Madonna was an original member of “The Breakfast Club.” No, not the movie. She was a founding member of a New Wave band called the Breakfast Club in the late 70s. She started the band with her then-boyfriend, Dan Gilroy. Ever the Renaissance woman, Madonna played drums and occasionally provided vocals and backup on the guitar.
Madonna would eventually leave the Breakfast Club to form another band. However, that wasn’t the end of the Breakfast Club. They went on to have a Top 10 song and many other band members. Interestingly, Randy Jackson of “American Idol” fame was also a member of the band, but in the late 80s.
A Budding Dance Career
Madonna was grinding day and night to make something of her dance career. She got some traction, dancing with the Pearl Lang Dance Theater and Martha Graham, a renowned choreographer in New York. Eventually, she got work as a backup dancer for mildly successful artists in the late 70s and early 80s.
For example, she got a gig as a backup dancer for disco artist Patrick Hernandez. It was the chance of a lifetime because she got to live in Paris for three months while touring with Patrick. She also provided backup vocals during the tour. These early performances were the first inklings of what Madonna would become.
She Tried in Paris
Madonna spent some time in her early 20s living in Paris. She decided to take a backup dancer gig with the musician Patrick Hernandez, which required her to move to the City of Love. While there, Madonna made her first attempt at recording an album. At the time, she was only known as a dancer who did occasional backup vocals.
However, she knew that singing was something she wanted to try her hand at. Even though she wasn’t professionally trained as a vocalist, people were always commenting on her amazing singing voice. Dance music was hot at the time, so Madonna thought, “Why not?” However, Paris didn’t agree with her, and the potential album never came to fruition. Thankfully, time had other plans for her.
A Traumatic Experience
Like many of us, Madonna has had her fair share of traumatic experiences. Many years after becoming the world’s most famous pop star, Madonna revealed that she was attacked by a stranger when she first moved to New York City. As Madonna told Howard Stern in 2015, she was only 19 and had just moved to the city from her small town in Michigan.
As we all know, various kinds of violent acts are extremely under-reported for various reasons. Just like many other victims, Madonna did not report her attacker to the police and tried her best to move on from the traumatic experience.
Frida Kahlo Is a Personal Hero
Many people have looked up to Madonna over the decades, but who does the “Queen of Pop” look up to? Well, another artist, of course. In a 2013 essay she wrote for “Harper’s Bazaar,” Madonna revealed that she would often think of artist Frida Kahlo during those early, tough days in New York.
She had a tiny postcard portrait of the artist taped up in her apartment, and she would look at it when she needed strength or felt like giving up on her dreams. Frida Kahlo made history by walking to the beat of her own drum despite what other people had to say, and Madonna admired that.