Today in Madonna History: December 25, 1989

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In the December 25, 1989 issue of People magazine, Madonna was named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People In The World.

Madonna and Warren. Madonna and Sean. Madonna and Sandra. Madonna and Pepsi. The Material Girl, the Boy Toy, Papa Don’t Preach, the stigmata debacle, a used bustier that sold at Sotheby’s for $3,750…   So what is it about this 31-year-old woman with a mole on her upper lip that aroused such curiosity, even among, for example, Belgians, who bought 62,656 copies of her Like a Prayer LP this year? Only one person can approach that question with both the authority and seriousness that it deserves, and that person, of course, is Dr. Joyce Brothers. “Madonna is a sexy person for our time,” says Brothers. “She’s independent and on her own two feet. Women like her because they don’t feel she’s a victim. Men like her because she’s sexy, but not straight out, like in Penthouse. She is childlike and innocent but at the same time naughty. Madonna,” concludes the good doctor, “is walking that line very successfully.”   Thank you, Dr. Brothers. And thank you, Madonna Louise Ciccone.

Today in Madonna History: December 16, 1989

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On December 16 1989, Dear Jessie debuted at #9 on the UK Singles Chart.

The single would climb to its peak position of #5 on December 30th, where it remained for three weeks before beginning its descent.

Today in Madonna History: September 21, 1989

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On September 21 1989, Madonna was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for the second time that year (she was also featured on the cover in March 1989).

Herb Ritts took some amazing shots of Madonna for the cover. We’ve shared a few of what we consider to be the best from that shoot. We can’t look at these photos without hearing Cherish in our heads!

Today in Madonna History: September 6, 1989

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On September 6 1989, Madonna performed Express Yourself  at the 6th annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA. The Express Yourself music video picked up awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, while Like A Prayer won the Viewer’s Choice Award.

Serving as a sneak preview for 1990’s Blond Ambition Tour, the performance marked the first of many to feature the vocal trio of Madonna, Donna De Lory and Niki Haris. De Lory and Haris had previously toured with Madonna during the 1987 Who’s That Girl Tour, but had been joined by a third background vocalist, Debra Parsons. The pair would be more heavily featured as vocalist/dancers from this point forward, rather than simply band members who rarely left the confines of their microphone stand.

It was during rehearsals for the 1989 VMA performance that Niki Haris brought voguing to Madonna’s attention, and stylized poses were then fittingly incorporated into the performance’s choreography. While the performance is relatively simple compared to her numerous VMA performances in the years that followed, this puts the focus on the trio’s excellent live vocals and kick-ass choreography (keeping in mind that vocally, Express Yourself is quite a workout even without the dancing!). I consider this a great example of how sometimes less is more, and I would definitely consider this among her best awards show performances.

Today in Madonna History: September 1, 1989

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On September 1 1989, Madonna was named the Top Female Artist Of The 80’s and the Artist with the Most Consecutive Top 10 Hits in the 80’s with a total of 16.

Can you name Madonna’s 16 consecutive Top 10 Hits in the 80’s?

Today in Madonna History: August 26, 1989

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On August 26 1989, Madonna’s third single from the Like A Prayer album, Cherish, debuted at #32 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

Song review by Stewart Mason (AllMusic.com):

True Blue had the gimmicky quality of an early Cyndi Lauper single, like a new waver’s vague approximation of what a 1960’s girl group song might have sounded like. Cherish is a much more successful dip into the musical past, not least because the ’60s flavor is very slight, more of a mood than any kind of particular stylistic pastiche. Perfect pop touches like the flirty “ooh, ooh” backing vocals on the bridge and the dead-on introduction of a short, sharp horn section accent on the final chorus are part of what puts the song over, but the bulk of the credit belongs to Madonna’s bubbly and endearing lead vocal, which uses the helium-pitched high register of her early singles, but minus the occasional harshness of those songs. Cherish is a delight, one of many highlights on Madonna’s best album.

Today in Madonna History: August 21, 1989

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On August 21 1989, the music video for Cherish premiered on MTV in the U.S.  The video was the directed by Madonna’s frequent collaborator and friend, photographer Herb Ritts.

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While the single from the Like A Prayer album went on to become another hit single, it’s interesting to note that Madonna had previously written an entirely different song using the title Cherish. Her handwritten lyrics for the unreleased track – along with several others that have yet to surface in musical form – turned up at an auction in 2011.

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