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WHEN were the terms "Queen of Pop" and "Madge" first used?


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Not that it really MATTERS, it's just interesting...

I always presumed Queen of Pop originated from the late 90s, but there seems to be reference of it in Rolling Stone magazine as early as 1985 which is way earlier than I thought.

Do you know who first coined this term, and was it BEFORE Michael Jackson became the self-proclaimed King of Pop? I'm also guessing The Royal Box is a play on this nickname? Or not? Obviously she acknowledged the name much later in her career (Dancing Queen on Confessions Tour etc.), but it's interesting to me it's been around for so long, and she was referred to as The Queen during the LAV era. :wow::wow::wow:

Regarding Madge, this was obviously coined by the British press and I thought this originated circa 2000 post-Guy Ritchie. However, I seem to recall an article I saw recently from one of the UK tabloids referring to her as Madge in the early 90s. So it could have originated even further back. Again which is strange as I thought it was reference to her age and move to London.

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Dunno for SURE about either of these but...

As far as I remember, it was SMASH HITS UK magazine who first called her "Madge" and it was in the late 80s.

I got that magazine every issue in those 86-90 Madonna hey-day years and their journalistic style throughout was tongue-in-cheek poking fun in a nice way. Madge was just a shortened version of Madonna that would be typical for English people to use for anyone in a jokey way - and then Australian soap "Neighbours" was HUGE during those years (top rated TV show consistently) and one of their characters was an older woman called Madge. So a bit of that was probably involved.

I always loved them calling her "Madge" - it was a kinda irreverent way of referring to someone who at the time was UBER COOL AND UBER FAMOUS. And as you know - IT STUCK!

Queen of Pop - I would say that term was likely used from mid 80s onwards. I must check old news reports and the like. Queen of Sleaze was used by the press here from the late 80s onwards for sure.

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And "Queen of Pop" would always just have been a loose term chosen by different press because it accurately described who Madonna was - unlike "King of Pop" which as we know, MJ decided HIMSELF he wanted as his "title" in the early 90s. Not that I'm saying it wasn't accurate either (he certainly was the biggest male pop star in the world at the time).

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SMASH HITS UK btw came up with all the Spice GIrls "nicknames" as far as I know too - Baby, Posh, Sporty, Ginger, Scary - they just used them in an article once or twice and then that was it. Influential magazine for sure.

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Really interesting, thanks Jamesy!

Madge was just a shortened version of Madonna that would be typical for English people to use for anyone in a jokey way - and then Australian soap "Neighbours" was HUGE during those years (top rated TV show consistently) and one of their characters was an older woman called Madge. So a bit of that was probably involved.

That would make sense, but strange that it stuck and is still being used today. And that THIS was the inspiration for the name. :ohmy:

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I remember during the Richard and Judy English Roses interview when Madonna asked WHY she was called Madge. They couldn't offer an explanation but Judy said it was short for Margaret, which confused Madonna even further!

Funny how these terms enter language without anyone knowing exactly where they came from and WHY.

SMASH HITS UK btw came up with all the Spice GIrls "nicknames" as far as I know too - Baby, Posh, Sporty, Ginger, Scary - they just used them in an article once or twice and then that was it. Influential magazine for sure.

This I was always confused about. I know that the names originated from Smash Hits like you said, but wondered why it stuck after all these years. After all, it was just one silly magazine article that coined the term (albeit an influential one among pre-teens) and they're still called these names 20 years on.

A few other things:

+ Interesting that Material Girl stuck but Boy Toy DIDN'T

+ Surprised that the press ran with Queen of Pop but never once referred to MJ as King of Pop during the 1980s until HE referred to himself using that name.

+ D-Listed tried to make VADGE happen but it didn't catch on :D

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"Queen of Pop" seems to be around since 89-90... "Madge" i've always assumed that it comes from her british era of the 00s... never imagined that somewhere in the 80s some people already called her "Madge"... thanks for the info Jamesy!

I must add on that list "QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE" from 2005 onwards :lol:

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I remember back in 1995, around the release of Something to remember, that somenone called her Queen of Pop during an interview and she smiled. Then, while she was still in London, people were calling her that.

That's what I recall reading.

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Oh and there is also "CULT LEADER" from her Kabbalah hardcore era during the 2004 Re-Invention Tour :lmao:

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I'm gonna have to have a nosey through my old cuttings to see what I can find about all of this.

Never thought too much about it before - but I remember laughing to myself when Madonna said on Letterman that she liked "Madge" cos someone told her it was short for "Your Majesty".

This term had definitely been around for years in Smash Hits and Majesty never figured in their sense of humour. :-)

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I remember back in 1984 there was an article in Dolly magazine about Madonna and it said she was the most likely woman to become the Queen of pop. By the end of 1985, she was known as the Queen of Pop and then later on, she was often mentioned as the "undisputed Queen of Pop" I love her being called that because it is the truth. Hate seeing them try to give that title to the latest flame of the month.

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"Queen of Pop" seems to be around since 89-90... "Madge" i've always assumed that it comes from her british era of the 00s... never imagined that somewhere in the 80s some people already called her "Madge"... thanks for the info Jamesy!

I just can't imagine her being referred to as MADGE when the Like A Prayer video was released or when Erotica dropped. Dancing in a frilly dress in the Love Profusion video perhaps :laugh: but NOT during the 80s/early 90s!

Perhaps because she was 30 when LAP was released and maybe was already seen as older as her contemporaries, even though she was only on her fourth album? As Jamesy said it's always been used as a term of endearment for the most part anyway so it's not really a diss or anything.

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Pretty sure 'queen of pop' and even Madge lol became said way more frequently and basically solidified after ROL/1998. After everything she went through 5 years prior (and everything she accomplished during the first 10 years of her career) once the epic critical and commercial comeback of ROL and Music happened the media etc..started to looked at her 'mistakes' and low points as ballsy, artistic and iconic vs. desperate, skanky and that she was over for good (which they positively did around '93'-'95). To this day NO one went through the daily public lashings that she endured during the early to mid 90s- only to come back 10 x stronger and finally get the respect she def. deserved years earlier. Thrilled she weathered it and "didn't have to die for people to start kissing her ass" lol(as she said during the Primetime Live interview in '95). Obviously there's still and will always be haters but it's most def. a 'given' by most that she's the queen of pop and one of the very few living legends. Most importantly she's still here to be aware of every second of it!

Far as MJ, almost 100% sure Liz Taylor was the first to call him that in late 80s or early 90s. After she said it, the media and public latched onto it.

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It's more just Smash Hits' tone - with everyone.

They always had some sort of shortened name for most everyone and a cheeky / irreverent attitude.

If they weren't calling her Madge it was always Mads or Maddy. MJ would've been Jacko.

I'm gonna dig out some old issues when I get a chance and see if I can find the first time it was "Madge" - but I remember laughing at the time thinking of Madge from Neighbours - just cos anything from Neighbours was EVERYWHERE amongst kids / teenagers in the late 80s.

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SMASH HITS UK btw came up with all the Spice GIrls "nicknames" as far as I know too - Baby, Posh, Sporty, Ginger, Scary - they just used them in an article once or twice and then that was it. Influential magazine for sure.

Smash Hits referred to her Madge as far back as 1987.

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I thought "Queen of Pop" was first referenced back in the early 80s...and fairly solidified by True Blue...and was certainly used by Like A Prayer (the cover with the crown symbol even).

And I thought the "King of Pop" moniker was first said by Elizabeth Taylor, and the fans/media latched onto it... he clearly liked it, so he used it. (not to mention he did earn it). But I don't think he "self-proclaimed" himself...

...that being said, I think he always took the whole title thing a little more seriously than Madonna did...

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I do remember this clearly though in 1991 - I was MTV mad back then (for Madonna) and this was all the talk:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/why-michael-jackson-is-called-the-king-of-pop

MJ christened himself with that name! Interesting to hear the story from those on the inside at the time. Before then, I had never heard that phrase used (that I can remember). Of course he was the biggest pop star in the world - but "The King Of Pop" deffo seemed to come from him at the time! :-)

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i thought Elizabeth Taylor was the first to call MJ King of Pop during a ceremony of some sort. Interesting to know that M was acknowledged as QOP prior to him being referred as the KOP.

i think Pud or Suede coined the term Queen of Life? funnily enough it is being used by other fanbases too in reference to their idol.

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Guest Pud Whacker

Dunno for SURE about either of these but...

As far as I remember, it was SMASH HITS UK magazine who first called her "Madge" and it was in the late 80s.

I got that magazine every issue in those 86-90 Madonna hey-day years and their journalistic style throughout was tongue-in-cheek poking fun in a nice way. Madge was just a shortened version of Madonna that would be typical for English people to use for anyone in a jokey way - and then Australian soap "Neighbours" was HUGE during those years (top rated TV show consistently) and one of their characters was an older woman called Madge. So a bit of that was probably involved.

I always loved them calling her "Madge" - it was a kinda irreverent way of referring to someone who at the time was UBER COOL AND UBER FAMOUS. And as you know - IT STUCK!

Queen of Pop - I would say that term was likely used from mid 80s onwards. I must check old news reports and the like. Queen of Sleaze was used by the press here from the late 80s onwards for sure.

yes i remember the Queen of Pop happening naturally by the press after Michael Jackson demanded MTV refer to him as the King of Pop which was then turned into the Self Titled King of Pop.

madge was in the english periodicals in the late 80's but i remember it first being used when jonathan ross called her that on the erotica interview.

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She's been referred to as the Queen Of Pop forever. Madge is short for Her Majesty as Madonna aknowledged after saying she initially didn't like being given that name in Jonathan Ross 2003 but that since it stood for the royal connotation/assonance she was cool with it (Madgesty)

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Guest Rocco Papa

Jonathan Ross called her "Madge" during their interview in 1992, so I'm guessing they were calling her that way before the 2000s. You can see it at the beginning of this clip:

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I never gave it much thought...madonna was always the queen of pop in my eyes....its sad that when it comes to Michael Jackson, not only did he demand being referred to as...but the world didnt ask any questions or challenge the title, even years after no hits. Madonna gets forgotten about and pushed aside everytime a female artist strikes it big ...annoying! but I think Madonna knows shes the queen. end of.

tumblr_inline_mhkaz7nycs1qz4rgp.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

In this UK TV news feature on the WTG Tour from 1987, she's referred to by the reporter as "The Queen of Pop"! :biggrin:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=834530169905068

Lovely thanks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V35oVtdNdpo

Are any of her WTG UK dates recorded in full?

I just love it and her voice sounds amazing judging by those OYH lines

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I just can't imagine her being referred to as MADGE when the Like A Prayer video was released or when Erotica dropped. Dancing in a frilly dress in the Love Profusion video perhaps :laugh: but NOT during the 80s/early 90s!

Perhaps because she was 30 when LAP was released and maybe was already seen as older as her contemporaries, even though she was only on her fourth album? As Jamesy said it's always been used as a term of endearment for the most part anyway so it's not really a diss or anything.

Smash Hits were famous for their irreverent pop star references. Neil Tennant was one of the journalists there before he formed the Pet Shop Boys. Nicknames for top stars included Dame David Bowie, Sir Clifford of Richard and Fab Macca Wackythumbsaloft. Bros were nicknamed Matt, Luke and Ken - after third member Craig was declared irrelevant. Morten Harket from A-Ha became Horten Market and "Corky O'Reilly! It's Kylie" was often used.

As for Queen of Pop, as someone said, it's the kind of term that would be used as soon as someone is very popular so I imagine 1985 is when it first appeared.

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As for Queen of Pop, as someone said, it's the kind of term that would be used as soon as someone is very popular so I imagine 1985 is when it first appeared.

Thanks!

Does anyone remember the term being used to reference any other singer BEFORE Madonna?

Or was she was the FIRST (and of course, the TRUE) QoP?

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