When Madonna kicked off “The Virgin Tour” in 1985, she had no idea what she was in for. By the time she went on her first large-scale tour, “Like a Virgin” was already a huge hit. Her fame had reached new heights. But none of that hit her until she walked out on stage for her first performance of the tour.
When she reflected on her first tour decades later, Madonna said she felt sort of an out-of-body experience. She recalls it as being an otherworldly feeling that nothing could prepare her for. Though as she walked on stage, she felt like something sucked the air out of her lungs, it was not a bad feeling.
Like a “Rolling Stone”
Madonna rocked her very first cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine on November 22, 1984. The magazine cover coincided with the release of “Like a Virgin,” the sophomore album that would launch her career to the next level. “Madonna Goes All the Way,” the magazine cover reads, quite cheekily, we might add.
This magazine debut would mark the start of a record for both Madonna and “Rolling Stone” that still holds strong today. Madonna holds the record for gracing the cover of “Rolling Stone” more times than any other female artist in history. As of 2021, she has 23 “Rolling Stone” covers to her name. Pretty impressive.
A “Crazy” Debut
Many people credit “Desperately Seeking Susan” as Madonna’s motion picture debut. But that honor actually goes to “Vision Quest,” another major motion picture that Madonna acted in earlier that year. In “Vision Quest,” Madonna has a cameo appearance as a club singer. She even performs two of her own songs in the film.
“Crazy for You” and “Gambler” are featured in the movie, and both songs remain inherently tied to Madonna’s career. “Vision Quest” was even renamed to “Crazy for You” in some other countries in order to capitalize off Madonna’s fame, which had blown up by the time the movie was released internationally.
Art Imitates Life
As Madonna’s star was rising, she was invited to audition for a little movie called “Desperately Seeking Susan.” She was cast in the role of Susan even though she had never starred in a mainstream movie before. The main reason she got the part was because the studio wanted to cast an “up-and-comer” as Susan.
Interestingly, art imitated life for Madonna’s first big-budget acting role. The movie takes place in New York City and is an homage to the club scene, which Madonna was heavily involved in before her career took off. Her real-life experience brought authenticity to the role. It’s a funny example of how life comes full circle sometimes.
The universe was smiling on Madonna in 1985. The release of her first major film, “Desperately Seeking Susan,” coincided perfectly with her skyrocketing fame. When studio execs cast Madonna as Susan, she was still a relatively unknown pop singer. During the course of filming, more and more people began recognizing her on the streets of New York City.
Her second album, “Like a Virgin,” came out around the time that filming was wrapping up, and she blew up. The studio that produced “Suddenly Seeking Susan” rushed post-production in order to release the movie in tandem with Madonna’s media attention. Apparently, they wanted to ride the high of her publicity as fast as possible because they were afraid it wouldn’t last. How wrong they were!