In honor of new album ‘Rebel Heart’: our top 10 Madonna songs

Hunter Goddard

This year has been a big one so far for Madonna.

With “Ghosttown,” the 56-year-old Queen of Pop charted this week on Billboard Adult Contemporary for the 36th time in her career. She also sat down for a Rolling Stone interview in February, fell during her 2015 Brit Awards performance and appeared on “Ellen” this month.

Ad

It also just so happens that 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of “The Virgin Tour” — her first concert tour — and saw the release of her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart.”

In honor of the top-selling female recording artist who ever lived, here’s our list of Madonna’s ten greatest singles:

  1. Give Me All Your Luvin’ (feat. M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj),” 2012

This is the song they were singing when M.I.A. flipped off the camera during Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. With its exhilarating guest vocals and irresistible cheerleader hook, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” is as carefree as a Friday night at the football game.

  1. Lucky Star,” 1983

Everything about this track is delightfully ‘80s, from its post-disco dance beat to its catchy lyrics. The music video first introduced the world to the songstress’s penchant for Catholic iconography and aesthetic reinvention, and paved the way for her legacy as one of the decade’s fashion icons.

  1. Holiday,” 1983

Its chorus is jubilant and simple, and “Holiday” is a must for any road trip with your friends. It was a track off of Madonna’s eponymous debut album, and it became her first ever release to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

  1. Papa Don’t Preach,” 1986

Only Madonna could make “Papa Don’t Preach” this much fun. A record about a young woman who tells her father that she is marrying a man without his blessing, the song proved to be her first conflict with the Vatican, with Pope John Paul II himself urging Italians to boycott her tour.

  1. La Isla Bonita,” 1987

The instrumental was originally produced for King of Pop Michael Jackson before it was given to Queen of Pop Madonna, who composed the lyrics and melody. It was her first Latin pop piece and undoubtedly helped land her role in “Evita,” the best movie out of her dismal film career.

  1. Music,” 2000

The third millennium was also the third decade of Madge’s career, and “Music” secured her spot in 21st century popular culture. She became the second artist (Janet Jackson was the first) to have a number-one hit on the Hot 100 three decades in a row.

  1. Vogue,” 1990

Madonna did not invent “voguing,” but, with her David Fincher-directed music video, she did bring mainstream exposure to “fashion-poses-as-choreography.” By naming Old Hollywood celebrities in the spoken-word bridge, Madonna herself ranks among them as a megastar.

  1. Like a Virgin,” 1984

Quentin Tarantino’s first movie, “Reservoir Dogs” – listed by “Empire Magazine” as the greatest independent film of all time – opens with a discussion on the meanings behind “Like a Virgin.” This classic pop song created the controversial superstar we all know and love (or hate) today.

Ad

  1. Material Girl,” 1984

Arguably THE quintessential pop song of the conservative Reagan and Thatcher “greed is good” era, “Material Girl” has gone on to become Madonna’s nickname, much to the singer’s chagrin. Its socio-cultural import is matched only by its earworm production value.

  1. Like a Prayer,” 1989

“Like a Prayer” is transcendent for the “Like a Virgin” hit maker. It is both poetic and provocative, and its climactic, choir-sung verse never fails to raise goosebumps. It is so much more than just Madonna’s greatest song – it is one of the greatest songs by any musician, ever.

Looking back on Her Madgesty’s reign, it makes even less sense why Justin Timberlake made it to the Super Bowl before she did. She is as artistic as she is entertaining, and she set the standard for all pop divas. It is inspiring how hard she still works today, and it excites us for her future.

Collegian A&E Writer Hunter Goddard can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @hunter_gaga.