basically stole from poor women and men in Malawi-to support their expected lifestyle. Had Madonna “cared” she, being the hard worker she claims to be would have flown to that country to correct the mistakes, its been years and she let it fail-with a list of celebrity trolls whose careers should have ended years ago. This is after collecting millions of bucks promoting charity, using it,blacks and liberals/gays, in a psychological whirlwind of excitement, flashing lights, pumped up music and fashionable timings.

  3. john serpa says:


    Great blog post! I am on the cusp of my 45th birthday and remember Madonna’s first hit as well her latest—across the span of 30 years she has produced amazing music. Age is not the denominator. I have jammed on synthesizers since I was 22, now, I have the means to own the keyboards I once dreamed about. Passion grows with time and just like Madonna, we all can pursue dreams and allow them to mold and shape us. Music is a hobby for me, but now I use my techno / lounge / ambient tracks as backdrops for my public speaking appearances which adds a nice effect.

    Music breathes life into the soul. When I see a beuatiful scenic moment I just feel the urge to fire up the Korg Oasys and let the melody that flows paint more images. Likewise, when I first heard your song “Dawns Spirit” it relased countless images and thoughts. As an author, this allows me to focus my writing and thus I am grateful for Twitter because that is how I found your music!

    In closing, your music is timeless, my favorite song is “Locked Inside”. I felt like you wrote it for me, it symbolizes how I felt for so many years. I wish you nothing but continued success and look forward to the day I see you in concert.

    John Serpa


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