Who's That Girl

Album: Who's That Girl (1987)
Charted: 1 1
  • This was used in the movie of the same name in which Madonna starred. The film was a flop, but the soundtrack did well, with the title track going to #1 in the UK and US and another Madonna track, "Causing A Commotion," reaching #2 in the US. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Patrick Leonard, who wrote and produced many of Madonna's hits, wrote this song. He explained in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "Madonna rang me up one night and told me she wanted an uptempo song and a downtempo song. She came over one night. I had already put down the chorus for a song on a cassette, she took it into the back room, while I worked on the rest of the lyrics. Soon after, she came out and said, 'We'll call it 'Who's That Girl.'' The backing track was recorded in one take and Patrick Leonard added the guitars and percussion the next day."
  • The refrain of "Quien es esta nina?" is Spanish for "Who's that girl?" Madonna was dabbling in Latin culture at the time, including the song "La Isla Bonita," which she also wrote with Patrick Leonard.
  • The 1987 film was originally called Slammer, but was changed to "Who's That Girl" based on this song. James Foley, who directed the romantic comedy, also worked with Madonna on the music videos for "Live To Tell," "Papa Don't Preach" and "True Blue."
  • Madonna used the "Who's That Girl" moniker for her 1987 world tour because it hints at her dynamic nature. She explained to Smash Hits magazine: "That's why I called my tour 'Who's That Girl,' because I play a lot of characters and every time I do a video or a song people go 'oh that's what she's like.' And I'm not like any of them. I'm all of them. I'm none of them."
  • Madonna talked about her vision for the music in the film and her character, Nikki Finn: "I had some very specific ideas in mind, music that would stand on its own as well as support and enhance what was happening on screen and the only way to make that a reality was to have a hand in writing the tunes myself ... (the) songs aren't necessarily about Nikki, or written to be sung by someone like her, but there's a spirit to this music that captures both what the film and the character are about, I think."
  • The music video for this song, directed by Peter Rosenthal, did not promote the film of the same name, but instead borrowed the Latin theme of the "La Isla Bonita" video with Madonna wearing a wide-brimmed Spanish hat and bolero jacket.
  • This song was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Song From A Motion Picture" and a Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Song." The Grammy went to "Somewhere Out There" from the 1986 animated film An American Tail and the Golden Globe went to "(I've Had) The Time of My Lifefrom Dirty Dancing.

Comments: 6

  • Dougee from San Bernardino, Ca"Quien es esta nina?" (with the appropriate diacritics, of course) actually means "Who's this girl?" In later releases of the song she can be heard saying the correct "esa" (minus the t.)
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnGood song but the movie was icky.
  • Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandBoy George had a version (though I don't know if his was the original or not...Probably not.)
  • Daniel from Rio De Janeiro, Brazilthat's not Boy George, that's the Eurythmics!
  • Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandUntli I read the lyrics I thought this was a cover of the Boy George song "Who's That Girl" (..."Runing around with you?") man am I dumb?!
  • Lemont from Indianapolis, InThis song is the best song I've ever heard by Madonna to date.
see more comments

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

P.F. SloanSongwriter Interviews

P.F. was a teenager writing hits and playing on tracks for Jan & Dean when he wrote a #1 hit that got him blackballed.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.