Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City in 1977, for a career in modern dance. After performing as member of the pop musical groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and then produced three consecutive number-one studio albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1980s and four more since year 2000.
Madonna is known for exploring religious symbolism and sexual themes in her work. This drew criticism from the Vatican in the late 1980s. In 1992, she founded an entertainment company, Maverick, which published a book of photographs (Sex). She also released a studio album (Erotica) and starred in a film (Body of Evidence) with erotic themes. These works generated negative publicity and coincided with a fall in commercial sales in the 1990s. Madonna's career was revived in 1998, when the release of her album Ray of Light garnered critical acclaim.
Madonna has acted in 22 films. Although most failed critically and commercially, she earned a Golden Globe Award for her role in the 1996 film Evita. In 1996 Madonna gave birth to a daughter, Lourdes Maria (also known as Lola) by personal trainer Carlos Leon before marrying film director Guy Ritchie in 2000. She and Ritchie have two sons, Rocco and David Banda, a Malawian boy they adopted in 2006, which caused media allegations they violated that country's adoption laws.
She has been regarded as "one of the greatest pop acts of all time" and dubbed the "Queen of Pop" by various sources. She is ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling female rock artist of the twentieth century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States with 63 million certified albums. Guinness World Records list her as the world's most successful female recording artist of all time and the top-earning female singer in the world with an estimated net worth of US$490 million, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. On March 10, 2008, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1958–1981: Early life and beginnings
Madonna was born Madonna Louise Ciccone in Bay City, Michigan at 7:05 AM on August 16, 1958. Her mother, Madonna Louise (née Fortin), was of French Canadian descent, and her father, Silvio "Tony" P. Ciccone, was a first-generation Italian American Chrysler/General Motors design engineer whose parents originated from Pacentro, Abruzzo, Italy. Madonna is the third of six children; her siblings are Martin, Anthony, Paula Mae, Christopher, and Melanie.
Madonna was raised in the Detroit suburbs of Pontiac and Avon Township (now Rochester Hills). Her mother died of breast cancer at age 30 on December 1, 1963. Her father married the family housekeeper, Joan Gustafson, and they had two children; Jennifer and Mario Ciccone. "I didn't accept my stepmother when I was growing up," Madonna said, "in retrospect I think I was really hard on her." Madonna convinced her father to allow her to take ballet classes. 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.
Madonna's ballet teacher persuaded her to pursue a career in dance, so she left the college at the end of 1977 and relocated to New York City. Madonna had little money and for some time lived in squalor, working at Dunkin' Donuts and with modern dance troupes. Speaking of her move to New York, Madonna said, "It was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd ever gotten a taxi cab. 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.
Marriages & Relationships:
In the late 1970s, Madonna dated Dan Gilroy, with whom she formed the band Breakfast Club.In the early 1980s, she 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 "Material Girl" in 1985, Madonna dated actor Sean Penn and married him on her 27th birthday that year. After filing and withdrawing divorce papers in December 1987, they separated on New Year's Eve 1988 and divorced in January 1989. Of her marriage to Penn, Madonna said, "I was completely obsessed with my career and not ready to be generous in any shape or form."Madonna then began a relationship with Warren Beatty while working with him on the film Dick Tracy. The couple broke up in the fall of 1990, after a year and a half together.
In late 1990, Madonna dated Tony Ward, a bisexual model and porn star who starred in her music videos for "Cherish" (1989) and "Justify My Love" (1990). Their relationship ended by early 1991, and Madonna began an eight-month relationship with rapper Vanilla Ice, who appeared in her Sex book.Madonna dated basketball player Dennis Rodman in the mid 1990s.In September 1994, in Central Park, Madonna met fitness trainer Carlos Leon who became her trainer and lover. On October 14, 1996, Madonna gave birth to Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. Madonna dated Andy Bird, who sold his story about their eighteen-month relationship in late 2000. Madonna became involved with Guy Ritchie, whom she had met in 1999 through mutual friends Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. On August 11, 2000, she gave birth to their son, Rocco. On December 22, 2000, Madonna and Ritchie were married in Scotland. Madonna filed for divorce from Ritchie in October 2008. A preliminary decree of divorce was granted Friday, November 21, 2008, and became final on Friday, January 2, 2009. The document released by the court states that Madonna, said in a sworn statement that the reason for filing for her divorce is due to Ritchie's "unreasonable behavior."By December 15, 2008, the couple had agreed a divorce settlement, the terms of which grant Richie between £50million and £60million, a figure that includes the value of the couple's country house in England.
Madonna's 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour is the highest grossing concert tour by a solo artist. In the United Kingdom, she is the most successful female in the singles chart history and has more number one singles than any other female solo artist. In 2008, she surpassed Elvis Presley as the artist with most top ten hits in the history of Billboard Hot 100. In 2007, Madonna was listed by VH1 as eighth in the Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.On March 10, 2008, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
There has been speculation about her relationships with other women, including Naomi Campbell and Sandra Bernhard. The book Sex depicts her in sexual situations with men and women, and she has been credited with educating people about bisexuality. Madonna has been criticized by the Roman Catholic Church, particularly during her "Who's That Girl Tour", "Blond Ambition World Tour" and "Confessions" tours. The New York Times journalist and author Gay Talese relates this to her Italian ancestry – people from Pacentro have been in a long tradition of rebellion against Catholics. Madonna had her son Rocco baptized in a Presbyterian Church.
Madonna has generated academic interest. Interdisciplinary research and publications address her relationship to and place within commodity culture, the mass-media spectacles she creates, and the iconography of minority groups such as gay and lesbian people, which she uses in videos such as those for "Vogue", "Like a Prayer", "La Isla Bonita" and "Borderline". These publications were so extensive that in the 1990s, academics would refer to "Madonna Studies" as a sub-field of media studies.
In 2006 a new water bear species (Latin: Tardigrada), Echiniscus madonnae, 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: "We take great pleasure in dedicating this species to one of the most significant artists of our times, Madonna Louise Veronica Ritchie." The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) number of the species is 711164.