Feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
Madonna teamed up with superstar producer Timbaland and Justin Timberlake for '4 Minutes,' the first single off her 2008 album 'Hard Candy.' The apocalyptic upbeat dance tune about enjoying oneself before the world ends became Madonna's second single to reach multi-platinum certification after 'Vogue.' The song also helped Madonna beat Elvis Presley's record with the most top-ten singles, with '4 Minutes' becoming Madonna's 37th top-ten hit.
'Papa Don't Preach'
This single off 'True Blue' sparked national discussion amongst several women's organizations and thus, became one of Madonna's most controversial songs. Some viewed the song as a message encouraging teenage pregnancy while abortion protesters saw the song as a positive message for pro-life. Madonna dedicated the song to Pop John Paul II, who then asked Italian fans to boycott her tour in 1987.
'Open Your Heart'
The fourth song off Madonna's 1986 album 'True Blue,' 'Open Your Heart' was initially written for Cyndi Lauper before Madonna recorded it. 'Open Your Heart' was well-received by critics, having been described as a simple love song compared to her up-tempo dance hits from the previous years. But Madonna was never one to not push the edge, as her video depicted her as a stripper who wins the attention of a little boy trying to watch her.
'Hung Up' was the first single released off Madonna's 2005 album 'Confessions on a Dance Floor' and was Madonna's first single to be released digitally on iTunes. The song would eventually become one of the best-selling digital singles of all-time with over nine million copies sold. Critics lauded 'Hung Up' as being a return to the sound Madonna had become famous for in the early part of her career.
'Take a Bow'
Off Madonna's 1994 album 'Bedtime Stories,' 'Take a Bow' was one of Madonna's biggest successes from the '90s. The song reached number one on the Hot 100 chart and remained there for seven weeks – longer than any other Madonna single to this date. The song was co-written by Babyface and is currently the last Madonna track to have made it on R&B charts.
Madonna's 'Vogue' was the first single off the 'I'm Breathless' album, which featured songs inspired by the movie Dick Tracy starring Warren Beatty and Madonna. The song is one of her most famous uptempo dance tunes which pays homage to classic personalities such as Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn and Lana Turner. The black and white music video, helmed by Se7en director David Fincher, is usually regarded as one of her best videos, solidifying her as an icon both as a character in the video and in real-life.
'Material Girl' was the second single off Madonna's 'Like a Virgin.' While she didn't pen the lyrics herself, Madonna admits that the lyrics accurately described what she was going through with her life at the time. The song features a New Wave sound of the '80s with a playful tone about the joys of wealth. The music video features Madonna all dolled up in a nod to Marilyn Monroe's 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend' performance from the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
'Into the Groove'
'Into the Groove' was first released on the soundtrack for the 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan, a movie which Madonna co-starred in with Rosanna Arquette. The dance-pop tune was inspired by one of Madonna's neighbors at the time while she was living in New York City. Even though the track was technically released as a B-side, the song to this day is one of Madonna's most played radio tracks.
'Like a Virgin'
'Like a Virgin' was the first single off Madonna's 1984 album of the same name, and was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. Originally Warner Bros. was hesitant about releasing the song as the first single but eventually, the song stuck with WB Records' Michael Ostin and the song was released to promote the album. It became Madonna's first Billboard Hot 100 single and despite protests from conservative groups, the song is often credited as being the track that made her the superstar that she is today.
'Like a Prayer'
Deemed one of Madonna's greatest songs of her career, 'Like a Prayer' has enjoyed longevity to this day ever since its 1989 debut. The song was an instant hit off the album of the same name but not without some controversy. Lyrically, the song mixes religious themes with sexual innuendo to the background of a gospel choir. The music video angered the Catholic Church with the depiction of burning crosses. As a result of the outrage, Madonna's contract with Pepsi had been terminated. Nevertheless, 'Like a Prayer' is one of Madonna's most well-known songs and to this day, is featured prominently in any reference to her catalogue of songs. The song enjoyed a brief resurgence on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010 after the song was featured in the Madonna episode of GLEE.