Saturday, March 31, 2007
Like A Virgin, September 14, 1984
By 1985, MTV had revolutionized the music industry. Video had killed the radio star, and, naturally, MTV decided it was time to hand out some awards. The first MTV Video Music Awards was hosted by Bette Midler and Dan Ackroyd, setting the tone that this was not your parents' Grammy show, but a youthful celebration of everything edgy, decadent, and dangerous. It was a perfect fit for their "virgin" broadcast that newcomer Madonna debut her single from her second album.
On September 14, 1984, fans and video artist filled New York City's Radio City Music Hall to watch rock stars David Bowie, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper inaugarate the latest incarnation of Hollywood self-indulgence. Catching everyone by surprise, however, was the relatively new star, Madonna.
Rising from the stage on a giant wedding cake, a fully-veiled Madonna launched into "Like a Virgin" in full wedding attire and a "Boy Toy" belt buckle. As she stripped her wedding veil, Madonna introduced herself to the world as true performance artist. By the song's end, Madonna was literally writhing and grinding on the stage floor. Audiences at home and in the auditorium went wild, and the performance catapulted Madonna into the stratosphere. Not since Elvis had a television performance caught America so off-guard. It would hardly be the last time that Madonna would push the envelope and stir up controversy.