The Power Of Madonna: Her Top 10 Songs That Defined A Career

The Power Of Madonna: Her Top 10 Songs That Defined A Career

Where would we be without Madonna?
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Since her debut in 1983, Madonna has remained within the public eye for over three decades. Through constant reinvention with each decade, Madonna has managed to sustain her career as well as keep the public talking with her controversial music videos, live performances, and her humanitarian efforts.

Theatrics aside, Madonna is the perfect example of a woman carving out a place for herself within a male-dominated industry. Without her (and many others) we wouldn't have the amazing women that we have in the industry today. So, join me for a look back at the Material Girl's career as well as her ten best songs*.

*I will be primarily focusing on her songs from 1984-1992

1. "Express Yourself"

"Express Yourself" was the second single to be released off her 1989 "Like a Prayer" album. The song has been heralded as a feminist anthem by both critics and scholars alike, noting the "masculine" person that Madonna adopts in the video. The song encourages women to "express themselves" (hence the title) when it comes to their relationships with their significant others. Although fancy cars may go very fast, you know they'll never last as long as love does.

2. "Papa Don't Preach"

"Papa Don't Preach" would be the first song in which Madonna would reinvent her image as well as her sound. The debut single from her third studio album "True Blue", "Papa Don't Preach" tells the story of a young woman who must make the difficult decision to tell her father she is having a baby. Critics praised the song's musical composition as well as Madonna's stronger vocals. Upon its release, it became the "song of the summer", staying at number one for two weeks. It became Madonna's fourth number one single in the US.

3. "Vogue"

"Vogue" comes to us from Madonna's "I'm Breathless" soundtrack album. Released in 1990, this song brought the art of "voguing" from underground gay culture to the spotlight of the mainstream. The music video has long since become iconic, with everybody from comedians to "Glee" parodying it in one way or another.

4. "Material Girl"

If I could describe the '80s obsession with excess in a song, it would have to be "Material Girl". Simple, yet musically complex, the song was the second single to be released off of her "Like a Virgin" album, making her into a household name. The video pays homage to Marilyn Monroe's number "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Freind" from the 1953 film "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," first of many homages the singer would pay to the actress.

5. "Like a Virgin"

It would be absolutely criminal not to include this career-defining song. The lead single off of the album of the same name, "Like a Virgin" is about the way a new experience, especially in love, can make one feel like a virgin. Now, it wouldn't be a Madonna song without the controversy, right? The song came under fire after Madonna performed the single at the first ever VMA awards while wearing a white wedding dress and grinding upon the stage. That moment was the first of many where Madonna would absolutely send the world into shock.

6. "Open Your Heart"

The second single from "True Blue" would only capitalize upon the success of its predecessor. Lyrically, the song is about Madonna encouraging her lover to open himself to her so that they may form a deeper emotional (and sexual) connection. The song would later be used to open the "Who's That Girl" world tour in 1987.

7. "Like a Prayer"

"Like a Prayer" marked a turning point in Madonna's career where she matured from Pop Diva to mature artist. The song itself touches on Madonna's relationship to her religion, Catholicism, and the way it has shaped her throughout her life. The video struck a nerve with religious groups because of its religious iconography and burning crosses. The Vatican even called for a boycott and Pepsi dropped its endorsement deal with Madonna because of the controversy surrounding the song.

8. "Erotica"

When this song was released in 1992, the public thought that Madonna had gone too far. To add even more controversy, the single was released along with Madonna's now infamous "Sex" coffee table book. Taking on the character of Mistress Dita, Madonna encourages her listeners to give into their sexual desires and fantasies, no matter how dirty they are.

9. "Borderline"

Coming off of her eponymous debut album, "Borderline" was the second hit single of her career. The music video was also her first video to be regularly played on MTV, turning her into one of MTV's original video stars. The song would become a perennial favorite amongst her fans and critics alike.

10. "Into The Groove"

Written and recorded for Madonna's first major film "Desperately Seeking Susan," the song would go on to become a major hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Dance chart. The song would be also be included in almost all of Madonna's world tours due to its immense popularity. A party is incomplete without this classic since it brings almost everyone to the dance floor in complete ecstasy.

Cover Image Credit: Madonna / YouTube

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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4 Ways The Border Wall Could Affect The Environment

A lot of wildlife could be destroyed.

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The government shut down is caused because of lack of decision making between the government and Trump. I'm not saying I am for or against the wall. My main concern is the environment around it. Humans have already destroyed the environment in multiple ways.

1. It's already been proven border fences are bad for the environment.

The border already has some fenced off with barbed wire, steel, or chains. Just the construction itself to put fences up ruined a lot of the environment around it. One group of species that have been affected, in particular, is the Mexican gray wolf. Just in 2016, there were only 113 in the United States and about 3 dozen on the other side of the border. This already is leading toward their extinction.

2. There are many animals that could be affected and results could be deadly for them.

Some of the animals include mountain lions, Texas horned lizard, Plains blind snake, and Rio Grande chirping frog. About 346 species could lose access to their habitat. This could lead to the risk of extinction of these animals. Fencing and walls that have already been built have already cost North America their rare animals.

3. Animal migration patterns could be affected.

With a wall, many animals won't be able to migrate for season changes properly. Many animals won't be getting across to migrate. If they can't migrate, chances of getting the food, shelter, and mates they need are slim. For example, the Peninsular bighorn sheep migrates between California and Mexico and if the wall is built, that would end.

4. Flooding could occur.

Depending on how the wall is built, it may not allow for proper water flow. This means it could cause flooding in certain areas. Under the George W. Bush administration, 700 miles of fencing was put up. In southwest Arizona, 15 foot high wire mesh fence caused debris build up just during a short thunderstorm. The floods got up to 7 feet high in some areas.

Like I said, I won't say I am for or against the wall, but thinking about the animals and wildlife that it could destroy is what sparked my interest to research this. If the wall does happen, let's hope it is an eco-friendly one.

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