First of all, Madonna is the best-selling female artist ever. She sold more than 335 million albums and singles between 1983 and 2015 according to Guinness World Records. According to the 1998 edition of Guinness Book of World Records, Madonna was already the best-selling female artist at the time with more than 200 million records sold.
According to Billboard, in the US Madonna is No.2 on the Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists. The Beatles are No.1. She also holds the record for most number-ones on all Billboard charts combined. Not only does Madonna have the most #1’s on all Billboard charts combined (161), but she also has the most #1s on a singular Billboard chart: she has 50 No.1’s on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Until 2020, Madonna was the artist with the most top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. She has 38 top 10 entries and remains the female artist with the most top 10 singles. What’s more, Madonna is the artist with the most consecutive top 5 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. She also has the most No.2 peaking singles on the Hot 100 since 1998, when she surpassed Elvis Presley with her 6th No.2, Frozen. Madonna had the record for the shortest amount of time to achieve 20 top 10 singles by a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 until Rihanna broke it in 2011.
Madonna’s Halftime Show broke Michael Jackson’s (1993) record of the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show of all time with 114 million viewers. Katy Perry now holds the record for most-viewed Super Bowl halftime performance.
Madonna holds the record for most No.1’s singles by a female artist in the UK with 13 singles. She’s also the woman with the most top 40 singles in UK chart history (71 to be exact).
In the UK Madonna is the female artist with :
- the most top 5 hits (44)
- the most #1 albums in the 80s (3) and 2000s (5)
- the most #1 singles in the 2000s (5)
- the artist (male or female) with the most #1 singles in the 80s (6)
In 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records stated that Madonna amassed the record of 32 successive top 10 entries in the UK. In 2003 it was said that she had “more than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones put together. She has now 36 top 10 entries.
Madonna’s legendary legacy in the UK doesn’t stop there. Even though she debuted in the 80s, Madonna was the most-played and searched artist of the 2000s.
Besides holding the record for most chart topped album (Confessions on a Dance Floor in 40 countries), Hung Up, which was the lead single from COADF, is also the song with the most No.1s around the world (41 countries).
the early years
“Madonna, the first video superstar” In 1986, she received the Video Vanguard Award. She was the 1st woman to receive this award, and here’s the song that started it all…
So early Madonna was a little lost on me at the time, maybe I was too young. It wasn’t until Material Girl that she really got my attention, but now I really, really love her early material. Retro is cool and you don’t get more retro than her early material. Dress You Up would be my fav but Lucky Star, Into the Groove and Angel are up there too, and who doesn’t love a bit of Holiday..!
True Blue is Madonna’s 3rd album, and it is also the best-selling album of the 80’s by a female artist. What’s more, it became the best-selling album of all time by a woman, until Come On Over by Shania Twain surpassed it in 1997.
True Blue was the first album by an American artist to debut at No.1 in the UK Album Chart history, where it stayed for 6 weeks and spent a total of 85 weeks in the chart. She was really making her mark on the industry.
The song True Blue reminds me of seeing her live for the very first time. It was The Rebel Heart Tour, and yes, I was very late to the table in seeing her live, but I either couldn’t afford it or it wasn’t the right time. Anyway, she sang True Blue which was really unexpected, and I was sat watching with my fiancé and it was an emotional moment for me, as it’s been a favourite of mine for many years.
Another very strong run of singles, there isn’t a duff track amongst them, and to lead the album with a ballad, that takes balls, but we already knew she wasn’t lacking in that department, metaphorically speaking of course.
Open Your Heart was originally written for Cyndi Lauper but ended up receiving Madonna’s approval after a demo was recorded by Donna De Lory who went on to be a backing singer for Madonna, and featured on many tours including the iconic Blonde Ambition Tour.
Madonna released a remix album of You Can Dance in 1987. The album became the best-selling remix album by a female artist with more than 5 million copies sold worldwide.
like a prayer
Like a Prayer was the first Madonna album I owned. I had finally succumbed, and I have not looked back since. What a strong run of singles. My favourite track was always Til Death Do Us Part which I still love but Spanish Eyes really stands out to me now. I love the rawness in her vocals.
The Blonde Ambition Tour IMO is the most iconic concert of all time. It re-wrote the book on how it was done, and I believe changed the industry forever. I remember watching it for the first time on Sky Movies, and my best friend at the time Lee’s sister Kelly was a massive Madonna fan. It was around this time that I really started getting into her. This show is still incredible to this day. I remember inviting Kelly round to my flat many years later and we sat and watched it with a Chinese and wine after I’d found a copy of it on DVD. It was good to catch up over reliving the show. I have seen it many, many times. If I could go back in time and experience any concert, it would be this one. I would have loved to have been in the audience and felt it all physically.
the immaculate collection
Justify My Love was Madonna’s 1st VHS video single. It was also the 1st time an artist had released a single in this format in the US. Despite being banned on some networks (@MTV), it became the best-selling video single of all time with more than 1 million copies sold.
In 1990, Madonna released her greatest hits album called The Immaculate Collection. It is the best-selling compilation album by a solo artist with over 30 million copies sold worldwide. Rescue Me is another career high for me. It slams!
Erotica was an album that I really wasn’t into at the time, despite the fact that it is home to my all-time favourite Madonna track: Deeper and Deeper. It slams. To. This. Day. Madonna at her best. Always been a big fan of Rain too. She looks so stunning in the video!
Bedtime Stories was another album of hers that truly gelled with me. I love the more urban sound and was already a fan of Dallas Austin & Babyface’s work. Secret is still a favourite of mine to this day, and I believe Take a Bow to be one of the most beautiful ballads ever written.
I always remember her performance of Bedtime Stories at The Brits. I loved the remix and the fact that she was performing with top choreographer Jamie King (who has worked with Janet & Louise) was exciting. It’s still something I remember fondly to this day.
ray of light
I have to be honest. I was a massive fan of Frozen, but this album is not one of my favourites. It did so, so well for her, and I do like Ray of Light as a song, I just think it’s been massively overplayed. Substitute For Love & Skin are this album’s highlights for me.
Music is another of my favourites. I was working at Tower Records at the time so it was really good to have her doing so well at the time, it almost felt as if I had a very small part in that as I was recommending this album to anyone that would listen! Impressive Instant is so bonkers I just love it, as well as Nobody’s Perfect. Beautiful. Don’t Tell Me is another career best for me too.
The Drowned World Tour in 2001 was Madonna’s 5th tour and supported both Ray of Light and Music albums, back in the day before artists had to tour every album in order to see the profits! Jamie King was on chorography duty once again and it was a hell of a show. The tour was a massive success and became the highest grossing tour of that year by a solo artist.
American Life came out around the time I was made redundant from Tower Records after being Assistant Manager of the Southampton branch before it sadly closed its doors. I remember decorating my bedroom with a little money I had saved, and this album was the soundtrack to this project. I love the lead single, as well as Hollywood. Love Profusion is another favourite of mine, I really love the video, she looks so lovely in it. There is so much strong material here for me; I’m So Stupid, Nobody Knows Me, Nothing Fails and Mother and Father. Such an incredible, inspiring album.
2004 saw the Re Invention Tour, her 6th tour, was again a massive commercial success grossing over $125M with an audience of over 900,000 from 56 shows in total. It won the title of ‘Top Tour’ from Billboard in 2004. The whole thing was made into a documentary called I’m Going to Tell You a Secret which was similar to her award-winning doc In Bed with Madonna.
For the next long anticipated album, the disco ball was calling…
confessions on a dancefloor
Madonna’s 10th studio album entitled Confessions on a Dance Floor, which was released in 2005, holds the record for most charts topped around the world with a total of 40 countries.
According to the 2007 edition of the Guinness World Records, Madonna’s Confessions Tour was the highest-grossing music tour with more than $4,058,369 (in 2019 dollars) grossed per concert. I have this show on DVD and have watched it SOOO many times. I do love a concert in my living room. This version of Like a Virgin and Erotica (which I’m not usually a fan of) are everything! The choreography for Forbidden Love alone is phenomenal.
In 2007, Madonna signed a contract of $120 million with Live Nation Entertainment for 3 albums. It was the biggest recording contract in history for a female artist until 2016 when Adele reportedly signed with Sony for $130 million.
In 2008, Madonna made history by having the largest internet concert with 11 million people tuning into her concert at the Brixton Academy online. The record was previously held by Sir Paul McCartney with 3 million viewers.
This album divided fans upon release because of its more urban production and sound but I absolutely love it. I’m also a fan of Justin Timberlake so was very pleased when I heard they had worked together. Album track the Devil Wouldn’t Recognise You is my favourite; Candy Shop & Heartbeat are up there too.
In 2008 Madonna kicked off her 8th concert tour Sticky & Sweet Tour which broke the record again becoming the highest grossing ($411M) music tour by a female artist. Another great show from the person who does it best, with so many highlights…
Madonna’s 12th album MDNA was announced in February 2012, and she made history by scoring the biggest day of pre-orders ever on iTunes. The album was No.1 in the pre-order charts on iTunes in 50 countries across the world. The album was No.1 in the pre-order charts on iTunes in 50 countries across the world.
Girl Gone Wild is my absolute favourite of her more recent material, probably because it is a bit of a throwback to her early material and look. It just has me from the opening chords, I absolutely love it. Especially the way it opened the MDNA show.
The MDNA Tour is one of my favourites (I know, I have a lot of favourites, but it is my website). The opening is just brilliant, reminiscent of the Blonde Ambition’s church segment but on a much bigger budget, with Girl Gone Wild which is such a through back to her 90s material and probably my 2nd favourite ever track of hers. Don’t even get me started on the version of Vogue. Probably the best ever. Love. Love. Love. And the performance of I’m Addicted is awesome too. The tour earned $305M with 88 shows, all sold out. It became the 2nd highest grossing tour by a female artist, just behind her earlier Sticky & Sweet Tour. In 2013 she was awarded Top Touring Artist at the Billboard Music Awards.
This album is another one of my favourites, even if the leaked versions caused the album to be a bit of a mess, but I much prefer the tracks that actually made the album over the ones that didn’t make it. There is just so much to love here for me. Holy Water is like another throwback to her earlier material, and the likes of Body Shop, Joan of Arc and especially Rebel Heart showing her softer side, are all simply beautiful. I love Ryan Tedder so Hold Tight was an instant favourite too.
The Rebel Heart Tour was her tenth and was a big one for me because it was the first time I had the honour of being in her audience. I had waited many, many years and here I was, sat right at the front in the gods and suffering with vertigo at the O2 but it was worth it. My favourite from the album Holy Water was a bit of a mash up with Vogue, a truly exciting moment for me. Plus, Body Shop, True Blue and then Deeper and Deeper was a hat trick highlight! Also, really good to hear Who’s That Girl as well as Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. Madonna Gold. And what a spectacle. She really does put on a truly awesome show.
Ok, I’m gonna say it, it’s probably going to anger many fans but this album really does not do it for me. I really love Medellin & God Control, and I Rise, Future and Crave are good, but that’s about it for me. It’s her weakest album IMO. Just my opinion. I don’t hate on her for it. I just don’t play it. Medellín ft. Maluma was another hit, went No.1 on 3 Billboard Latin charts in 2019 and it extended her record to 161 No.1s.
It also gave her another 4 Dance Club Billboard No.1s, now totalling at 50, also making her the 2nd artist to achieve Billboard No.1s in 5 consecutive decades, second only to Cher who owns the record of 6 consecutive decades.
I saw the Madame X Tour in the comfort of my own home, I did not spring for the extremely overpriced London Palladium tickets, and I’m so glad I did because I was left underwhelmed, although I thought Frozen was the highlight; beautifully done with the dedication to her daughter.
finally enough love
Finally Enough Love is a celebration of the 50 Billboard Dance Chart No.1s available in many variations include double vinyl.