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Like A Prayer is crowned BBC Radio 2 listeners’ favourite Madonna song

Written by on December 25, 2023

Radio 2 listeners have crowned Like a Prayer as their favourite Madonna song, as revealed today (26th December), taking the No. 1 spot in Your Ultimate Madonna Song – the Top 40 chart of single releases by Madonna Louise Ciccone, as voted for by listeners. 2024 marks the 35th anniversary of Like a Prayer which reached No. 1 in the UK singles chart in March 1989. In the No. 2 spot is Vogue, No. 3 is Into The Groove, No. 4 is Papa Don’t Preach and No. 5 is Like A Virgin – with the full chart below.

Madonna, one of the world’s greatest pop icons, is celebrated on Radio 2 on New Year’s Day with the three hour show, Your Ultimate Madonna Song hosted by Scott Mills (2-5pm) alongside Michelle Visage: My Queen – Madonna (5-6pm) and Madonna at the BBC (6-7pm) – further details below. All the programmes are available exclusively on BBC Sounds from today (Tuesday 26th December, 0001hrs) in the new Radio 2 Celebrates Madonna collection along with Madonna – Radio 2 In Concert from her 1993 Girlie Tour at Wembley Stadium.

For the vote – which launched in November in The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, closing on Friday 8th December – listeners were asked to select up to five of their favourite tracks from Madonna’s 61 Top Ten UK hits. In Your Ultimate Madonna Song, Scott Mills counts down the listeners’ Top 40 chart and he reveals more extraordinary facts and stats and behind the scenes insights from BBC Archive interview clips with Madonna herself.

Scott says: “Like A Prayer is a phenomenal track the Radio 2 listeners have voted to top the chart in Your Ultimate Madonna Song, so please join me to celebrate the icon that is Madonna on Radio 2 on New Year’s Day and right now on BBC Sounds!”

Jeff Smith, Radio 2’s Head of Music, says: “Madonna has been inspiring fellow artists musically, artistically and creatively for 40 years, so I’m delighted that Radio 2 listeners cast tens of thousands of votes for their favourite songs which can be enjoyed on New Year’s Day… or on BBC Sounds on Boxing Day if Madonna fans can’t wait that long!”
The Top 40 favourite Madonna singles as voted for by Radio 2 listeners are:

The Top 40 favourite Madonna singles as voted for by Radio 2 listeners are:

1 Like A Prayer (1989)
2 Vogue (1990)
3 Into The Groove (1985)
4 Papa Don’t Preach (1986)
5 Like A Virgin (1984)
6 Borderline (1986)
7 Crazy For You (1985)
8 Ray Of Light (1998)
9 Holiday (1984)
10 Material Girl (1985)
11 La Isla Bonita (1987)
12 Hung Up (2005)
13 Live To Tell (1986)
14 Frozen (1998)
15 True Blue (1986)
16 Beautiful Stranger (1999)
17 Express Yourself (1989)
18 Cherish (1989)
19 Open Your Heart (1986)
20 Dear Jessie (1989)
21 Music (2000)
22 This Used To Be My Playground (1992)
23 Justify My Love (1990)
24 Dress You Up – 1985)
25 Don’t Cry For Me Argentina (1996)
26 Deeper and Deeper (1992)
27 Who’s That Girl (1987)
28 Don’t Tell Me (2000)
29 The Power Of Good-Bye (1998)
30 American Pie (2000)
31 You’ll See (1995)
32 Rain (1993)
33 4 Minutes [Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake] (2008)
34 Erotica (1992)
35 Hanky Panky (1990)
36 Sorry (2006)
37 Nothing Really Matters (1999)
38 Drowned World (Substitute For Love) (1998)
39 Die Another Day (2002)
40 What It Feels Like For A Girl (2001)

Madonna is, without doubt, one of the world’s most successful artists in the history of music. She has spent more than ten years (in accumulated weeks) in the UK Top 40. From when she first played a tiny gig at the Camden Palace in October 1983 to a handful of club-goers, followed by her first Top Ten hit with Holiday in January 1984, and in the almost 40 years since then she has had 61 Top Ten Hits in the UK, including 13 number ones. Madonna is also one of the few artists to have ever kept herself off the No. 1 slot, when in 1985 a re-release of her debut chart entry, Holiday (which reached No. 6 in January ‘84) was held at No. 2 as Into The Groove from the film Desperately Seeking Susan topped the singles chart.
In previous years, following Radio 2 listener votes, Careless Whisper was voted the fan’s favourite George Michael song (2022) and Never Forget was revealed as Radio 2 listeners’ favourite Take That song (2023).

Also in the Radio 2 Celebrates Madonna collection on BBC Sounds from today and broadcast on Radio 2 on New Year’s Day are:

Michelle Visage: My Queen – Madonna is an hour devoted to the biggest-selling female artist in history and – above all – Michelle’s idol. Michelle will detail when her love for the star started, taking us back to the early days when she performed in the New York clubs. Michelle takes us on a journey over the decades celebrating the music, the videos, the tours, the films, the costumes, the interviews and the defiance – all of which have made Madonna one of the most celebrated and most-talked about women of the modern age. Packed with classic hits, archive interviews and news reports, the show will remind us all why Madonna is The Queen of Pop (Radio 2, 5-6pm, New Year’s Day). A Mostest production.

Michelle says: “This is a show I’ve wanted to make my entire life, and is a personal and heartfelt love letter to the woman who changed my life… and the world. Her support of the lgbtqia+ community is legendary, and I can’t wait to celebrate her EVERYTHING!”

Madonna at the BBC features BBC radio and television archive interviews discussing her rise to fame and fortune, her ambition, reinvention and controversies alongside key songs. Madonna remembers her years in the worlds of dance, electronic music and disco, her acting in A League Of Their Own and Dick Tracy and the furore over her Sex book. Admitting she has an outrageous personality and a bold and confrontational style, listeners will discover how she prepares for tours and recording in the studio. She discusses her feelings for key albums such as Erotica, Bedtime Stories, Ray Of Light and Rebel Heart, and there are in depth interviews from her first appearance on Radio 1 (interviewed by Andy Batten Foster) when Holiday had just reached No. 40 in the charts, through to later conversations with Jackie Brambles, Terry Wogan, Zoe Ball, Simon Bates and Jo Whiley amongst others (Radio 2, 6-7pm, New Year’s Day). A BBC Audio production.

And Madonna – Radio 2 In Concert will be available exclusively in the BBC Sounds collection from Boxing Day – featuring Madonna at Wembley Stadium during her 1993 Girlie Tour, performing Erotica, Vogue, Express Yourself, Deeper and Deeper, La Isla Bonita, Holiday and Justify My Love.
BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 13.5 million (RAJAR Q3, 2023). The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show is most listened to breakfast show in the UK with an audience of 6.5 million (RAJAR Q3, 2023). The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Rob Beckett, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Revd. Kate Bottley, Rylan, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Paul Gambaccini, Angela Griffin, Bob Harris, Vernon Kay, Cerys Matthews, Scott Mills, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine Paige, Mark Radcliffe, Romesh Ranganathan, DJ Spoony, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Michelle Visage, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Phil Williams, Claudia Winkleman, Steve Wright and Owain Wyn Evans.

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