Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan.
An Icon is Born
Born Madonna Louise Ciccone, in Bay City, Michigan to parents Madonna Louise and Silvio Ciccone, Madonna was the third of six children. A straight-A student, Madonna took ballet classes and received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan. After her sophomore year, Madonna followed her dreams to New York City to pursue a career as a dancer. After dancing for various artists and being in a couple bands, Madonna gained some attention in New York dance clubs and shopped her demo album which was eventually brought to the attention of Sire Records founder Seymour Stein.
She is the ‘80s
In 1982, the world met and fell in love with Madonna through her self-titled debut album and follow-up smash, Like A Virgin. Her style, defined by lace tops, fishnet stockings, and bleached blonde hair became the iconic fashion trend of the ‘80s and Madonna was a superstar. As the ‘80s continued, Madonna continued to release successful albums including True Blue and Like a Prayer and acted in several films. As the '90s began, Madonna starred as Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy, began her controversial Blonde Ambition Tour, and released The Immaculate Collection, her first greatest hits album.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Certainly one of the hardest working entertainers of all time, Madonna continued to be a world-wide sensation in the ‘90s with hit albums (Erotica, Bedtime Stories, Something to Remember, The Evita Soundtrack), film failures and successes (Body of Evidence, Dangerous Game, Four Rooms, Evita), and began her own entertainment company, Maverick. With Ray of Light, Madonna reinvented her sexy image and adopted a musical style influenced by techno, dance, and electronica. Her next albums, Music, American Life, and Confessions on a Dance Floor, continued this new direction and were punctuated by controversial moments like when she kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the MTV Video Music Awards. After a string of unsuccessful relationshipsand an unsuccessful marriage to actor Sean Penn, Madonna had a child (Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon) with personal trainer Carlos Leon. Three years later she had a son Rocco, with film director Guy Ritchie who she eventually married.
As she has aged, Madonna has continued to stir up controversy, most recently by adopting a young boy from Malawi. She received a lot of criticism for the adoption because it was believed that she bypassed certain adoption laws because of her celebrity status. She has also become a celebrity spokesperson for Kabbalah, a mystical sect of Judaism. Recently Madonna has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, signed a $120 million contract with concert promoters Live Nation, debuted a fashion line with H & M, and produced a documentary film about Malawi titled, I Am Because We Are. She has also released the first hit single off of her new album Hard Candy called 4 Minutes, featuring Justin Timberlake. Hard Candy will be released April 29th, 2008 and features JT, Timbaland, Pharell Williams and Danja, and Madonna will soon embark on her seventh World Tour.
Did U Know?
- In the late '70s Madonna played drums and sang in a band called The Breakfast Club.
- In 2006, a species of Tardigrade, a microscopic creature known for living in histile environments, was named echiniscus madonnae, after Madonna.
- Madonna has written two children’s books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody's Apples.
- Madonna has sold more than 200 million records in her career, world-wide.
- Rolling Stone named Madonna the 36th Greatest Artist of All Time in their 2004 list of the Top 100.
- During her career Madonna has won seven Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, and one Golden Globe Award.
"I love what I do. I travel so much for my work, so going on holiday seems weird, because when I'm not working I just want to go home and sleep in my bed."