Madonna. She is known by many names. Entertainer, singer, actress, dancer, businesswoman, philanthropist, provocateur… and the list goes on. Billboard cites her as the most successful solo artist in the history of the charts and Guiness recognizes her as the top selling and most successful female recording artist of all time. But to me, she is not that. She is an inspiration.
I honestly don’t know what got me into liking her. It was 1983 when I first heard Holiday. I was six then and I found myself being hypnotized by that intro. I didn’t know then that “love at first listen” was even possible, but apparently it was. And that’s where it all started. I began following the songs and kept playing it in my head. My parents weren’t the kind who would give their son a walkman (yes, this was way before the ipod) so he could listen to a corset-and-rosary-wearing singing about love and sex.
But you know what, as I got older I began to think, “Did she have the same impact to me as she did to others?” You know what I like about her? She had no outstanding obvious talent. She doesn’t have the pipes like Mariah nor the moves like Janet (or Michael) does but look at her. She outsold them all. She used what little she had and blew it like it was the most awesome thing anyone has ever seen. It’s the concrete example of overcoming one’s shortcomings and making something good out of it. It’s not caring about all the bad things that people say about you and just going for whatever it is that makes you happy. She reinvents herself if she feels like it. Much like we do. I think that if you get bored with who you are then a little change here and there would be healthy. Change you hair color, your clothes, your whatever. You don’t have to stick to one and people will just have to go along.
I remember reading an interview in the 90’s where a reporter asked her if she would ever consider being a man. To which she replied, “I already have a penis inside my head, I don’t need one between my legs.” And boy does she have balls. She’s so tough that everytime she rocks the boat or poke the hornet’s nest, she just stands there and take everything head on. We all got issues and problems we face on a day-to-day basis and if we would just sit down and cry about it, we won’t solve it.
So cheers to her. The woman who’s tough as nails dances like there’s no tomorrow. Happy birthday!