Jennifer Grey: She inspired Madonna to ‘Express Yourself’

Jennifer Grey
She inspired Madonna to “Express Yourself”

Madonna (left) and Jennifer Gray in “Bloodhounds on Broadway” in 1989.

© imago images/Everett Collection

Madonna was inspired to write “Express Yourself” by Jennifer Grey, who was just splitting from Matthew Broderick at the time.

Madonna (63) was inspired by Jennifer Gray (62) for her song “Express Yourself”. The actress, who became a star in 1987 with “Dirty Dancing”, revealed this now the “People” magazine.

Jennifer Gray was close friends with the singer-actress in 1989, when “Express Yourself” appeared on Madonna’s album Like a Prayer. The two stood in front of the camera together for the film “Bloodhounds on Broadway”.

1989 was also the year Gray split from her partner Matthew Broderick (60). She was with the “Ferris Bueller’s Day” star for four years. After the breakup, Gray met Johnny Depp (58), who just became famous with the series “21 Jump Street”.

“The song is about you”

Madonna reportedly threw a party for Grey’s 29th birthday while filming “Bloodhounds of Broadway.” During the celebration, the singer reportedly pulled Gray aside and took her to her car. There she played her “Express Yourself” from the recently released album “Like a Prayer”. “Listen to this song I just made,” Madonna said, according to Grey. “It’s about you.”

Grey’s breakup with Matthew Broderick inspired Madonna to write the song. In the song, Madonna encourages women, among other things, not to settle for second best. They should move on if the relationship doesn’t fit.


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