Madonna's Most Controversial Moments

Madonna Moments

We're celebrating the Queen of Pop by giving away tickets to see her LIVE on Heart's 100 Happy Days.

Take a look at her most controversial moments in pictures…

1989: Like A Prayer

It's viewed as one of the greatest videos of all time today, but the music video for Like A Prayer enraged religious organisations worldwide for its allegedly blasphemous use of Christian imagery. Pepsi immediately backed out of an endorsement of the track. Picture: Youtube

Most Controversial Music Videos Ever


1990: Justify My Love video

A year later, Madonna was at it again. The S&M themes in the video for Justify My Love earned it a ban from MTV. Picture: YouTube

Madonna Justify My Love


1992: Sex

Madonna released a book called Sex in 1992. Don't think we need to explain why it was controversial…!

Madonna Sex















1992: Erotica video

Yet more S&M got the video for the appropriately titled Erotica banned. We're sensing a theme here... Picture: YouTube

Madonna Erotica video






1994: Appearing on Letterman

Madonna shocked American TV audiences in 1994 when she smoked live on David Letterman's chat show, before proceeding to swear profusely.

Madonna letterman smoking


1998: VMAs performance

At the 1998 VMAs, Madonna wore Hindu face markings that mean chastity, purity, and dedication to God. Members of the Hindu community found it offensive that she wore them while performing sexually charged dance moves. Picture: Photoshot

Madonna performing at the 1998 VMAs


2001: What It Feels Like For A Girl video

Madonna's then-husband Guy Ritchie directed the ultra-violent music video for What It Feels Like For A Girl, in which the singer goes on a killing spree. Needless to say, it was banned by MTV and VH1. Picture: YouTube

Madonna What It Feels Like For A Girl


2003: Kissing Britney Spears

At the VMAs in 2003, Madonna performed with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliot - but the most memorable part of the show came as Her Madgesty kissed the latest Princess of Pop.


Britney Spears and Madonna









2006: Confessions tour 'crucifixion'

Religious imagery has pervaded Madonna's work throughout her career. On her Confessions tour in 2006, the religious community thought Madge took it too far when she was 'crucified' on stage during a performance of Live To Tell.

Madonna on tour


2015: Brits 2015

That dress. It may have been the biggest performance of her career for nearly 20 years but not all went to plan for the Queen of Pop. An unfortunate clothing mishap (a strap that didn't untie) led her to falling gracefully off the stage. Much to her credit, she got straight back up and continued her routine as if nothing had happened. 

Madonna Fall BRIT Awards 2015 Performance