Renowned pop singer Madonna was born on 16th August, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan. In 1981, she came up with her first solo album and never looked back. She was an instant sensation all around the world in an industry which was male-dominated during this period. Madonna achieved 21 Top 10 hits by 1991 in the United States of America. Moreover, she sold over 70 million albums across the globe. In 2008, Forbes Magazine named Madonna the wealthiest female musician in the world.
7 A Glimpse at her Early Life
Madonna has always been versatile in the entertainment industry. She has been a successful singer, performer and actress. Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born to Silvio Tony Ciccone and Madonna Fortin. She had five siblings, and was the third of six children. In the early years, Madonna learned well about her role as a middle child. According to her, she always used her charm to get away. Her early life was significantly affected by the Catholic faith of both her parents.
6 Early Childhood Tragedy
Madonna's mother was a major influence on her life in the early years. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant with her sixth child. At the time of her mother's death, Madonna was just five years old. Madonna's adolescence was significantly affected because of the loss of her mother. Madonna went through emotional trauma during the final days of her mother's life, and wanted her voice to be heard. Her stepmother, Joan Gustafson, imposed strict rules. However, Madonna rebelled against her traditional rules and turned to revealing outfits, gay nightclubs and rejected her Catholic background.
5 How did Madonna Start with Music & Dance
Madonna always had a charming personality, which drove her into perfectionism and high-standards in life. She was a cheerleader and disciplined dancer in school. Moreover, she was also a straight-A in academics. In fact, she graduated a semester before her peers could graduate from high school. In 1976, the University of Michigan acknowledged her dancing. She was offered a full scholarship for the University's dance program.
In 1977, Madonna got a chance to prove her skills in the real world, when she was offered a six-week scholarship with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a result, she went to New York City to pursue the program. In order to survive, Madonna got involved in numerous part-time jobs including nude art modeling and performing at the American Dance Center.
4 Instant Rise to Stardom
Madonna's first single came out in 1981, when she decided to go solo. She hired Camille Barbone of Gotham Records as her manager. He significantly helped her to get her music career on track. Her first hit, 'Everybody', was written by Stephen Bray, who was a musician in her band. Due to her charming personality, Madonna was able to sign up with New York based music producer, Mark Kamins. In 1982, 'Everybody' was No.1 on the dance charts.
Madonna came up with a full-length album, 'Madonna', in 1983. Early ratings were a bit slow. But eventually, the album was a huge success. It did not take a lot of time before girls all around America were following Madonna's unique fashion sense. Fishnet stockings, fingerless gloves and lace lingerie became an instant rage.
There was no looking back for Madonna after that. Her next album, 'Like A Virgin' hit No. 1 and became platinum within a month.
The next few years in Madonna's life showed her a lot of ups and downs. She married actor Sean Penn on 16th August, 1985, who co-starred with her in 'Shanghai Surprise'. She also acted in three more movies and came up with numerous hit singles and albums in the next five years.
Madonna was able to prove her versatility in music, dancing and acting by 1996. She also acted in 'Evita', which got a lot of critical acclaim worldwide. She also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress. Moreover, she also won an Academy Award for her original song, 'You Must Love Me'.
3 Ups and Downs in Personal Life
In 1989, Madonna had already divorced Sean Penn. In 1996, she became a mother to Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. The father of the child was Madonna's personal trainer, Carlos Leon. In a short time after giving birth, Madonna reinvented herself as a family-friendly, mature woman, who married director Guy Ritchie in 2000. In the same year, their son, Rocco John Ritchie was born.
In 2002, Madonna decided to try her hand on stage, with acting this time. She acted in the play, 'Up For Grabs'. In 2003, Madonna wrote a children's book, 'The English Roses'. In 2004, Madonna was the latest inductee to the UK Music Hall of Fame. In 2005, she planned to revive her career and took a break from family-life. With 'Confessions on a Dance Floor', she became the artist with maximum number of gold certified singles in America.
Madonna's 50th birthday brought a turmoil in her personal life. She was accused of breaking Malawi laws to bring home her adopted son, David Banda. She fought the allegations for a long time, before finally getting his full custody on 28th May, 2008. In 2009 Madonna won the right in court to adopt her daughter Mercy James.
There were also reports about her falling out with Guy Ritchie. However, Madonna denied the reports for a long time before finally splitting in October, 2008, after eight years of marriage.
2 Unparalleled Net Worth
Madonna's professional life continued to boom till recently. In 2008, the Forbes Magazine named her the wealthiest female musician in the world. Her estimated earnings were over $72 million that year. Her clothing line, deal with NBC for her concert footage and her 'Confessions' tour played a major part in this net worth.
In 2009, her third greatest hits album, 'Celebration' was released. This was the eleventh No. 1 album for Madonna in UK. Madonna also tied with Elvis Presley for most No. 1 albums in UK.
1 What does the Future Hold
In recent times, Madonna's concerts have seen a lukewarm response from her fans. At Super Bowl XLVI, fans were not much interested in her performance. Moreover, many fans even complained about her selection for the half-time entertainment.
In March 2012, Madonna released her latest studio album. She was in a controversy on the tour for her album. While performing in France, she used Nazi imagery and flashed her audiences. Recently, she was also sued for over $10 million for promoting homosexuality to minors.
The future for this star may not be very bright, but her past is not to be forgotten. Madonna's future may be overshadowed with other singers in the business and controversies, but she is still one of the most renowned singers worldwide.