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How a Late-Night Break-In Led to Madonna’s No. 1 ‘Open Your Heart’: Chart Beat Podcast

Co-writer Peter Rafelson recalls the song's wild backstory.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week, Gary and Trevor recap an action-packed top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, as Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, reigns for a 12th week; Drake passes The Beatles for the second-most top 10s in the chart’s history; and Taylor Swift launches at No. 2 with “You Need to Calm Down.”


Joining to discuss Swift’s start is Billboard Pride writer Stephen Daw, who muses about the LGBTQ-friendly anthem and how the superstar is supporting related causes beyond her new single.

Plus, with Madonna debuting atop the Billboard 200 with her new album Madame X, special musical guest Peter Rafelson recalls the winding story of how “Open Your Heart” made its way to her album True Blue, and to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1987, after he’d originally written it and planned to pitch it to Cyndi Lauper. A car crash, late-night break-in and more ensued before the song became an all-time ’80s classic.

Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes! Plus, the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast is also available on Acast, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, PocketCast, Podbean, Stitcher and TuneIn.