As rumors continue to swirl that Madonna may swipe a page from the Beyonce playbook and release her hotly-anticipated next album by surprise next month (we vote for the national holiday on August 16), it’s strange to consider there was once a world when the entertainer wasn’t a household name. Yet it’s likely Queerty readers of a certain age can recall exactly where they were and what they were doing the first time they heard the icon’s distinctive vocals when she first began to get radio airplay. Thirty-one years have now passed since Madge’s brilliant and tirelessly-dedicated publicist Liz Rosenberg sent out p.r. materials introducing her white hot new client’s debut and self-titled album (arguably, it remains her most ebullient effort to date) to DJs around the country.
In her undated press release (presumably sent out on July 27, 1983 when the album was officially released) on Sire letterhead, Rosenberg announced the arrival of the new Queen of Pop to people who weren’t fortunate enough to catch her early Manhattan club performances. Here’s an excerpt:
Who is Madonna? The answer comes easy to tens of thousands of East Coast dance fans. Madonna is the name behind the music of the runaway dance/R&B sensation of the season. It’s safe to say there isn’t a music-and-motion fan on the Seaboard who isn’t familiar with the distinctive vocal stylings of this remarkable new talent.
It’s more than a little fitting that Madonna, her debut album on Sire records should be a dancer’s delight. Dancing was, after all, this Detroit native’s first artistic love. Trained in the art from pre-high school days, she enrolled at the University of Michigan to further her terpsichorean pursuits. She studied ballet, modern and jazz dancing and performed with the college’s famed dance company. Relocating to New York in the late Seventies, she performed for a two-year period with both the Pearl Lange and Alvin Ailey Troupes before deciding to branch out artistically to find a medium more suited to her concept of a total performer.
Less than six months later, on January 14, 1984, this “remarkable new talent” made her now-legendary appearance on American Bandstand in which she lip-synched to “Holiday” and informed host Dick Clark she “wanted to rule the world.” And, as the world learned decades ago, Madonna gets what she wants and, thanks to her advocacy for LGBT equality, the cultural landscape for gay people has never been the same since.
In other Queen of Pop news, a couple of demo tracks purportedly from the Erotica recording sessions have leaked, including this empowerment anthem “Shame”:
But let’s remember how it all began by watching her performance of “Everybody,” the anthemic single that inspired Sire’s Seymour Stein to sign her, below.
H/t: Madonna superfan Mike Killmon