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Madonna’s 21 Top 10 Albums: From ‘Madonna’ to ‘Rebel Heart’

Madonna has charted 21 top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart -- from her 1983 self-titled debut through her most recent release, 'Rebel Heart.' Let's take a closer look at each of these albums and…

When Madonna’s Rebel Heart album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last month, it continued the diva’s hot streak in the top 10, which has been going strong since her self-titled debut hit the region in 1984. In total, Madonna has earned 21 top 10 albums, including all 13 of her studio efforts. Among women, only Barbra Streisand has more top 10s (with 33).

Let’s take a closer look at all 21 of Madonna’s top 10 albums — from Madonna to Rebel Heart — and dive into their chart histories:


Billboard 200 Peak Date: Oct. 20, 1984
Billboard 200 Peak Position: No. 8

Madonna’s self-titled debut album, released in 1983, continues to rule as the diva’s longest-charting set, with 167 weeks on the tally. The set launched her first Billboard Hot 100 hit single, “Holiday,” which peaked at No. 16 on Jan. 18, 1984. The album spun off the singles “Borderline” (her first Hot 100 top 10, reaching No. 10) and “Lucky Star” (No. 4). Madonna gave the artist her first No. 1 on any Billboard chart: the double-sided single “Holiday”/“Lucky Star,” which hit the top of the Dance Club Songs chart on Sept. 24, 1983.

Madonna took a leisurely stroll to the top 10 on the Billboard 200 — it debuted on the Sept. 3, 1983-dated list at No. 190, and didn’t break into the top 100 until Dec. 3. It hit the top 40 on Feb. 18, 1984, only to slip back down the chart until it made a top 40 return on June 2, just as “Borderline” was working its way up the Hot 100. Madonna spent three weeks at its peak, No. 8, between Oct. 20-Nov. 3, 1984 (as “Lucky Star” was peaking at No. 4 on the Hot 100).

Madonna, Like a Virgin.

Like a Virgin
Peak Date: Feb. 9, 1985
Peak Position: No. 1 (three weeks)

Like a Virgin arrived at No. 70 on the Billboard 200 dated Dec. 1, 1984 and jumped 60 places to No. 10 the following week. That was the single-biggest rise into the top 10 during the entire decade of the 1980s. It was also the largest jump into the top 10 since the Jan. 6, 1979-dated chart, when Blues Brothers’ Briefcase Full of Blues rose 63 spots (70-7).

Like a Virgin eventually rose to No. 1 on the list dated Feb. 9, 1985, the same week the album’s second single, “Material Girl,” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100. Like a Virgin spent 32 weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and saw its four singles all reach the top five on the Hot 100 chart (the title track was her first No. 1, spending six weeks in the penthouse; “Material Girl” reached No. 2, and “Angel” and “Dress You Up” both hit No. 5).

True Blue
Peak Date: Aug. 16, 1986
Peak Position: No. 1 (five weeks)

Madonna’s third album, True Blue, flew to No. 1 in just its fifth week on the chart (a rapid ascent back in 1986, when most albums were slow to move up the list). It spent five straight weeks locked in the top slot, beginning Aug. 16, 1986 — the same week that the album’s single “Papa Don’t Preach” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

True Blue notched additional hits with “Live To Tell” (No. 1), “True Blue” (No. 3), “Open Your Heart” (No. 1) and “La Isla Bonita” (No. 4). When “La Isla Bonita” became the album’s fifth top five single, it made True Blue — at the time — only the third album to generate five top five singles, following Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Janet Jackson’s Control.

Who’s That Girl (Soundtrack/Madonna and various artists)
Peak Date: Sept. 12, 1987
Peak Position: No. 7

Madonna’s Who’s That Girl film came with its own Madonna-filled soundtrack (as she performed four of its nine songs), including the title track (which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100) and “Causing a Commotion” (No. 2). In the week that the Who’s That Girl album reached the top 10 (Sept. 5, 1987; climbing 12-8), it joined three other Madonna albums on the chart: True Blue (No. 49), Like a Virgin (No. 176) and Madonna (No. 185). (The most albums Madonna has concurrently charted is four: for three weeks between Aug. 22 and Sept. 8, 1987.)

Madonna, Like a Prayer.
Fans of both artists know that Madonna and Prince duetted on "Love Song" from her 1989 classic Like a Prayer, but his additional contributions to the LP are less famous -- but no less essential. The fuzzy, chaotic guitar that opens "Like a Prayer" (and thus the album) just before the noise of a slamming door comes courtesy Prince. There is also, according to legend, a Prince-produced version of the song.

Like a Prayer
Peak Date: April 22, 1989
Peak Position: No. 1 (six weeks)

Like a Prayer flew to No. 1 in just its third week on the Billboard 200, following its eye-popping No. 11 debut on April 8, 1989. After its No. 11 bow, it rose to No. 3 and then to No. 1. It spent six consecutive weeks atop the chart and remains Madonna’s longest-running No. 1 album. For the first three of those weeks, Madonna concurrently ruled both the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Hot 100 — the latter with the album’s title track. Like a Prayer would send four more singles to the Hot 100: “Express Yourself” (No. 2), “Cherish” (No. 2), “Oh Father” (No. 20) and “Keep It Together” (No. 8).

Madonna, I'm Breathless.

I’m Breathless
Peak Date: June 23, 1990
Peak Position: No. 2

I’m Breathless, which carried the subtitle Music From and Inspired by the Film Dick Tracy, wasn’t quite a full-fledged soundtrack to the film (in which Madonna co-starred), but it was certainly a companion piece to the summer blockbuster. Three of the album’s songs were heard in the movie, including the Academy Award-winning “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man).” The set’s first single, “Vogue,” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it was followed by the album’s cheeky No. 10 hit “Hanky Panky.” I’m Breathless spent three nonconsecutive weeks in the No. 2 slot, stuck behind MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em.

The Immaculate Collection
Peak Date: Jan. 26, 1991
Peak Position: No. 2

Madonna’s first greatest-hits album, The Immaculate Collection, spent two weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, blocked by Vanilla Ice’s To the Extreme. (Vanilla Ice would later turn up in Madonna’s Sex book, released in 1992.) The album contained 15 previously-released hits and two newly recorded songs: “Justify My Love” and “Rescue Me.” The former spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1991. Two months later, “Rescue Me” debuted at No. 15 on the Hot 100. It was the then-highest bow on the chart by a woman and the highest debut among all acts since The Beatles’ “Let It Be” launched at No. 6 on March 21, 1970. “Rescue Me” would peak at No. 9.

The Immaculate Collection would prove to be a sturdy performer on the Billboard 200, spending 142 weeks on the tally. (It’s Madonna’s second-longest chart run thus far.) The set was a regular presence on the list (save for a few weeks here and there) through September 1993.

Madonna, Erotica.

Peak Date: Nov. 7, 1992
Peak Position: No. 2

Erotica arrived at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, her then-highest debut ever on the list. Standing in Madonna’s way on the chart that week was Garth Brooks, who was in his fifth week atop the chart with The Chase (and beat Erotica by less than 3,000 copies sold). Erotica spent only four weeks in the top 10, but spent just over a year (53 weeks) on the chart. It generated four top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100: the title track (No. 3), “Deeper and Deeper” (No. 7), “Bad Girl” (No. 36) and “Rain” (No. 14).

Madonna, Bedtime Stories.

Bedtime Stories
Peak Date: Nov. 12, 1994
Peak Position: No. 3

“But why can’t I be No. 1?,” Madonna jokingly said to MTV’s Kurt Loder when discussing how Bedtime Stories debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Ahead of the album that week was the Snoop Dogg-led Murder Was the Case soundtrack at No. 1 and Boyz II Men’s II at No. 2. (Watch Madonna talk about her chart debut in the video below, starting after the 3:00 mark.)

“Boyz II Men are always hogging the top position,” Madonna mused. “Boyz II Men and that damn Bodyguard soundtrack. Is that still in the chart?” she added, laughing. (The former No. 1 was, indeed, still on the chart that week, at No. 117.) Loder then told Madonna that it was actually Snoop Dogg that was ahead of her at No. 1, with the Murder Was the Case album. “Well, he’s good, so I have to give it up to the old Snoop man. But move over, Rover!”

Madonna, Something to Remember.

Something to Remember
Peak Date: Nov. 25, 1995
Peak Position: No. 6

Madonna’s first ballads collection, Something to Remember, wasn’t a traditional greatest-hits compilation. While it did gather up all of her best-known ballads, it also was the first Madonna album to contain her singles “I’ll Remember” (a No. 2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100) and “This Used to Be My Playground” (No. 1). Shortly before the album’s release, Madonna told Billboard’s then-editor-in-chief Timothy White that she wanted to put out the album “in a very simple way” and that “listening to this record took me on my own journey. Each song is like a map of my life.” She continued, “The songs, they choke me up — and I wrote them. Isn’t that weird?” (Billboard magazine, Sept. 30, 1995)

Evita (Soundtrack)
Peak Date: Feb. 1, 1997
Peak Position: No. 2

Evita, starring Madonna, saw its soundtrack released on Nov. 12, 1996, in advance of the musical film’s premiere in limited theatrical release on Dec. 25. The album, which featured Madonna on most of its tracks, bowed at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, but then fell out of the top 20 in its second week, sliding all the way down to No. 28.

However, the set’s chart trajectory changed course once the movie reached theaters, and then expanded to a wide release on Jan. 10, 1997. The album climbed back up the tally, peaking at No. 2 for two weeks in February. (It was trapped behind No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom.)

The soundtrack launched two Billboard Hot 100 hit singles: the newly written “You Must Love Me” (peaking at No. 18, and later winning the Academy Award for best original song) and the film’s most familiar song, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (No. 8). The Evita film was based on the rock opera of the same name, which was released in 1976.

Shortly before the Evita soundtrack’s release, Madonna told Billboard’s then-dance music editor Larry Flick that “You Must Love Me” was her “favorite song for the movie, it’s just so beautiful.” (Billboard magazine, Oct. 26, 1996)

Madonna, Ray of Light.

Ray of Light
Peak Date: March 21, 1998
Peak Position: No. 2

Ray of Light was so hot when it was released, the only thing that could stop it from hitting No. 1 was an album of titanic proportions … the Titanic soundtrack (powered by its No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “My Heart Will Go On”). Ray of Light debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 371,000 copies sold in its first week (at the time, Madonna’s largest sales week since Nielsen Music began tracking data in 1991) and spent two weeks locked in the No. 2 slot.

A month after Ray of Light was released, Madonna presented the Academy Award for best original song to the writers of “My Heart Will Go On.”

Fun fact: The Ray of Light album was originally set to spawn a “compilation of single remixes and album outtakes” (as reported in the Feb. 21, 1998 issue of Billboard magazine), due in the fall of 1998. The set was to be named Veronica Electronica.

Peak Date: Oct. 7, 2000
Peak Position: No. 1

“I can’t lie; I care about whether or not this record sells a little or a lot,” Madonna told Billboard’s Larry Flick before the Music album was released (Billboard magazine, Aug, 5, 2000). “Aside from selfish reasons — all artists want their work to be heard and appreciated — I want to bring this sound to a wide audience.” Music certainly did reach a wide audience, as the set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — her first album to bow atop the list and her first No. 1 since 1989’s Like a Prayer.

Notably, the Music album — like her recent album Rebel Heart — was struck by an early leak to the Internet. A rough version of the album’s title track (and first single) made its way to the Web in May 2000 via Napster — well ahead of the song’s official release on Aug. 1. (Essentially all of Rebel Heart, in demo form, leaked to the Internet in December 2014, well ahead of its March 2015 release. The mastered album leaked in early February.)

In Flick’s interview, he noted how the “Music” leak was “a move that some have accused [Madonna] of doing herself.”

“‘Oh, please!,” she shrieked at the suggestion. “If I was going to leak my record, I would’ve put a better mix of it out there. I practically had a nervous breakdown when the track got out there. I wasn’t even finished with the record when it happened. I was wiggin’ out. I still kinda am.’”

And in a bit of foreshadowing of what would happen to the Rebel Heart album, she said, “I don’t want my whole album to be leaked. I don’t care if you’re my 83-year-old grandmother, you’re not getting my record before I’m ready for you to have it.”

“I like the idea of trading information on the Net,” Madonna continued, “that you can sample bits and pieces and get sounds and ideas for songs. But to have a whole album online, and then say that it’s your right to have it for free, is bullshit. I mean, pay for my record, thank you very much.”

Madonna, GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2.

GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2
Peak Date: Dec. 1, 2001
Peak Position: No. 7

Madonna’s second greatest-hits album recapped her career from 1992 through 2001 and was the follow-up to 1990’s The Immaculate Collection. But, unlike The Immaculate Collection, GHV2 did not include any newly recorded or unreleased songs. So to promote the album, Warner Bros. Records commissioned multiple versions of a “Madonna Megamix,” created by the likes of Thunderpuss, Tracy Young, Johnny Rocks and Mac Quayle. The megamixes blended GHV2 songs and were promoted to dance clubs but never commercially released. The “Madonna Megamix” rose to No. 5 on the Dance Club Songs chart based on its reported play in dance clubs.

Madonna, American Life.

American Life
Peak Date: May 10, 2003
Peak Position: No. 1

Madonna’s American Life bounded in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 but found a short chart life, spending only 14 weeks on the Billboard 200 (her then-shortest run on the chart with a studio album). The set’s first official single was its title track, which peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The album also included the single “Die Another Day,” the title track from the James Bond film of the same name (in which Madonna had a cameo role). It was released in 2002 and reached No. 7 on the Hot 100.

Confessions on a Dance Floor
Peak Date: Dec. 3, 2005
Peak Position: No. 1

The diva’s sixth No. 1 album came with Confessions on a Dance Floor, which spent more than twice the amount of time on the Billboard 200 as her last album, American Life (37 weeks vs. 14 weeks). Confessions returned Madonna to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 as well, as its first single, the ABBA-sampling “Hung Up” dialed up a No. 7 peak. The Confessions on a Dance Floor album would win Madonna her sixth Grammy Award, for best electronic/dance album.

Madonna, Hard Candy.

Hard Candy
Peak Date: May 17, 2008
Peak Position: No. 1

The Hard Candy era saw Madonna return to the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time since 2001, thanks to the set’s lead single, “4 Minutes,” featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. The track peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100, her highest-charting single since “Don’t Tell Me” hit No. 4 in early 2001. “4 Minutes” also surpassed the peaks of the lead singles from Madonna’s two previous albums. Confessions On a Dance Floor’s “Hung Up” halted at No. 7, while American Life’s title track stalled at No. 37.

Peak Date: Oct. 17, 2009
Peak Position: No. 7

Madonna’s third greatest-hits album, Celebration, debuted and peaked at No. 7, matching the peak of her second best-of, GHV2. Unlike her earlier greatest-hits albums, The Immaculate Collection and GHV2, the Celebration set was a retrospective covering her entire career (a daunting task, considering at the time, she had notched 48 top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100). Celebration included the new title track, which peaked at No. 71 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on Dance Club Songs. Deluxe versions of the album also boasted the new tracks “Revolver” (featuring Lil Wayne, at No. 4 hit on Dance Club Songs) and “It’s So Cool.”

Madonna, Sticky & Sweet Tour.

Sticky & Sweet Tour
Peak Date: April 24, 2010
Peak Position: No. 10

Sticky & Sweet Tour chronicled the concert trek of the same name, which toured the globe in 2008 and 2009 in support of Madonna’s Hard Candy album. Sticky & Sweet Tour had a short (but sweet!) run on the Billboard 200, spending just four weeks on the tally.

Peak Date: April 14, 2012
Peak Position: No. 1

Madonna took to the Super Bowl halftime stage to promote the release of her MDNA album, which became her eighth chart-topper in 2012. The diva was seen by 114 million U.S. TV viewers during the Feb. 5 game and performed a medley of hits with her then-new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. The latter track reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Madonna’s 38th top 10 hit — extending her own record for the most top 10 singles in chart history.

Rebel Heart
Peak Date: March 28, 2015
Peak Position: No. 2

Last December, shortly after Rebel Heart leaked to the Web in demo form, Madonna told Billboard that “the Internet is as constructive and helpful in bringing people together as it is in doing dangerous things and hurting people. It’s a double-edged sword.”

The leak resulted in Madonna rush-releasing six songs from the album on Dec. 19, in conjunction with Rebel Heart’s accelerated pre-order campaign. Those tracks included the album’s first single, “Living for Love,” which wasn’t originally scheduled to debut until Feb. 14.

“The reason I wanted to call the record Rebel Heart was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality,” Madonna said. “The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me.”

Rebel Heart debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, becoming Madonna’s 21st top 10 album.