Throwback: Madonna-Vogue


Madonna’s “Vogue” was inspired by her time at New York City’s Sound Factory Bar where she witnessed the vogueing culture of the Harlem House Ball community. Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza are the choreographers responsible for introducing vogueing to Madonna at the club. Madonna and producer Shep Pettibone wrote “Vogue” in less than three weeks after Warner Music suggested they work together on new music. Film director David Finch directed the black and white video that pays tribute to Golden Era Hollywood stars that Madonna references in the lyrics. The spectacle of her dancers perfectly vogueing and posing gave Madonna one of her most-received videos. It was not the first time vogueing had been captured on film as Malcolm McLaren had released “Deep In Vogue” one year prior with dancer Willi Ninja starring in it. Months after the release of “Vogue” director Jennie Livingston released her acclaimed documentary Paris Is Burning which was also about the ball culture in New York City. But “Vogue” became the face of the culture and dance in the mainstream as it was a no. 1 hit worldwide. “Vogue” was a part of the I’m Breathless album that contained music inspired by the film Dick Tracy that starred Madonna and Warren Beatty. The song was going to be on the flip side of “Keep It Together” from her Like A Prayer album. Warner Brothers decided to release “Vogue” as a single and it was noted that the tune actually had nothing to do with Dick Tracy. The success of “Vogue” marked the time when dance music like house and techno received rotation on mainstream radio.

The video won three MTV Video Awards and is considered one of the best and most influential visuals ever. “Vogue” is Madonna’s best-selling physical single in America.  Jane Lynch covered “Vogue” on the TV show Glee and Beth Ditto, Kylie Minogue and Ariana Grande have also done their versions. Beyoncé, Rihanna and Azealia Banks have all incorporated vogueing into their videos and stage shows. The television show Pose which is about the ball world in ’90s New York City featured “Vogue” in the first season. Madonna released her 14th studio album Madame X in 2019.