Readers' Poll: The Best Madonna Songs of All Time - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The Best Madonna Songs of All Time

Your picks include ‘Ray of Light,’ ‘Borderline,’ and ‘Vogue’


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Madonna's 12th studio album, MDNA, hit stores last Tuesday. It's the first step in a new phase of the singer's career: she is now signed to an all-encompassing deal with concert promotion giant Live Nation, and it's her first record release outside Warner Brothers Records.

While the singer's future success is uncertain, there is no doubt that she has built up one of the most astonishing careers in the history of the music industry, with a deep catalog of hits that have changed the course of pop music. We asked you to name your favorite Madonna songs and we compiled the results as this Top 10 list. Click through to find out what you picked.

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5. ‘Live to Tell’

"Live to Tell," written by Madonna and frequent collaborator Patrick Leonard, is arguably the singer's finest and most distinctive ballad. The song, which deals with her complicated relationship with her parents and her struggle to trust others, is as cutting as it is melancholic.

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4. ‘Borderline’

"Borderline," the fifth single from Madonna's debut album, was her first Top 10 hit. The tune, one of her most harmonically complex hits, remains a radio staple. She has distanced herself from the song somewhat, though she did perform a punk version of it on her Sticky and Sweet tour in 2008.

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3. ‘Ray of Light’

Before "Ray of Light" came along, it seemed as though Madonna was about to fade into a career of European dance hits and adult contemporary ballads. The song, written by the singer with producer William Orbit, revitalized her career and proved that she could still deliver a major dance hit with an emotional punch that was often missing from her earliest hits.

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2. ‘Vogue’

Madonna looked to underground drag culture as inspiration for "Vogue," one of her biggest and most iconic hits. As always, she was very far ahead of the curve; current shows like Ru Paul's Drag Race are bringing the drag subculture into the mainstream two decades after this hit.

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1. ‘Like a Prayer’

Madonna has always looked to her Catholic upbringing for inspiration and as a target for rebellion, but "Like a Prayer" is the most overtly religious hit of her career, from the song to the imagery of its video. She tapped into something powerful here – to this day, it remains one of her most resonant and defining hits.

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