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Trivia / Madonna

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  • Banned in China: More like Banned On MTV as four of her music videos were banned by the network.note  Seriously, what has she done that hasn't been challenged by some censor somewhere?
    • To her credit, at least as far as being banned on MTV is concerned, while she has never apologised for being controversial, she has never criticised the network, either.
  • Breakthrough Hit: She had a good-sized dance hit in 1982 called "Everybody". But not everybody remembers that song. They remember her late 1983 breakthrough hit "Holiday", which despite reaching only No. 16 paved the way for massive success later in the 1980s – her first top 10 was "Borderline" in mid-1984, and her No. 1 hit came in December 1984 with "Like a Virgin" – plus a career that's included acting, being a best-selling author (although several of her books have been banned), entrepreneur and philanthropist.
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  • Career Resurrection: Three times. After her Creator Breakdown album Erotica, Bedtime Stories proved to be a comeback for her but not a big one as Ray of Light proved to be such, then after American Life divided critics and fans in addition to being her least successful album at the time, she bounced back again with the well received Confessions on a Dance Floor. Madame X is slowly becoming this, after the previous three albums (Hard Candy, MDNA and Rebel Heart) had mixed reviews.
  • Content Leak: Subverted. She anticipated people would try to leak "American Life" before it was released and she flooded the internet with fake mp3 files that claimed to be leak versions of the album but were actually just recordings of her saying "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
  • Creator Backlash: Madonna, but only because she didn't have enough creative input in the production. "Material Girl", for its Misaimed Fandom.
    • Subverted with her cover version of "American Pie". While she doesn't regret covering the song, she has said that she regretted including the song in international versions of her album Music and as a result did not include it in her greatest hits album GHV2.
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  • Creator Breakdown: In 1991-1993, Madonna went into overdrive pushing the boundaries over sexual content in her work, culminating in the release of the book Sex, the album Erotica and sexually explicit videos for the title track and "Justify My Love", and the movie Body of Evidence, in which Madonna played a nymphomaniac who literally fucked her weak-hearted husband to death. This led to a critical backlash of epic proportions. Madonna has since said that those three years were largely the culmination of her anger at her critics over her sexually charged persona and that she went overboard largely as a "fuck you, I'll be even MORE sexually explicit and raunchy and make money doing it and have you all talking about me even while you bash me".
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: In a 2013 Reddit AMA, she considered the "Justify My Love" music video as her favourite music video.
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  • Distanced from Current Events: The original music video for "American Life" was pulled at her request for this reason, following the US invasion of Iraq. It fell under Keep Circulating the Tapes until 2005, when a director's cut was leaked online and since then both versions of the original video has been made available to watch online.
  • Dye Hard: She's a natural brunette, but she has dyed her hair a variety of colors, most commonly blonde. She reverted to being a brunette during the post-Who's That Girl/Like a Prayer, post-Erotica/pre-Bedtime Stories, late Ray of Light and American Life eras in addition to dying her hair black during the Ray of Light era and reddish blonde during the Confessions on a Dance Floor era.
  • Executive Meddling: NBC forced Madonna to re-edit the footage of her on the cross during the concert special for the Confessions Tour.
    • This is the main reason for "The Immaculate Collection" including either edited versions or remixes of most of its tracks. Thankfully, the version of "Vogue" was better received than the version featured on I'm Breathless, and the version of "Express Yourself" was well-received enough to end up on the Celebration compilation. Celebration would end up using mostly original versions of the tracks.
  • Long-Runners: She's been around for over three decades now.
  • Name's the Same: Madonna has two totally different songs called "Forbidden Love".
  • Old Shame
    • While "Holiday" is a concert staple, Madonna has done her best to make sure the video for the song never sees the light of day.
    • In the late '70s she starred in a zero budget, trashy film called A Certain Sacrifice. It wasn't released at the time, but after she hit it big the director naturally tried to cash in, which she strongly objected to.
    • She was very disappointed by how Dangerous Game turned out and spent the entire marketing campaign warning people not to see it. Keep in mind this was the same year as Body of Evidence.
  • Reality Subtext: "Me Against Madonna", Mad TV music video parody of the Britney Spears song "Me Against the Music", which portrayed Madonna (post American Life) hunting down Britney Spears so that she can bite her neck and drain her "youth and energy".
  • Referenced by...: British ice dancers Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson performed to a Madonna medley (although "Vogue" is the main song) for their free dance during the 2019-2020 competitive season.
  • Throw It In!: The distinct bassline for "Like A Virgin" was the result of the arpeggiator on the Linn drum machine mechanically interpreting a Mowtown-style bassline (specifically the one from "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch") playing on the Jupiter 8 synthesizer while recording the demo, resulting in the rhythm coming out in steady 8th notes.
  • What Could Have Been
    • "Like A Virgin" was originally written as a ballad, but Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly couldn't make it work that way. As a goof on afternoon, they played it slightly faster.
    • The Rebel Heart leaks were massive. At least 15 songs were leaked that Madonna has never released officially, and there's a mountain of demos and remixes for every track (including over 100 for "Living For Love"). Acoustic songs became dance tracks and vice-versa, and collaborations between Natalia Kills and Pharrell Williams were canned.
    • The Madonna: Truth or Dare documentary was supposed to be directed by David Fincher, who passed on to direct Alien³.
  • Working Title: Ein Sof for American Life.
    • Black Madonna and Liquorice for Hard Candy.
    • "You Thrill Me" for "Erotica".
  • Write What You Know: Billy Steinberg, who wrote the lyrics to "Like A Virgin," based it on a very specific personal experience he'd had where he'd gone from one very difficult relationship into a much happier one, which made him feel "shiny and new."


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