Today in Madonna History: May 23, 1987

On May 23 1987, La Isla Bonita hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart where it ruled for a single week.

It was Madonna’s second Hot AC chart topper after Live To Tell‘s three-week stint at #1 the previous year.

Both releases achieved similar longevity on AC radio playlists, with La Isla‘s seventeen-week Hot AC chart run nearly living up to Tell‘s eighteen weeks.

Today in Madonna History: December 27, 1986

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On December 27 1986, Billboard’s year-end issue hit newsstands with Madonna appearing on the following 1986 chart rankings:

  • Top Pop Artist: #2
  • Top Pop Album: “True Blue” #37
  • Top Pop Album: “Like A Virgin” #52
  • Top Pop Album Artist: #6
  • Top Pop Album Artist – Female: #3
  • Top Pop Singles Artist: #3
  • Top Pop Singles Artist – Female: #2
  • Top Pop Single: “Papa Don’t Preach” #29
  • Top Pop Single: “Live To Tell” #35
  • Top Pop Single: “True Blue” #76
  • Top Pop Compact Disc: “True Blue” #25
  • Top Adult Contemporary Artist: #9
  • Top Adult Contemporary Single: “Live To Tell” #12
  • Top Dance Club Play Single: “Papa Don’t Preach” #43
  • Top Dance Sales Artist: #3
  • Top Dance Sales 12-Inch Single: “Papa Don’t Preach” #29
  • Top Dance Sales 12-Inch Single: “Live To Tell” #37
  • Top Music Video: “Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour” #1

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Today in Madonna History: October 7, 1989

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On October 7 1989, Cherish, the third single from Madonna’s incredible Like A Prayer album started the first of a two-week run at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart in the USA.

Cherish was Madonna’s third single to top the A.C. chart, following the 1986 ballad hit Live To Tell (3 weeks at #1) and 1987’s La Isla Bonita (also 1 week at #1).

Here’s what Madonna biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli (Madonna: An Intimate Biography) had to say about the single:

Cherish was a particular triumph for the Madonna/Patrick Leonard partnership. A delightful confection of radio-ready proportions, the song had it all—strong, positive, remarkably dysfunction-free lyrics about love, a memorable, singalong vocal melody, and a tight, pungent rhythm arrangement. It remains, quite simply, one of the best songs Madonna has ever written; sweet and happy, but by no means corny, it’s a perfectly constructed pop song which Madonna delivered beautifully, and with undeniably sassy charm. Indeed, if Cherish had been released in the Sixties, it would have most likely emanated from Detroit’s Motown or the New York song writing Mecca, the Brill Building.

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Today in Madonna History: April 23, 2015

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On April 23 2015, Tori Amos came to Madonna’s defense when questioned about the ageist undertones on social media – and by the media at large – in reaction to her “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2015 Brit Awards:

Madonna is an entertainer. There are very few people who could’ve gotten up off that floor. It wasn’t because of her that she fell, but it was because of her that the performance carried on. Some of the vilification comes from women as much as men. She’s making choices and she’s able to do things physically that a lot of people 25 years younger can’t; she got up and refused to allow that to shame her. I think people want her to be shamed into a role that they find acceptable for her age. It makes me sad that we can’t embrace Madonna and say, Wow, this is an artist who’s expressing herself in a certain way.”

— Tori Amos

Tori often incorporates one or two cover songs by other artists into her live shows, but there are only a handful of artists whom she has covered multiple songs, and Madonna is one of them. She has performed both Live To Tell and Like A Prayer at numerous concerts, with the most recent Madonna composition to join her live repertoire being Frozen, which made its debut in Amsterdam in 2014.

(Many thanks to YouTube user LittleQueenbee77 for the great live footage of this performance!)

Today in Madonna History: April 17, 1986

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On April 17 1986, Madonna and Sean Penn attended the Los Angeles premiere of his film At Close Range at the Bruin Theater.

Sporting a new cropped, platinum blonde hairstyle, Madonna and her notoriously media-shy husband paused to speak with various media outlets as they made their way down the red carpet.

The film, which co-starred Christopher Walken and Mary Stuart Masterson, featured Madonna’s latest single, Live To Tell, along with an original musical score by Patrick Leonard comprising mostly of motifs inspired by Live To Tell‘s minor chord changes. Its director, James Foley, helmed several of Madonna’s music videos for the True Blue album and directed her next film, Who’s That Girl.