Born To Be Alive
French disco star Patrick Hernandez was a superstar in his native France in early 1979 with his disco hit ‘Born To Be Alive‘. The record stormed the charts all round Europe hitting No.1 in France and earning him and his producer Jean Van Loo a gold record in Italy.
Intending to capture the lucrative American market with his hit Pat and Jean headed across the Atlantic for a burst of US-focused promotion. A funky 12″ Remix helped the single top the US Dance charts and Patrick set his sights on a world tour. To do this he needed backing dancers and whilst in New York promoting ‘Born To Be Alive‘ they held auditions.
A young Madonna popped along, looking for work, but more importantly stage experience. After an impressive audition showing her talents she got the job. Subsequently she worked as a backing dancer in the Patrick Hernandez Revue – but as a result of the audition and her performances as part of the Revue, Patrick and Jean decided that instead of using her to back them up, they would turn her into their own project as a disco star herself.
So, in 1979 they flew her to Paris with the intention of launching her to an unsuspecting world with the horrendoulsy titled ‘She’s A Real Disco Queen‘. They supplied her with a decent budget, her own chauffeur, vocal coach and maid, but in typical bratty fashion, Madonna refused to record the song.
Utterly miserable in Paris, Madonna argued with her French hosts that she was more interested in going down the Chrissie Hynde punk sound route. Unsurprisingly they disagreed and three months after arriving in Paris, Madonna fled back home to the States with no intention on returning. However, following her short stint in gay Paris, with a taste of the trappings a singing career, Madonna redoubled her efforts, together with new boyfriend Dan Gilroy to forge a successful career in music as part of the The Breakfast Club rather than as a dancer.
The rest, as they say, is history…
Fact of the day is brought to you by our team member Tony from London