Madonna in Variety’s 50 Game-Changers From 115 Years of Covering Entertainment
Variety turns 115 and their editors celebrate the anniversay compiling a list of 50 game changers who both altered the status quo and forced the industry to think differently, opened the minds of colleagues and opened doors to others.
Seeking to highlight a mix of people whose contributions have been well chronicled with those who have been less heralded but were highly influential in their time, here is how they talk about the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna:
When Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein signed Madonna to a record deal in 1982, she was a dirt-poor, 23-year-old club kid with a homemade demo tape for a track (“Everybody”) that became her debut single. By 1984, she was on “American Bandstand” to perform “Holiday,” famously telling host Dick Clark her mission in life: “to rule the world.” And that’s essentially what the Queen of Pop has been doing ever since. Her second album, “Like a Virgin,” dropped in November 1984, and Madonna became one of the most famous female singers on the planet, a purveyor of female sexuality, unafraid to push boundaries. Grammy wins, a combustible and high-profile marriage to Sean Penn that was rich fodder for the tabloids and leading roles in such feature fare as “Dick Tracy” and “Evita” followed. And while Alek Keshishian’s 1991 documentary “Madonna: Truth or Dare” includes a revealing clip in which then-beau Warren Beatty mock’s the star’s insatiable need for attention, Madonna has proven herself a chameleon with staying power, reinventing herself many times over as children’s book author, philanthropist, human-rights activist and even “Esther,” the Hebrew name she adopted during her Kabbalah phase. Madonna has never claimed to be the most talented singer or dancer, but what she’s always had is relentless drive, grit and endless determination.
Click here to check out Variety‘s list of 50 game-changers from 115 years of covering entertainment.