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  • Sunday 02 December 1990
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  • Monday 10 December 1990
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Justify My Love (1990)

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"Justify My Love" is the first single by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her 1990 greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection and was released on November 6, 1990, by Sire Records. It caused international controversy due to the accompanying music video which was sexually explicit and even banned by MTV. This outraged Madonna and she appeared on ABC's Nightline to defend it. The single was also released as a video-single and became the highest selling video single of all time. When released, the single rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and many other worldwide charts. The single made number two in the UK Christmas charts, selling 228,683 copies.


"Justify My Love" was written by Lenny Kravitz, Ingrid Chavez and Madonna. Kravitz wrote the song for Madonna, based on a poem written by friend and Prince protégé Ingrid Chavez. Kravitz added the title hook and chorus. Madonna contributed a few lines. Chavez was not credited for the song and later sued Kravitz in 1992. She received an out-of-court settlement, and gained a co-writing credit.

Producer Kravitz sampled the intro found on Public Enemy's instrumental, "Security of the First World", and used it as the basis of the song. The song was unique in that Madonna's vocals are primarily spoken and whispered, but almost never sung. This style served as a prelude to her next album Erotica, in which she spoke the lyrics on some of the songs rather than singing them. Kravitz provided background vocals. Rumors of a love affair between Kravitz and Madonna sprang up in the press upon the release of the song. Kravitz has denied these rumors.

In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their Top 20 Madonna singles of all time by Q-Magazine. "Justify My Love" was allocated the #12 spot.

Jam & Spoon feat. Plavka sampled a part of the Orbital remix for a remix of "Kaleidoscope Skies" .

Rapper Mase sampled the song on his 1999 album, Double Up, on his song "Stay Out of My Way".

The song was covered by rapper Vita and pop–R&B singer Ashanti for The Fast and the Furious soundtrack in 2001. Vita was originally going to make the version her own featuring her rapping on the re-make, but Madonna shut her down and only cleared the version where Vita does exactly the same style as Madonna.

Rapper Jay-Z's song, "Justify My Thug", from his 2003 album, The Black Album produced by DJ Quik, is a remake of "Justify My Love." Enigma sampled "Justify My Love" for their "Orthodox Remix" of the 1990 single, "Mea Culpa ". "Justify My Love" was sampled by Insane Clown Posse, for their 2004 single "Bowling Balls".

Madonna has only performed this song once on her 1993 Girlie Show Tour. According to The Official Charts Company, the song has sold 235,000 copies in the UK.

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Edition standard
# Name Artist Live Acoustic Hidden Duration
1-1 Justify My Love Madonna       05:00
1-2 Express Yourself Madonna       04:39





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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Justify My Love", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.