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Top 10 Madonna Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton
With August 16th marking Madonna's 55th birthday, we count down the top 10 Madonna moments. She's an American entertainer, singer, songwriter, actress, author, director and so much more. Born August 16th, 1958, Madonna is one of the biggest pop stars of the twentieth century and continues to make music and influence pop culture well into the twenty-first. Join as we count down the Queen of Pop's top 10 moments.

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She went from Material Girl to Queen of Pop. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for Madonna’s top 10 moments.

#10 - 21st Century Relevance (2000-Present)

Madonna’s continuous reinvention efforts have kept her in the public eye for years. But with the new millennium, the Pop Queen has just been making us scratch our heads. The somewhere-over-50-year-old’s antics have included drug references, baring her nipples and using Nazi imagery and Muslim-inspired attire to make political statements. Has she gone too far? Is she too old for this? Only time will tell.

#9 - Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show (2012)

A little over a month before MDNA’s release, Madonna broke multiple records at Super Bowl XLVI: with 114 million tuning in, her performance ratings bested the football game itself and became history’s most watched halftime show. It also made her Twitter’s most tweeted topic ever. Featuring several guests, including a bird-flipping M.I.A., it was truly a spectacle for the senses and proved Madonna’s still got it.

#8 - Confessions Tour (2006)

Never one to shy away from controversy, Madonna returned to her Catholic roots on this tour. Though religion wasn’t its focal point, religious groups focused specifically on the entertainer’s choice to sing “Live to Tell’ while draped across a life-size cross and wearing a crown of thorns. However, their criticism did little to stem critics’ praise, and Confessions became the highest grossing tour by a female artist.

#7 - Acting (1979-Present)

When it comes to the Queen of Pop’s acting chops, she can be really good, but she can also be oh-so-bad. She was most highly praised for “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Evita,” which won her a Golden Globe, and she found commercial success with “Dick Tracy” and “A League of Their Own.” But she’s also had some huge box office failures: “Who’s That Girl,” “The Next Best Thing,” and “Swept Away,” which directed by her then-husband are just a few examples.

#6 - Late Show With David Letterman (1994)

She caused controversy with provocative early-‘90s projects; but in 1994 Madonna proved she wasn’t finished. Her profanity-laced “David Letterman” appearance featured no less than 13 F-bombs, sex talk, drug references, and her underwear. Though people weren’t too happy with her behavior, they still watched the episode and gave the late night host some of his highest ratings ever.

#5 - Sexy Music, Books, Movies and Shows (1992-1993)

Through her entertainment company, Madonna unveiled all of her sexual fantasies. First came the not-so-subtly titled Erotica album and the title track’s S&M-inspired music video. She then took it all off for her soft-core coffee table book, which sold over 150,000 copies within 24 hours – despite the backlash. She continued the erotic themes in the thriller “Body of Evidence” and her Girlie Show World Tour.

#4 - Blond Ambition World Tour (1990)

The Material Girl continued testing religious and sexual boundaries with her third concert tour. Church folks were particularly riled up about a performance in which she simulates the act of self-pleasure with two male dancers. Even the Pope got involved. But the massively successful tour was also notable for choreography and its Jean-Paul Gaultier-designed costumes, specifically the cone-bra. An equally successful documentary capturing the tour was released the next year.

#3 - Music Video Controversy (1989-Present)

Madonna’s come a long way from her comparatively tame first music video. Aside from the supposedly sacrilegious “Like a Prayer,” “Justify My Love”’s racy video was banned by MTV. But it became a bestseller on VHS. Almost a decade later, “What It Feels Like for a Girl”’s extreme violence was relegated to post-prime time airings, while the original war-themed “American Life” video was replaced with a more PC version.

#2 - Pepsi Endorsement Deal and Like A Prayer (1989)

Though “Like A Virgin” caused a stir, Pepsi probably wasn’t prepared for the uproar following “Like a Prayer.” Everything seemed fine when the song was used in one of the soft drink company’s TV commercials. But Christian groups and the Vatican blasted the music video so intensely with blasphemy charges that Pepsi backed out of its $5 million dollar deal. Didn’t matter: the song topped charts and Madonna kept the cash.

#1 - MTV VMAs (1984 and 2003)

Madonna took “Like a Virgin”’s sexual innuendo even further when she hit the stage at the first MTV VMAs. Decked out in a lace wedding dress, the young starlet performed the chart-topper on a giant wedding cake and humped the stage floor. Madonna had tongues wagging again when she locked lips with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during a throwback performance at the VMAs almost two decades later.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Madonna moment? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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