One of Madonna‘s biggest hits, her 1990 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 dance anthem “Vogue,” had surprisingly humble beginnings.
“The whole thing was done on a shoestring budget,” Shep Pettibone, the track’s co-writer and producer, told Billboard in 2015. Allotted just $5,000 by Warner Bros. (now Warner) Records to create what was initially slated as a B-side, he finished the song in three weeks, recording the then-31-year-old pop star’s vocals in a “basement on West 56th Street” in New York, where, he said, a closet had been converted into a vocal booth.
The song starts with suspense-building synths before kicking into “Philly Salsoul”-style house music, and its lyrics and sumptuous black-and-white video — directed by future Academy Award nominee David Fincher (Gone Girl, The Social Network) — celebrate voguing, a style of dance popularized in New York’s mostly gay ballroom club scene in the 1980s that mimics fashion-shoot poses.