Papa Don't Preach
|"Papa Don't Preach"|
|Single by Madonna|
|from the album True Blue|
|Released||June 11, 1986|
|Madonna singles chronology|
"Papa Don't Preach" is a song by American singer Madonna from her third studio album True Blue (1986). The song was written by Brian Elliot with additional lyrics by Madonna, who produced it with Stephen Bray. The song also appears remixed on the 1990 compilation album The Immaculate Collection and in its original form on the 2009 compilation album Celebration. The song's musical style combines pop and classical styling, and its lyrics deal with teenage pregnancy and abortion. It was based on teen gossip Elliot heard outside his studio, which has a large front window that doubles as a mirror where schoolgirls from the North Hollywood High School in Los Angeles regularly stopped to fix their hair and chat.
Released as the album's second single in mid-1986, the song was a commercial success. It became Madonna's fourth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and performed well internationally, reaching the top position in the United Kingdom and Australia. It was well received by music critics and was frequently cited as a highlight in the album. The music video, directed by James Foley, shows Madonna's second image makeover, featuring her with a more toned and muscular body, and cropped platinum blonde hair. It portrayed a storyline where Madonna is trying to tell her father about her pregnancy. The images are juxtaposed with shots of Madonna dancing and singing in a small, darkened studio, and spending a romantic evening with her boyfriend.
Shortly after its release, the song caused heated discussions about its lyrical content. Women's organizations and others in the family planning field criticized Madonna for encouraging teenage pregnancy, while groups opposed to abortion saw the song as having a positive pro-life message. Madonna has performed "Papa Don't Preach" in four of her world tours, most recently The MDNA Tour in 2012. The song also caused her first conflict with the Vatican, as she dedicated it to Pope John Paul II, who urged Italian fans to boycott her concerts during the Who's That Girl World Tour in 1987. In 2002, British singer Kelly Osbourne recorded a hard rock cover of the song which was included as a bonus track on her debut album Shut Up.
- 1 Writing and inspiration
- 2 Composition
- 3 Critical response
- 4 Chart performance
- 5 Music video
- 6 Live performances
- 7 Cover versions
- 8 Legacy
- 9 Track listing and formats
- 10 Credits and personnel
- 11 Charts
- 12 Certifications
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Writing and inspiration
During the autumn of 1985, Madonna started writing and recording songs for her third studio album, True Blue. She brought back Steve Bray and hired a new producer, Patrick Leonard, to help her on the album. The album's first track "Papa Don't Preach", was written by Brian Elliot, who described it as "a love song, maybe framed a little bit differently". The song is based on teen gossip he heard outside his studio, which has a large front window that doubles as a mirror where schoolgirls from the North Hollywood High School in Los Angeles regularly stopped to fix their hair and chat. The song was sent to Madonna by Michael Ostin, the same Warner Bros. executive that discovered "Like a Virgin". Madonna only contributed with some additional lyrics, making "Papa Don't Preach" the only song on the album that she did not have a strong hand in writing. In 2009, during an interview with Rolling Stone Madonna was asked by the interviewer Austin Scaggs as to why the theme of the song was meaningful to her. She replied saying,
[The song] just fit right in with my own personal zeitgeist of standing up to male authorities, whether it's the pope, or the Catholic Church or my father and his conservative, patriarchal ways. ... For 'Papa Don't Preach' there were so many opinions – that's why I thought it was so great. Is she for 'schma-smortion', as they say in Knocked Up? Is she against abortion?
A 27 second sample from "Papa Don't Preach", featuring Madonna singing in a pleading voice, with a backing track that combines pop and classical music.
Problems playing this file? See media help.
"Papa Don't Preach" is a dance-pop song with instrumentation from acoustic, electric, and rhythm guitars, keyboards, and string arrangements. It is set in common time, and moves at a moderate tempo of 116 beats per minute. The song is written in the key of F minor. The combination of key and tempo produces a disjuncture between pop and classical rhythms, underlined by the instrumentation during the introduction.
The song begins with a distinctly Vivaldian style, as the fast tempo and classical-style chord progression anticipates the lyrics to follow. The opening chords and the melody emphasize the tonic of the leading notes: Fm–E♭–D♭–Cm–D♭–E♭–Fm–D♭–E♭–Fm, resembling a Baroque work. This is followed by the sound of dance music, produced by a powerful beat from the instruments. Madonna's vocal range spans from F3 to C5, and has a different sound from her previous work, more mature, centered, and with a lower range.
The lyrics show Madonna's interest in her Roman Catholic upbringing, as the song theme is about a girl who admits to her father that she is pregnant and refuses to have an abortion or give up the baby for adoption despite what her friends are telling her to do. It is constructed in a verse-chorus form, with a bridge before the third and final chorus. At the beginning, she addresses her father directly, asking him to talk to her as an adult, "You should know by now that I'm not a baby". The transition to the chorus employs a more dramatic voice with a higher range, ending nearly in cries as she sings the word "Please". Leading to the chorus, Madonna switches to a pleading voice, singing the song's main hook in a high tone. During the bridge, the song features a Spanish-inspired rhythm, one of the earliest examples of the influence that Hispanic music had on Madonna's musical style.
"Papa Don't Preach" was lauded by pop music critics. Davitt Sigerson from Rolling Stone magazine in a review of the album True Blue said that if there is a problem with the album "it's the lack of outstanding songs", adding that "only the magnificent 'Papa Don't Preach' has the high-profile hook to match 'Like a Virgin', 'Dress You Up' and 'Material Girl'." In its review of True Blue, Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that "she is using the music to hook in critics just as she's baiting a mass audience with such masterstrokes as 'Papa Don't Preach'." Robert Christgau in a review for The Village Voice felt that "she [Madonna] doesn't speak for the ordinary teenaged stiff any more", adding that the "antiabortion content of 'Papa Don't Preach' isn't unequivocal, and wouldn't make the song bad by definition if it were, the ambiguity is a cop-out rather than an open door, which is bad."
Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine said that "with songs like 'Papa Don't Preach', Madonna made the transition from pop tart to consummate artist, joining the ranks of 80s icons like Michael Jackson and Prince." David Browne from Entertainment Weekly in a review of her first compilation album The Immaculate Collection, commented that "in theory a 30-ish urban sophisticate singing in the voice of a pregnant teen, sounds ridiculous", but added that "with the help of collaborators like Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard, though, turns into a perfectly conceived pop record". In 2005, the same magazine placed the song at number 486 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". In 1987, the song was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 29th Grammy Awards, but lost to Barbra Streisand's The Broadway Album.
"Papa Don't Preach" was released in the United States in June 1986. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 42 and, within eight weeks of release, reached the top of the chart, making it Madonna's fourth number-one single in the US. It maintained the top position for two weeks and spent 18 weeks on the chart. It also reached a peak of four on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart and a peak of number 16 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In October 1998, the single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of a million copies of the single. It placed at position 29 for the Billboard Year-End chart for 1986. In Canada the song debuted at number 53 of the RPM singles chart on July 5, 1986, reached the top for two weeks in August 1986, and stayed on the chart for 20 weeks. It placed at position 13 on the RPM Year-End chart for 1986.
In the United Kingdom, "Papa Don't Preach" was released on June 16, 1986. The song debuted at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart before climbing to number one two weeks later. It then spent three consecutive weeks at the top, stayed 15 weeks on the chart, and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in August 1986 for shipment of 500,000 copies of the single. According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 650,700 copies in the UK by August 2016.
Across Europe, "Papa Don't Preach" was successful, topping the Eurochart Hot 100 for 11 weeks. It reached the top position of the singles charts in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, and Norway, and peaked inside the top five in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
For the music video, Madonna sported a complete image makeover. She changed the heavy jewelry and make-up, and adopted the gamine look, which is notably applied to describe the style and appearance that Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn used during the 1950s. In the video Madonna played a tomboy, dressed in jeans, a black leather jacket, and a slogan T-shirt with the caption "Italians do it better". The video alternated between tomboy shots and those of a sexier Madonna with a more toned and muscular body, cropped platinum blonde hair, and figure-revealing clothing, consisting of a 1960s-style black bustier top and capri pants.
The video was directed by James Foley, who worked with Madonna in her music video for "Live to Tell", produced by David Naylor and Sharon Oreck, and Michael Ballhaus was in charge of the photography. The video was shot on location over three days in Staten Island, New York and Manhattan. Staten Island was chosen on Foley's suggestion as it was where he grew up: "We talked about wanting to tap into a working-class environment, because by that time she had done 'Material Girl' and 'Like a Virgin' and other stuff that was very glamorous and stylized. She wanted to do something a bit more grounded and 'drama'." Actor Alex McArthur was signed to play Madonna's boyfriend and the father of her child in the video. Madonna had spotted McArthur in a small role as a naive youth in the 1985 film Desert Hearts, and she thought he was a natural to play her mechanic boyfriend. "I was out in the garage working on my Harley," said McArthur, "I answered the phone and a voice said, 'Hi, this is Madonna. I would like you to be in my next video.'"
The music video starts with shots of the New York skyline, the Staten Island Ferry, and character close-ups. Madonna plays a teenager, who is seen walking along a lane. Then it shows her thinking about her father, played by Danny Aiello, and how much he loves her. She then sees her boyfriend, played by actor Alex McArthur, coming along. The images are juxtaposed with shots of Madonna dancing and singing in a small, darkened studio. Madonna then moves away from her friends, who warn her from her boyfriend. She and her boyfriend spend a romantic evening together on a barge where they reflect upon their lives after watching an elderly couple. Then Madonna finds out that she is pregnant and after much hesitation tells her father. They have a few hours of tension between them. Her father eventually accepts the pregnancy, and the final scene is a reconciliatory embrace between father and daughter.
Georges-Claude Guilbert, author of Madonna as Postmodern Myth, compared her look in the video as a "combination of Marilyn Monroe, Jean Seberg and Kim Novak." He added that it was hard for him to believe that "[Madonna] did not know that she was going to cause a huge controversy with the video ... With such a song and video, she was throwing in America's face the image of a country ravaged by the abortion debate, which is far from being resolved." Lynda Hart, one of the authors of Acting Out: Feminist Performances, felt that the video "alternated between two competing representations of Madonna ... Charging coercion, both sides make the video as an invitation to a certain way of life, in the process denying it the stylistic invocation of a rhetoric of self-authorization." At the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, the "Papa Don't Preach" video won the Best Female Video award, and was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Overall Performance.
Madonna has performed the song on four of her world tours. She premiered the song in 1987, during her Who's That Girl World Tour, where she danced around the stage wearing a white Spanish-style dress designed by Marlene Stewart, and a black leather jacket similar to the one she used in the music video. The screen in the background showed portraits of Pope John Paul II and then-President of the US Ronald Reagan, along with scenes of John Perry III's short film, The Nightmare, ending with the words "Safe Sex", as Madonna finished the song. She dedicated the song to the Pope, marking her first conflict with the Vatican, as Pope John Paul II urged Italian fans to boycott her concerts. Two different performances of the song on this tour can be found on the videos: Who's That Girl: Live in Japan, filmed in Tokyo, Japan, on June 22, 1987, and Ciao Italia: Live from Italy, filmed in Turin, Italy, on September 4, 1987.
Three years later on her Blond Ambition World Tour in 1990, Madonna evoked Catholic images during the "Papa Don't Preach" performance. She wore a black kaftan made of chiffon and energetically danced, accompanied by six male dancers, with a platform full of votive candles in the background. Two different performances were taped and released on video, the Blond Ambition Japan Tour 90, taped in Yokohama, Japan, on April 27, 1990, and the Blond Ambition World Tour Live, taped in Nice, France, on August 5, 1990.
In 2004, during the Re-Invention World Tour, Madonna performed the song wearing a Scottish kilt, and a T-shirt that said "Kabbalists do it Better" on most of the shows, and "Brits do it Better" and "Irish do it Better" T-shirts during the shows in the United Kingdom and Ireland, reminiscent of the one she used in the song's music video. Madonna also performed a shorter, abbreviated version of "Papa Don't Preach" in the MDNA Tour in 2012. Wearing a black tight outfit, Madonna sang the song while crawling around on the ground, then towards the end of the performance, several dancers wearing military clothing and animal masks surrounded and tied her up and took her to the main stage, giving way to the next performance, "Hung Up".
"Papa Don't Preach" has been covered by numerous artists. In 1986, "Weird Al" Yankovic included the song as the last in his polka meldey "Polka Party!" from his album of the same name. In 2002, British singer Kelly Osbourne recorded a hard rock cover of the song with Incubus members Mike Einziger (on guitar) and José Pasillas (on drums); the cover was produced by her brother Jack Osbourne. Osbourne's cover was included as a bonus track on her debut album Shut Up and on the soundtrack of MTV's reality television program The Osbournes.
The song was released in the United Kingdom on September 2002, peaking at number three. In the rest of Europe, the song peaked inside the top ten in Ireland and Finland, and the top twenty in Sweden. In Australia the song debuted at number three, and received a platinum certification by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). This version was panned by music critics, who thought that the cover "makes precisely zero sense", and that it "reeks of opportunism", also criticizing Incubus' collaboration, describing it as "unimaginative", and that "their presence makes the whole mess barely distinguishable".
French group Mad'House made an Eurodance cover of the song, that was included on their 2002 album Absolutely Mad. Covers of the song on tribute albums include Brook Barros on The Music of Madonna, released in 2005, and a jazz version on Bo. Da's Plays Madonna in Jazz, released in 2007. The song has been sampled at the beginning of Mario Winans' 2004 single "Never Really Was", and a slowed-down version by Keshia Chanté sample the song in the 2006 single "Fallen". In 2001, Picturehouse released a quiet acoustic cover on the first Even Better Than the Real Thing covers album. Dianna Agron from the television show Glee released an acoustic cover of the songs as her character Quinn Fabray, a pregnant teenager, in 2009.
As the song's popularity increased in the United States, so did the criticism and support it received from groups concerned with pregnancy and abortion. In July 1986, shortly after the release of the video for "Papa Don't Preach", Madonna commented on the controversy surrounding the song, to music critic Stephen Holden from The New York Times:
Papa Don't Preach" is a message song that everyone is going to take the wrong way. Immediately they're going to say I am advising every young girl to go out and get pregnant. When I first heard the song, I thought it was silly. But then I thought, wait a minute, this song is really about a girl who is making a decision in her life. She has a very close relationship with her father and wants to maintain that closeness. To me it's a celebration of life. It says, 'I love you, father, and I love this man and this child that is growing inside me'. Of course, who knows how it will end? But at least it starts off positive.
People who criticized the song's message included Ellen Goodman, a national syndicated columnist, who called the video "a commercial for teenage pregnancy". Feminist lawyer Gloria Allred, the spokeswoman of the National Organization for Women (NOW), angrily called for Madonna to make a public statement or another record supporting the opposite point of view. Alfred Moran, the executive director of Planned Parenthood of New York City, also criticized the song, fearing that it would undermine efforts to promote birth control among adolescents and that it would encourage teenage pregnancy. Recalling how his agency's clinics were filled in 1985 with girls wearing clothes that were an imitation of Madonna's style, Moran said that the song's message is "that getting pregnant is cool and having the baby is the right thing and a good thing and don't listen to your parents, the school, anybody who tells you otherwise—don't preach to me, Papa. The reality is that what Madonna is suggesting to teenagers is a path to permanent poverty."
In contrast, groups opposed to abortion saw "Papa Don't Preach" as a positive, pro-life song. Susan Carpenter-McMillan, the president of the California chapter of Feminists for Life (FFL) in the US, said that "abortion is readily available on every street corner for young women. Now what Madonna is telling them is, hey, there's an alternative." Tipper Gore, a founder of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), who a year earlier denounced Madonna for the sexual lyrical content of her single "Dress You Up", and had led a campaign against explicit content in music, commended Madonna for speaking candidly about such a serious subject and important social issue. When speaking of the song, Gore said "the song speaks to a serious subject with a sense of urgency and sensitivity in both the lyrics and Madonna's rendition. It also speaks to the fact that there's got to be more support and more communication in families about this problem, and anything that fosters that I applaud." 
The song's writer, Brian Elliot, commented about the debate: "I just wanted to make this girl in the song a sympathetic character. As a father myself, I'd want to be accessible to my children's problems." Madonna avoided the controversy, and did not comment on the song's use as a pro-life statement. Her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said that "she [Madonna] is singing a song, not taking a stand", adding that "her philosophy is people can think what they want to think." Danny Aiello, having appeared in the video as the titular "Papa", recorded "Papa Wants the Best for You" later that year, an answer song written by Artie Schroeck from the father's point of view.
Track listing and formats
Credits and personnel
- Brian Elliot – Music and lyrics
- Madonna – additional lyrics, producer, lead vocals
- Stephen Bray – producer, synth bass, percussion, drums, keyboards
- Reggie Lucas – producer of "Ain't No Big Deal"
- David Williams – rhythm guitar
- Bruce Gaitsch – electric guitar
- John Putnam – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
- Fred Zarr – additional keyboards
- Johnathan Moffett – percussion
- Billy Meyers – string arrangement
- Siedah Garrett – background vocals
- Edie Lehmann – background vocals
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
Kelly Osbourne version
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||34,410|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||651,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- List of Madonna tribute albums
- List of number-one singles in Australia during the 1980s
- List of RPM number-one singles of 1986
- List of European number-one hits of 1986
- List of number-one singles of 1986 (Ireland)
- List of number-one hits of 1986 (Italy)
- List of number-one singles (UK)
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1986 (U.S.)
- Cross 2007, pp. 40–41
- "'Papa Don't Preach' Stirs Teen Pregnancy Debate". St. Petersburg Times. Times Publishing Company. September 5, 1986. ISSN 1563-6291.
- "Gossip Composite". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo Corporation. September 18, 1986.
- Metz & Benson 1999, p. 48
- Scaggs, Austin (October 29, 2009). "Madonna Looks Back: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner.
- "Digital Sheet Music: Papa Don't Preach". Musicnotes. Alfred Publishing Co. Inc.
- Fouz-Hernández & Jarman-Ivens 2004, p. 61
- Bielen 1999, p. 151
- Sigerson, Davitt (July 17, 1986). "Madonna: True Blue: Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "True Blue > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Reviews: Madonna". Robert Christgau.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Cinquemani, Sal (2003). "American Idol: 20 Years of Madonna". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Browne, David (December 14, 1990). "Music Review: The Immaculate Collection (1990)". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Staff, Blender (April 1, 2009). "X and Y playlist: The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- Hunt, Dennis (January 9, 1987). "Grammy Nominations: Highs and Lows Winwood, Gabriel and Simon Garner Most Nominations". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- "Grammy Awards Winners: The Broadway Album". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- "The Billboard Hot 100: Week Ending June 28, 1986". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. June 28, 1986. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Madonna Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Madonna Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Madonna Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "American single certifications – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 14, 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- "Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 98 (52). December 27, 1986. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0695". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0710." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0856". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Top 100 Singles of '86". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. December 27, 1986. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Madonna: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "British single certifications – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 14, 2014. Enter Papa Don't Preach in the search field and then press Enter.
- Myers, Justin (August 16, 2016). "Open your chart to me... Madonna's Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Europarade". Hitkrant (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Nationale Hitkrant Productions. 10 (35). September 20, 1986. ISSN 0165-4942.
- "Ultratop.be – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Papa Don't Preach". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Madonna: Discografia Italiana" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. 1984–99. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". VG-lista. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Madonna" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Swisscharts.com – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Voller 1999, p. 24
- Clerk 2002, p. 62
- Mansour 2005, p. 352
- Metz & Benson 1999, p. 309
- Madonna (1990). The Immaculate Collection (VHS). Warner Music Vision.
- Johnston, Maura (February 24, 2015). "Papa Don't Preach: The Making of Madonna's 20 Greatest Music Videos". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- "Alex McArthur's Silent Sizzling in a Video with Madonna Has Women Crying 'Who's That?'". People. Time Inc. August 11, 1986. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Mitchell 2000, p. 15
- Guilbert 2002, p. 169
- Hart & Phelan 1993, p. 348
- "MTV Video Music Awards – 1987". MTV. MTV Networks. September 11, 1987. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
- Clerk 2002, p. 66
- Kogan, Rick (August 2, 1987). "Bombshell Madonna Certainly Can Wow 'Em". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- Goldstein, Patrick (July 26, 1987). "Pop Eye on Madonna". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- Kellner 1995, p. 276
- Farber, Jim (October 22, 2008). "When it comes to controversy on tour, Madonna's been down this road". Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
- "Madge through the years". USA Today. Gannett Company. October 15, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
- Madonna (1987). Who's That Girl: Live in Japan (VHS). Warner-Pioneer Japan.
- Phares, Heather. "Ciao Italia: Live in Italy (Video) > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- Madonna (1990). Blond Ambition Japan Tour 90 (VHS). Warner-Pioneer Japan.
- Madonna (1990). Blond Ambition World Tour Live (Laserdisc). Pioneer Artists.
- Gundersen, Edna (May 25, 2004). "Madonna: The mother of Reinvention". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- Fensterstock, Alison (October 28, 2012). "Thrills and chills from Madonna, in an epic set at the New Orleans Arena Saturday night". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Fiorillo, Victor (August 29, 2012). "Madonna Gets Booed by, Then Stuns Philadelphia". The Philly Post. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. "Parodies & Polkas". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Archived from the original on January 13, 2007. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Moss, Corey (April 29, 2002). "Kelly Osbourne's Ready For Her Closeup With 'Papa Don't Preach' Video". MTV (MTV Networks). Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Shut Up (Bonus Track) > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Osbourne Family Album > Album Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Artist Chart History: Kelly Osbourne". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Kelly Osbourne – Discography". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Kelly Osbourne – Papa Don't Preach (Song)". YLE. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Kelly Osbourne – Papa Don't Preach (Song)". Sverigetopplistan. August 22, 2002. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Kelly Osbourne – Papa Don't Preach (Song)". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Brunner, Rob (June 3, 2002). "Music Capsule Review: Papa Don't Preach". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Robinson, Peter (September 2, 2002). "Kelly Osbourne featuring Incubus : Papa Don't Preach". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- "Absolutely Mad > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "The Music of Madonna > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Plays Madonna in Jazz > Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "Single: Mario Winans – Never Really Was". CBBC. British Broadcasting Corporation. August 31, 2004. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "They Say Its Your Birthday Madonna". Cover Me Songs. August 9, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Caulfield, Keith (April 28, 2010). "Glee's 'Madonna' Powers To No. 1 On Billboard 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- Hart & Phelan 1993, p. 347
- "Music-Rock News & Notes". Los Angeles Daily News. MediaNews Group. September 12, 1986. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
- Singer 2002, p. 405
- Dullea, Georgia (September 18, 1986). "Madonna's New Beat is a Hit, but Song's Message Rankles". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- Denisoff 1988, p. 299
- Thompson 2007, p. 18
- Smith, Liz (October 22, 1986). "Papa Gets Second Chance In New Video". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 5E. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Papa Don’t Preach (US 7-inch Single liner notes). Madonna. Sire Records. 1986. 728660.
- Papa Don’t Preach (Japanese 7-inch Single liner notes). Madonna. Sire Records. 1986. 9205030.
- Papa Don’t Preach (International CD Video Single liner notes). Madonna. Sire Records. 1986. 9 25681-2.
- Papa Don’t Preach (US 12-inch Maxi Single liner notes). Madonna. Sire Records. 1986. 9204920.
- Papa Don’t Preach (European 12-inch Limited Single liner notes). Madonna. Sire Records. 1986. 020492.
- Papa Don’t Preach (Germany Re-issued CD Single liner notes). Madonna. Sire Records. 1986. 721986.
- True Blue (Liner notes). Madonna. Warner Bros. Records. 1986. 925442-2.
- DeKnock, Jan (August 22, 1986). "Madonna Preaches Her Message to Appreciative Worldwide Audience". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
- "Austriancharts.at – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Radio 2 – Top 30 van zaterdag 09 augustus 1986" (in Dutch). VRT Top 30. August 8, 1986. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- "Lescharts.com – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Madonna Chart History". RÚV. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Charts.org.nz – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach". Singles Top 100. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Jahreshitparaden 1986". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- "Annuale Rapports 1986". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- "Jaaroverzichten 1986". Dutch Top 40. Hung Medien (in Dutch). Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- "NZ Top 40 Year end 1986". RMNZ. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- "Top Annuali Singles: 1986" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- "Jahreshitparaden 1986". Swiss Music Charts. Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- "End Of Year Chart — Top 50 Singles of 1986". Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- "Dance Sales Singles/Albums 1986 (Top Dance Singles)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1986. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- "French single certifications – Madonna – Papa Don't Preach" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved December 14, 2014. Select MADONNA and click OK
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Charts. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- Myers, Justin (August 16, 2017). "Madonna's Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Bielen, Kenneth G. (1999). The Lyrics of Civility: Biblical Images and Popular Music Lyrics in American Culture. Routledge. ISBN 0-8153-3193-2
- Clerk, Carol (2002). Madonnastyle. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-8874-9
- Cross, Mary (2007). Madonna: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-33811-6
- Denisoff, R. Serge (1988). Inside MTV. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-88738-864-7
- Fouz-Hernández, Santiago; Jarman-Ivens, Freya (2004). Madonna's Drowned Worlds: New Approaches to Her Cultural Transformations. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0-7546-3372-1
- Guilbert, Georges-Claude (2002). Madonna As Postmodern Myth. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1408-1
- Hart, Lynda; Phelan, Peggy (1993). Acting Out: Feminist Performances. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-06479-7
- Kellner, Douglas (1995). Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity, and Politics Between the Modern and the Postmodern. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-10570-6
- Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2
- Metz, Allan; Benson, Carol (1999). The Madonna Companion: Two Decades of Commentary. Music Sales Group. ISBN 0-8256-7194-9
- Mitchell, Jolyon P. (2000). Visually Speaking: Radio and the Renaissance of Preaching. Westminster – John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-22244-7
- Singer, Jerome L. (2002). Handbook of Children and the Media. SAGE. ISBN 0-7619-1955-4
- Thompson, Graham (2007). American Culture in the 1980s. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-1910-0
- Voller, Debbi (1999). Madonna: The Style Book. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-7511-6