‘Vogue’: Celebrating 30 Years of Madonna’s Iconic Call to “Strike a Pose”

Published: Friday 27th Mar 2020 by Rashad

Pioneers of the music video may have nursed MTV from its infancy, but by 1989, the very vehicle that helped transport many to chart summits threatened to desert them for refusing to evolve with the art form into the next decade.

And while some protested prioritizing the maturing medium, Madonna – a video virtuoso who’d pushed the visual needle forward faster and farther than any of her female contemporaries – had become its gold standard.  Barring King of Pop Michael Jackson, no other artist had taken command of the platform quite like she had – elevating musical clips from mere performance cuts to full-on short films.

As 1990 approached, the diva, albeit at the most untouchable phase of her superstardom, was still 30-something in an increasingly ageist music industry.  The harsh reality of that (and the changing musical tide around her) made morphing that much more of a necessity for Pop’s top chameleon.

Her answer to the challenge?  The Shep Pettibone-produced ‘Vogue.’

Having spent most of 1989 pushing her multiplatinum, chart-topping album ‘Like a Prayer,’ Madge was still very much in promo mode at the top of 1990.  Preparing to launch its next single (‘Keep It Together’) and rehearse for the LP’s supporting global trek (‘The Blond Ambition Tour’), M’s schedule was locked and loaded due to also filming ‘Dick Tracy’ alongside then-boyfriend Warren Beatty and putting the finishing touches on its accompanying soundtrack, ‘I’m Breathless.’

Inspired by the movie’s retro-theme, Madonna reconnected with producer Shep Pettibone (whose remix of her 1989 ‘Like a Prayer’ hit ‘Express Yourself’ helped launch it to #2 on the Hot 100).  A salute to New York’s underground dance scene, ‘Vogue’ – despite conceptually having little connection to ‘Tracy’ – was selected as the first single from ‘Breathless,’ a move that called for her to abandon promotion of ‘Prayer.’  Time would prove the decision a lucrative one.

Released March 27, 1990, the song – highlighted by a rap-sung shout out to the Golden boys and girls of Hollywood – quickly shot to #1 in over 30 countries after its release.  A feat made possible thanks to its warm reception from clubs across the globe, that fanfare was only echoed by responses to its black-and-white, David Fincher-directed music video and elaborate stage performances like those from the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards (seen below).

Going on to be the year’s best-selling single (no small feat for the woman who had already gifted the music realm monster hits like ‘Like a Virgin,’ ‘Material Girl,’ and ‘Like a Prayer’), ‘Vogue’s impact was demonstrated far beyond charts and sales tallies but also its permeation of Pop culture (see: ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’ igniting interest in the the underground ballroom scene, nodding unsung LGBT and dance heroes, and more).

30 years later, the Queen of Pop’s royal decree to strike a pose endures as evidenced by the groundbreaking FX TV show, ‘Pose.’  

Arguably the crowning jewel in the musical monarch’s already immaculate collection of hits, we can’t help but expect ‘Vogue’ to shine on – even 30 years from now – as one of its genre’s most memorable gems.

Your thoughts?

Comments 25

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  1. I love big black c** March 27, 2020

    Madonna was a game changer back in the day. Salute to all the true divas, Mariah Carey, Cher, Whitney Houston

    • MessyBoots March 27, 2020

      They will never know what is was like.

      Kind of bittersweet how we took it for granted.

  2. Pat March 27, 2020

    Culture vulture

    • Fancy BISH March 27, 2020

      Girl gone lol…Madonna brought voguing to the masses and was always clear about who started it! ? And made a CLASSIC BOP for the ages! If you’re gonna use something, make sure to BRING IT…history lesson for the uninformed, not you Pat…I know you know! ❤️

  3. SMH March 27, 2020

    Um, you folks need to do your homework. Paris Is Burning was a documentary of the underground ballroom scene that was YEARS before this Queen of culture vultures decided to “strike a pose”. This song was just her latest attempt (at the time) to hop on a trend that had already been a presence in the underground club scene decades before she came along. Not to mention the song itself was built from the house remix of Janet’s “Miss You Much”-in 1989. So lets not act like Madonna’s success wasn’t built off the ideas of someone else.

    • Fancy BISH March 27, 2020

      Madonna was very much a part of that scene tho! Come on now, Madonna was a NY Club fixture for realz ? Madonna is authentically herself, she never tried to be anything other than herself! She never claimed to be the best dancer or singer or original either! Bish had AMBITION up the wazoo and she didn’t sit on her asss ? Excellence is all she gives, and it’s a gift ? Shep did both songs, don’t blame Madonna

    • Clarks0o0ñ March 27, 2020

      She is a thief but she has done so much for the lgbt community.
      She supported gays openly back in the day when it was career s****** to be associated with anything LGBTQ
      Same with gaga.

      Beyonce cant say the same.
      Beyonce has been benefiting from gays while she keeps paying them dust. It wasnt until recently when she was forced to acknowledge her gay fan base.

      I just dont understand why gays go hard for beyonce.

      • Beyonce Knows March 27, 2020

        Don’t come for Beyonce.

      • Clarks0o0ñ March 27, 2020

        U are dull as f**** .
        I dont know who is the bigger dumb àss, you or onlyflops

        U can praise someone and still criticize their them also.

        Quentin Tarantino movies are good but they are too unnecessarily long and violent

        Did u see what I did there?

        Madonna Is a culture vulture but that doednt erase the work she has done for the LGBTQ community.
        She has given back so much to the community, and I will continue to praise her for it.

        I just schooled u
        Sit down little girl.

      • Fancy BISH March 27, 2020

        HOEE, just keep being YOU…cause I’mma KEEP being ME ?????????????????

      • Clarks0o0ñ March 27, 2020

        This L is all yours

        A whole clown

        Ur obsessed with me.
        Ur a fan of mine

      • Fancy BISH March 27, 2020

        You’re so delusional ? Why would anyone be a fan of you when we don’t even care about your fave? ? I bet you CASH MONEY that if you ran up to Cammy and said you were Clark from TGJ, she would holler for SECURITY chile! ?‍♀️ ? ?

    • Rashad March 27, 2020

      Not true. Paris Is Burning cape out in 1990 along with Vogue. Which means both were made around the same time in 1989. Madonna always gave props to the LGBT community and her influences be it Marilyn, Marlene Dietrich, Eva Peron, spiritual figure heads etc. Madonna might not have been the “inventor” but she brought things to the masses and was always a step ahead of everyone. I love Janet but yuh can’t tell me the Janet’s album overt sexuality wasn’t influenced by Madonna’s Erotica era along with Justify My Love before.

      • Clarks0o0ñ March 27, 2020

        Voguing has been a thing long before paris is burning was filmed or release and long before madonna released the vogue song or video

        Madonna didnt invent voguing.

        Voguing is a gay dance invented by black gays from the ball room scene
        Voguing= black gay culture

        Know ur history sweet heart.

        Madonna is a culture vulture but she has given back to the LGBTQ community, so I will give her a pass here.

  4. Lizzo & K.F.C. March 27, 2020

    Congrats Madge ?
    30 years from now, Queen LIZZO will perform Truth Hurts, Juice and Good As Hell and her other chartntopp omg hits and iconic.music videos. ???
    I can see Billie, Ariana, Cami, Gaga, Dua doing the same.

  5. Normani LoveLies March 27, 2020

    30 years from now I see Normani performing Superbowl with Rihanna and Nicki Minaj while other girl will perform My Oh My with Shawna Mendez in Vegas doing her residency

    • Normani LoveLies March 27, 2020

      Bish u mean Camila d Superstar will perform Super bowl In ten years with her global smashes while having the Fifth harmony as her guests.. lizzo , Meghan Trainor, Shawn Mendes, Da Baby, Jenifer Lopez, Cardi B , Ed Sheeran, Billie and Taylor will be cheering for her while your fave is doing her mini tour in house of blues performing Waves, bad to you and Motivation lol

      • RealNormani_LoveLies March 27, 2020

        Bish u an imposter stop copying my username???

  6. LAMBILY March 27, 2020

    The only thing we are celebrating today, is Mariah’s anniversary, her 19 #1 hits, and her iconic discograpy.

    • Fancy BISH March 27, 2020

      Happy Sweet 16 Mimi ? ??❤️

      • Only Facts March 27, 2020

        Fancy you ain’t right ???

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