Shine your heavenly body tonight :: VOTD

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Lucky Star :: Madonna
from the album, Madonna
Directed by Arthur Pierson

Lucky Star is a song by American pop singer Madonna from her debut studio album of the same name. Originally released in the United Kingdom on September 8, 1983, by Sire Records, it was the fourth single from the album. The song also appears on her hits compilations The Immaculate Collection (1990) and Celebration (2009). Lucky Star was written by Madonna and produced by Reggie Lucas. However, during recording, Madonna was not impressed by Lucas’ version. She called her then boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez to remix the track according to her ideas. Lucky Star is a medium-paced dance track and combines the heavy beats of a drum with the sounds of a guitar played in a high riff. The lyrics juxtapose the male body with the heavenly stars in the sky.

Both contemporary and modern critics praised the song, heralding it as the introduction to upbeat dance music. Lucky Star became Madonna’s first top-five hit on the Billboard Hot 100, when it reached the peak position of four, becoming the first single in her record-breaking string of 16 consecutive top-ten hits. It had already become Madonna’s first number-one song on the Billboard dance charts, when it peaked the chart alongside the previously released single Holiday.

The music video portrayed Madonna dancing in front of a white background, accompanied by her dancers. After the video was released, Madonna’s style and mannerisms became a fashion trend among the younger generation. Scholars noted that in the video, Madonna portrayed herself as narcissistic and an ambiguous character. She referred to herself as the lucky star, unlike the lyrical meaning of the song. Madonna has performed the song in a number of live appearances, most recently at the Confessions Tour (2006). It has also been covered by a number of artists.

As the first single from the album, Lucky Star went nowhere, but was successfully re-released six months later after Holiday became a hit.

The success the second time around was largely because of the video, which MTV put in hot rotation. It was commissioned by Jeff Ayeroff, who was an executive at Madonna’s label, Warner Bros. Ayeroff said in the book I Want My MTV: “I made Lucky Star for $14,000 with a friend who was a pot grower from Bolinas, California (Arthur Pierson). We’d released Everybody, Burning Up, Holiday and Borderline as singles. And Madonna didn’t want to release Lucky Star. Around the same time, she was getting sued and needed money. I said, “Let me release Lucky Star, and I guarantee you’ll sell enough records to pay that off. Lucky Star broke the first album wide open.”

The lyrics  are said to be based on a nursery rhyme: “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…”


The video (see above) introduced Madonna’s “Thrift Store” look. Sporting lots of big, colorful accessories, fans who became known as “Madonna-Wannabes” started dressing like her. This look became an icon of 80’s culture.
Editor’s Note: In 1983, I was friend with two identical twin girls. One was completely obsessed with Prince, and dressed similarly to the way he did – long purple coats, hair long and permed, tights and boots – she was his female doppleganger. Her sister was equally obsessed with Madonna, and styled her look to suit the video to this song. I borrowed her look sometimes, too, trading black rubber bracelets and mesh tee shirts, when we went dancing and Studio-K and Cloud-9, the all-ages clubs at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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