BACKSTAGE 20180816 “Happy birthday Madonna! Today’s Madonna’s 60th birthday: The pop superstar through the years.”

Dear fashion & music friends,

I wish you a beautiful Thursday morning!
@ our friends in Switzerland: Please don’t forget Superstar Justin Timberlake’ s live concert in Zurich today.

Happy birthday Madonna! Reinventing herself over 40 years, most people have experienced the release of new Madonna music at some point in their lives.

As Madonna turns 60 today, I take a look back at her most memorable moments, outfits and controversies. Here’s a look at her glittering career.

The bangles, lace and leggings phase.

The early 1980s saw Madonna thrown into the spotlight with her first number one single Holiday. Her debut Virgin Tour, supporting her first two albums, showcased the 27-year-old’s classic 1980s look comprised of lace, statement eye shadow, bold brows, fingerless gloves and and lots of fashion jewellery.

The blonde pixie phase.

Madonna’s spunky new look, her bleach blonde pixie cut, accompanied her third studio album, True Blue in 1986. She sported the do in her music videos, including for the title single and Papa Don’t Preach.

Back to black.

Three years after True Blue came Madonna’s fourth studio album, Like A Prayer – named after the influence of Catholicism on her early life. The album was dedicated to her mother, who died when she was young, and saw the pop star strip back to a natural image; dark hair and porcelain skin, with references to religion throughout the album.

The cone bra phase.

Unwittingly creating a go-to celebrity fancy dress costume that women would opt for for years to come, Madonna introduced the conic bra, designed by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, during her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990. With slick back hair in a high, long blonde pony tail, Madonna made yet another bold style statement.

The Sex phase.

Madonna’s first book Sex was released alongside her fifth studio album Erotica in 1992. The book’s initial preview was hugely controversial. It showed her nude, wearing a rabbit’s tail, shaving the pubic hair of a naked man.

The tone-down phase.

Following the explicit Sex phase, Madonna softened her image with the release of her sixth album Bedtime Stories. Featuring pop and R&B styles, the singer put her dance/electronica sound on the back burner. She described the album as “a combination of pop, R&B, hip hop and a Madonna record. It’s very, very romantic”.


Michelle Pfeiffer had originally been billed to play the lead in the film but dropped out before production. Madonna was cast after she wrote a long letter to the director convincing him she was perfect for the role. In the letter, she compared her life to Eva Peron’s; both lost a parent as a child, and both arrived young in the big city with no money or friends but managed to succeed.

The hippie phase.

Inspired by being a mother and doing yoga, the icon reinvented herself for her seventh album, Ray of Light. It was her motherhood album after giving birth to her daughter, Lourde.

The modern Music phase.

Music, her eighth album, had a modern, dance-pop and electronica vibe, with influences from rock, country and folk. Released in 2000, the same year she married English film director Guy Ritchie, the album set a record for Warner Music Group as the biggest album shipment in the company, with three million copies sold worldwide in the first week.

The Britney kiss.

After the release of her American Life album, Madonna opened the 2003 MTV VMAs with a performance of Like A Virgin and Hollywood with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott.  During the performance, Madonna kissed Britney and Christina, but it was the Britney kiss that made headlines.

The leotard and legs phase.

At age 50, Madonna came back on the airwaves with her dance/disco album Confessions On A Dance Floor. With a reinvention of ABBA’s Gimme Gimme Gimme, the pop star used the video to show age was just a number, as she flaunted her long toned legs in a pink leotard while she twirled around the dance floor.

The cool phase.

Her 11th album in 2008, Hard Candy, features vocal appearances by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, and had a modern R&B club classics theme. Madonna showed that even 1980s pop icons are still relevant as she gained access to a new audience.

The current phase.

In her last major comeback in 2015, Madonna performed Living For Love from her thirteenth album Rebel Heart. During the performance she fell to the ground when a dancer attempted to remove her cape in a choreography move which went wrong.

The bonus track of today is an alternative version of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina performed by another of my favorite vocal artists, Sinead O’Connor.

I wish you a successful Thursday. Please don’t forget that Justin Timberlake’ s live in concert today in Zurich and Saturday, August 18th, in Vienna. I’ll come back very soon with the new syroy about fashion & music.