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Album: “Erotica,” 1992
Chic collaborators: Madonna worked closely with Shep Pettibone on the project, who had done remix work on her songs in the past, and was fresh from their smash hit collaboration on “Vogue.”
Cross-platform branding: Before the release of “Erotica,” she starred in “A League of Their Own,” which spawned the hit song “This Used to Be My Playground.” But soon, Madonna said 'so long' to family-friendly fare. To coincide with the release of “Erotica,” Madonna issued her first book, “Sex,” a sort-of multimedia concept effort about human sexuality. Continuing the trend of highly sexual images, in 2003 she starred in the explicit sexual thriller “Body of Evidence.”
Fashion/beauty partner: Her revealing tour fashions with Jean-Paul Gaultier (the satin cone bra) were still making news, and Madonna wasn’t one to miss a Versace show. Plus, Madonna sported some Burberry on tour. Finally, the “Sex” book also took from the worlds of high fashion, with Naomi Campbell modeling and famed fashion photographer Fabien Baron shooting the images.
Gimmick: The project.
Controversy: The project, especially the sexually explicit video for “Erotica,” which was directed by Baron.
Getting out the youth vote: The project. Who doesn’t love sneaking into R-rated movies?