She’s one of the most iconic musicians to ever grace pop culture, and Madonna will remain that way forever.
Her career has spanned over three decades, and she’s constantly reinvented herself to various levels of success throughout her time topping the charts.
She’s been there, done that, got the t-shirt and seen another pop girl do the same, and her discography remains truly untouchable.
We’ve decided to rank our ten favourite singles from the star to mark her birthday – take a look below (in no particular order):
Don’t Tell Me
This country-tinged slice of alt-pop still stands the test of time, and it perfectly encompasses the all-American theme of its accompanying album.
One of the most controversial songs she’s ever put her name to, American Life came close to ending Madonna’s career in the US. It’s anti-war themed video was notoriously banned from television, and if we’re honest, we’ll never be over the iconic rap.
If you’ve never seen the original video, then it’s worth a watch alone for jaw-dropping corridor scene. Take a look below:
A glorious dancefloor-ready banger that came as the perfect antidote to the more blatantly political moments of American Life. Don’t let that fool you though, it’s certainly not a throwaway pop song by any means.
Okay, so this might be a controversial choice. Probably one of her forgotten hits, Beautiful Stranger is relentlessly in your face from start to finish, and gives you absolutely no time to take a breath. It’s a joyous ode to falling for a total hottie in the club, and the “If I’m smart then I’ll run away, but I’m not, so I guess I’ll stay” lyric still speaks to us on a spiritual level.
Ray of Light
One of the best songs ever made, and arguably Madonna’s defining hit. Need we say more?
Released as a response to critics who slated her provocative image, Human Nature marks one of most defiant moments in Madge’s career. This was a sexually liberated 35-year-old woman refusing to let anyone and anything stop her from embracing her womanhood.
The track’s accompanying S&M-themed video also went on to influence numerous pop girls, including the likes of Xtina and Rihanna. But we all know who did it best.
Just when you thought Madonna couldn’t reinvent herself again, she scored one of her biggest ever hits with this effortlessly catchy disco banger. She sampled Abba, dry-humped a boombox and gave a big middle finger f**k you to critics who claimed she needed to start acting her age.
This may have been the final single to be taken from Confessions, but that shouldn’t put its quality into question. It’s hazy instrumental and throbbing baseline are perfectly complicated by Madge’s dreamy vocals, and it’s just honestly such a f**king moment in her discography that deserved more success than it managed to achieve.
Papa Don’t Preach
Many critics claimed Madge was advocating for teenage pregnancy, and some were even concerned the song’s popularity would spark a rise in young mothers. Imagine being THAT good of a popstar that you have an impact on global birth rates.
Jessie J could never.
Like A Prayer
It really takes you there, tbh.