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Madonna is coming to Brazil! Get to know how the singer became the Queen of Pop!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The singer, dancer and actress Madonna was and still is one of the biggest pop girls that ever existed. Since the 1980s, the controversial Queen of Pop has been crashing the status quo, shocking people with her sexual liberty and statements, serving looks, and making all of us dance. With over 40 years of career, the singer has moved from music with that classic 80s sound to songs like “Popular”, that has more of a hip-hop sound to it. But how was her path until then? How did she become the Queen of Pop?

her background

Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in 1958, on August 16th, in Bay City, Michigan. The third daughter of an Italian Catholic family, she lost her mother at such an early age, when she was just 5 years old. Since then, the future singer has dedicated all her childhood and teenage years into studying music and arts. 

When she was in school, she would often participate in plays and bands, playing drums as well as singing. She also discovered at that time her love for dancing, which would get her a scholarship at the University Of Michigan. But she decided to make history instead. 

Madonna moved to New York City in 1978, and decided to make it as a dancer.  In the mean-time, she participated in 2 bands, Emmy and The Breakfast Club. Madonna’s first demo was Everybody, while at The Breakfast Club, and quickly the track became a hit in the New Yorker club scene. From that moment, music would never be the same again.

the early days of the 80S NEW IT GIRL

In 1983, just a year after signing with Sire Records, the yet-to-be Queen of Pop released her first album, entitled Madonna. The record had 8 songs and carried some hits, such as “Lucky Star”, “Borderline”, and the classic “Holiday”, which made her internationally known. With the success of her album, the artist also became a fashion icon and had her style heavily copied.

Although the self-entitled album was a great success, her second record was the one that really conquered her it-girl position. Like a Virgin, a controversial album, was an enormous hit. After her striking presentation on the first ever MTV Awards, in 1984, she became number 1 on the Billboard, with her first single, “Lucky Star”, on top. In 1985, she also starred in a movie called Desperately Seeking Susan, where she made another hit song, “Into the Groove”. Madonna would play noticeable roles again in 1987, in the movie Who’s That Girl?, and in Evita, 1996, that got her a Golden Globe of Best Actress in a Musical type of Movie. 

At this point of her career, there were no doubts that Madonna was here to stay. Her ability to make hit after hit with sounds that translated to the younger generation was undeniable, and with her third record that became even clearer. True Blue, of 1986, considered an open diary about her marriage with Sean Penn, was loved by the critics and became number 1 in the United States and in the UK. Madonna’s most selled album yet had singles like “Papa Don’t Preach”, “Open Your Heart”, “True Blue”, and “La Isla Bonita”, and is considered a classic today. 


In 1989, her fourth studio record Like a Prayer came out, and the track that has the same name as the album was the main target. In the lyrics and the videoclip of the single, Madonna talks about sex and religion, and protests against racism, while kissing a black angel and burning crosses. That would have been the first time that the singer suffered such a public attack, being even excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Considering the strong backlash that came with the song, the album still managed to be a complete success. 

As a preview for her new era of music, in 1990, Madonna released the video clip of “Justify My Love“, which was even banned from MTV, due to the strong sexual appeal and explicit content. Erotica, the album of 1992, put Madonna’s sexuality on a pedestal and she made no excuses for it. Together with the record came Sex, a photo book that became one of the Best Sellers at The New York Times

THE 90S AND 2000S

In the beginning of the decade, the album I’m Breathless (1990) came out to the public and one song in particular stole the show: “Vogue”. It was an absolute success with the public, especially with the Queer community, and the reason for that was mainly for her extravagant performance at the 1990 MTV Awards. Madonna appeared on screen dressed as Marie Antoinete, with the stage full of dancers, and made history at the awards. To this day, that is still one of the most famous performances of Madonna and MTV.

After Erotica (1992), the Queen of Pop release Bedtime Stories (1994), Ray of Light (1998), an album that was acclaimed by the critics and won 4 Grammys, Music (2000), American Life (2003), Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005), that had the hit song “Hung Up”, and Hard Candy (2008), that had songs like “4 Minutes”, with Justin Timberlake, and “…Give it 2 Me”. All of her new albums debuted at number 1 at Billboard 200.


Since the 2010s started, Madonna has been seen much more doing successful collaborations with young stars, like “Bitch I’m Madonna”, a “collab” of Rebel Heart (2015) with Nicky Minaj, a rap singer more popular with younger people, or “Popular”, a song featuring The Weeknd and Playboi Carti. Recently, it has been announced that the singer will be making a free concert in Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, on May 4th, and that would be the closing act of her World Tour: The Celebration Tour, that commemorates her 40 years of an incredible and important career. 

Madonna changed the Pop Scene forever, due to her innovations and strong convictions. She stepped out of the convenient star shape and became her own Queen, by being extremely true to herself and on her beliefs. The fearless and talented singer never apologizes for being herself, and that for me makes it clear that she really deserves being called The Queen of Pop.


The article above was edited by Larissa Buzon.

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Sofia Bianco

Casper Libero '26

hi! i'm a future journalist who loves fashion, coffee, and good music!