In 2000, Madonna unexpectedly recorded ‘American Pie’. On release in the UK it entered the official singles chart at number 1 and in the US made the top-30 on airplay points alone. This prompted EMI to release a new “Best of Don McLean” CD that gave Don his first top-30 chart album hit in 20 years. At one point in March 2000 Don had two albums on the charts: this new compilation and the original American Pie album.
Don McLean was delighted with Madonna’s version. He issued the following statement that became widely quoted in the worldwide media:
“Madonna is a colossus in the music industry and she is going to be considered an important historical figure as well. She is a fine singer, a fine songwriter and record producer, and she has the power to guarantee success with any song she chooses to record. It is a gift for her to have recorded ‘American Pie.’ I have heard her version and I think it is sensual and mystical. I also feel that she’s chosen autobiographical verses that reflect her career and personal history. I hope it will cause people to ask what’s happening to music in America. I have received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess.”
Don McLean, 2000.