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From Tegan and Sara to Drake: Canadian artists who have been inspired by Madonna

Melody Lau

Madonna has been making music, shocking audiences and influencing artists for almost four decades now. The Michigan-born singer, who is often referred to as the "Queen of Pop," has been challenging and pushing boundaries ever since "Like A Virgin" hit the airwaves. Since then she has expanded her portfolio to include acting, fashion and other business ventures — but her music is what has truly inspired many.

Today marks Madonna's 60th birthday and to celebrate, we want to take a closer look at how the artist has inspired a generation of Canadian musicians. Take a look below and see how six artists have shown their love for Madonna over the years.

Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado has been an unabashed fan of Madonna for a very long time, whether she’s voguing on Instagram, or defending the pop star’s Prince tribute at the 2016 Grammy Awards. For her 2006 album, Loose, she was very open about drawing inspiration from Madonna’s music. “I used Madonna’s Ray of Light as a template for Loose: she was smooth but sexy, universal, epic, iconic!” she said. In 2015, Furtado got to join Madonna onstage at her Rebel Heart tour stop in Toronto as she performed her song, “Unapologetic Bitch.”

Carly Rae Jepsen

While Carly Rae Jepsen has never met Madonna, we certainly know how she’ll react when she finally comes face-to-face with the pop icon. In a 2013 interview with Star, she revealed, “If I met Madonna, I would grovel and kiss her hand!” With Jepsen’s music heavily referencing ‘80s synth-pop, as evidence on her critically-acclaimed 2015 album, Emotion, it’s no surprise why the Canadian singer looks up to Madonna so much. Her 2017 single, “Cut to the Feeling,” even samples Madonna’s 1983 song, “Lucky Star.”


The Toronto rapper solidified his love for the Queen of Pop when he named a track after her on his 2015 mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (which Madonna approved of). Of course, two months after he released that record, Madonna joined him onstage at Coachella for a kiss that shocked many — including Drake himself whose reaction many interpreted as disgust. He later took to the internet to respond though, telling everyone, “Don’t misinterpret my shock!! I got to make out with the queen Madonna and I feel 100 about that forever. Thank you Madonna.”

Tegan and Sara

Growing up, twin sisters Tegan and Sara looked up to a lot of pop stars, including Cyndi Lauper, Kate Bush and Madonna. In an interview with Juvenalia, Sara Quin remembers the impact of watching Madonna’s 1991 documentary, Truth or Dare, on TV. “For me, she was the sexiest but also scariest person in pop,” she recalls. “She was so dangerous and it was so thrilling to watch her.”

Charlotte Cardin

Back in 2013, when the Montreal singer was just getting her start as a contestant on the first season of La Voix, Charlotte Cardin posted covers on her on YouTube channel, including an acoustic take on Madonna’s 2009 song, “Revolver.”


In 2015, musician Ariel Pink said this about Madonna in an interview: “She can’t just have her Avicii, her producers or whatever, come up with a new techno jam for her to gyrate to and pretend that she’s 20 years old.” Many slammed Pink for his criticisms of the pop star, including Grimes who went on Twitter to defend Madonna. She wrote: “Ariel pinks delusional misogyny is emblematic of the kind of bulls--t everyone woman in this industry faces daily.” She followed that up by also shouting out one of her favourite Madonna’s albums: “Also ray of light is a masterpiece.”


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