Madonna rocked her very first cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine on November 22, 1984. The magazine cover coincided with the release of “Like a Virgin,” the sophomore album that would launch her career to the next level. “Madonna Goes All the Way,” the magazine cover reads, quite cheekily, we might add.
This magazine debut would mark the start of a record for both Madonna and “Rolling Stone” that still holds strong today. Madonna holds the record for gracing the cover of “Rolling Stone” more times than any other female artist in history. As of 2021, she has 23 “Rolling Stone” covers to her name. Pretty impressive.
The Truth Behind the Swagger
If you watch early interviews with a young Madonna, you can see how self-assured she was of herself. Even though she was just starting out in her career as a pop icon, her answers to interview questions were always straightforward and confident. As it turns out, it was all a front. Well, kind of.
Madonna has always been a confident person, but she wasn’t as fearless as she let on in interviews in the early 80s. She looked back on that time in her life and told “The Guardian” that she may have been insecure or felt like a nobody, but she knew she had to do something. Her gamble in confidence definitely paid off.
The Ultimate “Material Girl”
One of Madonna’s nicknames is “Material Girl,” thanks to her hit song by the same name. The music video is truly iconic and is considered one of the reasons her pop career took off. The video features an almost frame-by-frame recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
The music video’s obvious correlation between Marilyn and Madonna clued everyone into the fact that Madonna was here to stay. “Material Girl” was like an 80s version of “Diamonds,” mostly because the lyrics are cheeky and celebratory of materialism. Looking back, some fans can easily interpret both “Material Girl” and Marilyn’s song as an ironic jab at the objectification of women in our popular culture.
A “Crazy” Debut
Many people credit “Desperately Seeking Susan” as Madonna’s motion picture debut. But that honor actually goes to “Vision Quest,” another major motion picture that Madonna acted in earlier that year. In “Vision Quest,” Madonna has a cameo appearance as a club singer. She even performs two of her own songs in the film.
“Crazy for You” and “Gambler” are featured in the movie, and both songs remain inherently tied to Madonna’s career. “Vision Quest” was even renamed to “Crazy for You” in some other countries in order to capitalize off Madonna’s fame, which had blown up by the time the movie was released internationally.
Overwhelmed by Fame
When Madonna kicked off “The Virgin Tour” in 1985, she had no idea what she was in for. By the time she went on her first large-scale tour, “Like a Virgin” was already a huge hit. Her fame had reached new heights. But none of that hit her until she walked out on stage for her first performance of the tour.
When she reflected on her first tour decades later, Madonna said she felt sort of an out-of-body experience. She recalls it as being an otherworldly feeling that nothing could prepare her for. Though as she walked on stage, she felt like something sucked the air out of her lungs, it was not a bad feeling.