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Women Music March #12 — Madonna

How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna?
I would either have ended up a nun or this.

I remember back in the day how much controversy Madonna music videos stirred up. Looking back at this one, the term soft porn comes to mind. She loved pushing the taboo button and I enjoyed watching every bit of it.

Madonna Louise Ciccone (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Referred to as the “Queen of Pop” since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of songwriting in popular music and for the visuals she uses onstage and in music videos. She has frequently reinvented her music and image while remaining completely in charge of every aspect of her career. Her diverse works, which incorporated social, political, sexual, and religious themes, have generated both critical acclaim and controversy. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.

Born and raised in Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing as a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist in the rock bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, Madonna signed with Sire Records in 1982 and released her eponymous debut album the next year. She followed it with a series of successful albums, including global bestsellers Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986) as well as Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Madonna has attained many number-one singles throughout her career, including “Like a Virgin”, “La Isla Bonita”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Take a Bow”, “Frozen”, “Music”, “Hung Up”, and “4 Minutes”.

Madonna’s popularity was further enhanced by her roles in films such as Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Dick Tracy (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), and Evita (1996). While Evita earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, many of her other films received poor reviews. As a businesswoman, Madonna founded an entertainment company called Maverick (including the label Maverick Records) in 1992. Her other ventures include fashion design, children’s books, health clubs, and filmmaking. She contributes to various charities, having founded Ray of Light Foundation in 1998 and Raising Malawi in 2006.

Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is certified as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. The Recording Industry Association of America listed her as the third highest-certified female artist in the U.S., with 64.5 million album units. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo artist in its Hot 100 chart history. She is also the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, accumulating U.S. $1.4 billion from her concert tickets. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, her first year of eligibility. VH1 ranked her atop the 100 Greatest Women in Music, while Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

Like a Prayer is her fourth studio album, released on March 21, 1989 by Sire Records. Madonna worked with Stephen Bray, Patrick Leonard, and Prince on the album while co-writing and co-producing all the songs. Her most introspective release at the time, Like a Prayer has been described as a confessional record. Madonna described the album as a collection of songs “about my mother, my father, and bonds with my family.” The album was dedicated to Madonna’s mother, who died when she was young.

Express Yourself” was released as the second single from the album on May 9, 1989. It was included on the greatest hits compilation albums The Immaculate Collection (1990), and Celebration (2009). “Express Yourself” was the first song that Madonna and producer Stephen Bray collaborated on for Like a Prayer. Written and produced by them, the song was a tribute to American funk and soul band Sly and the Family Stone. The main inspiration behind the song is female empowerment, urging women never to go for second-best and to always express their inner feelings.

 

 

Come on girls
You believe in love
‘Cause I’ve got something to sing about it
And it goes something like this

Don’t go for second best, baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels and maybe
Then you’ll know your love is real

You don’t need diamond rings or eighteen karat gold
Fancy cars that go very fast, you know they never last no, no
What you need is a big strong hand
To lift you to your higher ground
Make you feel like a queen on a throne
Make him love you ’til you can’t come down

Don’t go for second best, baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels and maybe
Then you’ll know your love is real

Long stem roses are the way to your heart but
He needs to start with your head
Satin sheets are very romantic
What happens when you’re not in bed
You deserve the best in life
So if the time isn’t right then move on
Second best is never enough
You’ll do much better, baby, on your own

Don’t go for second best, baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels and maybe
Then you’ll know your love is real

Express yourself
You’ve got to make him
Express himself
Hey, hey, hey, hey
So if you want it right now, make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not
And when you’re gone he might regret it
Think about the love he once had
Try to carry on, but he just won’t get it
He’ll be back on his knees, so please

Don’t go for second best, baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels and maybe
Then you’ll know your love is real

Express yourself
You’ve got to make him
Express himself
Hey, hey, hey, hey
So if you want it right now, make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not
Express yourself
Express himself, hey, hey
So if you want it right now, better make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not
Express yourself
Respect yourself, hey, hey
So if you want it right now, better make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not
Express yourself
Songwriters: Stephen Pate Bray / Madonna Ciccone

13 thoughts on “Women Music March #12 — Madonna

  1. She used to have an estate near to me when she was married to Guy Richie. Dunno how much time she ever spent there but a couple of local restaurants had photographs on their walls from when Madonna had dined there. I suppose that’s not a bad endorsement, is it? If Madonna’s gonna eat at your restaurant?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Madonna is an extremely talented and intelligent individual and a very shrewd businesswoman. What her tastes in food are is a mystery to me. Do you like the food at the restaurant?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Do you guys have the Michelin Guide there? If not, just about the best restaurant rating guide that there is? This restaurant was in there, only quite lowly, but only the very best restaurants get in it at all. I think the food was good but the surroundings not quite as good. It had a really good wine list.
        I don’t mind Madonna but she was never my favourite. I have The Immaculate Collection. I still think we’re in a very very sexist world and for a woman to be successful once she is past her prime in terms of appearance….she’s got to have something going on between her ears.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Survivor, I’ve heard of the Michelin Guide but can’t say I’ve ever consulted it. It is a given that sometimes the lowliest looking places have the best food, and vice versa. Word of mouth and getting adventurous with visiting new places is how I learn where the good food is. My sons and their significant others are adventurous like that also. They have way more choices in Grand Rapids than I do in my little berg.

          As to Madonna, my main draw to her was her music videos, which I find so entertaining. I’ve seen one of her concerts (on video) that I loved also. Well-said about a sexist world that resists women becoming successful and feeling uncomfortable when they become successful.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Madonna. Such an interesting person for a young girl to watch, growing up.
    I didn’t know she was born in 58! She always seemed like she was just a titch older than when I was 11-which is when I first heard her- but I guess when one is born in 1973, 1958 shouldn’t be surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

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