With less than a week to go before Madonna officially kisses her forties goodbye, we're almost halfway though our birthday countdown of the 50 biggest moments in Madonna history. Today we tick off numbers 31 through 35. Keep coming back between now and Madonna's 50th birthday (August 16th) to see what other milestones made the list--and remember, Madonna is proof that 50 is the new 20!
31) People Don't Preach, She's Keeping Her Baby
Even when she tries to do good, Madonna inevitably courts controversy. Like when she tried to pull an Angelina and adopt a third-world infant orphan: Instead, she entered a Malawi orphanage and selected David Banda, a toddler whose father was still alive. A two-year struggle ensued when David's father had a change of heart, and it came to the public's attention that regular Malawian adoption rules may have been relaxed a little bit for a star of Madonna's stature. But Madonna had made up her mind; she was keeping her baby. The Ciccone-Ritchies' adoption of little David was finally legalized on May 28, 2008:
32) One LiveNation Under Madonna's Groove
In October 2007, Madonna announced she would be leaving her record label of nearly 25 years, Warner Bros., to sign an unprecedented $120 million, 10-year contract with LiveNation. Artists like Shakira and Nickelback soon followed her lead, proving once again that the Material Girl still has the power to revolutionize the music business:
33) Madonna + Electronica = Madonnica?
Nowadays she's working with more mainstream hip-hop producers like Timbaland and the Neptunes, but for her groundbreaking dance-music album trifecta Ray Of Light, Music, and Confessions On A Dance Floor, she boldly hired relatively obscure electronic knob-twiddlers like William Orbit, Mirwais, and Stuart Price. In the process, she introduced techno to a whole new mainstream audience, and introduced those producers to a whole new tax bracket after her albums went multiplatinum and their royalty checks arrived in the mail:
34) Her "Substitute For Love" Video Causes Controversy
This was hardly the first Madonna video to stir up outrage, although in the rare case of "Substitute For Love" it wasn't sexual content that was the issue. The clip, depicting Madonna constantly being hounded by the press, hit a little too close to home when it was released only nine months after the infamous paparazzi car chase that killed Princess Diana; therefore, the disturbing video never aired in America. Which is a shame, as it's a amazing piece that makes a strong and valid social statement:
35) Madonna Wants To Dress You Up
Madonna has undergone countless radical makeovers throughout her career: the Marilyn Monroe screen-siren look in her "Material Girl" video, the I Dream Of Jeanie ponytail and cone corset of her "Blonde Ambition" tour, the dominatrix leathergirl style of "Erotica," the new-agey goth-princess vibe of "Frozen," the Ethereal Girliness of "Ray Of Light," the urban cowgirl image of "Don't Tell Me," the severe geisha goddess look in "Nothing Really Matters," the military wear of "American Life," the mumsy Englishwoman-at-tea conservatism she favors when promoting her children's books, etc. But for kids of the '80s, the "Madonna Look" will always mean multiple crucifixes, rubber bracelets stacked to the elbows, floppy lace hairbows, fingerless fishnet gloves, exposed midriffs, exposed bras, overprocessed mall hair, and "Boy Toy" belt buckles. It was a style copied by many--the audience at any Madonna concert circa 1985 was a virtual sea of tattered-lace-swathed tween girls known as "Madonnabes"--but Madonna always wore it best, indicating that she would be a fashion trendsetter for years to come. Here's a clip of her rocking her iconic Boy Toy look in all its wonderfully skanky glory back in the day:
Come back tomorrow for Madonna moments 26-30!
- Arts & Entertainment