Ask Billboard: What Are Your Favorite Madonna Songs?


Mert and Marcus

Readers rank the Material Girl's best material. Plus, a trip through AC chart history and more songs that became hits three times

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20


Hi Gary,

As you pointed out last week when ranking your top 20 Madonna tracks, everyone has different tastes. I checked my Madge playlists and found that having been with the Material Girl from the beginning makes no difference as to where her songs place.

From the moment I saw the video for "Human Nature" I was hooked. Perhaps not her best song for most people, but a powerful message that resonates strongly with me!

20, "Cherish"
19, "Like a Virgin"
18, "Open Your Heart"
17, "Like a Prayer"
16, "Beautiful Stranger"
15, "Material Girl"
14, "Secret"
13, "Deeper and Deeper"
12, "Frozen"
11, "Everybody"
10, "Vogue"
9, "Erotica"
8, "Music"
7, "Celebration" (Benny Benassi remix edit)
6, "Hung Up"
5, "Into the Groove"
4, "Sorry"
3, "Ray of Light"
2, "Express Yourself"

1, "Human Nature"

Stephen Scott
Brisbane, Australia


I couldn't resist making a top 20 ranking of Madonna songs. I was a young tyke when she first came onto the scene, so I don't really remember a world where Madonna wasn't an icon.

20, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore"
19, "Live to Tell"
18, "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You"
17, "Who's That Girl"
16, "He's a Man"
15, "Gone"
14, "I Know It"
13, "The Power of Goodbye"
12, "Now I'm Following You"
11, "Sky Fits Heaven"
10, "I Deserve It"
9, "Human Nature"
8, "Amazing"
7, "Burning Up"
6, "Like a Prayer"
5, "Ray of Light"
4, "The Look of Love"
3, "Deeper and Deeper"
2, "Time Stood Still"

1, "Something to Remember"

Patrick Boothe
Austin, Texas


Hi Gary,

Madonna has so many good songs that a top 20 list can't include them all. But, here's mine:

20, "Material Girl"
19, "Burning Up"
18, "This Used to Be My Playground"
17, "Music"
16, "Dress You Up"
15, "Over and Over"
14, "What It Feels Like for a Girl"
13, "Open Your Heart"
12, "Gambler"
11, "Justify My Love"
10, "La Isla Bonita"
9, "Take a Bow"
8, "Hung Up"
7, "Into the Groove"
6, "Angel"
5, "Frozen"
4, "Crazy for You"
3, "You'll See"
2, "Secret"

1, "Papa Don't Preach"
Saludos cordiales,

Luis H. Sanchez Leyva

'UP' TO NO. 1

Well Gary,

I knew you'd never have another restful night's sleep without my list of Madonna's 20 best (like you, I also didn't start to like her until a bit after she'd broken through, around her second album), so here goes:

20, "Stay"
19, "Justify My Love"
18, "Incredible"
17, "Candy Shop"
16, "Material Girl"
15, "Who's That Girl"
14, "Till Death Do Us Part"
13, "Die Another Day"
12, "Oh Father"
11, "Erotica"
10, "Where's the Party"
9, "Like A Virgin"
8, "Beautiful Stranger"
7, "Into the Groove"
6, "American Life"
5, "Music"
4, "Revolver"
3, "True Blue"
2, "Ray of Light"

1, "Dress You Up"

Need any more lists from me? Just holler!

David Fritz
Reseda, California


Hello Gary!

It was tough trying to rank my 20 favorite songs from one of my all-time favorite recording artists, but here's what I came up with (in no particular order – I love 'em all, I can't pick a No. 1!):

"Live to Tell"
"Into the Groove"
"Oh Father"
"Ray of Light"
"The Power of Goodbye"
"Bedtime Story"
"Hung Up"
"Don't Tell Me"
"Causing a Commotion"
"Express Yourself" (non-stop express mix)
"Deeper and Deeper"

"4 Minutes" (feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)
"I'll Remember"
"Crazy for You"
"This Used to Be My Playground"
"Beat Goes On" (with Kanye West; should've been released as a single)

By the way, does anyone else notice that Madonna and the Billboard Hot 100 share birthdays only 12 days apart? The Hot 100 was born on Aug. 4, 1958 and Madonna on Aug. 16, 1958. It only seems right that she commands the lead for most top 10s (38) on the ranking!

Thanks Gary,

Ron Raymond, Jr.
Host/Producer, "Stuck in the 80s"
WMPG-FM and, Portland, Maine

Thanks all!

Not only do the Hot 100 and Madonna, the Queen of Pop, share the same birth month, so, too, does the King of Pop: the late Michael Jackson was born on Aug. 29, 1958. Jackson's Hot 100 history includes 28 top 10s as a soloist, marking the most among men, a mark he shares with Stevie Wonder. (Among all acts, only Madonna and the Beatles (34) have more). Meanwhile, Jackson's 13 solo No. 1s trail only the Beatles' 20 and Mariah Carey's 18.

Jackson additionally tallied 10 top 10s, including four No. 1s, with the Jackson 5.

As for Madonna's next offering: her "MDNA World Tour" concert film arrives a week from today (Sept.10) on DVD, Blu-ray and as a digital album (via Live Nation and Interscope Records). The release runs two hours-long and sports songs from last year's "MDNA" album and hits spanning her career. Check out the full track list here.