Madonna at the premiere of I Am Because We Are
Birth name - Madonna Louise Ciccone
Also known as – Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone Ritchie, Madonna
Born - August 16, 1958 (age 49) Bay City, Michigan, United States
Origin - New York City, United States
Genre(s) - Pop, dance, dance-pop, electronica
Occupation(s) - Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, film producer, film
director, fashion designer, dancer, author, actress
Instrument(s) - Vocals, guitar, percussion
Years active - 1982–present
Label(s) - Artist Nation (2008), Warner Bros. (1982-2008), Maverick (1992-2004), Sire
Website - www.madonna.com
Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie (born August 16, 1958) known artistically as
Madonna, is an American Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, dancer, musician,
record producer and Golden Globe-winning actress. She is known for the use of sexual,
social and religious themes in her work and has been dubbed the quot;Material Girlquot; and
quot;Queen of Popquot; by the media.
Since her debut in 1982, Madonna has released many chart-topping albums and singles,
and has sold over 200 million copies worldwide. According to Guinness World Records
she is the quot;World’s most-successful female musicianquot; and the top earning female singer in
the world with an estimated net worth of over $400 million. The RIAA named her the
quot;Best Selling Female Rock Artist of the Twentieth Centuryquot;, the 2nd most successful top
selling female artist in the U.S. and 15th biggest selling artist overall. Billboard reported
that her 2006 Confessions Tour holds the record for the highest grossing concert tour by a
female artist. In the United Kingdom, she is the most successful female in the album and
singles chart history, having sold 3.6 million copies of her compilation The Immaculate
Collection and accomplishing sixty-one top ten singles, thirteen of which were #1 In 2008,
she surpassed Elvis Presley as the artist with most top ten hits in the history of the
Billboard Hot 100 charts, with thirty-seven top ten singles. She is also the most successful
singles artist on the United World Chart with thirteen #1 and twenty-three Top 10 singles.
On March 10, 2008, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1 Early life and career
1.1 1982–1985: Madonna debut album and Like A Virgin
1.2 1986–1991: Artistic development
1.3 1992–1997: Sex controversy and becoming Evita
1.4 1998-2002: Return to prominence
1.5 2003–2006: Commercial fluctuations
1.6 2007-Present: New record deal and film direction
3 Personal life
3.2 David Banda adoption controversy
3.3 Work at the Kabbalah Center
3.4 Political views
5 Influence on taxonomy
6.1 Studio albums
6.4 Other compilations
6.5 Live albums
7 Concert Tours
Early life and career
Madonna was born Madonna Louise Ciccone (her Catholic confirmation name but not
legal second middle name is Veronica) in Bay City, Michigan. Her mother, Madonna
Louise (née Fortin), was of French-Canadian descent (though born in Bay City), and her
father, Silvio quot;Tonyquot; P. Ciccone, was a first-generation Italian-American who worked as
Chrysler/General Motors design engineer and whose parents originated from Pacentro.
Madonna is the third of six children; her siblings are Martin, Anthony, Paula, Christopher,
Madonna was raised in a Catholic family in the Detroit suburbs of Pontiac and Avon
Township (now Rochester Hills). She is a distant relative of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Madonna's mother died of breast cancer at age 30 on December 1, 1963. Her father later
married the family housekeeper, Joan Gustafson, and they had two children, Jennifer and
Mario. Madonna convinced her father to allow her to take ballet classes. As a young girl,
Madonna attended St. Frederick's Elementary School and St. Andrew's Elementary School
(present day Holy Family Regional) and West Middle School. She attended Rochester
Adams High School, becoming a straight-A student and a member of the cheerleading
squad. Madonna received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan after
graduating from high school.
After being convinced by her ballet teacher to pursue a dance career, Madonna left the
University of Michigan at the end of her sophomore year, 1977, and moved to New York
City. Madonna had little money and for some time lived in squalor, working at Dunkin'
Donuts and with modern dance troupes. Madonna has said:
“When I came to New York, it was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd
ever gotten a taxi-cab, the first time for everything. And I came here with $35 in my
pocket. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done.”
While performing as a dancer for the French disco artist Patrick Hernandez on his 1979
world tour, Madonna became romantically involved with the musician Dan Gilroy, with
whom she later formed her first rock band, the Breakfast Club in New York. In it, she sang
and played drums and guitar before forming the band Emmy in 1980 with drummer and
former boyfriend Stephen Bray. She and Bray wrote and produced dance songs that
brought her local attention in New York dance clubs. Disc jockey and record producer
Mark Kamins was impressed by her demo recordings, so he brought her to the attention of
Sire Records founder Seymour Stein.
1982–1985: Madonna debut album and Like A Virgin
In 1982, Madonna signed a singles deal with Sire Records, a new wave label belonging to
Warner Bros. Records. Her first release was quot;Everybodyquot; on April 24, 1982. The song
became an immediate success and was broadcast on radio throughout the summer of 1982.
It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Chart. quot;Burning Upquot; followed in March
1983, and also peaked at #3 on the U.S. dance charts. This convinced Sire Records to
finance an entire album by Madonna. On May 5, 1983 a double A-sided promotional 7quot;
single for quot;Physical Attractionquot; was released to U.S. radio. Her debut album, Madonna, a
collection of dance songs, was primarily produced by Reggie Lucas, who had also
produced for several R&B singers including Stephanie Mills. Madonna felt Lucas would be
the producer to get the best vocals from her as he had experience working with many
established R&B singers. After finishing several songs, however, she was dissatisfied with
the outcome. She felt her vocals were fine but was displeased with Lucas' music tracks.
Madonna took the finished product to her then-boyfriend John quot;Jellybeanquot; Benitez, who
remixed and rearranged them. He also added a song (quot;Holidayquot;). The album peaked at
number eight on the U.S. albums chart.
Madonna's look and manner of dress, portrayed in photographs, live performances and
music videos, became increasingly influential among young girls and women. Defined by
lace tops, skirts over capri pants, fishnet stockings, jewelry bearing the Christian cross, and
bleached hair, this style became an iconic female fashion trend in the 1980s. Her follow up
album, Like a Virgin, became her first number one album on the U.S. albums chart, buoyed
by the success of its title track, quot;Like a Virginquot;, which reached number one in the U.S. with
a six week stay at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. Other hits included
quot;Material Girlquot; (U.S. #2), quot;Angelquot; (U.S. #5) and quot;Dress You Upquot; (U.S. #5). The album
sold eight million copies in the US and another four million worldwide at its time of
release. She performed the title song at the first MTV Video Music Awards, during which
she writhed on the stage, on top of a wedding cake, wearing a combination bustier/wedding
gown, lacy stockings, garters, and her then-trademark quot;Boy Toyquot; belt.
In 1985, Madonna entered mainstream films, beginning with a brief appearance as a club
singer in the film Vision Quest. The soundtrack to the film contained her second U.S.
number one pop hit, the Grammy-nominated ballad quot;Crazy for Youquot;, as well as the UK hit
quot;Gamblerquot;. The songs were released by Geffen Records during the run of Madonna's Like
a Virgin album. Sire Records stopped releasing material after the release of the singles
quot;Like a Virginquot; and quot;Material Girlquot; as not to overlap Geffen's releases from the soundtrack.
After the Geffen songs had run their course, Sire would continue promotion on the album
by releasing additional singles; quot;Angelquot; and quot;Dress You Upquot;. Later that year, she appeared
in Desperately Seeking Susan. The film introduced the dance song quot;Into the Groovequot;,
which was released as the B-side of the U.S. 12quot; single quot;Angelquot;, and became an
international hit, her first number one in the UK. Madonna embarked on her first concert
tour in the U.S. in 1985 titled The Virgin Tour, with The Beastie Boys. In July that year,
Penthouse and Playboy magazines published a number of black and white nude photos of
Madonna taken in the late 1970s. The publications caused public controversy. Madonna
took legal action to try and block them from being published, but when that failed she
became unapologetic and defiant. Speaking to a global audience at the outdoor Live Aid
charity concert at the height of the controversy, Madonna made a critical reference to the
media and stated she would not take her jacket off, despite the heat, because quot;they might
hold it against me ten years from nowquot;. Also, in 1985, her first film A Certain Sacrifice, a
low-budget film which was filmed in 1979, was released on video to capitalize on her
fame. She appears nude in the film.
Madonna's studio album Like a Virgin (1984) was listed by the National Association of
Recording Merchandisers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Definitive 200
Albums of All Time.
1986–1991: Artistic development
Madonna's 1986 album True Blue prompted Rolling Stone to say that she was quot;singing
better than ever.quot; The album included the ballad quot;Live to Tellquot;, which she wrote for the
film At Close Range, starring her then-husband Sean Penn. It was also the first to credit her
as producer. She collaborated with composer Patrick Leonard, who would become a long-
time collaborator and friend. True Blue reached #1 in various countries and sold over
eleven million copies worldwide at its time of release. It produced five successful singles:
“Live to Tell” (U.S. #1), “Papa Don't Preach” (U.S. #1), “Open Your Heart” (U.S. #1),
“True Blue” (U.S. #3) and “La Isla Bonita” (U.S. #4).
The music videos for the album displayed Madonna’s methods of fusing music with
cinematic style such as art direction, cinematography, characters and plot. An example was
the quot;Open Your Heartquot; video. Though Madonna had already made videos expressing her
sexuality, she added religious iconography, gender archetypes, and social issues to her
oeuvre, and these concepts would continue through her work. In 1987, Madonna starred in
Who's That Girl, and contributed four songs to its soundtrack, including the film's title
track. Its second single, quot;Causing a Commotionquot; peaked in the U.S. at #2. The same year,
Madonna embarked on the Who's That Girl World Tour, at the time the highest-grossing
tour in music history, beginning her association with backing vocalists and dancers Donna
DeLory and Niki Haris, and moving closer to the more elaborately staged theater-inspired
concert tour. It also marked her first run-in with the Vatican, with Pope John Paul II urging
fans not to attend her performances in Italy. Later that year, Madonna released a remix
album of past hits, You Can Dance, which included one new song, quot;Spotlight.quot; The album
sold over one million copies in the U.S. and 5 million worldwide. In 1988, city officials in
the town of Pacentro, Italy, planned to construct a 13-foot (4 m) statue of Madonna in a
bustier. The statue was intended to commemorate the fact that some of Madonna's
ancestors had lived in Pacentro.
Madonna's fourth album, Like a Prayer, released in 1989, was co-written and co-produced
with Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray. She teamed up with Prince on a duet, and he also
played guitar on two songs. All Music Guide described the album as quot;her best and most
consistentquot;, while Rolling Stone hailed it as quot;..as close to art as pop music getsquot;. Like a
Prayer peaked at number one on the US album chart and sold seven million copies
worldwide, with 4 million copies alone sold in the U.S. The album produced five hit
singles: the title track, “Express Yourselfquot; (U.S. #2), “Cherishquot; (U.S. #2), “Oh Father” and
“Keep It Togetherquot; (U.S. #8). The title song hit number one and became her seventh #1 on
the Billboard Hot 100.
In early 1989, Madonna signed an endorsement deal with soft drink manufacturer Pepsi.
She appeared and debuted her new song, “Like a Prayer,” in a Pepsi commercial and also
made a separate music video which was not related to Pepsi. Although the commercial
itself was not controversial, the video for “Like a Prayer” caused an uproar. The video
premiered on MTV and featured many Catholic symbols, such as stigmata and burning
crosses. Since the commercial and music video were nearly identical in visual terms, Pepsi
was unable to convince the public that their commercial actually had nothing that could be
deemed inappropriate. Pepsi revoked the commercial and allowed Madonna to keep her
five million dollar fee, as the contract was nullified.
Madonna (left) with Tony Ward, (center) at the AIDS
Project Los Angeles benefit concert in 1990.
In 1990, Madonna starred as quot;Breathlessquot; Mahoney in a film adaptation of the comic book
series Dick Tracy to accompany the launching of the film, in May 1990 she released I'm
Breathless, which included songs from and inspired by the film's 1930s setting. It featured
her eighth U.S. #1 house music anthem quot;Voguequot;, the Gershwin-esque quot;Something to
Rememberquot;, and three songs by Stephen Sondheim including her Academy Award-
winning song quot;Sooner or Laterquot;. I'm Breathless was a success in Europe, Australia and the
United States, and sold 7 million copies worldwide. The second single released from quot;I'm
Breathlessquot; was quot;Hanky Pankyquot; which peaked in the U.S. at #10 and #2 in the U.K. From
April until August 1990, Madonna toured Japan, North America, and Europe on her Blond
Ambition World Tour, which the singer likened to musical theatre. Featuring religious and
sexual themes and symbolism, the tour drew controversy from Madonna's performance of
quot;Like a Virginquot; during which two male dancers caressed her body before she simulated
In November 1990, Madonna released her first greatest hits compilation album, The
Immaculate Collection, which included two new songs: “Justify My Love” and “Rescue
Me.” Considering that Madonna did not want to release quot;Rescue Mequot; as a single, it became
the highest-debuting single by a female artist in U.S. chart history, entering the U.S. charts
at number 15 and eventually peaking at #9. The music video for “Justify My Love,”
showed Madonna in suggestive scenes with her then-lover, model/actor Tony Ward, as
well as scenes of sadism and masochism, bondage with homosexual characters, and brief
nudity. It was deemed too sexually explicit for MTV and banned from the station. Warner
Bros Records released the video as a video single — the first of its kind — and it became a
very successful music video. quot;Justify My Lovequot; became her ninth #1 single in the U.S. The
album to date has sold over 22 million copies worldwide. In 1991, Madonna starred in her
first documentary film, Truth or Dare (also known as In Bed with Madonna outside North
America), which chronicled her successful 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, as well as her
personal life. The following year, she appeared in the baseball film A League of Their Own
with a portrayal of Italian American Mae Mordabito, and recorded the film's theme song,
quot;This Used to Be My Playgroundquot;, which became her tenth #1 single in the United States.
1992–1997: Sex controversy and becoming Evita
Madonna at the Madrid premiere of Evita.
In 1992, Madonna founded her own entertainment company, Maverick, consisting of a
record company; Maverick Records, a film production company; Maverick Films and also
music publishing, television, merchandising and book-publishing divisions. It was a joint
venture with Time Warner as part of a $60 million recording and business deal. This deal
was unprecedented for a female singer and also gave her a royalty rate of 20% which was
equal then of Michael Jackson. The first release from the venture was Madonna's first
publication SEX, a book consisting of sexually provocative and explicit images
photographed by Steven Meisel. It caused a huge media controversy and went on to sell
500,000 copies in the U.S. alone, selling out worldwide.
At the same time she released her fifth studio album Erotica, featuring three sexual songs
— quot;Eroticaquot;, quot;Where Life Beginsquot;, and quot;Did You Do It?quot;. The album peaked at number
two in the U.S. and the title track “Erotica” (U.S. #3) became the highest-debuting single in
the history of the U.S. Hot 100 Airplay chart entering at #2. The album produced five other
singles, quot;Deeper and Deeperquot;, quot;Bad Girlquot;, quot;Feverquot;, quot;Rainquot; and quot;Bye Bye Babyquot;.
During 1993, she starred in two films. First was the erotic thriller Body of Evidence. The
film contained graphic depiction of S&M and bondage in certain scenes and was poorly
received by critics. The second was the first production for Maverick Films, Dangerous
Game. It was released straight-to-video in North America but received some good reviews
for Madonna's performance. The New York Times described that quot;she submits
impressively to the emotions raging furiously around her.quot; Madonna was publicly unhappy
with the end result saying that quot;even though it's a shit movie and I hate it, I am good in it.quot;
She also expressed her disappointment regarding the final cut of the film, claiming that the
director had cut many of her key scenes and completely changed the ending.
Madonna embarked on The Girlie Show World Tour at the end of 1993. It featured her
dressed as a whip-cracking dominatrix, surrounded by topless dancers, including Luca
Tommassini and Carrie Ann Inaba. The controversy surrounding the tour continued when
she caused an uproar in Puerto Rico by rubbing its flag between her legs on stage, while
Orthodox Jews protested against her first ever show in Israel.
In the spring of 1994, Madonna released the single quot;I'll Rememberquot; which she recorded for
Alek Keshishian's film quot;With Honorsquot;. It reached #2 in the U.S. and was released to
coincide with the home music video, The Girlie Show - Live Down Under and her second
book publication The Girlie Show. During this time she also had a controversial appearance
on the Late Show with David Letterman in which she swore several times and took off her
underwear. Later that year, she released her sixth studio album Bedtime Stories. At the
time, she was inspired by R&B/rock singer Joi's debut album Pendulum Vibe, and was so
in love with it that she recruited producer Dallas Austin to help with her project. The album
features Madonna turning to a more R&B-flavored sound. It peaked at #3 in the United
States and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Vocal Album category.
With its title track partially written by Björk, the album gave a hint of what would come
musically a few years later. It produced four singles - the lead off single quot;Secretquot; (U.S. #3),
quot;Take a Bowquot; (Co-written and produced with Babyface), quot;Bedtime Storyquot; and quot;Human
Naturequot;. quot;Take a Bowquot; was a success on the Billboard Hot 100, staying #1 for seven
consecutive weeks, becoming one of her biggest hits in the United States.
During 1995, Madonna had a small role in the film Four Rooms. She also had a cameo role
as a singing telegram in the comedy Blue in the Face. On November 7, 1995, Madonna
released Something to Remember, a collection of her best ballads, which featured three new
tracks, including a cover of the Marvin Gaye song “I Want You,” which she recorded with
the British band Massive Attack, and the top ten song quot;You'll See.quot; The album peaked at
#6 on the U.S. charts. In 1996, Madonna’s most critically successful film, Evita, was
released. She portrayed the main part of Eva Perón, a role first played by Elaine Paige in
the West End. The film's soundtrack became her twelfth platinum album and produced two
successful singles, “Don't Cry for Me Argentina” - her version hit #8 in the U.S., and “You
Must Love Me” (U.S. #18), the latter of which was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber
(music) and Tim Rice (lyrics). “You Must Love Me” won an Academy Award and a
Golden Globe for Best Original Song From a Motion Picture the following year. Madonna
also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
1998-2002: Return to prominence
Madonna's 1998 studio album Ray of Light debuted at #2 on the U.S. albums chart.
Amazon.com described the album as quot;her richest, most accomplished record yetquot;, while
Rolling Stone credited Madonna and her co-producer William Orbit for quot;creating the first
mainstream pop album that successfully embraces techno.quot; Ray of Light produced five
singles, including quot;Frozenquot; which was adjudicated to be a plagiarism of Belgian songwriter
Salvatore Acquaviva's 1993 song quot;Ma Vie Fout L'campquot;. The album won three awards at
the 1999 Grammy Awards and has been ranked #363 on Rolling Stone's list of 500
Greatest Albums of All Time. Microsoft used the Ray of Light title track in its 2001
advertising campaign Yes you can, to introduce Windows XP. In 1998, Madonna was
signed to play the role of violin teacher Roberta Guaspari Demetras in the film Music of
the Heart, and studied for many months to play the violin for the role, but left the project
before filming began, citing quot;creative differencesquot; with director Wes Craven. The children
of Opus 118 - Harlem School of Music, led by Roberta Guaspari, performed with Madonna
twice in 1998 - quot;Frozenquot; at the Annual Rain Forest Benefit at Carnegie Hall, New York
and at the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards performing quot;The Power of Good-Byequot;.
Madonna followed the success of Ray of Light with the top-twenty single, quot;Beautiful
Strangerquot; (U.S. #19), a late 60s psyche-pop song she wrote with William Orbit and
recorded for the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack (1999). In 2000,
Madonna starred in The Next Best Thing, her first film since Evita. Madonna contributed
two songs to the film's soundtrack, quot;Time Stood Stillquot; and the U.S. Top 40 (#29) / British
chart-topper quot;American Piequot;, a cover version of the 1970s Don McLean single.
In 1999, she won three Grammy Awards — Best pop album, Best dance recording, and
Best short form music video.
Madonna's eighth studio album, Music was released in 2000 and continued the electronica
theme of Ray of Light, this time it embraced dance and house music . It retained the
moodiness of the previous album in quot;Paradise (Not for Me)quot; and introduced folk guitars in
the top ten song “Don't Tell Me” and the ballad “Gone.” Music debuted at #1 on both the
US and UK album charts.
During 2001, she starred in two collaborations with her husband Guy Ritchie. The music
video to the single quot;What It Feels Like for a Girlquot; caused controversy due to its depiction
of violence and abuse. It was banned by MTV before 9pm and was given the '12' certificate
in the U.K. when released on home video. She also starred in the short film commercial,
Star, for car manufacturer BMW which was released on the internet only.
Later that year, Madonna embarked on the Drowned World Tour, her first tour in eight
years. It was the subject of a television special in the U.S. and was released on DVD in
November 2001 to coincide with the release of her second greatest hits album, GHV2.
In 2002, Madonna starred in the film Swept Away also directed by her husband Guy
Ritchie. The film was a commercial and critical failure and released straight-to-video in
Europe. Later that year, she released the title song quot;Die Another Dayquot; to the 20th James
Bond film, in which she had a brief cameo role. It reached number eight on the Billboard
Hot 100 and was nominated for both a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and a Golden
Raspberry for Worst Song.
2003–2006: Commercial fluctuations
Live 8 benefit concert, July 2, 2005
Madonna released her ninth studio album, American Life, in April 2003. The lyrics were
themed on the aspects of the American dream, fame, fortune and society. The record
received mixed reviews. The song peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100. Having sold
four million copies, American Life became the lowest selling album of her career.
Later that year, Madonna performed the song quot;Hollywoodquot; with Britney Spears, Christina
Aguilera and Missy Elliott at the MTV Video Music Awards. Madonna kissed Spears and
Aguilera during the performance, resulting in tabloid press frenzy. That fall, Madonna
provided guest vocals on Spears's single quot;Me Against the Musicquot;. During the Christmas
season of 2003, Madonna released Remixed & Revisited, a remix EP that included rock
versions of songs from American Life, and quot;Your Honestyquot; from Bedtime Stories.
In March 2004, Madonna and Maverick filed suit against Warner Music Group and its
former parent company, Time Warner, claiming that mismanagement of resources and poor
bookkeeping had cost the company millions of dollars. In return, WMG filed a countersuit,
alleging that Maverick had lost tens of millions of dollars on its own. On June 14, 2004, the
dispute was resolved when Maverick shares owned by Madonna and Ronnie Dashev were
purchased — which effectively exiled the two of them from the company as it was now a
wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music. Madonna no longer holds any interest in
anything Maverick, but she is still signed to Warner under a seperate recording contract.
Later that year, Madonna embarked on the Re-Invention World Tour in the U.S., Canada,
and Europe. It became the highest-grossing tour of 2004, earning $125 million. She made a
documentary about the tour named I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, which debuted on MTV
and was directed by Jonas Akerlund. Also in 2004, Madonna was involved in a legal
dispute with the Warner Music Group, with whom she co-owned Maverick Records. The
dispute ended with Warner Music Group buying Madonna's shares in the label. In 2004,
Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #36 on their list of the quot;100 Greatest Artists of All
Madonna during the 2006 Confessions Tour in Los Angeles.
In January 2005, Madonna performed a cover version of the John Lennon song quot;Imaginequot;
on the televised U.S. aid concert quot;Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hopequot;, which raised money
for the tsunami victims in Asia. In July 2005, Madonna performed at the Live 8 benefit
concert in London, run in support of the aims of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign
and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty. Her performances of quot;Like A Prayerquot;,
quot;Ray of Lightquot; and quot;Musicquot; were included in the Live 8 DVD.
Madonna's tenth studio album, the Grammy-winning Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005)
which sold more than 8 million copies, was built on a continuous mix of dance songs, with
musical elements borrowed from the '70s, and current dance music. The album received
positive reviews and was considered a return to form after the negative reception to
American Life. It produced four singles including quot;Hung Upquot; which reached #1 in a record
breaking 45 countries and peaked at #7 in the U.S. With quot;Hung Upquot; crossing over into the
Top 10, Madonna had her 36th Top 10 hit and was then tied with Elvis Presley for the most
Top 10 singles by any artist in the US; a record she would later break. Madonna opened the
2006 Grammy Awards with quot;Hung Upquot;, alongside the nominated computer-generated
band, Gorillaz. quot;Sorryquot; then became Madonna's twelfth number one in the UK, making her
the female artist with the most #1 singles in the UK charts. quot;Sorryquot; peaked at #58 in the
U.S.. The third single, quot;Get Togetherquot;, reached the UK Top 10 and became her thirty-sixth
number one dance hit in the U.S. The fourth and final single was quot;Jumpquot;, another U.S.
Dance Chart #1 and charted at number nine in the UK. She thus holds the record of 37 #1
Hot Dance Club Play hits in the US, the most for ANY artist.
In mid-2006, Madonna signed on to become the worldwide face of H&M. Included in the
deal was a specially designed track suit, created by Madonna. The next year, the clothing
line M by Madonna was launched internationally.
Madonna at the Wembley Arena in London during her
2006 Confessions tour.
Madonna's Confessions Tour began in late May 2006 and ended its 60-date run in Tokyo
on September 21, 2006. It had a global audience of 1.2 million people and, with reported
gross sales of $260.1 million, was the highest grossing tour ever by a female artist. The
use of religious symbols such as the crucifix and crown of thorns in the performance of
quot;Live to Tellquot; caused controversy. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Federation of
Jewish Communities of Russia urged all members to boycott her concert in Moscow. In
Dusseldorf, prosecutors threatened to open an investigation on charges of insulting
religious beliefs over her mock crucifixion. After seeing the performance, they decided not
to do so, stating that Madonna is protected by artistic freedom laws. The Vatican State
also considered the act blasphemous, to which Madonna responded:
There is a segment in my show where three of my dancers 'confess' or share harrowing
experiences from their childhood that they ultimately overcame. My 'confession' follows
and takes place on a Crucifix that I ultimately come down from. This is not a mocking of
the church. It is no different than a person wearing a Cross or 'Taking Up the Cross' as it
says in the Bible. My performance is neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious nor blasphemous.
Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see
the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would
be doing the same thing. My specific intent is to bring attention to the millions of children
in Africa who are dying every day, and are living without care, without medicine and
without hope. I am asking people to open their hearts and minds to get involved in
whatever way they can. The song ends with a quote from the Bible's Book of Matthew: For
I was hungry and you gave me food. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and
you took care of me and God replied, quot;Whatever you did for the least of my brothers... you
did it to me.quot; Please do not pass judgment without seeing my show.
2007-Present: New record deal and film direction
On May 16, 2007, Madonna released the download-only song quot;Hey Youquot;, in anticipation
of Live Earth, which was free for its first week. Madonna performed quot;Hey Youquot;
amongst other songs at the London concert of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium on July 7,
2007. Madonna was also guest vocalist on the song quot;Singquot; on the Annie Lennox 2007
album Songs of Mass Destruction. The song involved twenty-three female artists joining
Lennox for the collaboration. This quot;powerful feminist anthemquot; was born out of Lennox's
involvement with Nelson Mandela’s 46664 and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) –
organisations fighting for human rights, education and health care for those affected by the
HIV AIDS virus. quot;Singquot; was released as a single on December 3, 2007.
In October, 2007 Madonna announced her departure from record company Warner Bros.
and a new $120 million, 10 year contract with pop concert promoters Live Nation. She will
be the founding recording artist for the new music division, Artist Nation, and the deal will
consist of albums, tours, merchandise and promotion. The Warner Bros. deal will be
completed with her 2008 Hard Candy album and a compilation album due at the end of
2008 or early 2009. On December 13, 2007, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced
Madonna as one of the five inductees of the class of 2008. The ceremony, which also
included fellow inductees John Mellen camp, Leonard Cohen, the Ventures, and the Dave
Clark Five, took place on March 10, 2008. Madonna was inducted into the Hall by Justin
Madonna also directed her first film, Filth and Wisdom and produced I Am Because We
Are, a documentary on the problems and difficulties faced by people in Malawi. Her
directorial debut was premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival on February 13, 2008.
During most of 2007, Madonna recorded her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy, which
contains collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Danja. It
is due to be released on April 28, 2008 in Europe and April 29 in North America. The first
single from the album is quot;4 Minutesquot;, a duet with Timberlake and featuring Timbaland on
As of issue date April 12, 2008, quot;4 Minutesquot; moved up sixty-five positions on the
Billboard Hot 100 from #68 to #3, after debuting at number two on the Billboard Hot
Digital Songs. The song is Madonna's highest charting single in the United States since her
2000's chart-topper quot;Musicquot; and became her 37th top ten hit in the U.S., breaking the
previous record of 36 top ten hits held for almost the past 40 years by Elvis Presley and
being quot;Suspicious Mindsquot; his last top ten single in January of 1969. quot;4 Minutesquot; also
became Madonna's 60th top ten single on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the female artist
with the most top ten singles in UK. It is also currently #1 on the United World Chart,
gaining 463,000 points this week, beating out other artists such as Mariah Carey and Leona
Lewis. In April and May, Madonna will embark on a promotional tour for Hard Candy,
playing three dates in New York City, Paris and London. In late summer, she will then
begin her seventh world tour.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, 2006
Madonna has cited her Catholic and Italian background as major influences in her life and
career. She has also noted on various occasions that her mother's premature death left a
lasting emotional burden throughout her adolescence and adulthood. As an entertainer,
Madonna has occasionally touched on these subjects in her song lyrics and visual
Madonna's Catholic background and relationship with her parents were reflected in the
1989 album Like a Prayer, which features songs about her parents and Catholic
upbringing. The video for the title track contains Catholic symbolism, such as the stigmata.
Madonna used the crucifix as a religious accessory in the setting of the video, she also
included in the stage design of her Confessions Tour. Her 1989 song quot;Promise to Tryquot; tells
of her sadness towards the memory of her mother, while quot;Oh Fatherquot; (1989) describes a
strict father who elicits fear and violence in his child. During The Virgin Tour, she wore a
rosary and prayed with it in the music video for quot;La Isla Bonitaquot; (1987).
Madonna's Italian heritage has also been referenced in her work. The video for quot;Like a
Virginquot; (1984) , filmed in Venice, Italy, features her in Venetian settings. The quot;Open Your
Heartquot; (1986) video sees her boss yelling at her in Italian. In the quot;Papa Don't Preachquot;
video, Madonna wears a shirt with the slogan, quot;Italians Do It Betterquot;. The 1988 video
release of her Who's That Girl Tour, titled Ciao, Italia! - Live From Italy, was filmed
mainly in Turin, Italy. in it, Madonna performs the song quot;Papa Don't Preachquot; while a
portrait of the Pope appears on the screen behind her. quot;Papaquot; is the Italian word for quot;Popequot;.
In her 2005 documentary I'm Going To Tell You a Secret, she has been quoted as jokingly
stating that she has quot;big, fat, Italian thighs.quot;
In 1985, Madonna commented that the first song to ever make a strong impression on her
was quot;These Boots Are Made for Walkin'quot; by Nancy Sinatra and that it summed up her
take-charge attitude. As a young woman, she attempted to broaden her taste in literature,
art, and music, and during this time became interested in classical music. She noted that her
favorite style was baroque, and loved Chopin because she liked his quot;feminine qualityquot;. In a
1999 interview with Larry King, Madonna identified a wide range of musical influences
that impacted her such as Karen Carpenter, Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde saying they
quot;paved the wayquot; for her. Her song quot;Rainquot; is inspired by Karen Carpenter. In an interview
with the Observer, Madonna professed her inspirations – Detroit natives The Raconteurs
and The White Stripes, as well as New York band quot;The Jett Setquot;. Madonna has also
commented that she enjoys Frank Sinatra, and especially likes to sing, quot;My Wayquot; in the
shower. Yet the most influential person in her formative years was her younger brother
Christopher who influenced all aspects of her life and career; Madonna danced and
choreographed with him in the early days, and he has advised her on everything from
clothes to music, to home design, to boyfriends.
During her childhood, Madonna became fascinated by films and film stars, later saying, quot;I
loved Carole Lombard and Judy Holliday and Marilyn Monroe. They were all incredibly
funny...and I saw myself in them...my girlishness, my knowingness and my innocencequot;.
Her quot;Material Girlquot; music video recreated Monroe's quot;Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friendquot;
number from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and she later studied the screwball
comedies of the 1930s, particularly those of Lombard, in preparation for the 1987 Who's
That Girl film. The video for quot;Express Yourselfquot; (1989) placed a femme fatale character
alongside an androgynous figure in male attire, which was compared to Marlene Dietrich
and was inspired by Fritz Lang's silent film Metropolis. The video for quot;Voguequot; recreated
the style of Hollywood glamour photographers, in particular Horst P. Horst, and imitated
the poses of Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard and Rita Hayworth, while the lyrics
referenced many of the stars who had inspired her. Among those mentioned was Bette
Davis, described by Madonna in a Rolling Stone interview as an idol, along with Louise
Brooks and Dita Parlo. Dietrich remarked on numerous occasions how vulgar she thought
Madonna's actions were as both a performer and as a person.
Madonna has been influenced by the art world and has a personal collection of paintings by
Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Salvador Dali and Man Ray, amongst others.
Her music videos quot;Eroticaquot; (1992) and quot;Deeper and Deeperquot; (1992) were both
influenced by the films of Andy Warhol, and her 1995 music video to quot;Bedtime Storyquot;
featured images inspired by the paintings of Kahlo and Remedios Varo. Her 2003 video to
quot;Hollywoodquot; was a homage to the work of photographer Guy Bourdin which led to a
lawsuit by Bourdin's son due to the use of his father's work without permission.
Madonna with Guy Ritchie.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Madonna dated Dan Gilroy, with whom she formed the
band Breakfast Club. In the early 1980s, she also dated her collaborator Stephen Bray,
artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, DJ and record producer Mark Kamins, and musician Jellybean
Benitez. While filming the music video for quot;Material Girlquot; in 1985, Madonna began
dating actor Sean Penn and married him later that year. After filing and withdrawing
divorce papers in December 1987, they separated on New Year's Eve of 1988 and were
officially divorced in September 1989. Of her marriage to Penn, Madonna later told Tatler,
quot;I was completely obsessed with my career and not ready to be generous in any shape or
form.quot; Madonna began a highly publicized relationship with Warren Beatty while working
on the film Dick Tracy early in 1989. Despite rumors that the two had become engaged in
May 1990, the couple's relationship seemed to have ended by the summer. In a 1991
interview with Vanity Fair, Madonna said, quot;I'd go, 'Warren, did you really chase that girl
for a year?!?' And he’d say, 'Nah, it's all lies.' I should have known better. I was unrealistic,
but then, you always think you're going to be the one.quot;
In late 1990, Madonna dated Tony Ward, a young bisexual model and porn star who
starred in her music videos for quot;Cherishquot; (1989) and quot;Justify My Lovequot; (1990). Their
relationship ended by early 1991, and Madonna later began an eight-month relationship
with rapper Vanilla Ice, who appeared later in her Sex book. Madonna dated basketball
player Dennis Rodman in the mid 1990s. In September 1994, while walking in Central
Park, Madonna met fitness trainer Carlos Leon who became her personal trainer and lover.
On October 14, 1996, Madonna gave birth to Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon in Los Angeles,
California. The couple ended their relationship in 1997. Madonna then began dating Andy
Bird, who sold his story to the newspapers in a tell-all about their eighteen-month
relationship in late 2000/early 2001. On August 11, 2000, Madonna gave birth to a son,
Rocco John Ritchie in Los Angeles, California, with Guy Ritchie, whom she had met in
1999 through mutual friends Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. On December 22, 2000,
Madonna and Ritchie were married in Scotland. As of 2008, Madonna resides in
Marylebone, London and her country estate in Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, with Ritchie and
their 3 children.
David Banda adoption controversy
In October 2006, Madonna flew to Malawi to help build an orphanage, which she also
funded as part of the Raising Malawi initiative. On October 10, 2006, she filed adoption
papers for a boy named David Banda Mwale, born on September 24, 2005 and renamed
David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie. After a passport and visa were issued, Banda was
flown out of Malawi on October 16. The adoption raised public controversy about whether
special treatment was given to Madonna considering the fact that Malawian law requires
one year of residence for potential adoptive parents. The effort was highly publicised and
culminated into legal disputes.
Madonna appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 25, 2006, to refute the
allegations. During the half-hour interview, the singer claimed that there are no written
adoption laws in Malawi that regulate foreign adoption and that she had been planning to
adopt for two years. She also claimed that Banda had been in critical condition and was
suffering from pneumonia after surviving malaria and tuberculosis when she had found him
in the orphanage. In addition, Madonna blamed the media for quot;doing a great disservice to
all the orphans of Africa, period, not just the orphans of Malawiquot;, by discouraging people
from adopting children from African nations. She stated, quot;I wanted to go into a Third
World country—I wasn't sure where—and give a life to a child who might not otherwise
have had one.quot; She also describes Banda's father as a quot;Simple man from a village.quot; U2 lead
singer and humanitarian activist, Bono, defended her by commenting, quot;Madonna should be
applauded for helping to take a child out of the worst poverty imaginable and giving him a
better chance in life. Baby David is lucky to have been adopted by someone who can give
him a chance of survival in this world and I don't think it's fair that people are criticising
On October 22, 2006, it was reported that Yohane Banda, David Banda's biological father,
did not understand what adoption meant and that he had not realized that he was losing his
son. He had assumed that this arrangement was more like a fostering agreement. A few
days later, after Winfrey interview, he said, quot;These so-called human rights activists are
harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing.quot; He was
also reported to say, quot;They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I
know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband.quot; Madonna responded that Yohane
Banda had known what he was doing, having refused to accept her offer to financially
support him and David without adoption.
Work at the Kabbalah Center
Since the late 1990s, Madonna has been a devotee of the Kabbalah Centre and a disciple of
its head Rabbi Philip Berg and his wife Karen. Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie attend
Kabbalah classes and have been reported to have adopted a number of aspects of the
movement associated with Judaism. She no longer performs on Friday nights because this
is the time when the Jewish Shabbat begins. Madonna wears a red string and has visited
Israel with members of the Kabbalah Centre to celebrate some of the Jewish holidays. She
also studies personally with her own private-tutor, Rabbi Eitan Yardeni, whose wife Sarah
Yardeni runs Madonna's favorite charitable project, quot;Spirituality for Kidsquot;, a subsidiary of
the Kabbalah Centre. Madonna reportedly donated $21 million towards a new Kabbalah
school for children.
Controversy erupted again before the release of Confessions on a Dance Floor. Many
Israeli rabbis condemned its song quot;Isaacquot; because they believed the song to be a tribute to
Rabbi Isaac Luria, also known as Yitzhak Luria (1534–1572), one of the greatest
Kabbalists of all time, and claimed that Jewish law forbids using a holy rabbi's name for
profit. In interviews, Madonna had called this song quot;The Binding of Isaacquot; and rumors
spread that it was based on the major episode in the life of the Hebrew patriarch Isaac.
Despite continued accusations that the song is about Isaac Luria, Madonna has repeatedly
denied such accusations, claiming she could not think of a title for the song and, therefore,
named it after Yitzhak (Isaac) Sinwani. In the song, Madonna sings with Sinwani, an
Israeli singer, who is chanting a Yemenite Jewish song. Said Madonna: quot;The album isn't
even out, so how could Jewish scholars in Israel know what my song is about? I don't know
enough about Isaac Luria to write a song, though I've learned a bit in my studies.quot;
Madonna has openly defended her Kabbalah studies by stating, for example:
“I wouldn't say studying Kabbalah for eight years goes under the category, or falls under
the category, of being a fad or a trend. Now there might be people who are interested in it
because they think it's trendy, I certainly do, but I can assure you that studying Kabbalah is
actually a very challenging thing to do. It requires a lot of work, a lot of reading, a lot of
time, a lot of commitment and a lot of discipline.
Madonna opposes United States President George W. Bush. In her Confessions Tour, she
sings the 2005 song quot;I Love New Yorkquot;. Instead of the original lyrics quot;just go to Texas,
isn't that where they golf?quot; she sings quot;just go to Texas and suck George Bush's dick!quot;. She
endorsed Wesley Clark's Democratic nomination for the 2004 United States presidential
election in an impassioned letter to her fans, saying at the time that quot;the future I wish for
my children is at risk.quot; In the autumn of 2006, she expressed her support for Hillary
Clinton in the 2008 election. Most recently, she stated that she would be behind Al Gore if
he decided to run for the 2008 elections after seeing his documentary on global warming,
An Inconvenient Truth. She also urged her fans to see Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.
Madonna's lyrics have been panned as simple or even dull by some, though several critics
view her as a talented artist. Throughout her career, Madonna's sexual relationships with
women have engendered public intrigue and scrutiny. Besides kissing Britney Spears and
Christina Aguilera, she is speculated to have had relationships with Naomi Campbell and
Sandra Bernhardt. The book quot;Sexquot; features her in several sexual situations with both men
and women. Her sexual fluidity has been attributed to the social liberation of bisexuality in
the United States in the 1990s.
Much of Madonna's career has seen rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church, which
has generated criticism in the past. In 1990, when Madonna toured Italy with the Blond
Ambition Tour, the Pope encouraged citizens not to attend the concert. A private
association of devout Roman Catholics, called Famiglia Domani, also boycotted the show
for many of the same displays of sexual innuendos and eroticism the Pope had denounced.
In response, in a 1990 press conference in Italy, Madonna declared, quot;I am Italian American
and proud of it.quot; In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Madonna said that the
Pope's reaction hurt, quot;because I'm Italian, you knowquot;, but in another interview the same
year stated that she had ceased to practice Catholicism because the Church quot;completely
frowns on sex... except for procreationquot;. In the summer of 2006, Madonna drew criticism
from Vatican officials when she took her Confessions Tour to Rome. Vatican officials
claimed that Madonna's performance while hanging off a cross and wearing a crown of
thorns was an open attack on Catholicism and should not be performed in the same city as
the pope's residence.
In the documentary Italians in America - Our Contribution, author Gay Talese relates
Madonna's rebellion against the Catholic Church to her Italian ancestry. Talese claims that
Madonna's paternal ancestors come from a region of Southern Italy with a long tradition of
rebellion against the Catholic Church. Despite her alleged rebellion, Madonna had her son
Rocco baptized in a Roman Catholic Church. Madonna has received criticism from animal
rights groups for wearing a fur coat. In December 2006, PETA criticised Madonna for
wearing a real chinchilla fur coat in a London restaurant. In 2007, The New York Post
claimed animal lovers were quot;horrifiedquot; by Madonna dyeing her sheep for a photograph,
and quot;vilifiedquot; for organizing pheasant-hunting parties at her estate.
Influence on taxonomy
In 2006 a new water bear species (Latin:Tardigrada), Echiniscus Madonna was named after
Madonna. The paper with the description of E. madonnae was published in the
international journal of animal taxonomy Zootaxa in March 2006 (Vol. 1154, pages: 1-36).
The authors' justification for the name of the new species was: quot;We take great pleasure in
dedicating this species to one of the most significant artists of our times, Madonna Louise
Veronica Ritchiequot;. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) number of the
species is 711164.
1984: Like a Virgin
1986: True Blue
1989: Like a Prayer
1994: Bedtime Stories
1998: Ray of Light
2003: American Life
2005: Confessions on a Dance Floor
2008: Hard Candy
• 1987: Who's That Girl
• 1990: I'm Breathless - Music from and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy
• 1996: Evita
• 2000: The Next Best Thing
• (1985): Crazy for You
• (1985): Gambler
• (1992): This Used to Be My Playground
• (1994): I'll Remember
• (1999): Beautiful Stranger
• (2000): American Pie
• (2002): Die Another Day
1987: You Can Dance
1990: The Immaculate Collection
1995: Something to Remember
1989: Remixed Prayers
1991: The Royal Box
1991: The Holiday Collection
1996: CD Single Collection
2001: GHV2 Remixed: The Best of 1991-2001
2003: Remixed & Revisited
2006: Confessions Remixed
2006: I'm Going to Tell You a Secret
2007: The Confessions Tour
(2003): Me Against the Musicquot; (Britney Spears featuring Madonna)
(2007): Hey You
(1995): I Want Youquot; (with Massive Attack
(1997): Buenos Aires
(1998): Little Starquot;(1998)
(2001): Impressive Instant
(2001): GHV2 Megamix
(2003): Nobody Knows Me
(2005): Mother and Father (Peter Rauhofer Re-Invention Remix)
(2007): Future Lovers/I Feel Love (Live)
(2007): Music Inferno (Live)
Madonna has sold more than 155 million albums worldwide, and has more top ten singles in
than any woman in history. She lives in London with her husband film maker Guy Ritchie
and two children Lourdes and Rocco.
Madonna is arguably the most successful female recording artist, having been a prominent
pop icon for over 20 years and selling an estimated 120 million albums. The singer rose to
stardom in the early 1980s and has continued generating continuous hits into the 21st
century. Over the years she has been able to effectively recreate her image and music to fit
the style and trend of the present. The often controversial entertainer has been criticized for
using sexual and religious themes throughout her career.
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan and is
the third of six siblings. Madonna was encouraged to take music lessons when she was
younger. She played the piano until convincing her father to let her take ballet lessons
instead. Christopher Flynn was her ballet instructor as well as mentor who further
influenced her musical style and dance. During her high school years, she was an active
teenager as a member of the cheerleading squad and was also a straight A student. She
graduated from Rochester Adams High School in 1976 making plans to attend the
University of Michigan on a dance scholarship. After two years in college she made the
decision that would greatly affect her life by quitting school and pursuing her dancing career
in New York City. Struggling to support her new lifestyle, she worked odd jobs as a nude
model and as a Dunkin’ Donuts employee. In 1979, she landed a job as one of French disco
artist, Patrick Hernandez’s dancers during his world tour. There she met Dan Gilroy who
became her boyfriend and band mate in the Breakfast Club. She left in 1980 to join her
former boyfriend Stephen Bray’s group Emmy, eventually separating them from the band to
work on their own dance tracks. After gaining some recognition in NY dance clubs, her
demo recordings were brought to the attention of Seymour Stein, the founder of Sire
Records, by DJ and producer Mark Kamins.
Madonna signed with Sire and worked with Kamis to produce her first single “Everybody”
in 1982 which became a hit on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club chart. In 1983, she released
her self-titled debut album. The album was produced by Reggie Lucas but eventually re-
arranged and remixed by Madonna’s boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez, as Lucas and the
singer did not get along. “Holiday” became her first Top 40 hit and reached number one on
the Club Play Singles chart. Madonna was certified 5x platinum selling eight million copies.
Like a Virgin was instantly a worldwide success selling nineteen million copies and placing
number one on the US album chart in 1984. The first single “Like a Virgin” peaked at
number one for six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. She gained increasing
popularity as her sexy videos received heavy rotation on MTV. In 1985 she starred in the
film Desperately Seeking Susan, receiving positive reviews and attention by critics. The
“material girl” began her first concert tour, The Virgin Tour in 1985. Teenaged female fans
began to emulate the star by dressing in miniskirts, spandex, torn t-shirts and teased hair,
some even going as far as drawing a mole on their upper lip.
Her next album, True Blue, was released in 1986 and recognized as more mature due to its
more ambitious content. Single “Papa Don’t Preach” became an instant hit and the album a
commercial success selling over 20 million copies. Her second successful film, Who’s That
Girl? was released in 1987 and its theme song became an international hit. She shortly after
began the Who’s That Girl World Tour. 1989’s like A Prayer caused more controversy than
any album previously released with the video accompanying its title track. Many believed it
to be offensive primarily the Vatican who damned the video for its “blasphemous”
combination of Catholic symbols and eroticism. However, the song was a success despite
the strife. Other major hits, “Express Yourself”, “Cherish” and “Vogue” also contributed to
the album achieving 4x platinum. The Blond Ambition Tour, the most popular of all her
tours, began in 1990. While on tour, filming began for her first documentary entitled Truth
or Dare (In Bed With Madonna outside of North America). During this time she also starred
in the film Dick Tracy as “Breathless Mahoney”. The Immaculate Collection, a greatest hits
album which featured new song “Justify My Love” whose video also caused much
controversy was banned by music stations due to its extreme sexual content.
A League of Their Own was released in 1992 and starred the singer. Her single “This Used
to be My Playground” was featured in the film and topped the charts at number one.
Madonna’s adult coffee table sized book Sex was also released that year. The book
consisted of many erotic photographs of the star as well as other celebrities Isabella
Rossellini, Naomi Campbell, Vanilla Ice, and Big Daddy Kane depicting simulations of
sexual acts. The controversial book also set the stage for her album Erotica which, was
released the same year selling over two million copies. The title track, “Erotica”, became the
highest debuting single in US history entering the charts at number two on the Hot 100
Airplay. Without a doubt the accompanying video contained sexual content and was only
aired three times on MTV. The Girlie Show Tour went on the road in 1993 and is
considered her most sexually explicit tour.
Bedtime Stories was issued in 1994 and was her seventh album to achieve multi platinum
status. “Take a Bow” which was co-written and produced by R&B artist Babyface, was a
huge hit taking over the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. A
more conservative Madonna starred in Andre Lloyd Weber’s film rendition of Evita in
1995. She was very well received by critics earning the Golden Globe for Best Actress
(Musical or Comedy), and was praised for her sudden vocal improvement evident in songs
“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and “You Must Love Me” featured in the film. The latter
won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture.
Soon after the hype of the film, the news spread that Madonna was pregnant with her first
Madonna returned in 1998 with the release of Ray of Light, introducing a new flavor of
electronica, techno and trip hop inspired music. The album was a success making for a great
comeback for the new mother. Music was released in 2000 providing an electro-pop sound
similar to Daft Punk and Air. That year, she gave birth to her second child, Rocco, with
soon to be husband film director Guy Ritchie. American Life was released in 2003
becoming Madonna’s lowest selling album of her career. The lead single “American Life”
was criticized for its unpatriotic content which triggered the downfall of the record.
Confessions on a Dance Floor, Madonna’s tenth album, was released in 2005 reaching
number one in 40 countries which set a new record outnumbering The Beatles. The album
received much acclaim with top charting singles “Hung Up”, “Sorry”, and “Get Together”.
The Confessions Tour began in the summer of 2006 and is expected to be the highest
grossing world tour by a female.
Madonna Biography (1958–)
Pop singer. Born August 16, 1958 in Rochester, Michigan. She trained as a dancer at
University of Michigan before moving to New York City, where she began her professional
career as a back-up singer to a number of New York groups. She hired Michael Jackson's
manager prior to releasing Madonna (1983), an album which included five US hit singles.
Subsequent albums have included Like a Virgin (1984), True Blue (1986), Ray of Light
(1998), Music (2000), American Life (2003), and Confessions on a Dance floor (2005).
Madonna has also acted in films, including Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Shanghai
Surprise (1986) and Body of Evidence (1993). In 1996 she starred in the critically acclaimed
film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita (1996). She won a Golden
Globe for her performance and her song, quot;You Must Love Me,quot; earned an Academy Award.
Her defiant and raunchy stage appearances became an important role model for teenagers in
the 1980s and 1990s, and her international success has been secured by clever promotion
and image-making. This was reinforced in several media in the early 1990s, with the
publication of a controversial collection of erotic photographs of herself in Sex (1992),
alongside an album, Erotica.
Madonna made her London West End stage debut in 2002 in Up for Grabs. In a new
departure, her first children's book, The English Roses, was published in 2003. She was
inducted into the inaugural UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
Madonna was married to actor Sean Penn from 1984 to 1988. In 1996, she gave birth to
Lourdes Maria (Lola) Ciccone Leon, whom she had with her lover and personal trainer,
Carlos Leon. She married British director Guy Ritchie in 2000; they have a son, Rocco John
Ritchie. In October 2006, during a trip to an orphanage in Malawi, Madonna adopted a baby
boy named David Banda
After a star reaches a certain point, it's easy to forget
what they became famous for and concentrate solely on
their persona. Madonna is such a star. Madonna
rocketed to stardom so quickly in 1984 that it obscured
most of her musical virtues. Appreciating her music
became even more difficult as the decade wore on, as
discussing her lifestyle became more common than
discussing her music. However, one of Madonna’s
greatest achievements is how she manipulated the
media and the public with her music, her videos, her
publicity, and her sexuality. Arguably, Madonna was
the first female pop star to have complete control of her
music and image.
Madonna moved from her native Michigan to New
York in 1977, with dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. She studied with choreographer
Alvin Ailey and modeled. In 1979, she became part of the Patrick Hernandez Revue , a
disco outfit that had the hitquot; Born to Be Alive.quot;She traveled to Paris with Hernandez ; it was
there that she met Dan Gilroy, who would soon become her boyfriend. Upon returning to
New York, the pair formed the Breakfast Club, a pop/dance group. Madonna originally
played drums for the band, but she soon became the lead singer. In 1980, she left the band
and formed Emmy with her former boyfriend, drummer Stephen Bray. Soon, Bray and
Madonna broke off from the group and began working on some dance/disco-oriented tracks.
A demo tape of these tracks worked its way to Mark Kamins , a New York-based
DJ/producer. Kamins directed the tape to Sire Records, who signed the singer during 1982.
Kamins produced Madonna 's first single,quot;Everybody,quot;which became a club and dance hit at
the end of 1982; her second single, 1983'squot;Physical Attraction,quot;was another club hit. In June
of 1983, she had her third club hit with the bubblyquot;Holiday,quot;which was written by Jellybean
Benitez . Madonna 's self-titled debut album was released in September of
1983;quot;Holidayquot;became her first Top 40 hit the following month.quot;Borderlinequot;became her
first Top Ten hit in March of 1984, beginning a remarkable string of 17 consecutive Top
Ten hits. Whilequot;Lucky Starquot;was climbing to number four, Madonna began working on her
first starring role in a feature film, Susan Seidelman 's Desperately Seeking Susan.
Madonna 's second album, the Niles Rodgers -produced Like a Virgin , was released at the
end of 1984. The title track hit number one in December, staying at the top of the charts for
six weeks; it was the start of a whirlwind year for the singer. During 1985, Madonna became
an international celebrity, selling millions of records on the strength of her stylish, sexy
videos, and forceful personality. Afterquot;Material Girlquot;became a number two hit in March,
Madonna began her first tour, supported by the Beastie Boys .quot;Crazy for Youquot;became her
second number one single in May. Desperately Seeking Susan was released in July,
becoming a box-office hit; it also prompted a planned video release of A Certain Sacrifice, a
low-budget erotic drama she filmed in 1979. A Certain Sacrifice wasn't the only
embarrassing skeleton in the closet dragged into the light during the summer of 1985 -- both
Playboy and Penthouse published nude photos of Madonna that she posed for in 1977.
Nevertheless, her popularity continued unabated, with thousands of teenage girls adopting
her sexy appearance, being dubbedquot; Madonna Wannabes.quot;In August, she married actor
Sean Penn; the couple had a rocky marriage that ended in 1989.
Madonna began collaborating with Patrick Leonard at the beginning of 1986; Leonard
would co-write most of her biggest hits in the'80s, including quot;Live to tell,quot; which hit number
one in June of 1986. A more ambitious and accomplished record than her two previous
albums, True Blue was released the following month, to both more massive commercial
success (it was a number one in both the U.S. and the U.K., selling over five million copies
in America alone) and critical acclaim.quot;Papa Don't Preach quot;became her fourth number one
hit in the U.S. While her musical career was thriving, her film career took a savage hit with
the November release of Shanghai Surprise. Starring Madonna and Sean Penn, the comedy
received terrible reviews, which translated into disastrous box-office returns.
At the beginning of 1987, she had her fifth number one single with quot;Open Your Heart, quot;the
third number one from True Blue alone. The title cut from the soundtrack of her third
feature film, Who's That Girl?, was another chart-topping hit, although the film itself was
another box-office bomb. 1988 was a relatively quiet year for Madonna, as she spent the
first half of the year acting in David Mamet's Speed the Plow on Broadway. In the
meantime, she released the remix album You Can Dance. After withdrawing the divorce
papers she filed at the beginning of 1988, she divorced Penn at the beginning of 1989.
Like a Prayer, released in the spring of 1989, was her most ambitious and far-reaching
album, incorporating elements of pop, rock, and dance. It was another number one hit and
launched the number-one title track, and quot;Express Yourself,quot;quot;Cherish,quot;andquot;Keep It
Together,quot;three more Top Ten hits. In April 1990, she began her massive Blonde Ambition
tour, which ran throughout the entire year.quot;Voguequot;became a number one hit in May, setting
the stage for her co-starring role in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy; it was her most successful
film appearance since Desperately Seeking Susan. Madonna released a greatest-hits album,
The Immaculate Collection , at the end of the year. It featured two new songs, including the
number one singlequot;Justify My Love,quot;which sparked another controversy with its sexy
video; the second new song,quot;Rescue Me,quot;became the highest-debuting single by a female
artist in U.S. chart history, entering the charts at number 15. Truth or Dare , a documentary
of the Blonde Ambition tour, was released to positive reviews and strong ticket sales during
the spring of 1991.
Madonna returned to the charts in the summer of 1992 with the number onequot;This Used to
Be My Playground,quot;a single featured in the film A League of Their Own, which featured the
singer in a small part. Later that year, Madonna released Sex, an expensive, steel-bound
soft-core pornographic book that featured hundreds of erotic photographs of herself, several
models, and other celebrities -- including Isabella Rossellini, Big Daddy Kane , Naomi
Campbell, and Vanilla Ice -- as well as selected prose. Sex received scathing reviews and
enormous negative publicity, yet that didn't stop the accompanying album, Erotica , from
selling over two million copies. Bedtime Stories , released two years later, was a more
subdued affair than Erotica . Initially, it didn't chart as impressively, prompting some critics
to label her a has-been, yet the album spawned her biggest hit,quot;Take a Bow,quot;which spent
seven weeks at number one. It also featured the Bjцrk-pennedquot;Bedtime Stories,quot;which
became her first single not to make the Top 40; its follow-up, quot;Human Nature,quot; also failed
to crack the Top 40. Nevertheless, Bedtime Stories marked her seventh album to go multi-
Beginning in 1995, Madonna began one of her most subtle image makeovers as she lobbied
for the title role in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. Backing away from
the overt sexuality of Erotica and Bedtime Stories, Madonna recast herself as an upscale
sophisticate, and the compilation something to Remember fit into the plan nicely. Released
in the fall of 1995, around the same time she won the coveted role of Evita Peron, the album
was comprised entirely of ballads, designed to appeal to the mature audience that would also
be the target of Evita. As the filming completed, Madonna announced she was pregnant and
her daughter, Lourdes, was born late in 1996, just as Evita was scheduled for release. The
movie was greeted with generally positive reviews and Madonna began a campaign for an
Oscar nomination that resulted in her winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical
or Comedy), but not the coveted Academy Award nomination. The soundtrack for Evita,
however, was a modest hit, with a dance remix ofquot; Don't Cry for Me Argentina “and the
newly writtenquot; You Must Love Mequot; both becoming hits.
During 1997, she worked with producer William Orbit on her first album of new material
since 1994's Bedtime Stories . The resulting record, Ray of Light , was heavily influenced
by electronica, techno, and trip-hop, thereby updating her classic dance-pop sound for the
late'90s. Ray of Light received uniformly excellent reviews upon its March 1998 release and
debuted at number two on the charts. Within a month, the record was shaping up to be her
biggest album since Like a Prayer . Two years later she returned with Music, which reunited
her with Orbit and also featured production work from Markquot;Spikequot;Stent and Mirwais , a
French electro-pop producer/musician in the vein of Daft Punk and Air .
The year 2000 also saw the birth of Madonna’s second child, Rocco, who she had with
filmmaker Guy Ritchie; the two married at the very end of the year. With Ritchie as director
and Madonna as star, the pair released a remake of the film Swept Away in 2002. It tanked
at the box office, failing to crack seven digits, making it one of the least profitable films of
the year. Her sober 2003 album, American Life, fared a little better but was hardly a huge
success. That same year she released a successful children's book, The English Roses, which
was followed by four more over the coming years. The album Confessions on a Dance Floor
from 2005 was her return to music and to the dance-oriented material that had made her a
Madonna was born on 16 August 1958 in Michigan. Her full name was Madonna Louise
Madonna is married to Guy Ritchie, having divorced actor, Sean Penn.
She has a huge IQ and reportedly enjoys chess.
Madonna won a dance scholarship to Michigan University, but dropped out and went to
New York. Madonna struggled for a while in various dance troupes and bands, and was
briefly a backing vocalist/dancer to French disco star Patrick Hernandez.
Madonna's debut album, titled Madonna, was released in 1983, and although it sold 3
million copies it was with her next album, Like a Virgin that she made most impact.
Her music continued to be a critical and commercial success and in the past 20 years,
Madonna has sold more than 250m records. Some people argue that Madonna lulled in the
early part of the 2000s but there was no disputing that 2005 was a good year for Madonna
(barring a horse-riding accident).
Her Live 8 performance was highly regarded as was her album, Confessions on a Dance
floor, produced by Stuart Price, which contained the Number 1 single 'Hung Up'.
Madonna has been a hugely successful singer, but she is a woman of many talents. Her
photo-book, Sex was a great commercial success although panned by many critics.
Madonna has also appeared in a variety of films including Desperately Seeking Susan
(1985), In Bed with Madonna (1991) and Evita (1996).
Up until recently Madonna ran the record company Maverick, which (after a dispute) she
sold to Warner Music.
Madonna has recently written several children's stories.
Pundits have frequently referred to her successful branding and dubbed her a chameleon.
Some compliment her for this, and others criticise her.
Madonna has two children: Lourdes, fathered by personal trainer Carlos Leon, and Rocco
with Guy Ritchie.
Madonna can nowadays also be referred to as Esther.
As Madonna puts it: quot;I don't go by the name of Esther, but yes, that is my Hebrew name. I
chose it.quot; In an interview with ABC's 20/20 Madonna said:
quot;I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young. I wanted to
attach myself to another name. So I read about all the women in the Old Testament and I
love the story of Queen Esther.quot;
Madonna came 8th in the Forbes list of the most powerful celebrities 2005.
In February 2008, Filth and Wisdom, which was the first film directed by Madonna, was