Like a Virgin is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on November 12, 1984 by Sire Records. It was re-released worldwide in 1985, with the inclusion of the bonus track "Into the Groove". In 2001, Warner Bros. Records released a remastered version with two bonus remix tracks. After the release of her self-titled debut album, Madonna wanted to solidify her future in the music business, by building on the success of the first album. She decided to become one of the record producers, but Warner Bros. was not ready to give her the artistic freedom that she wanted. Nile Rodgers was chosen as the primary producer of the album, due to his work with David Bowie.
The album was recorded at Power Station Studio in New York at a quick pace. Rodgers enlisted the help of his former Chic band mates Bernard Edwards, who was the bassist, and Tony Thompson, who played drums; they appeared on several tracks of the album. Rodgers decided to be the guitarist, when Edwards requested him to do so, in exchange of their help. Jason Corsaro, the record's audio engineer, persuaded Rodgers to use digital recording, a new technique introduced at that time. The cover sleeve and images were shot by Steven Meisel. Madonna wanted the album title and the cover image to make provocative link between her own religious name Madonna, as the Roman Catholic title for Jesus' mother Mary, and the Christian concept of the virgin birth.
Like a Virgin is not that much of a musical departure from Madonna's first album, but she felt that the material was stronger. Along with Rodgers, Madonna also collaborated with her former boyfriend Steve Bray, who co-wrote many songs on the album. Consisting of dance-pop oriented music, the songs also incorporated New Wave. After its release, Like a Virgin received mixed reviews from the critics, but was a commercial success. It became Madonna's first number one album on the Billboard 200, while reaching the top of the charts in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it diamond for shipment of ten million copies across the United States. Worldwide it has sold 21 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Five singles were released from the album, with "Like a Virgin", "Material Girl" and "Into the Groove" becoming worldwide hits. To promote the album, Madonna embarked on The Virgin Tour, which had shows in cities of North America only. Like a Virgin has attained significance as a cultural artifact of the 80s. Madonna proved that she was not a one-hit wonder and was able to provide herself with a permanent footing in the music world. Her songs became a lightning rod for both criticism by conservatives and imitation by the younger female population, especially "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin". According to author J. Randy Taraborrelli, "Every important artist has at least one album in his or her career whose critical and commercial success becomes the artist's magic moment; for Madonna, Like a Virgin was just such a defining moment".
Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone; August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983. She followed it with a series of albums in which she found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on the record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes". Madonna has been praised by critics for her diverse musical productions while at the same time serving as a lightning rod for religious controversy.
Her career was further enhanced by film appearances that began in 1979, despite mixed commentary. She won critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other film roles. Madonna's other ventures include being a fashion designer, children's book author, film director and producer. She has been acclaimed as a businesswoman, and in 2007, she signed an unprecedented US $120 million contract with Live Nation.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the Billboard chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. Considered to be one of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She is recognized as an inspiration among numerous music artists.
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