Ray of Light
"Ray of Light" is a song by American singer Madonna. It is the title track from her seventh studio album Ray of Light (1998), and was released as the album's second single on April 27, 1998, by Maverick Records. The song was also included on the compilation albums GHV2 (2001) and Celebration (2009). Written by Madonna, William Orbit, Clive Maldoon, Dave Curtiss, Christine Leach, and produced by Madonna and Orbit, "Ray of Light" is based on Curtiss Maldoon's "Sepheryn" and is an electronic dance song with techno, trance, Eurodance, and disco influences. "Ray of Light" consists of a main synth sound oscillating on the primary musical note, and an electric guitar riff. Lyrically, the song has a theme of freedom.
The song has received critical acclaim by music critics, for its club-friendly, electronic sound, lyrics, and "emotional warmth". The song was also nominated for three Grammy Awards; for Record of the Year, Best Dance Recording, and Best Short Form Music Video, winning the last two. "Ray of Light" debuted and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Madonna's highest debut on the chart to date. It also reached number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Internationally, the song reached the top five in Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom, and peaked at number one in Greece, Scotland, and Spain.
An accompanying music video for "Ray of Light" was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and shows scenes from different cities around the world, with Madonna singing the song in front of them. The video was critically acclaimed, receiving the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video, as well as winning five awards at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. Later, Stefano Salvati accused her of plagiarizing the concept of a music video he directed for Biagio Antonacci in 1994. The song has been performed in three of Madonna's concert tours, the last being the Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008–09). It has been covered by a number of artists, and has been featured in several elements of popular culture, such as on the FOX show Glee, as well as different advertising campaigns.
Last Updated: December 22, 2021