Madonna's famed, fabled "Like A Virgin" performance at the first-ever Video Music Awards in 1984 is one of the most important and most unforgettable VMA performances ever, if not one of the most iconic pop performances of all time. And now, years later, we're still finding out some of the facts behind that moment when we were shown a little more than Madonna had anticipated. Sure it's 30 years after the performance, but it's better late than never.
Madonna, who first planned on incorporating a full-grown Bengal tiger into her performance (she was denied) told Billboard that after she emerged from a 17-foot wedding cake, she began walking down the stairs, wearing a white wedding dress and her infamous "boy toy" belt, when an unexpected wardrobe malfunction occurred: her white stiletto accidentally slipped off.
"So I thought, 'Well, I'll just pretend I meant to do this,' and I dove on the floor and I rolled around," Billboard reported, in a special feature on the year 1984. "And, as I reached for the shoe, the dress went up. And the underpants were showing."
That's right, MTV viewers were not supposed to see what she was wearing underneath the dress, but we're not sure Madonna cared all that much at the moment.
Even though the performance wasn't perfect, "it worked" according to former manager Freddy DeMann, but at the time, not everyone thought so.
"People came up to me and told me her career was over before it started," longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg said.
Clearly they were wrong. Madonna, who has performed on the VMAs seven times and has won the most Moonmen (20), helped make the Video Music Awards a household name on Sept. 14, 1984 and simultaneously set the bar for every other performer to come after her. From that point forward, every artist, when they hit the VMA stage, wanted to have a performance you would forever be talking about. And 30 years later, we still are.