"American Life" is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It is the title track from her ninth studio album American Life (2003), and was released digitally as the lead single from the album on March 24, 2003, by Maverick Records. It is a pop, techno and folk song written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï; the lyrics to "American Life" feature violent transitions and a political and religious view from Madonna. She questions the shallowness of modern life and the American Dream during the presidency of George W. Bush. Towards the end of the song, Madonna raps, naming the people who were working for her.
"American Life" was panned by music critics, with Billboard criticizing Madonna's rapping, and Blender naming it as the ninth worst song of all time. Commercially, "American Life" reached number one in Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan and Switzerland, and the top ten in Australia, where the song was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Elsewhere, the song peaked at number 37 in the US Billboard Hot 100, staying in the chart for eight weeks, while it debuted and peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart.
Two music videos were shot for the song, both directed by Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund. The first featured Madonna at a military-themed fashion show, ending with her throwing a hand grenade at George W. Bush. Prior to its release, the video caused controversy regarding its political, racial and religious implications, leading Madonna to release a statement explaining its concept. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq started, Madonna cancelled the release of the original music video, because of the political climate of the country at the time, and released an alternative version, featuring her in front of a backdrop of flags from around the world. The song was performed during promotion for American Life in 2003, on the Re-Invention World Tour (2004), the Miami stop of her Madonna: Tears of a Clown show (2016), the Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 festival and the Madame X Tour (2019-20).