List of artists influenced by Madonna

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Madonna's conical bra became one of her most well-known and emulated outfits.

Since her debut in 1982, Madonna's contributions to music, film, fashion, dance, and popular culture alongside with her attitude has influenced many other artists in the world.[1][2][3][4] Her influence in the entertainment industry has generated extensive commentaries and analysis from critics, the media and public alike.

Madonna's influence on artists is praised by most authors and historians, because when she emerged in the 80's, almost all the top artists in the world were men and bands, but after her, almost all would be female singers, with many critics saying that she still with the same status and unrivaled by any of her colleagues.[5][6] This is one of the reasons why a range of authors (including Howard Kramer from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) commented that without her, "there would be no" many artists.[7][8]

Although Madonna took inspiration from other singers and people, music journalists from Billboard to MTV have commented that "she didn't follow anybody's formula" and "influenced herself".[7][9] Some authors noted that "Madonna ends inevitably present in the lives of almost all the singers in the world, either at the beginning or end of the race",[10] while others commenting that several "artists are more influenced by Madonna than any other artist past or present".[11]

Consistently voted and included on critic lists among the best or influential musicians of the history,[12] academics and music critics have called Madonna the most successful, admired and influential female performer of all-time.[13][14][15][16] She was ranked at number one on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Women in Music twice in 2012 (by the staff) and in 2002 (voted by the public).[17] Madonna is officially certified by the Guinness World Records as the best-selling female recording artist of all time.

According to J. Randy Taraborrelli, Madonna is one of "the most emulated female performers in show business history". Generally, magazines and other publications compiled "lists of artists influenced by Madonna", who also are named "Madonna" as a honorific nickname.


Marilyn Monroe, a major influence on Madonna's career.

Madonna has taken inspiration from a number of entertainers, including Marilyn Monroe,[18] Joni Mitchell,[19] David Bowie,[20] Patti Smith,[21] Karen Carpenter,[22] Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, and Aretha Franklin.[23] She also includes in her work, inspiration from the Kabbalah, as well on gender stereotypes, sexual clichés, corporate monoliths, and religious ones.[24][25][26] Billboard editor M. Tye Comer said: "Although Madonna had her influences, she created her own unmistakable style. She wrote her own ticket; she didn't have to follow anybody's formula. She declared who she was ... and took possession of her music".[7] Jocelyn Vena from MTV commented that "she's influenced others and even herself".[9] Richard Pérez-Feria from HuffPost said that Madonna took influences to guide her, but she never came off as derivate. She borrowed, sure, but she always "Madonnaized" it. Contrary, he noted that "Madonna’s younger musical contemporaries have liberally taken from her".[27]

Explaining the inspiration that she takes from other cultures, Madonna said in an interview with The Huffington Post in 2015, that is "our job as artists, to turn the world upside down and make everyone feel bewildered and have to rethink everything". She commented: "I’m inspired and I’m referencing other cultures. That is my right as an artist. They said Elvis Presley stole African-American culture". The singer later concluded that both "have a right to be "inspired" by other cultures".[28]

Context and analysis[edit]

Since the beginning of her career, Madonna has clearly inspired many female artists.[29]

Ian Youngs of BBC News explained that "her influence on others has come as much from her image as her music, with her no-nonsense, boundary-pushing persona showing other artists what could be achieved".[14] Rolling Stone concluded that we can see "her influence in the recent generations of artists who have picked up some of her moves and have been influenced by her style".[1] World Music Awards declared that Madonna "inspired every struggling young singer/actor/dancer with a dream".[13] In a general perspective, T. Cole Rachel of Pitchfork said that "it is not hyperbole to say that Madonna profoundly influenced the ways in which an entire generation of people thought about music, fashion, and—in particular—sex".[30]

Madonna's influence on pop stars has been the subject of much analysis and scrutiny. When Time magazine included her in the list of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century", they pointed that "every pop star of the last two to three decades has Madonna to thank in some part for his or her success".[31] Similar thoughts were from Mary Cross, who wrote in her book Madonna: a biography that "her influence on pop music is undeniable and far reaching". Also, she explained that new pop icons owe Madonna a debt of thanks for the template she forged, "combining provocative sexiness and female power in her image, music, and lyrics".[32] Author Kimberly Potts said: "No other female pop star in history has had the musical, music video, concert tour, and fashion influence that Madonna has had, and continues to have, in the past three —continuining into a fourth— deacade".[15] Editor Erik Thompson from City Pages expressed that "any current pop-tartlet that denies that Madonna is an influence or an inspiration to them is either lying or simply ignorant of music history.[33] magazine staff from Televisa, commented:

Madonna's influence on pop music stars is undeniable, from the music to the sets or outfits, all can see that the "Queen of Pop" has been the model for the current stars of world music firmament.[3]

"What female pop star hasn’t been influenced by the Material Girl?". She set the standard for what a solo female artist can be. Since she burst onto the music scene, there really had not been a female pop artist as big as Madonna, and I don’t think there has been since.

—Laura Rosenfeld from North by Northwestern.[34]

Biographer Fouz-Hernández explained that female pop performers such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kylie Minogue, the Spice Girls, Destiny's Child, Jennifer Lopez and Pink were like "Madonna's daughters in the very direct sense that they grew up listening to and admiring Madonna, and decided they wanted to be like her".[35] Ottawa Sun editor Aedan Helmer wrote: "It would be easy to quantify her influence by the generations of pop stars created and groomed in her self-made image —without Madonna, the 'Britneys' and 'Katys' of the world simply wouldn’t exist".[18] Merely Me from website HealthCentral expressed that "there would be no Britney Spears or Lady Gaga without Madonna". She also wrote that "her influence is seen in the fashion, style and songs of many of the female pop stars of today".[36] As Helmer and Merely Me, Rick Florino from Artist Direct felt:

You can't think of modern pop music without thinking about her. There would be no Britney, no Christina, no Pussycat Dolls and no Lady Gaga without her. From the second that she burst onto the scene in the early '80s, her presence has permeated almost every facet of pop. Her influence is everywhere, and she's not going anywhere either.[8]

Madonna in 2015.

Authors also compared Madonna's influence with other contemporary artists and praised her longevity, especially in the context in which she thrived because when she emerged in the 80's, almost the top artists in the world were men and bands, but after her, almost all would be female singers.[5][6] Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum said: "There was no one like her before".[7] Retrospectively, Gillian Branstetter from The Daily Dot felt that even with other female artists in scene, Madonna reached a superstar status unrivaled by any of her colleagues. She said that "Madonna is the only performer still standing of the Generation X".[5] Helmer from Ottawa Sun named her "the most vital performer of her generation".[18]

Writing for MSNBC in August 2008, Tony Sclafani felt that "her influence on pop music has outshone that of the Beatles".[6] Editor Art Tavana from website Death & Taxes (owned by Prometheus Global Media) compared the singer with Michael Jackson and said that "Madonna’s overall impact on pop culture far outweighs that of Jackson" and explained that artists like Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Usher were influenced by Jackson more than her, but "almost everyone else is a reductive reissue of Madonna". Author continues and said that other artists are more influenced by Madonna than any other artist past or present.[11] In his 2008 article, Craig Takeuchi from The Georgia Straight compared the influence since the 1980 years between Madonna and Janet Jackson and commented that with her personality, Madonna "went far further with it than anyone else did or ever has". Takeuchi explained that "she was at her most influential whenever she relied on her instincts".[37]


Media attention[edit]

Shakira, who has been called a "Latin Madonna", an honorific nickname used by the media to describe extraordinarily successful artists

Many artists have been inspired by and compared to Madonna. Is common to see critics lists naming artists influenced by her. The Daily Telegraph's William Langley wrote that she is permanent fixture on every list of "world's most powerful/admired/influential women".[38] Also, naming "Madonna" to other performers became in a honorific nickname adopted by the international media. Generally are artists heavily influenced by her and some examples can be the "Mexican Madonna" (Selena, Yuri or Gloria Trevi),[39] the "Latin Madonna" (Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Thalía, Paulina Rubio or Shakira),[40] or the "Black Madonna" (Rihanna and Beyoncé).[41][A]

Several of those artists who have been inspired heavily by Madonna are known by the press as "the heirs of Madonna" or her "musical daughters".[35][42] For example, in 2013 MTV Latin America makes a call vote What is the heir to the queen of pop?.[43][35][44] Rolling Stone cited of Britney to Lady Gaga, passing by Rihanna and Christina.[45] Named "the modern day Madonna" by Guinness World Records,[46] some authors have referred to Britney Spears as the "heir" of Madonna,[47] and others like Us Weekly Staff said her heir "apparent" is Lady Gaga.[48] Among them, Madonna's influence was most notable in Spears, who has been called "her protégé".[49] In her case, Gwen Stefani responded that "some people say that I copy her. But show me one girl my age who was not influenced by her."[50] She has been referred to as "the new Madonna" by publications such as The Hollywood Reporter and People.[51]

Ann Powers from NPR Music commented that "Madonna, is doing turning the world's attention to her heirs."[52] Paul Rees, editor of Q magazine felt that "Madonna is aware of the influence she has on the heirs to her crown, but does not rate them highly".[14] Argentine journalist Rodrigo Fresán said: "We think of the Madonnas that to come as we think on science fiction that is becoming less fiction and allow ourselves to imagine Madonna's clones."[53]

Impact and response[edit]

"With Madonna something happens that is unparalleled in the music and popular culture generally. She is her own current. Madonna ends inevitably present in the lives of almost all the singers in the world, either at the beginning or end of the race, She is the source of inspiration and goal to conquer".

—Juan Restrepo from Yahoo! about Madonna and her impact on music. According to him, "All roads lead to Madonna".[10]

Madonna is often called "the most admired or influential female performer of all-time", by authors, critics, the public and academics alike.[13][14][15][16] She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as one of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, and other people who have in some major way influenced the music industry.[54] However, when was announced as the Billboard's 2016 Woman of the Year, Janice Min said that the singer "is one of a minuscule number of super-artists whose influence and career transcend music".[55]

Telcel company named her "the most influential female artist" and explained that "since her appearance on the music scene in 1983, no artist has called more the attention that Madonna".[4] Sclafani explained that a quarter century after Madonna emerged, "artists still use her ideas and seem modern and edgy doing so".[6] According to BET, Madonna is recognized by many as "the most successful and influential woman in American music history,[56] with Branstetter saying that her influence on American pop music "is almost smothering in its totality".[5]

More than any other female singer in history, Madonna is cited as the artist that paved the way for virtually every female musician,[57][34] and the artist that changed the role of women in music.[11] Branstetter wrote that in this way, "Madonna fundamentally altered all that comes after her and nearly embarrassing all that came before".[5] Authors Laura Barcella and Jessica Valenti felt that she "changed everything the musical landscape".[58]

Kramer also commented: "Today's more-flamboyant female pop stars enjoy the freedom to make music and perform the way they do, but they didn't create that freedom. Madonna did the moving and shaking when she burst onto the pop-music charts in the early '80s". He further asserted that "Madonna and the career she carved out for herself made possible virtually every other female pop singer to follow... She certainly raised the standards of all of them... She redefined what the parameters were for female performers".[7]

Influenced by Madonna[edit]


Rihanna has named Madonna as her idol and biggest influence, and she is known as "Black Madonna".[41]
Beyoncé said that Madonna inspired her to take control of her own career.
Britney Spears cited Madonna a major influence on her. Was called "the modern day Madonna" by Guinness World Records.
Paulina Rubio has cited Madonna saying, "I am inspired by her warrior spirit.".
Taylor Swift has cited Madonna's constant reinvention of her image as inspirational. She is known as the "Madonna of our generation".[59]
Adele cited Madonna as the main inspiration behind the 25 album alongside her motherhood.

To ensure the highest level of fact checking, all artists included on this list have sources came from reliable entertainment media references such as Billboard or Rolling Stone and other magazines, as well news organizations. References with list of artists influenced by Madonna or profile's biographies like AllMusic are acceptable only if written by authoritative authors, like Stephen Thomas Erlewine's AllMusic.

There is only artists that sources demonstrates an "inspiration" or "influence" from Madonna in their careers or in one part of their work. Sources that provides artists saying only that wants to be like Madonna, compared to her, collaborate with her or likes her music doesn't constitutes an inclusion.


Responses from artists[edit]

"She has left her landmark in music and fashion in every era. In the 80s, in the 90s. And she has succeeded —what I think Michael Jackson has failed to do— to still be relevant in the 2000s working with Mirwais and Stuart Price. I’m more a fan of those albums than the ones she released when she started. And THAT is impressive to me"

Martin Solveig about Madonna.[291]

The following are some comments made by artists who have been inspired by Madonna. They recognize the importance of Madonna in their careers and the entertainment industry. The O2 website explained that "artists aren’t afraid to admit their admiration for her".[292]

In 2009, Justin Timberlake recognizes that "her mighty influence seems to have subconsciously seeped into the videos of some of today’s biggest stars too".[293] In 2014, rapper Kanye West declared her as "the Greatest Visual Musical Artist Of All Time" during his commentaries on popular culture and the Madonna's influence on the industry.[294] Her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie admitted: "Madonna completely changed his life" because "it catapulted him into the public eye".[131]

  • Rihanna has named Madonna as her idol and biggest influence, and said she wants to be "the Black Madonna". Also, she commented: "I think that Madonna was a great inspiration for me, especially on my earlier work. If I had to examine her evolution through time, I think she reinvented her clothing style and music with success every single time. And at the same time remained a real force in entertainment in the whole world".[243]
Katy Perry one of the best known artists influenced by Madonna.
  • Lady Gaga, who was known in the beginning of her career as "the Next Madonna",[295] explained: "The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago" in addition to commenting that "there is really no one that is a more adoring and loving Madonna fan than me. I am the hugest fan personally and professionally".[187]
  • Britney Spears she is quoted saying in Madonnastyle by Carol Clerk,: "I have been a huge fan of Madonna since I was a little girl. She's the person that I've really looked up to. I would really, really like to be a legend like Madonna".[296] She cites Madonna as a strong influence on her career.[297]
  • Katy Perry has cited Madonna as an influence more than once. Her film Katy Perry: Part of Me was largely influenced by Madonna's 1991 film Madonna: Truth or Dare.[167] She also said that wants to be like Madonna.[168]
  • Beyoncé has credited to Madonna because she inspired her to take control of her own career.[93]
  • Miley Cyrus revealed that wants to be "the Next Madonna" and said that she always reinvents herself, and that's what I want to do.[210][211][212]
Kylie Minogue has cited Madonna as one of her biggest influences. She is known as the "New Madonna".
  • Nicki Minaj credits Madonna as a major influence on her career.[222] She stated to Ryan Seacrest in 2012: "Meeting Madonna changed my life. Working with Madonna changed my life".[298]
  • Christina Aguilera has named Madonna as one of her biggest influences "for being re-inventive and being brave as a strong female, to explore whatever, even if they do get bad press. It's just like they were fearless."[299]
  • Kylie Minogue has been inspired by and compared to Madonna throughout her career.[184] Minogue has said of Madonna: "Her huge influence on the world, in pop and fashion, meant that I wasn't immune to the trends she created. I admire her greatly but in the beginning she made it difficult for artists like me, she had done everything there was to be done ...",[300] and "Madonna's the Queen of Pop, I'm the princess. I'm quite happy with that."[301]
  • Avril Lavigne confessed want to be "the New Madonna". She added: "I want to be around the way Madonna has done it. She's had her life but still maintained her career throughout".[79]
  • Jessica Simpson when confessed that was accidentally influenced by Madonna's "Holiday", she admitted that Madonna "did influence me and still does today. I hope to have the longevity of her career".[149]
  • Dita Von Teese give credits to Madonna "for inspiring her to be individual". Also, she said "with helping her feel comfortable with her looks as a youngster".[116]
  • Brittany Murphy confessed that Madonna had a quote: "I’m going to change the world". She later said that "was a huge inspiration to me so I decided I was going to be my own version of Madonna when I grew up".[97]
  • Alizée cited to Madonna in many times as one of her biggest influence. In 2008, she declared: "The only my thing left is meet Madonna and singing with her". In 2010, said "Madonna is a singer who I greatly admire her talent and career. Instead, by Lady Gaga I feel not that admiration, sometimes I think that falls into the ridiculous, "I think Madonna does cause and does so with elegance, an element that is missing in Gaga".[69][70]
  • Paulina Rubio, who is best-knows as "the Latin Madonna", cited Madonna as influence in several occasions. For example, by her seventh studio album Ananda she revealed when that things in change, think of Madonna, whom she admires for her ability to evolve over time.[231][232]

See also[edit]



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