Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey claims that Madonna told her that she was the inspiration behind ‘Express Yourself’, and more specifically, about her relationship with Matthew Broderick. Broderick and Grey started dating after playing members of the Bueller household in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The couple were engaged to be married, but eventually separated after four years together. In an interview with People magazine, Grey – who has a memoir coming out titled Out Of The Corner – remembered the time that pop singer Madonna threw her a 29th birthday celebration. Madonna informed her that the tune stemmed from Grey’s breakup with Broderick, which accounts for some of the lyrics, specifically: “You deserve the best in life/ So if the time isn’t right, then move on/ Second best is never enough/ You’ll do much better, baby, on your own.”
“She told me she wrote ‘Express Yourself’ about me breaking up with Matthew,” Grey said. “She played it for me in her car. I was in my log cabin with Johnny and she said, ‘Come into my car.’ And I got in her Mercedes where she had a really good sound system and she was like, ‘Listen to this song I just did. It’s about you.’”
The two women were close friends when Grey later dated Johnny Depp, and both duly appeared in Bloodhounds Of Broadway. Grey recently emailed Madonna, asking the singer if she had told everyone about the backstory. Grey’s career dipped in the 1990s, but she has continued to work as a supporting actor, appearing in films In Your Eyes, Duck Duck Goose, and Bittersweet Symphony. Madonna issued a second remix of her song ‘Frozen’ with Canadian producer Sickick and Nigerian singer Fireboy DML.
Broderick’s spell carried on into the 1990s, and he starred in the monster epic Godzilla. Depp, meanwhile, is currently embroiled in a court case with Amber Heard.
Stream ‘Express Yourself’ below.