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Madonna's 'La Isla Bonita' Was Written For Michael Jackson

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
AP/Kevork Djansezian

Naturally, the song evolved in a big way from its original draft.

Madonna's classic 1986 song "La Isla Bonita" was originally written to be sung by Michael Jackson, according to an interview with songwriter Patrick Leonard in Boy Culture.

"After the Victory Tour, I was still in touch with Michael [Jackson] and Quincy [Jones] and doing some work with them and Quincy called me and said, 'I want to do something sort of Sade-like for Michael--would you write something?' and so I wrote that song and sent it to him with some form of a vocal on it and the phrase 'la isla bonita,'" he explained. "He called up and said, 'Ah, I just don't think it's for Michael.' Madonna and I were getting together, so I showed it to her and she said, 'Oh, I like this, let's work on it.'"

Naturally, the song evolved in a big way from its original draft.

"So we sat and changed, you know, whatever we changed and she changed lyrics and we reconstructed it," Leonard continues. "It's a good song, for sure. I don't know why she would return to that one more than others, to be honest. But I like it."

Leonard will make a rare public appearance performing next month at Joe's Pub in NYC, tickets for which are available here. During his heyday, Leonard wrote many of Madonna's most iconic songs, including "Like A Prayer" and "Cherish."

Revisit "La Isla Bonita." below:

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