Madonna rocks


What is rock ‘n’ roll? Wait,

that question probably requires too much thought for a Monday. Instead,

ponder this: is Madonna a rocker?

My first response to the question

is, “does it matter?” But since the announcement of Madonna’s induction into the Rock

and Roll Hall of Fame, the blogosphere has been rife with complaints that the pop star does not deserve

the honor. The controversy is not about her contributions to musical

culture, but whether her music actually is rock ‘n’ roll.

You know, my response still

is “does it matter?” Return with me, if you will, to Madonna:

The Early Years — 1984, to be exact.



I know much of’s

readership is too young to remember 1984. But trust me, “Like a

Virgin” was scandalous. As was Madonna.

She’s done a pretty good job

of staying scandalous

ever since, reinventing

herself over and over to keep her edge. Not every incarnation has been

golden (American Life — ak!), but her influence on music — all

kinds of music — is undeniable. So, to celebrate Madonna’s enshrinement

tonight, here are some of my favorite Madonna musical moments.

“Material Girl” was

Madonna’s second hit, but the first one I wasn’t embarrassed to sing

out loud in front of other people. Hey, I was brought up as a Southern

Baptist in Texas.



My first Madonna concert was

in 1987 — the Who’s That Girl Tour. It was a somewhat surreal

experience for me because she was in Texas Stadium, where I had attended

a Billy Graham crusade in my evangelical days. Both were religious


I think my favorite Madonna

song still is the one that got her in the most trouble — 1989’s “Like

a Prayer.”



Madonna trivia of the day:

“Like a Prayer” debuted in a Pepsi commercial, which had none of the controversial

symbolism of the MTV version of the video. But apparently people couldn’t

separate the two videos in their minds, so Pepsi had to pull the commercial.

Madonna got to keep her $5 million endorsement fee. Some prayer.

Remember when we learned that

Madonna could act? Argentina wasn’t

with the

casting of Eva Peron. But Evita earned Madonna a Golden

Globe. And it earned the rest of us this rendition of “Don’t Cry

for Me, Argentina.”



A friend of mine insists that

I was with her at a concert in Madison Square Garden during the Drowned

World Tour in 2001. She also insists that she doesn’t do drugs. But

I’ve never been to Madison Square Garden. If nothing else, I would’ve

remembered these arms.

Madonna’s last tour was the

infamous Confessions Tour. I love this promo photo.

As usual, the performance ticked

off religious groups, especially the song “Live to Tell.”

I can’t imagine why.



The new album, Hard Candy,

is due to be released in April. Meanwhile, you can catch the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony tonight on VH1 Classic at 8:30 p.m.

EDT. Best Buy also will carry a live stream.

So, what do you think? Is Madonna

worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What’s your favorite Madonna

song? Album? Outfit? Gratuitous bisexual moment?

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