“The hook of the song – ‘Music makes the people come together … Music, mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel’ – do you know where I got that idea?” Madonna asked in a 2000 Rolling Stone interview. “At a Sting concert. Weird, isn’t it?
“OK. I went to see him in New York at the Beacon Theater,” Madonna explained. “He has a pretty mixed audience – I always look at audiences when I go to concerts. I’m obsessed with checking out the audience and seeing how they react. And people were pretty well-behaved and enthusiastically polite for stuff that he was doing off of his new album.
“But then, when he did the old Police songs – and it was just him and a guitar, and the lights came down – somehow the energy in the room changed. It ignited the room, and it brought everybody closer to the stage. And suddenly, people lost their inhibition and their politeness, and everyone was singing the songs and practically holding hands. I mean, it really moved me. And I thought, ‘That’s what music does to people.’ It really does bring people together, and it erases so much. That’s how I came to the hook of that song.”
Completed and released as the title-track lead single from Madonna’s eighth studio album, the song topped the Hot 100 in its sixth week (as Sting’s “Desert Rose” spent its 15th and final frame in the top 40). “Music” became Madonna’s 12th No. 1, tying her with The Supremes four the fourth-most leaders dating to the chart’s August 1958 start. She and The Supremes currently share the mark for the fifth-most No. 1s.
The coronation of “Music” was especially significant regarding Madonna’s longevity, granting her Hot 100 No. 1s in the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s. At the time, only Stevie Wonder (’60s, ’70s, ’80s), Michael Jackson, Elton John (’70s, ’80s, ’90s) and Janet Jackson (’80s, ’90s, ’00s) had also notched No. 1s in three distinct decades – with “Music” dethroning the song that gained Janet Jackson entry to the elite club, “Doesn’t Really Matter.”
(Eleven artists to-date boast Hot 100 No. 1s in three or more decades, led by Mariah Carey with stays at the summit in the ’90s, ’00s, ’10s and ’20s. Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Usher, all in the ’90s-’10s, and Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, in the ’00s-’20s, have also achieved the feat.)
Madonna’s Music LP likewise led the Billboard 200 albums chart, launching atop the Oct. 7, 2000-dated list as her fourth leader and first since Like a Prayer in 1989. She has since upped her total to nine No. 1 albums through 2019’s Madame X.
Music also spun off the No. 4 Hot 100 hit “Don’t Tell Me” in 2001, contributing to her total of 38 top 10s, the most among women in the chart’s history, and second overall only to Drake’s 59.
Most recently, Madonna (whose daughter Lourdes released her debut single, “Lock&Key,” Aug. 24) added her 23rd Billboard 200 top 10 on the Sept. 3-dated chart with Finally Enough Love, which celebrates her record 50 No. 1s on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs survey.
“The world needs to dance!,” Madonna declared last month. “We’ve been through enough, haven’t we?”
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