Song: “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna
Reached #1: August 16, 1986 (her fourth, 2 weeks)
Previously: Day 113
It’s not like there are a lot of songs where the singer is debating an abortion, but then again, it’s not like there are a lot of Madonnas, either.
The song remains a bit of a lightning rod, which is – of course – why Madonna put it in a medley on the MDNA Tour setlist. Sure, it’s been over 25 years since the song came out, but the topic is still relevant.
And I’d bet that if she dedicated it to Pope Benedict XVI, he’d take it better than Pope John Paul II did… of course, given that Benedict XVI is dealing with a fairly large internal scandal right now, he might not even notice…
Madonna is one of the biggest-selling artists of all time – Billboard, at one point, placed her second only to the Beatles in that category. She’s collected 12 #1 singles in the USA, from 1984 (“Like A Virgin”) to 2000 (“Music”). She got to #3 as recently as 2008 (“4 Minutes”, featuring Justin Timberlake). She’s still a force on the Billboard dance charts, with a ridiculous 41 #1 dance hits, as recently as this year (“Girl Gone Wild”).
Clearly, tackling controversial topics hasn’t hurt her popularity, danceability, or her sales numbers…
Tomorrow, a song that references a place that doesn’t actually exist.
No other songs reached #1 on August 16.