This week marks the 30-year anniversary of True Blue, Madonna’s third studio album, and the one that truly launched her into superstar territory.

One of the best-selling albums of all time, True Blue has sold seven million copies in the U.S. and an estimated 25 million copies sold worldwide. It was the top-selling album in the world in 1986, hitting #1 in a then record-breaking 28 countries and went on to become the best-selling album of the ’80s by a female artist.

True Blue topped the Billboard album chart on August 16th, 1986, and remained at No. 1 for five consecutive weeks in the U.S., eventually spending 82 weeks on the chart.

True Blue spun off five Top 5 singles: “True Blue,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Live to Tell,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” and “Open Your Heart.”  Those last three all reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album also features the fan favorite “Where’s the Party.”

Madonna co-wrote and co-produced the entirety of True Blue with Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard.  The album featured a then-unknown Richard Marx on backing vocals, along with future Michael Jackson duet partner Siedah Garrett, plus Michael’s brother Jackie Jackson on guitar.

She has said that the album deals with her view of love and was an “unabashed valentine” to her then-husband, Sean Penn.

The same year True Blue was released, Madonna was honored with the Video Vanguard Award at MTV Video Music Awards, becoming the first female artist to receive that honor.


On Friday, Madonna posted a photo on Instagram of herself onstage, and captioned it, “Still True Blue to all my fans! Thanks for all your support!  30 years later!”

She also acknowledged the anniversary by changing her Twitter page header and her Twitter profile pic to a photo of the album cover.

Papa Don’t Preach