Madonna marks 40 years since the release of her first single


Pop superstar Madonna marked a significant anniversary this week, on October 6th it was the 40th anniversary of the release of Everybody, her very first single.

To celebrate the track has been re-released in both physical and digital formats. Fans can download the original tune and its instrumental B-side.

Madonna had been in indie bands NYC, first as a member of The Breakfast Club, and then she and bandmate Stephen Bray formed Emmy and Emmy. In late 1980 the pair put four tracks down on a demo cassette, but by the following year Madonna was on her own hoping to be signed as a solo artist.

She gave a cassette featuring three tunes, Everybody, Burning Up and Aint No Big Deal to Mark Kamins, the DJ at the popular dance club Danceteria. Kamins liked what he heard and got Madonna a contract for two 12-inch singles with Sire Records.

Kamins produced the track, and it features singer Gwen Guthrie as one of the backing vocalists. The post-disco song has elements of RnB and features Madonna imploring everyone to get on the dancefloor and ‘dance and sing’ and ‘do your thing’.

When the song was released, it featured a cover with a hip-style street scene, but Madonna herself was not pictured. At first people assumed Madonna was a black artist, and the song got airplay on radio stations that featured largely black musicians.

Not long after Madonna was given a tiny budget to create a video, which gave the world their first look at the singer who would go on to find success in the music industry over the next four decades.

Following the success of the tack, Madonna was signed to make an album, and her debut self-titled record came out in 1983.

Madonna included the song in The Virgin Tour of 1985, but then did not play the song for many years. When she toured the world with The Girlie Show in 1993 it was the final number of the show, in a performance that included elements of Everybody is a Star and Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone, Marvin Gaye’s After the Dance and It Takes Two by Rob Base as DJ E-Z Rock.

Madonna’s only performed the song on a few occasions since then, and it’s hasn’t been a permanent feature of her subsequent live shows.

1982 was certainly a great year for iconic performers putting out their first records. In 1982 George Michael’s career began when Wham! released Wham Rap. Culture Club also put out their first recording with White Boy, but found success in late 1982 with their third single Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. 

OIP Staff

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