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5 Madonna Songs Written by Other Superstars

May 25, 20244 Mins Read

Madonna released songs across numerous genres, so it’s no wonder the Material Girl has worked with so many other superstars. Rock stars, big-name rappers, and indie music darlings all lined up to collaborate with the Queen of Pop. One of the most beloved rock stars of the 1990s even wrote a No. 1 single for Madonna.

1. ‘Beat Goes On’ 

With that title, fans might assume Sonny & Cher wrote Madonna’s “Beat Goes On,” but it was actually co-written by Madonna, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West. Interestingly, Pharrell and Kanye wrote a disco song with Madonna rather than a hip-hop song. With star power like that, it’s surprising “Beat Goes On” was never a single.

In a way, “Beat Goes On” is a return to the Queen of Pop’s roots. She was one of the artists who kept disco alive when many had proudly proclaimed its death. Fascinatingly, the throwback sound of “Beat Goes On” is less dated than some of the other songs she released in the 2000s.

2. ‘Justify My Love’

The controversial music video for “Justify My Love” overshadowed the song itself, even though the track topped the Billboard Hot 100! If the tune itself received more attention, fans would be talking about the fact that Lenny Kravitz himself co-wrote it. Rather than writing a rock song for the Queen of Pop, “Justify My Love” opts for a sensual, trip-hop instrumental.

The provocative clip for “Justify My Love” foreshadowed Madonna’s exploration of kinky sex in her album Erotica. Audiences are a lot harder to shock than they were in the 1990s. Regardless, “Justify My Love” is still too hot to handle.

3. ‘Bedtime Story’

Madonna and Björk both ruled the 1990s but in completely different ways. Madonna was a pop idol, while Björk was an indie goddess. When Björk wrote Madonna’s “Bedtime Story,” it was a move toward the mainstream for Björk and a move toward the avant-garde for Madonna.

Sadly, the track itself isn’t too impressive. It sounds like those New Age CDs that day spas play while they try to relax customers. It’s also an awkward fit for the album Bedtime Stories, which was Madonna’s attempt at a low-key R&B album following the backlash to Erotica.

4. ‘Devil Pray’

Love or hate her music, it’s undeniable that Madonna has tried to keep up with trends. For “Devil Pray,” she enlisted the help of Avicii, one of the most important dance music producers of the 2010s. He was known for combining elements of electronica and folk music. In “Devil Pray,” the two genres collide seamlessly.

Madonna had been exploring spirituality through music for decades by the time she put out “Devil Pray.” The difference here is that the song has a much darker tone than “Like a Prayer” and “Ray of Light.” Even as a musical veteran, Madonna was still finding ways to surprise us.

5. ‘Love Song’

If I told you that Madonna and Prince released a duet called “Love Song” in 1989, you might assume it was a huge hit. It wasn’t even a single. A song with this much star power shouldn’t have been left in the dust.

Regardless, the tune appeared on the album Like a Prayer. That record is often considered Madonna’s best musical moment. At the very least, “Love Song” is an interesting little nugget for Madonna’s fans and Prince’s fans. For a singer known for her blockbuster singles, she also knew how to craft memorable album tracks that are worth revisiting.

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