They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates artists’ special days with other people singing their songs. After all, why should they have to do the work? It’s their birthday!
Madonna turns 52 today. She’s in great shape for her age. Amazingly great shape. Disturbingly great shape. You don’t want to pick a fight with those biceps. Yeesh.
Man-muscles aside, the woman’s packed her five decades pretty full. The second best-selling female artists in the U.S. (after Barbra Streisand), she’s had 36 top-ten singles and collectively her albums have gone platinum 300 times over. Madonna’s influence spreads far beyond sales figures though. Not since Elvis first shook his hips has an artist’s sexuality caused more hand-wringing about the decline of civilized society. Even today, she’s still pushing buttons with crucifix besmirching and lesbian be-smooching. Your grandpa may not know the lyrics to a single Madonna song, but chances are he has an opinion about her.
To honor the hit machine/provocateur, we’ve collected five of our favorite Madonna covers. The Dynamics stretch out “Music” to an eight minute soul rave while Picturehouse moans his way through an acoustic “Papa Don’t Preach.” Meanwhile, the Chapin Sisters bring their three-part harmonies to “Borderline,” the Enemy gives us a cabaret piano “Hung Up,” and the Meat Purveyors bounce through a bluegrass medley, mandolin solo and all. Great stuff for a great artist. Happy birthday, Madge!