1. 1982: “Like A Virgin”
You know it. You love it. You remember her stepping off that giant cake and simulating an orgasm at the VMAs.
2. 1985: “Crazy For You”
It’s a common wedding song, and for good reason.
3. 1986: “Live To Tell”
This hauntingly beautiful ballad was the first single in a very good year for Madge.
4. 1986: “Papa Don’t Preach”
She dedicated this controversial hit to Pope John Paul II, prompting him to call for a boycott of her Who’s That Girl World Tour.
5. 1986: “Open Your Heart”
One of many hits from the epic album “True Blue.” Bonus points if you know to which diva she’s paying homage in this video.
6. 1987: “Who’s That Girl”
Critics hated the movie “Who’s That Girl,” but the joke is on them, because Madonna is a freaking billionaire!
7. 1989: “Like A Prayer”
The black Jesus. The burning crosses. The lingerie. The music video is as iconic as the song itself, and it didn’t exactly help her reputation in the Vatican.
8. 1990: “Vogue”
Easily one of the greatest, if not the greatest, song of the 90s and all time.
“Vogue” at the VMAs
This is essential viewing.
9. 1990: “Justify My Love”
The video is all kinds of sexy,
10. 1991: “This Used To Be My Playground”
This is the theme song of “A League of Their Own,” and it’s fabulous.
11. 1994: “Take A Bow”
This song stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks, making it her longest-running Hot 100 #1 single.
12. 2000: “Music”
She’s ruled the dance chart since this song, but she hasn’t had a #1 Hot 100 single in 13 years. Let’s hope her NEXT album can break this streak.
BONUS! 2012: Super Bowl
XLVI is the most-watched Super Bowl to date and is, in fact, the most watched television event in the US. While Super Bowls typically draw huge crowds, it’s undeniable that Madge tipped the scales and blew up the viewership. While the show was not without some minor flubs, it was a spectacular performance and the start of a phenomenal year for Madonna. In addition to the halftime show, Madonna had the highest-grossing tour of 2012, put out a studio album, and officially became a billionaire the next year.
Madonna is god. Happy birthday to the Queen of Pop.