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Digging Deep
Her story is the stuff of fairy tales. “I wanted to dance; I wanted to sing. I wanted to be famous; I wanted everyone to love me; I worked really hard and my dream came true.” That was part of Madonna’s filmed opening monologue for the audiences lucky enough to capture her US-only Virgin Tour of early 1985, just as her star went supernova around the world. The death of her mother, not long after Madonna turned five, in 1963, is widely regarded as the genesis of her furious drive to get – and stay – noticed. Born into a large Michigan Catholic family, Madonna’s traumatic loss was compounded by her father’s decision to remarry. Still, there was to be no reckless rebellion for the teenager, however troubled. Those who knew her at high school describe someone studious and uniquely focused, possessing a memorable spirit and an intoxicating charisma. In particular, she reveled in the attention shown to her by a dance teacher, and he exposed her to the local gay nightlife, where she immediately felt at home. Madonna boarded a bus to New York, determined to forge a career in dance, but struggled to establish herself in the Big Apple, juggling a series of dead-end jobs to get by. Her first big break came in 1979, when she was picked to work with disco singer Patrick Hernandez in Paris. His producers wanted to groom Madonna as their new star, but she became frustrated by the time it was taking them and decided to fly back to the States with little achieved in the six-month stay. She joined boyfriend Dan Gilroy’s band, The Breakfast Club, and the group, with Madonna initially on drums, began to gig around the city. Tapes that have emerged from that time showcase Madonna’s early influences as Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde, but it wasn’t until she drew from the city’s exploding club scene that she began to develop her signature sound. She appeared in low-budget films, sat as a life model and did backing vocals before famously getting signed to Seymour Stein’s Sire Records label while the mogul was laid up in hospital. He’d been impressed by the demo she had created and was aware of the growing buzz around the ambitious singer.
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uDiscover Music transparent Essential Albums
Madonna

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Like A Virgin

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True Blue

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Like A Prayer

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Bedtime Stories

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Ray Of Light

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American Life

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Rebel Heart

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