"Ray of Light" is a song by American singer Madonna. It is the titular track from her seventh studio album Ray of Light (1998), and was released as the album's second single on May 6, 1998, by Maverick Records. Written by Madonna, William Orbit, Clive Muldoon, Dave Curtiss, Christine Leach, and produced by Madonna and Orbit, "Ray of Light" is based on Curtiss Maldoon's "Sepheryn" and is an electronic dance song with techno, trance, Eurodance, and disco influences, "Ray of Light" contains several sound effects such as whistles, bleeps and bells, the usage of electric guitar, and underlying synths. Lyrically, the song has a theme of freedom.
The song has received critical acclaim by music critics, for its club-friendly, electronic sound, lyrics, and "emotional warmth". The song was also nominated for three Grammy Awards; for Record of the Year, Best Dance Recording, and Best Short Form Music Video, winning the last two. "Ray of Light" debuted and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Madonna's highest debut on the chart to date. It also reached number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs component chart. Internationally, the song reached the top five in Canada, Finland, Italy and the United Kingdom, and peaked at number one in Spain.
An accompanying music video for "Ray of Light" was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and shows scenes from different cities around the world, with Madonna singing the song in front of them. The video was critically acclaimed, receiving the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video, as well as winning five awards at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. Later, Stefano Salvati accused her of plagiarizing the concept of a music video he directed for Biagio Antonacci in 1994.
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