[Solved] 3. This particular artist’s public persona is anything but virginal. Who sang "Like a Virgin"?

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[Solved] 3. This particular artist’s public persona is anything but virginal. Who sang “Like a Virgin”?

…1. Madonna
2. Debbie Gibson
3. Whitney Houston
4. Janet Jackson
Billy Strienberg and Tom Kelly wrote “Like a Virgin”. In an “LA Times” interview, Steinberg revealed that when he wrote “Like a Virgin”, it was actually not written for a female singer in mind, let alone Madonna. According to that interview:

“I wasn’t just trying to get that racy word virgin in a lyric. I was saying … that I may not really be a virgin — I’ve been battered romantically and emotionally like many people — but I’m starting a new relationship and it just feels so good, it’s healing all the wounds and making me feel like I’ve never done this before, because it’s so much deeper and more profound than anything I’ve ever felt.”

Tom Kelly recorded the demo and played the recording for Michael Ostin, who was in Warner Brother’s A&R department. He passed the song on to Madonna. In that same “LA Times” article, Ostin said “When I played it for Madonna she went crazy, and knew instantly it was a song for her and that she could make a great record out of it.”

In a 2009 “Rolling Stone” interview with Austin Scaggs, Madonna recalls her initial impressions of the demo tracks, where she discussed “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl”.

“I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative at the same time but also unlike me. I am not a materialistic person, and I certainly wasn’t a virgin, and, by the way, how can you be like a virgin? I liked the play on words, I thought they were clever. They’re so geeky, they’re cool. I never realised they would become my signature songs, especially the second one [‘Material Girl’].”

In 1984, Madonna and Nile Rodgers, her producer, went to record the song. Initially Rodgers was against the idea of Madonna recording the track as he did not think it had a strong enough hook. Although she stated she liked the song in 2009, according to Craig Rosen’s 1996 book (“The Billboard Book of Number One Albums”), she was not much on the song and was having second thoughts after hearing the demo. She said “It’s weird because I couldn’t get it out of my head after I played it, even though I didn’t really like it. It sounded really bubble-gummy to me, but it grew on me. I really started to like it… But, my first reaction to it was, ‘This is really queer.'”

Rodgers told Madonna “I handed my apology to Madonna and said, ‘you know… if it’s so catchy that it stayed in my head for four days, it must be something. So let’s do it.'” Because neither one of them could get the song out of their heads, Rodgers and Madonna recorded the track.

Streinberg had this to say regarding the recording of “Like a Virgin”:

“When Madonna recorded it, even as our demo faded out, on the fade you could hear Tom saying, “When your heart beats, and you hold me, and you love me…” That was the last thing you heard as our demo faded. Madonna must have listened to it very, very carefully because her record ends with the exact same little ad-libs that our demo did. That rarely happens that someone studies your demo so carefully that they use all that stuff. We were sort of flattered how carefully she followed our demo on that. [Source: “The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits 2003″.]

It was the perfect union, I knew it from the first day in the studio. The thing between us, man, it was passionate, it was creative. […] Madonna was sometimes temperamental during the recording, everyone told me she was a terrible ogre, but I thought she was great.” [Source: Clerk, Carol (2002), “Madonnastyle”.]

“Like a Virgin” became Madonna’s first of twelve number one hits where it stayed Number One for six weeks straight. The song would later become widely acknowledged as one of Madonna’ definitive recordings. She performed the song live at the 1984 “MTV Music Awards”, standing on top of a giant wedding cake and dressed in a wedding gown. The performance was very risque and has become an iconic MTV performance.

The track also became highly controversial, as many social groups attacked the song for its sexual lyrics.


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