Madonna is credited for contributing vocals to Annie Lennox's charity record Sing.
After a star reaches a certain point, it's easy to forget what they became famous for and concentrate solely on their persona. Madonna is such a star. Madonna rocketed to stardom so quickly in 1984 that it obscured most of her musical virtues. Appreciating her music became even more difficult as the decade wore on, as discussing her lifestyle became more common than discussing her music. However, one of Madonna 's greatest achievements is how she manipulated the media and the public with her music, her videos, her publicity, and her sexuality. Arguably, Madonna was the first female pop star to have complete control of her music and image.
Madonna moved from her native Michigan to New York in 1977, with dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. She studied with choreographer Alvin Ailey and modeled. In 1979, she became part of the Patrick Hernandez Revue , a disco outfit that had the hit"Born to Be Alive."She traveled to Paris with Hernandez ; it was there that she met Dan Gilroy, who would soon become her boyfriend. Upon returning to New York, the pair formed the Breakfast Club , a pop/dance group. Madonna originally played drums for the band, but she soon became the lead singer. In 1980, she left the band and formed Emmy with her former boyfriend, drummer Stephen Bray . Soon, Bray and Madonna broke off from the group and began working on some dance/disco-oriented tracks. A demo tape of these tracks worked its way to Mark Kamins , a New York-based DJ/producer. Kamins directed the tape to Sire Records, who signed the singer during 1982.
Kamins produced Madonna 's first single,"Everybody,"which became a club and dance hit at the end of 1982; her second single, 1983's"Physical Attraction,"was another club hit. In June of 1983, she had her third club hit with the bubbly"Holiday,"which was written by Jellybean Benitez . Madonna 's self-titled debut album was released in September of 1983;"Holiday"became her first Top 40 hit the following month."Borderline"became her first Top Ten hit in March of 1984, beginning a remarkable string of 17 consecutive Top Ten hits. While"Lucky Star"was climbing to number four, Madonna began working on her first starring role in a feature film, Susan Seidelman 's Desperately Seeking Susan.
Madonna 's second album, the Niles Rodgers -produced Like a Virgin , was released at the end of 1984. The title track hit number one in December, staying at the top of the charts for six weeks; it was the start of a whirlwind year for the singer. During 1985, Madonna became an international celebrity, selling millions of records on the strength of her stylish, sexy videos, and forceful personality. After"Material Girl"became a number two hit in March, Madonna began her first tour, supported by the Beastie Boys ."Crazy for You"became her second number one single in May. Desperately Seeking Susan was released in July, becoming a box-office hit; it also prompted a planned video release of A Certain Sacrifice, a low-budget erotic drama she filmed in 1979. A Certain Sacrifice wasn't the only embarrassing skeleton in the closet dragged into the light during the summer of 1985 -- both Playboy and Penthouse published nude photos of Madonna that she posed for in 1977. Nevertheless, her popularity continued unabated, with thousands of teenage girls adopting her sexy appearance, being dubbed" Madonna Wannabes."In August, she married actor Sean Penn; the couple had a rocky marriage that ended in 1989.
Madonna began collaborating with Patrick Leonard at the beginning of 1986; Leonard would co-write most of her biggest hits in the'80s, including"Live to Tell,"which hit number one in June of 1986. A more ambitious and accomplished record than her two previous albums, True Blue was released the following month, to both more massive commercial success (it was a number one in both the U.S. and the U.K., selling over five million copies in America alone) and critical acclaim."Papa Don't Preach"became her fourth number one hit in