Madonna and Keith Haring

 Audio Guide

Narrated by Joel Peresman, President & CEO of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


In 1977, Madonna arrived in New York City with a few dollars and a dream. Telling a cab driver to bring her to the middle of everything, she arrived at the heart of Manhattan– Times Square. Staying on friends’ couches and moving from apartment to apartment, Madonna developed a street-savviness to survive in New York City at the turn of the 1980s. She tried performing with modern dance troupes and back-up dancing before starting to sing with local bands. She eventually struck out on her own in her quest for pop stardom, rising to fame on the local club circuit before signing her first record label deal with Sire Records. While living downtown in Manhattan in the 1980s, Madonna became friends with other musicians and artists such as Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. Haring in particular formed a close friendship with Madonna, decorating this jacket with his famous pop art-style designs as a gift for her. Madonna wore this artistic leather jacket performing for Haring’s birthday party at the Paradise Garage in 1984.