Madonna is reflecting on the biggest hits of her career — including one of the most iconic television performances of all time.
In an interview on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday, Madge showed off her musical skills with a Classroom Instruments performance, boasted about her skills on the drums, and played a naughty word association game with the host. She also shared the true story behind her jaw-dropping performance at the inaugural 1984 MTV Video Music Awards which, she said, nearly cost her her career.
Noting that she had “no say” in what singles were released by her label at the time, Madonna expressed her surprise at the choice to promote “Like a Virgin” at the time “because I thought it was quite controversial,” she told Fallon. “It turned out that the controversial thing wasn’t the song itself, it was my performance at the MTV Awards.”
Madonna remembers how, as she descended the steep steps of an oversized wedding cake on the stage, one of her shoes fell off.
“I was trying to do this smooth move, like, dive for the shoe and make it look like choreography and my dress flipped up and my butt was showing,” she recalled. “Can you imagine? Those were the days when you shouldn’t show your butt to have a career. Now it’s the opposite.”
Madonna said she had no idea that she had exposed her backside as she continued with the performance.
“It happened by accident and I didn’t even know my butt was showing — and it wasn’t even like, the whole butt. It was like a butt cheek, like, half of a butt cheek,” she noted. “When I went backstage, my manager told me my career was over with.”
Today, the 53-year-old superstar is celebrating the release of her new full-length album, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, featuring remixes of her chart topping hits.
While Madonna has had her pick of collaborators through the years, including features from Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj and Nile Rogers on the album, there’s one rap star she’s still eager to work with.
“I mean, there’s one artist that I worship more than anything and I would love to collaborate with him and that’s Kendrick Lamar,” she admitted. “His new record is history making… mind bogglingly brilliant. It’s insane.”
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