As I’m working my way through Madonna’s discography, it’s become apparent how many current pop stars borrow heavily from the template she set. What’s also apparent is that it took quite some time before the imitators started to come out of the woodwork-with one glaring exception.

As Madge was going through the first of many reinventions-from trashy boy toy to blonde bombshell, an unknown by the name of Regina appeared on the scene boasting a name, a look, and a voice very similar to “Like a Virgin”-era Madonna. The end result was a very short-lived career, consisting of one big hit, “Baby Love”. A top 10 hit in the summer of 1986 (just as “Papa Don’t Preach” was climbing the charts), the helium voiced singer caught lightning in a bottle with what might have been the most note-perfect Madonna ripoff in history. By the time Regina could even get it together for a follow-up or a full length album, the real deal had returned and rendered the imitation unnecessary.

Still, as far as Madge rips go, “Baby Love” is a damn good one, cooing kid in the intro and all.

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