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.
The Breakfast Club
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 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.
Madonna’s First Acting Role
Madonna has made a name for herself as an actress as well as a musical artist. However, not many people know about her very first acting role. Between 1979 and 1981, Madonna filmed “A Certain Sacrifice,” an underground art film with a very scandalous plot that we cannot repeat here.
Interestingly, “A Certain Sacrifice” wasn’t released until 1985. Madonna’s career was well underway by then, making it pretty obvious that the film’s director only released it to capitalize on her fame. Madonna wasn’t happy about the film’s release and even tried to buy the rights from the director. Today, this cult film is next to impossible to find and watch. Reviewers panned the movie, so it’s probably for the best.
Her Big Break
It’s pretty amazing to think that Madonna rose from relative obscurity to massive fame in just a few short years. It all started in 1981 when Madonna got signed to Gotham Records after striking up a friendship with Camille Barbone. Camille took Madonna under her wing and helped get her signed with Gotham, her first big break into the music business.
Camille mentored Madonna and even acted as her manager for a year. Before signing with Gotham, people would sometimes comment on how great her singing voice was, but Madonna dismissed these compliments because she didn’t think she could sing. Although Madonna’s first demo under Camille was a flop, it was the first time she felt as if people were taking her seriously.