Enjoy more Madonna.
After Madonna signed a singles deal with Sire, her debut single, “Everybody”, was released in October 1982, and the second one, “Burning Up”, in March 1983. Both became big club hits in the United States, reaching number three on Hot Dance Club Songs chart compiled by Billboard magazine. After this success, she started developing her debut album, Madonna, which was primarily produced by Reggie Lucas, a Warner Bros. producer. However, she was not happy with the completed tracks and disagreed with Lucas’ production techniques, so decided to seek additional help. Madonna moved in with boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez, asking his help for finishing the album’s production. Benitez remixed most of the tracks and produced “Holiday”, which was her third single and her first global hit. The overall sound of Madonna was dissonant and in the form of upbeat synthetic disco, utilizing some of the new technology of the time, like the Linn drum machine, Moog bass and the OB-X synthesizer. The album was released in July 1983 and peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 six months later, in 1984. It yielded two more hit singles, “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”.
“I was surprised by how people reacted to ‘Like a Virgin’ because when I did that song, to me, I was singing about how something made me feel a certain way—brand-new and fresh—and everyone interpreted it as ‘I don’t want to be a virgin anymore. Fuck my brains out!’ That’s not what I sang at all. ‘Like a Virgin’ was always absolutely ambiguous.”
—Madonna on the backlash for “Like a Virgin”
Madonna’s look and style of dressing, her performances, and her music videos influenced young girls and women and her style became one of the female fashion trends of the 1980s. It was created by stylist and jewelry designer Maripol and the look consisted of lace tops, skirts over capri pants, fishnet stockings, jewelry bearing the crucifix, bracelets, and bleached hair. Madonna achieved global recognition after the release of her second studio album, Like a Virgin, in November 1984. It topped the charts in several countries and became her first number one album on the Billboard 200. The title track, “Like a Virgin”, topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks. It attracted the attention of organizations who complained that the song and its accompanying video promoted premarital sex and undermined family values, and moralists sought to have the song and video banned.
Madonna came under further fire when she performed “Like a Virgin” at the first 1984 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) where she appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and white gloves. The performance is noted by MTV as an iconic moment in VMA history. In later years, Madonna commented that she was actually terrified of the performance. The next hit was “Material Girl” promoted by the iconic video, which was a mimicry of Marilyn Monroe’s performance of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. While filming this video Madonna started dating actor Sean Penn and married him on her birthday in 1985. Like a Virgin was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and sold more than 21 million copies worldwide.
Madonna entered mainstream films in February 1985, beginning with a brief appearance as a club singer in Vision Quest, a romantic drama film. Its soundtrack contained two new singles, her U.S. number-one single, “Crazy for You” and “Gambler”. She also appeared in the comedy Desperately Seeking Susan in March 1985, a film which introduced the song “Into the Groove”, her first number one single in the United Kingdom. Although not the lead actress for the film, her profile was such that the movie widely became seen (and marketed) as a Madonna vehicle. The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby named it one of the ten best films of 1985. In February 1984, according to the film director Sir Richard Attenborough, Madonna auditioned at the Royale Theatre on Broadway for a dance role in his movie version of A Chorus Line using her birth-name of Ciccone, but he rejected her.
Beginning in April 1985, Madonna embarked on her first concert tour in North America, The Virgin Tour, with the Beastie Boys as her opening act. She progressed from playing CBGB and the Mudd Club to playing sporting arenas. At that time she released two more hit singles from the album, “Angel” and “Dress You Up”. In July, Penthouse and Playboy magazines published a number of nude photos of Madonna, taken in New York in 1978. She had posed for the photographs as she needed money at the time, and was paid as little as $25 a session. The publication of the photos caused a media uproar, but Madonna remained defiant and unapologetic.” The photographs were ultimately sold for up to $100,000. She referred to the whole experience at the 1985 outdoor Live Aid charity concert saying that she would not take her jacket off because “[the media] might hold it against me ten years from now.”