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Madonna says MTV performance nearly ruined her career on 'Fallon'

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Madonna appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and talked about her MTV performance in 1984 that she said nearly derailed her career. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/2ef7c72597ee8cdbdaff3b15b786293a/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Madonna appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and talked about her MTV performance in 1984 that she said nearly derailed her career. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Madonna appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and talked about her wardrobe malfunction at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, which she said nearly ended her career.

The 63-year-old went on the show Wednesday night to promote her new album, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, and spoke about the now-infamous moment when she performed "Like A Virgin."

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"I don't know why they chose 'Like A Virgin' because I thought it was quite controversial," Madonna said. "It turned out that the controversial thing wasn't the song itself but my performance at the MTV Awards, the first MTV Awards."

"I walked down these very steep stairs...and I got to the bottom, and started dancing around, and my white stiletto pumps fell off," she said, adding that this caused her dress to flip up and expose her behind when she went bent over to grab them.

"Those were the days when you shouldn't show your butt to have a career," Madonna said. "Now it's the opposite...I didn't even know my butt was showing!"

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The singer noted that, despite the moment being an accident, her manager told her that "my career was over with."

This would prove not to be the case, however, as the performance would go on to be recognized as one of the best pop performances in history by MTV itself.

"Like A Virgin" would become the singer's first chart-topper in the United States, and her studio album of the same name has remained one of the best-selling pop music collections of all time.

If that hadn't been the case, though, the singer said that she would probably be a school teacher if the entertainment business hadn't worked out.

"I have a very popular class, it would be controversial," she said. "It would be challenging, I'd probably end up in jail."

Madonna also talked about another one of her music influences, Elvis Costello, who was also a guest on Fallon's show on Wednesday.

"I said, 'Elvis Costello's on the show,' and you said, 'You know, I practice my drumming to Elvis' records,'" Fallon said.

"That is correct," Madonna replied. "I started to play the drums, and I found some Elvis Costello records, and that's how I learned to play the drums, to his music."

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"But please don't ask me to play the drums, I don't want to make you feel bad," she joked.

While her new album features a number of collaborations, Madonna told Fallon that the one artist she would still love to work with was rap superstar Kendrick Lamar.

"His new record, is like, history-making," she said. "Mind-bogglingly brilliant...he's so talented."

Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones will be released on all physical formats on Aug. 19.

The legendary pop star also performed her hit song "Music" on the show with classroom instruments.

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