A week ago, Madonna filmed herself dancing in her bathroom at 3 a.m., singing a bizarre version of “Vogue” into a hairbrush. It just goes to show that even the Queen of Pop, who never looks back, understands that it’s one of her signature songs. And it just happens to turn 30 today.
Inspired by New York’s gay ballroom culture — depicted in the Emmy-winning show Pose — “Vogue” was released on March 27, 1990 and later appeared on I’m Breathless, the soundtrack album from Madonna’s movie, Dick Tracy. The track went on top the charts in 30 countries, becoming the best-selling song of the year globally.
Madonna was first introduced to the concept of “voguing” at New York City’s Sound Factory club by dancers and choreographers from that scene. While “Vogue” has attracted accusations of cultural appropriation — as well as a 2012 lawsuit that claimed Madonna ripped off part of the song — it’s also generally considered to be one of the highlights of Madonna’s career, along with its acclaimed, much-parodied, award-winning video, directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher.
Madonna has gone on to perform “Vogue” on six of her tours, including her most recent Madame X trek, and she also made it part of her 2012 Super Bowl halftime show. She adapted it in 1990 into a Rock the Vote PSA, urging fans, “Speak your mind/there’s nothing to it/Vote.”
A memorable “Vogue” performance at the 1990 MTV VMAs featured Madonna and her dance troupe dressed in 18th century French fashions inspired by the 1988 movie Dangerous Liasons. Camila Cabello mimicked it last year on Saturday Night Live.
Of note: all 16 classic Hollywood stars name-checked in the rap section of the song have now passed away.
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