Madonna’s career has broken down doors for every female artist who came after her. Her influence has transcended race, gender, and even genre. Madonna was the first woman to take charge of her sexuality in the MTV era. She set the mold for female artists to follow when it came to the risks they could take. This not only included music, but music videos and live performances as well.
In recent years, there have been many who either don’t understand or try to diminish Madonna’s influence and impact on music today. These eight female artists all have cited Madonna as an inspiration. These women have made it clear that if it weren’t for Madonna, they wouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing today.
Here are eight female artists who were influenced by the Queen of Pop.
8/8 Britney Spears
From the very beginning of her career, Britney Spears has named Madonna as one of her influences. Spears often talked about listening to Madonna and watching her on MTV when she was a little girl. She first met Madonna backstage at her Drowned World Tour in 2001. Spears performed with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards where the two famously locked lips. This was followed by their duet, « Me Against The Music, » the first single from Spears’ « In the Zone » album. Most recently, Madonna was a guest at Spears’ wedding to Sam Asghari.
7/8 Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is an artist who helped break down barriers for women in rap. She worked with Madonna in 2003 when the two starred together in a GAP commercial. In the commercial, Missy and Madonna reworked the singer’s big hit « Into the Groove » from 1985. Elliott said that she was thrilled to be in a commercial with Madonna and that she looked up to her. Elliott was also part of the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards performance with Madonna, where she came on stage to perform part of her hit, « Work It. » Madonna was also a guest on the show The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott.
6/8 Jennifer Lopez
There are many interesting parallels between Jennifer Lopez and Madonna. The two famously pursued their dreams in New York City. Both women have strong work ethics. They also succeed as businesswomen. Lopez has long cited Madonna as an influence, particularly when she remembered seeing photos of Madonna jogging in Central Park. Lopez said that it helped fuel her own determination to succeed. Lopez once dressed up as Madonna for Halloween in 2020, wearing the famous « Like a Virgin » wedding dress.
Beyoncé has said she was influenced by Madonna for many years. She once said that Madonna inspired her to create her own empire. She also appeared in a tribute to Madonna on TRL in 2006, thanking her for the contribution she made in the music world. Most recently, Beyoncé collaborated with Madonna on The Queens Remix of her single « Break My Soul. » The remix sampled Madonna’s 1990 hit « Vogue » and Beyoncé later sent Madonna flowers with a note thanking her for naming the remix.
4/8 Lil Kim
Lil Kim burst the door open for all the female rappers who came after her. Madonna is an artist who influenced her greatly. In an interview with MTV, Kim was seen rehearsing for a show. In the performance, she was in a bed on stage. The setup was inspired by Madonna’s « LIke a Virgin » performance from her 1990 « Blond Ambition World Tour. » Kim said that when she saw Madonna perform, she was inspired to become the artist she became. She said that Madonna showed her that she could do the same thing one day.
3/8 Christina Aguilera
In the late nineties, there was a teen pop explosion. This included many boy bands and young female singers. Christina Aguilera was one of those singers. Similar to her contemporary, Britney Spears, Aguilera often said that Madonna was a big inspiration to her. Aguilera performed with Spears and Madonna during the famous MTV Video Music Awards in 2003. Aguilera joined Spears in locking lips with Madonna, something cameras missed due to cutting away for Justin Timberlake’s reaction. Aguilera once again paid tribute to Madonna in her music video for « Not Myself Tonight, » where she referenced several Madonna videos.
Rihanna has long said Madonna is a huge influence on her. In an interview with We Love Pop, the singer named Madonna as one of her biggest inspirations. « I think that Madonna was a great inspiration for me, especially on my earlier work, » she said.
« If I had to examine her evolution through time, I think she reinvented her clothing style and music with success every single time, » she added. « And at the same time remained a real force in entertainment in the whole world. »
RIhanna covered « Vogue » at the Fashion Rocks show in 2008. Rihanna will soon follow in Madonna’s footsteps when she headlines the Super Bowl halftime show next year.
1/8 Miley Cyrus
When Miley Cyrus changed her image in 2013, she was determined to let go of her innocent, Disney Channel persona. Her performances and videos became much more provocative and controversial. This reminded many people of Madonna. Cyrus has stated that Madonna is a huge influence on her. The two performed a mash-up of Madonna’s « Don’t Tell Me » and Cyrus’ « We Can’t Stop » at Cyrus’ MTV Unplugged show in 2014. Cyrus most recently covered Madonna’s « Like a Prayer » at her Attention: Miley Live concert.