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Song IconMadonna "Live To Tell"

About "Live To Tell"

"Live to Tell" is a song by American singer Madonna from her third studio album True Blue (1986). The song was originally composed by Patrick Leonard as an instrumental for the score of Paramount's film Fire with Fire, but Paramount rejected it. Leonard then presented the track to Madonna, who decided to use it for At Close Range, a film starring her then-husband Sean Penn. Madonna wrote the lyrics, co-composed the melodies and co-produced it with Leonard. "Live to Tell" was released as True Blue's lead single on March 26, 1986, by Sire Records; afterwards, it was included on Madonna's compilation albums The Immaculate Collection (1990), Something to Remember (1995), and Celebration (2009). A pop ballad, the song includes instrumentation from guitars, keyboards, drums and a synthesizer, while the lyrics deal with deceit, mistrust and childhood scars; Madonna also recalled in an interview that she thought about her relationship with her parents while writing the lyrics.

Upon release, the song was generally acclaimed by music critics, who frequently referred to it as one of her best ballads. It was also commercially successful, becoming Madonna's third number one in the US Billboard Hot 100, and her first number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. The music video, directed by James Foley, shows the singer in a more demure, toned down appearance, inspired by actresses such as Grace Kelly. "Live to Tell" was included on three of Madonna's concert tours. The performance at 2006's Confessions Tour caused controversy as it had the singer hanging from a mirrored cross simulating a crucifixion; religious groups condemned the number as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church. Madonna responded saying that her main intention with the performance was to bring attention to the millions of children dying in Africa. "Live to Tell" has been covered by a handful of artists, particularly for tribute albums.

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