HOLLYWOOD—The Queen of Pop will be celebrating her milestone birthday of turning 60 years old on August 16. She has been in the music industry for 35 years. Since Madonna’s eponymous debut album hit shelves in 1983, she’s performed on 10 concert tours and sold more than 300 million records. This has earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records as the best-selling female recording artist of all time. Twelve of Madonna’s albums have hit the number one spot. Only the Beatles and Elvis Presley can boast more.
Madonna’s greatest hits album, “The Immaculate Collection” spent 338 weeks in the charts after its release in 1990-including more than two months at number one. The 1984 song “Like A Virgin,” ranks as her most popular, according to Spotify. She’s had more singles in the top five than any other female artist. Truly amazing that, the run of top five hits spans three decades, from “Like A Virgin” in 1984 to “Celebration,” in 2009.
Some of her accomplishments include, her Super Bowl performance that was record-breaking. Global searches for Madonna, since 2010 reached their highest point in March 2012, when she was the Super Bowl’s first female headline act since Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. In 2012, Madonna set a record for the highest viewing audience of a Super Bowl halftime show- which lasted until 2015 when it was smashed by Katy Perry and “Left Shark.”
Spotify doesn’t hear Madonna the same way we do, most streaming services give songs a numeric value if its a “happy” or “sad” song, based on its key, tempo and other factors. It measures how the music sounds- and ignores the lyrical content-but uses this information to auto-recommend new music to us.
So looking at how Spotify’s computers “hear” her work, they would classify it as getting “sadder” over time, with slower songs and more minor keys being used. According to published reports, this is far from the whole story – machines can’t (currently) understand the words and “feel” songs in the way we do. Some of Madonna’s deepest, most emotional work is actually on her early albums, despite those records sounding more “happy” overall.
One of her songs “True Blue” written by Madonna and Stephen Bray from 1986 ranks among the “happiest” sounding, despite songs covering teenage pregnancy, deceit and parental estrangement. While 2012’s “MDNA” and 2015’s “Rebel Heart” both sound ‘gloomier’ to a computer, songs such as “Give Me All Your Luvin” and “Girl Gone Wild” are lyrically anything but. So streaming services have a way to go before they can reveal more to us about a song than just its sound. Speaking of sound, Madonna ‘s studio albums feature songs in 24 different keys-but G major is the most common, with 17 songs employing it.
The Material Girl is the richest female musician in America. According to Forbes, her estimated net worth last year was $580 million, making her the richest female artist based in America, comfortably $200 million ahead of runner-up Celine Dion. She currently lives in Portugal, in an 18-century Lisbon palace, which was formerly a boutique hotel. She has 12 rooms and suites to choose from. Truly a blessing to live in Portugal.