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Madonna - Who's That Girl (1987)

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  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 3.26
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"Who's That Girl" is a song by American singer Madonna from the soundtrack album of the 1987 film, Who's That Girl. It was ...

"Who's That Girl" is a song by American singer Madonna from the soundtrack album of the 1987 film, Who's That Girl. It was released on June 23, 1987, by Sire Records as the first album single. While shooting for the film, then called Slammer, Madonna had requested Patrick Leonard to develop an uptempo song that captured the nature of her film persona. She later added the lyrics and vocals to the demo tape developed by Leonard, and decided to rename the song as well as the film to "Who's That Girl".

Featuring instrumentation from drums, bass, and stringed instruments, "Who's That Girl" continued Madonna's fascination with Hispanic culture by incorporating Spanish lyrics and using the effect of double vocals. Critical reception was mixed to positive; some critics compared it to Madonna's previous single, "La Isla Bonita", while others found it forgettable. "Who's That Girl" became Madonna's sixth single to top the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking atop the charts in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium. It was also nominated for "Best Song Written for Visual Media" at the 1988 Grammy Awards and "Best Original Song" at the 1988 Golden Globe Awards.

The music video portrayed a different persona of Madonna, rather than her film character for which it was released. Like the song, it incorporated Hispanic culture and portrayed her dressed in Spanish style as a young lady in search of a treasure. Madonna has performed the song on her Who's That Girl (1987) and Rebel Heart (2015–2016) tours. The song has been covered by many artists and has appeared in compilations and tribute albums. Despite being a worldwide number-one hit, the song was not included in Madonna's 1990 greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection, but was later included on her 2009 greatest hits album Celebration.

Music video

The music video was shot over two days, at A&M Soundstages in Hollywood, California. Madonna had adopted a garish, platinum blond hairstyle for the Who's That Girl movie which was not used in the music video; instead, she sported brown hair. She continued with her Hispanic look from the "La Isla Bonita" music video, this time she appeared dressed boyishly in a wide-brimmed Spanish hat and bolero jacket—a combination which would later become a fashion trend.

The music video, directed by Peter Rosenthal, begins with Madonna entering a park. After meeting two children and a teenage boy, they start roaming around the park, with Madonna singing the song. These scenes are interchanged with scenes from the motion picture, which show Madonna as the movie character Nikki Fynn. As the music video progresses, Madonna is shown to be in search of an Egyptian treasure casket. After being directed to it by a version of the High Priestess tarot card displaying her cartoon impersonation, Madonna opens it to find a huge diamond. She looks up happily to the children. The video ends with them continuing dancing and Madonna carrying away the casket.

The video portrayed a different image of Madonna rather than her real self. According to Vincent Canby of The New York Times, Madonna at that time was shrewdly pragmatic about her persona and appearance—resembling Marilyn Monroe, but with the "comic tartness" of Jean Harlow. This persona was reflected in the second half of the Who's That Girl film. However, the music video chose not to capture her real self and qualities, or to promote the movie for which it was specifically created. Instead, it concentrated on the humorous off-putting personality of Madonna's film character depicted in the first half of the film.

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