This week’s song of the week is Madonna’s “Celebration,” which is one of the new tracks on her greatest hits album of the same title. It’s a great dance song:

This collection shows just how amazing Madonna’s career has been (so far).I wish it had a few more of the slower hits, especially “This Used to Be My Playground,” which is one of my favorites. But just about everything you would imagine is represented in this collection. (“Material Girl” is also one of my favs. And of course “Like a Prayer,” “Like a Virgin,” “Human Nature,” “Ray of Light,” and “Holiday.”)

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a gay man of the Madonna generation — her career started at just about the same time that I started becoming aware that I was attracted to boys instead of girls. It’s so difficult to explain to younger gay guys just how important Madonna was to gay men my age. She was the first pop icon to embrace gay men openly and aggressively. She put her gay dancers front and center in her videos and then argued for a sexual liberation that included us all.

Britney is nothing like Madonna in this regard; in fact, her whole virgin thing early in her career was the exact opposite of Madonna. Christina is a little closer, at least in that she routinely includes gay people in her videos. But really there’s no one carrying Madonna’s message of living life fully regardless of who you are, which is why we’re fortunate to still have Madonna herself carrying the torch!

And I, for one, am delighted that she’s still pushing some of those boundaries. Why not trade in the hubby for a hot, young Brazilian model/DJ? (Made in Brazil, one of my favorite blogs, follows Jesus Luz fairly closely, so I feel that I’m up on — and loving — the Madonna/Luz gossip!) If anyone’s earned the right to have great sex with a yummy boytoy, it’s definitely Madonna. And if their relationship is about more than sex, than good for her. If not, good for her too.

As she sings in “Celebration,” Madonna has spent her career whispering “An invitation to the dance of life” in our ears. I’m glad that she continues to dance it too.