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Feature: Artists on Madonna

Everyone loves Madonna.


You can't think of modern pop music without thinking about her. There would be no Britney, no Christina, no Pussycat Dolls and no Lady GaGa without her. From the second that she burst onto the scene in the early '80s, her presence has permeated almost every facet of pop. Her influence is everywhere, and she's not going anywhere either.


Tomorrow, Celebration [Warner Bros.], a comprehensive 2-CD retrospective featuring Madonna's biggest and brightest hits, will hit shelves. In order to Celebrate, we talked to various people she's influenced—from Juliette Lewis and Colbie Caillat to Kristinia DeBarge and Asher Book of V Factory. They told ARTISTdirect.com editor Rick Florino why they love Madonna and will continue to do so in this exclusive feature.


How did you discover Madonna and what does her music mean to you?


Juliette Lewis


I was definitely a Madonna fan growing up. I liked "Holiday." I love that first record and other things since. As a kid, I was drawn to dance music and early rap—when it was almost rebellious to be into rap. Now hooks are tied into cell phones and Vitamin Water [Laughs].


Asher Book of V-Factory & Fame


I love Madonna! She's on our label, and I remember we got a sneak peek of her last video for "4 Minutes." We felt all special because the label was like, "The public hasn't seen the video yet, but you're getting a first peek at it. We were in one of the big offices, and we saw it. Madonna is incredible, and I've always looked up to her for sure. Honestly, I've never seen her live. Seeing her videos was what did it. There are so many classics like "Like a Virgin." I like how she doesn't hold back. She just goes for it. That's what a lot of people love about her. Her personality is incredible. She's such a superstar in her own mind that she can just go for it. That's what I love about her. I've always been a fan. There was never one moment where I was like, "Oh this is what did it for me!" I've loved pretty much everything she's done. I love her mystique. She always knew what she was going for and she just went for it. She's great in interviews too. I've always liked that about her.


Kate Earl


I like Madonna a lot. I grew up in Alaska so my true exposure to music beyond my family and the local radio was really MTV. That's where I discovered Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, George Michael, Paula Abdul and Madonna. That's where I found everyone. Madonna's video for "Express Yourself" with the cat, the milk and all of that stuff was amazing. I just loved it. It was so sensual and vivid, and she looked like a '40s starlet. The first thing I was attracted to was just her look the really blown-out white makeup. She was so shocking too especially when I was a little Christian girl. I couldn't help but like it [Laughs]. I haven't seen her live, but I'd love to.


Marié Digby


I'm a huge Madonna fan. Her Immaculate Collection was the first CD that I ever bought! I probably learned how to sing thanks to Madonna. I just played that CD over and over. I actually thought I was kind of rebellious for buying her CD because she's so sexual. I was like eleven-years-old, and I felt sort of dirty for buying the CD [Laughs]. I've looked up to her for pretty much my whole entire life. No one can really touch her career—the way that she's been a chameleon. People seem to really accept her for everything she does, and that's very unusual.




I like the hits, there's something sweet about them! I discovered her on the radio. Songs like "Lucky Star" and the controversial songs like "Like a Virgin" stick out in my mind. Those definitely made me remember her.


Jason DeRulo


I'm listening to Madonna a lot. My mom was a really big fan of Madonna. My favorite song is actually, "Frozen." You should look it up. It's a really dope old school Madonna song. It's funny because my mom wasn't really a big musical influence. I'm the only musician in my whole entire family [Laughs]. It's really weird.


Colbie Caillat


I'm definitely a Madonna fan. I love "Holiday!" I really discovered her because of my sister and mom. I loved the music and how the style of production and the songs made me feel. When I think back, it reminds me of growing up in Malibu—always dancing around the house listening to her and having the crazy '80s hairdo and all of her outfits. I love old Madonna.


Kristinia DeBarge


I love Madonna. I listen to Truth or Dare whenever I feel like it's time for me to stick up for myself or I'm having a hard time taking advice. When I feel like being a strong independent woman, I'll download a snippet from Truth or Dare from YouTube, watch it, go out and be inspired to be a strong individual. She's always inspired me to have a voice and an opinion. I definitely love Madonna!


—Rick Florino





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