Madonna Louise Ciccone was born on August 16, 1958, in Bay City, Michigan, to Catholic parents Madonna Louise (née Fortin) and Silvio Anthony "Tony" Ciccone. Her father's parents were Italian emigrants from Pacentro while her mother was of French-Canadian descent. Tony Ciccone worked as an engineer designer for Chrysler and General Motors.
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- Who Is Madonna?
- Early Life
- Family Tragedy: Death of Mother
- Music and Dance: Late 1970s
- Rise to Pop Stardom
- Movies and Music: Late 1990s - Present
- Personal Life and Children
Madonna is a pop music singer and actress who went solo in 1981 and became a sensation in the then male-dominated 1980s music scene. By 1991, she had achieved 21 Top 10 hits in the United States and sold more than 70 million albums internationally. In January 2008, she was named the world's wealthiest female musician by Forbesmagazine.
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958, to parents Silvio "Tony" Ciccone and Madonna Fortin. Tony, the son of Italian immigrants, was the first of his family to go to college, where he earned a degree in engineering. Madonna's mother, an x-ray technician and former dancer, was of French Canadian descent. After their marriage in 1955, the couple moved to Pontiac, Michigan, to be close to Tony's job as a defense engineer. Madonna was born three years later, during a visit with family in Bay City. The third of six children, Madonna learned early on how to handle her role as the middle child, admitting that she was "the sissy of the family" who often used her feminine wiles to get her way. Her parents' strict observation of the Catholic faith played a large role in Madonna's childhood. "My mother was a religious zealot," Madonna explains. "There were always priests and nuns in my house growing up." Many elements of Catholic iconography — inclu...
Another large influence on Madonna's early life was her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during her pregnancy with Madonna's youngest sister. Treatment had to be delayed until the baby reached full term, but by then the disease had grown too strong. On December 1, 1963, at the age of 30, Madonna's mother passed away. Madonna was only five years old at the time of her mother's death. The loss significantly affectedMadonna's adolescence. Haunted by the memories of her mother's frailty and passive demeanor during her final days, Madonna was determined to make her own voice heard. "I think the biggest reason I was able to express myself and not be intimidated was by not having a mother," she says. "For example, mothers teach you manners. And I absolutely did not learn any of those rules and regulations." She fought especially hard against the rules imposed by her stepmother, Joan Gustafson, who met Madonna's father while working as the family housekeeper. Madonna says Gustaf...
Madonna balanced the insubordinate side of her personality with a drive for perfectionism and high achievement. She was a straight-A student, cheerleader and disciplined dancer who graduated from high school a semester earlier than her peers. In 1976, her hard work earned her the attention of the University of Michigan, which offered her a full scholarship to their dance program. In 1977, during her undergraduate studies at Michigan, Madonna was awarded a six-week scholarship to study with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, followed by a rare opportunity to perform with choreographer Pearl Lang in 1978. At the urging of her dance instructor, the budding star dropped out of college after only two years of study to move to New York and further her dance career. Once in New York, Madonna paid her rent with a handful of odd jobs, including nude art modeling, serving at the Russian Tea Room and performing for the American Dance Center. In 1979, Madonna began dating...
In 1981, Madonna decided to go solo and hired manager Camille Barbone of Gotham Records to help her get her singing career on track. Barbone showed Madonna how to navigate the male-dominated world of the music business, and helped put together a studio band that accentuated the budding star's hip style. Friend Stephen Bray, a musician in her band, wrote her first hit, "Everybody," and Madonna used her brash business style to get the recordings to New York music producer Mark Kamins. Kamins th...
'Madonna' Album: 'Borderline,' 'Lucky Star' and 'Holiday'
Using the success of the song as leverage, Madonna convinced Sire Records to produce the full-length album Madonna in 1983. The album was a slow but steady success, and included the hit singles "Borderline," "Lucky Star" and "Holiday." Soon, girls all over the country were imitating Madonna's distinct sense of fashion, which included fishnet stockings, lace lingerie, fingerless gloves and large crucifix necklaces. "Holiday" also earned the singer an appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandsta...
'Like a Virgin,' 'Material Girl' and 'Angel'
This intensity and determination was apparent in her 1985 follow-up album, Like a Virgin, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Chart and went platinum within a month. The title track, produced by Nile Rodgers, would later be listed as Madonna's biggest pop hit of all time, with the song remaining on the top of the charts for six weeks. She had two other Top 5 hits from the record: the tongue-in-cheek, empowering "Material Girl" and the dance ditty with bounce, "Angel."
'Like a Virgin' MTV Video Music Awards Performance
As always, Madonna mixed her drive for success with her penchant for scandalous behavior. It started with her controversial 1985 performanceof her hit single "Like a Virgin" on the MTV Video Music Awards, which involved writhing around suggestively onstage in a wedding dress. Then came her marriage to Penn, which was marred by reports of domestic violence and his assault of a photographer — behavior that landed him a month's jail time and eventually led to the couple's very public divorce. RE...
'Like a Prayer' Music Video
In 1989, Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video aired on MTV as part of a lucrative Pepsi endorsement. The video featured interracial relationship themes, burning crosses and a blending of sexual innuendo and religious ideologies. As a result of the video, Pope John Paul IIurged fans not to attend her concerts in Italy, and Pepsi pulled their endorsement of the star. Despite the public outcry, Madonna had become more popular than ever. The Like a Prayeralbum spawned a No. 1 title track as well as ad...
'Truth or Dare' Documentary
She also continued to gain attention by pushing social boundaries. First came the film Truth or Dare (1991), a revealing documentary about her Blonde Ambition tour. This was followed by the publishing of Sex (1992), a soft-core pornographic coffee-table book featuring the pop star in a variety of erotic poses. Despite its controversial nature, Sexsold 150,000 copies on the day of its release in the United States alone. Three days later, all 1.5 million copies of the first edition were sold ou...
'Evita,' 'Immaculate Collection' and 'Music'
By 1996, Madonna had proven her versatility as a star in both film and music. She starred in the critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita (1996), which also featured Antonio Banderas. She won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, and in the film she performed "You Must Love Me," which earned an Academy Award for Music, Original Song. Madonna had released the greatest hits album The Immaculate Collectio...
The pop star then made the move from the big screen to the London West End stage in the play Up for Grabs (2002) and wrote her first children's book, The English Roses, which was published in 2003, the same year as the release of her album American Life. Madonna was inducted into the inaugural U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and her next album Confessions on a Dancefloor came out the following year. Around this time Madonna became the artist with the most gold-certified singles in the United...
In 2009, she released a fourth greatest hits album, Celebration, which became Madonna's eleventh No. 1 album in the United Kingdom. With the release of the record, Madonna tied Elvis Presleyas the solo act with most No. 1 albums in the United Kingdom.
Madonna was married to actor Sean Penn from 1985 to 1989. Madonna became a mother in 1996, giving birth to Lourdes Maria (Lola) Ciccone Leon, whom she had with her lover and personal trainer, Carlos Leon. In 2000, she married British director Guy Ritchie and gave birth to their son, Rocco John Ritchie, the same year. Madonna and Ritchie split in 2008. On the eve of her 50th birthday in 2008, Madonna faced more challenges in her personal life. She spent much of the previous year fighting allegations that she circumvented traditional Malawi laws to bring home her newly adopted son, David Banda, whom she had been raising since 2006. Critics accused Madonna of using her vast wealth to fast-track the adoption process, a charge she vigorously denied. A coalition of 67 local rights groups challenged the interim custody order on the grounds that existing laws in Malawi do not allow for international adoptions. Madonna's application to permanently adopt the boy was approved by Malawai's high...
Madonna Receives Fulbright Grant July 7, 2021 Madonna Garners CASE Silver Award for Events June 24, 2021 Donation to Madonna Keeps Giving June 22, 2021 AAPI Show of Support Event a Success June 1, 2021 73rd and 74th Commencement Highlights May 21, 2021
Apr 25, 2021 · American singer and songwriter Madonna, 62, rang in her boyfriend's 27th birthday with a celebratory smoke and sweet PDA. On Saturday, the pop icon shared a photo slideshow featuring the couple of...
- Elise Solé
Madonna became tied with Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number-one albums in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it debuted at number seven in the Billboard 200; in other nations, it also debuted within the top ten, peaking in the top three in most of them. The title track was released as the first single of the album.
- September 18, 2009