Get into the groove: 5 must-hear Madonna songs ahead of her Dallas concerts

Wearing a cap with a cigarette in her mouth, Madonna crosses her arms for the camera

Madonna. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier

Given the length of her career, it can be easy to forget how profoundly influential Madonna has been — not only for pop music, but fashion, film, and multiple other media.

As subsequent generations discover the many forms of Madonna — from the brash upstart to the still-boundary-breaking veteran — her importance only grows, as evidenced by the number of A-list acts (Ariana Grande, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez, to name just three) currently dominating the musical landscape who owe the 65-year-old singer-songwriter a debt of gratitude.

Madonna will finally make it back to Dallas on March 24 — her first DFW gig in nearly a dozen years — for the first of two nights at American Airlines Center. Her return was delayed six months when Madonna  postponed her “Celebration Tour” due to illness in 2023.

To help get you ready for the tour, billed as a hit-filled survey of her four-decade career, here’s a playlist outlining the Material Girl’s chart-topping evolution.


Madonna’s self-titled 1983 debut, which has sold around 10 million copies worldwide, spawned five top 10 hits, including “Borderline,” a dance-pop confection that helped salvage dance music’s reputation (This was not long after disco suffered from campaigns against it.). Her stratospheric rise — not to mention her chart domination — starts here.

“Like a Prayer”

Madonna’s gleaming pop style turned darker, deeper and more adult in 1989 with her fourth studio album. The title track  — a joyous mash-up of gospel, pop and R&B — sparked  controversy upon its release. While she had always been sexually provocative, mixing religion more explicitly into her work made Madonna a notorious superstar — Like a Prayer has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

“Ray of Light”

What sounds familiar now was groundbreaking in the late 1990s, when Madonna — working with producers William Orbit, Patrick Leonard, and Marius de Vries — blended trip-hop and ambient style with Middle Eastern instrumentation and inspiration taken from her studies of Hinduism, Buddhism and Kabbalah to create the arresting album Ray of Light, her seventh studio effort.

“Hung Up”

Madonna’s tenth studio album, 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, fused the ’70s, ’80s and the 2000s for a thrilling survey of disco-tinged pop, exemplified by the ABBA-sampling hit “Hung Up.” The blend of familiar and fresh seemed to energize Madonna, who received some of the best reviews of her career for the project, which teamed her with producers Stuart Price, Mirwais and Bloodshy & Avant.

“Give Me All Your Luvin”

Throughout her career, Madonna has looked to the clubs for inspiration, drawing ideas from artists working in house and EDM music, as well as seeking out collaborators. For her 12th studio album, 2012’s MDNA, she tapped a slew of A-list producers, including Benny Benassi and Martin Solveig, who helped apply a sleek, pop sheen to danceable smash hits like this single, which featured ferocious cameos from a pair of Madonna disciples: Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

Madonna at American Airlines Center, Dallas. 8:30 p.m. March 24-25. Tickets are $69-$526 for March 24 and March 25.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.