Madonna should play these songs on her upcoming world tour

‘Open Your Heart’ to these hits, Madge!

Madonna performs in concert during her Rebel Heart Tour at Philips Arena on January 20, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images) (Paras Griffin, 2016 Paras Griffin)

The queen of pop is hitting the road!

Before there was Britney, Gaga, Christina or Ariana, there was Madonna. The legendary pop star is hitting the road at the end of the summer to remind the world that she did it first.

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Her new tour is appropriately called the “Celebration” tour, and she’ll be celebrating the hits from her 40+ year career in one night of music. Songs from the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2000s and 2010s will all be featured, and you know fans are going to be hearing all of the hits.

It’s a sure thing that songs like “Vogue,” “Like A Prayer,” “Like A Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “La Isla Bonita” and “Music” will be played, but what other songs are going to make the setlist? Madonna just has SO many songs, so it’s going to be hard to decide which songs to play.

I thought I’d be fun to take a look through Madonna’s extensive discography and make some predictions on what fans will hear in arena across the world. Obviously, the songs I mentioned above will almost certainly be played, but let’s take a walk down memory lane and predict what other songs will make the cut.


It was the song that started it all. It wasn’t her first single that was released, but it was her first song to enter the Billboard Hot 100, and her first single to reach the top 10. If Madonna is going to do a concert of all the hits, she has to include this one. It’s just such a classic.


How good of a song is “Borderline?” Honestly, all of the songs from her self-titled debut album are bops, but there is just something about “Borderline” that makes you want to dance. It’s quintessential ‘80s.

‘Burning Up’

While I love “Lucky Star” (it’s such a good pick for the opening track of her debut), I’ve got to go with “Burning Up.” I mean, how can you not dance to this song? It perfectly encapsulates the ‘80s, and it’s just so fun. Please play this one, Madge!

‘Dress You Up’

This might be a hot take, but I don’t really love the “Like A Virgin” album. Obviously the title track and “Material Girl” are iconic, but besides that, there’s not a whole lot to write home about. That is, of course, except for “Dress You Up.” This song, in addition to the other two hits from this album, would be a great way to honor this era of Madonna.

‘Papa Don’t Preach’

Releasing a song about abortion in the middle of the ‘80s was revolutionary, let alone making it the first track to play on her third album, “True Blue.” It set the tone for that entire album, and it deserves its moment in the setlist.

‘Open Your Heart’

She was three albums in, but “Open Your Heart” sounds like it could have been on her debut, which is the genius of Madonna. Unafraid to reference herself. At its core, “Open Your Heart” is a love song with a fantastic beat.

‘Causing A Commotion’

Just after three studio albums, Madonna was already starring in movies. “Who’s That Girl” is a pretty bad movie, but the soundtrack is really, really good. The best song from it, hands down, is “Causing A Commotion.”

‘Express Yourself’

Madonna closed out the ‘80s with one her most iconic albums, “Like A Prayer.” Of course the title track will be on the setlist for this show, but “Express Yourself” should absolutely make the cut, too. The song is a straight up anthem, and it will for sure get fans on their feet.

‘Hanky Panky’

The soundtrack to the “Dick Tracy” album certainly gave us “Vogue,” but we can’t forget about another hit song from the album, “Hanky Panky.” The songs sounds like it could have existed in the ‘40s or ‘50s, which was basically the point of that album.

‘Human Nature’

The early to mid ‘90s didn’t have a ton of hits for Madonna, but “Human Nature” from her album “Bedtime Stories” is a standout. I saw her perform this live on her Sticky and Sweet tour and it was incredible.

‘This Used To Be My Playground’

Madonna isn’t necessarily known for her ballads, but “This Used To Be My Playground,” which was used for the ending credits in “A League Of Their Own,” is one of her best. Not only is her role in the film one of her best acting performances, but the song is just so good. If she’s going to have a slow part of the concert, I hope she includes this.

‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’

It’s a classic, and to hear Madonna sing it in her concert would just be a cherry on top. I will also take “You Must Love Me,” which might be the better of the two songs from “Evita.”

‘Ray of Light’

This song, and album when you think about it, changed everything for Madonna. Not only was Madonna’s music changing, but she was leading the way for other artists to follow suite. The album won her four Grammy awards, and the title song is undoubtedly her best song ever. The entire “Ray of Light” era deserves its due at this concert.


Long before there was Elsa, Madonna owned the word ‘Frozen.” This song is one of Madonna’s best slow jams, and she’s never been more ethereal on a song than this one. Also, just such an iconic music video.

‘Beautiful Stranger’

A song that sounds like it belongs on “Ray of Light,” “Beautiful Stranger” was recorded for the second “Austin Powers” movie, and it’s one of my favorites from her. It has the vibe of the ‘60s to sound like it belongs on the “Austin Powers” soundtrack, but it keeps with the same musical tone as the music she was releasing in the era. It’s such an underrated song, and I would be SO excited if it made the setlist.

‘Don’t Tell Me’

Madonna’s “Music” era was something else, where she started to mix pop, electronic, R&B and weirdly enough a little bit of country. That was never more prevalent than on “Don’t Tell Me.” It’s truly a mashup of genres, and that’s when Madonna is at her best. This song never really got its due, and it totally deserves its moment in the setlist.

‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’

Madonna is also always at her best when she gets political, and that is on full display with “What It Feels Like For A Girl.” It’s one of her better slower songs, and I’d be fun to see her play it live.

‘Die Another Day’

This is another hot take, but “Die Another Day” is one of the best Bond songs, and its arguably the best thing to come out of that movie. The song is just SO good, and I think the only reason it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar is because the movie was a flop.

‘Hung Up’

If this song isn’t on the setlist I want my money back. The “Confessions on a Dance Floor” era was a cultural reset for not only Madonna, but for the culture as a whole. One of her best songs, easily.

‘4 Minutes’

Madonna’s album “Hard Candy” doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. She collaborated with Timberland and Pharrell (before he was ever famous), and this duet with Justin Timberlake is hands down the standout from the album. I’d also argue that it was her last great music video.

‘Give It 2 Me’

If Madonna wanted to celebrate another song from the “Hard Candy” album, this would be my pick.

‘Give Me All Your Luvin’'

This was Madonna’s lead single that she performed at her iconic Super Bowl halftime performance. I’d argue it was her last good single, and to be honest, I’d be cool with her not doing any more songs beyond her “MDNA” album.

And that’s it! Madonna obviously has a huge catalog of songs to choose from, and I’m sure I missed some songs that people love, but these are my favorite Madonna songs, and I can’t wait to see her on this tour. To see if Madonna is coming to your city, click here for the full tour dates.

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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