Madonna turning 60: A new era for the material girl

What will future brings for the Queen of Pop

Madonna turning 60: A new era for the material girl

A lot of people in my age, or older, remember when Madonna first hit the worldwide music scene back in the early to the mid 1980’s. I remember the music video of “Like A Virgin” playing in heavy rotation on TV and being the latest big pop music hit. Back then, Madonna was a newcomer, most of us were not aware of how influential and timeless or iconic she would become. Even then, a lot of new 1980’s artists already had gone after one hit single. But Madonna was different. Either she managed all of that on her own or not, the fact is that, either we like her or not, she has paved a way for modern Pop music female singers and not only, which she influenced through her music and also through her constant look changes. She caught the eye of several fashion photographers and fashion designers and in a smart way, knew how to use it to sell records and to brand an image, that she was aware had to be in constant mutation to stay relevant, like David Bowie before, during and after her. It helped that she rose to stardom during the music video era, there wasn’t really no other female Pop music performer before her that was able to create such a strong cultural impact in imagery. Though the songs were good, Madonna’s image spread quickly around the world, and before the 1980’s were over, she already had claimed the throne for absolute Queen of Pop music. It’s 2018, and still we hear, who’s gonna be the next Madonna? Who can fill those shoes? We’ve been hearing it for three decades now…that is the ultimate prove of how strong and relevant she continues to be.

When she first started in the early 1980’s as a New Wave/Pop Bubblegum act, everyone was far from guessing the different strokes of music she would do throughout her career. Her smart eye led her to create her own label, Maverick, not only as a way to expose new talent to the world but also to catch on with the trends faster than anyone else on industry, though she arrived late to the Grunge party, she even got an appreciation note from a certain Pro LGBT activist, sometimes Grunge icon Kurt Cobain for representing and bringing Gay culture into the mainstream. Even if you want, you can’t stay away from Madonna. She’s everywhere, it has been like that since 1983. Madonna, the 1980’s Pop idol became that way also Madonna the business woman. And in the 1990’s, she doubled the controversy strokes she already got the world used to during the 1980’s, going from “like a virgin” to a rough “erotic” dominatrix. Releasing her own documentary films and putting together “sex” books. And then it came the mysticism. The once Catholic girl becomes hooked on the Jewish religion, spreading the word like a “ray of light”. She then tries to be British and enters the 2000’s a 40 year old woman, no longer a “material girl”. At this point, can we ask, does Madonna knows where she’s at anymore? These last two decades have been for her less controversial than the 1980’s and the 1990’s, perhaps also due to motherhood, to a maturing process..but then..she just surprises everyone again and shows us that she still can look like the naughty erotic girl of the 80’s and the 90’s at her 50’s. She puts on new music out very often. Maybe not with the same success or vision as back in the day…but…despite that, she still stays still, in her throne. A “hard candy” to chew away. The photographers are still at her feet. The fashion designers are still at her feet. She continues to be one step ahead of everyone…maybe by absorbing first what others cannot see. The smart eye. She claims she moved to Lisbon, Portugal, to live calmly, with her children…but..she still sparkles the fire. And now, after being Italian, American, British, sometimes Spanish, she’s Portuguese. Who’s the real Madonna? Does she knows where she’s at? It’s maybe all part of the big plan she sketched when she arrived in New York during the late 1970’s to make it. And she did spectacularly.
Madonna, the “material girl”, turns 60 now. It’s quite a thing to see her turning 60, sure she is just a person that ages like everyone else, but the cultural impact of seeing Madonna turning 60, it’s stunning. It’s now the time for her to reinvent herself again. What she will do next? It’s a question that we’ve been asking ourselves for 35 years.

Look back at how it all started, the 1983 music video “Holiday” by Madonna

Watch a recent interview with Madonna speaking about her current life

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