Girl Gone Wild

Album: MDNA (2012)
Charted: 73

Songfacts®:

  • This is the second official single and opening track for Madonna's twelfth studio album, titled MDNA. The singer produced the song with the Italian DJ and electro house music producer Benny Benassi and his cousin Alle Benassi.
  • This was only the second single released by Madonna after she signed a lucrative record deal with Universal Music Group's Interscope, but the singer found herself straight away stirring up beef with one of her new label mates: Rapper 50 Cent had been recording a single with the same title and he took to twitter to publicly voice his anger at what he saw as a snub from his label.
  • There was also another hullabaloo stirred up by the song title. Joe Francis, who owns the libidinous video franchise Girls Gone Wild, threatened to sue Madonna if she sang the song during her performance at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. The NFL later announced that the song would not be performed but it was mission accomplished for Francis, having succeeded in creating some publicity for his videos.
  • The song was co-written with the young Vancouver-based songwriter Jenson Vaughan, who has worked with UK producer Ian Carey, on collaborations with such artists as Timbaland, Kelly Rowland and Snoop Dogg. Both Vaughan and the Benassi cousins are signed with Patrick Moxey's dance music label Ultra Music. Speaking with Billboard magazine, Moxey traced the song's beginning back to early 2011, when he suggested to Benny Benassi that his aggressive style might, "work well with some of the major American superstar artists," so he requested additional tracks from the Italian producer and his cousin.

    Moxey selected a few tracks and shared them with Vaughan. "I was really attracted to his lyrics," said the label owner, "and I feel Benassi in my bones, because those bass-driven tracks are so inspiring. It's a bit like cooking, like, 'Ooh, what would this sound like together?'"

    Vaughn returned a demo just a week later, which Moxey passed onto Benassi's European co-manager Paul Sears. He in turn sent it to Guy Oseary, Madonna's manager, who loved the tracks. Both "Girl" and "I'm Addicted" made it onto MDNA.
  • This was originally titled "Girls Gone Wild." There were claims that Madonna changed its name because of threats from Joe Francis. However, her manager, Guy Oseary, told TMZ that they decided to make the word "Girl" singular because that's the way Madonna sings it in the song. He added that Billboard had published a story that claims there are around 50 songs called "Girls Gone Wild," including records by Ludacris, Jagged Edge, T Mills, and Lil Rick.
  • The steamy black-and-white video was directed by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus, who also did MDNA's artwork. It finds Madonna going wild as she gets raunchy with several shirtless, hot male dancers. Critics said it is an homage to the Queen of Pop's '90s-era sexually explicit style, referencing such erotic clips as the one for "Justify My Love."

Comments: 1

  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdMadonna is definitely the Girl Gone Wild she's singing and writing about-Clearly autobiographical and she won't have it any other way, Hey Madge, may you always be a Girl Gone Wild who brings absolute joy to fans and rock critics alike. Best opening number of any Madonna tour!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Oliver LeiberSongwriter Interviews

Long before she was judging contestants on American Idol, Oliver was producing Paula Abdul. Here's how he helped turn this unknown choreographer into a star.

Eric ClaptonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really write "Cocaine" while on cocaine? This question and more in the Clapton edition of Fact or Fiction.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."