Music History

Madonna, the most influential female singer of the last half century, turns 60 today

Whether you like her music or not, you must give Madonna respect. Her DNA and influence in music, fashion, female empowerment are felt in every corner of the industry today. Here are some facts.

  • She’s sold 300 million records.
  • Concert ticket grosses are $1,4 billion and counting
  • Along with Michael Jackson, she was the biggest artist of the MTV era. (Three of the top five most expensive music videos of all time were made by her.)
  • She’s always set her own agenda and has insisted on 100% control over her music and image from the beginning.
  • Whatever anyone says, she doesn’t give a f**k.

I could go on and on, but CMU has this list of retrospective lists on Madonna’s career.

Here are a few more fun things about Madge via Popbitch (you really should get their newsletter. It’s delicious.)

  • She’s not a fan of Gwen Stefani. A quote:  “When she first played her ABBA-sampling single Hung Up to a friend, they noted that it sounded ‘quite Gwen Stefani.’ Madonna’s reply? ‘That c***’s been stealing from me for the last ten years, so I thought it was about time I paid her back.'”
  • And watch her throw shade at Lady Gaga over the similarities between “Express Yourself” and “Born This Way.” Ouch.
  • Is that Madonna dancing in the background of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” video? They were an item at the time the clip was made.
  • Another Popbitch quote: An anagram of “Madonna Louise Ciccone” is “Occasional Nude Income”.

And just for fun, here are a couple of videos done with much love.

Greg Gostanian was a 325-pound Madonna impersonator. When he died in 2000, he was buried with a shirt autographed by Madonna. It read “Keep telling people you slept with me.”


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37832 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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