Madonna is the pop-music queen and one of the most expensive brands, the famous singer, songwriter, and music producer. Madonna’s songs and music videos set the trend and direction of the American and the world’s music industry. Madonna’s work is often in the center of scandals. The singer does not hesitate to touch upon sensitive topics of social injustice, racial and gender oppression.
There are several hundreds of awards that Madonna received at different times. The singer was even included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Madonna has won more than 30 times in different nominations of Billboard Music Awards. The singer has two Golden Globus Awards for the song “Masterpiece” and best actress in the musical movie “Evita.” She has received all music awards possible. Her name is present on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – she has a personal star there.
The singer’s full name is Madonna Louisa Veronica Ciccone. Madonna was born on August 16, 1958, in the American state Michigan. She spent her childhood with her five siblings. The mother died when Madonna was only 5, and her stepmother would take care only of her own kids. As the singer said, this kind of “rivalry” made her dream to become globally famous since her early childhood. As a star, the little Veronica was born 9 years later.
Madonna Ciccone gave a performance at the school contest where she shocked all the teachers. Wearing a top and shorts, colored with paint, the girl sang. For this, her father put her under the house arrest. Because of this bright show, the family reputation was spoiled significantly, and the humiliating words addressed to Madonna appeared on the fence near the family house.
Having finished school, Madonna entered the Michigan university hoping to become an outstanding ballet dancer. Since that moment, her relationship with the father deteriorated – he saw his daughter as a lawyer or a doctor. Still, Madonna did not become a successful dancer, and the girl soon realized that she had to leave the province to follow her dream.
Madonna moved to New York where she had to work for food for a long time and live in a criminal area. In 1979, she went to the auditions to a famous actor on tour. The professionals noticed her potential and decided to make Madonna a dancing singer. The young woman disliked this idea – she was a devoted punk rock fan who was against all producers and showmen. The singer wanted to create her own rock group but failed.
The real creative career of the pop-diva began after she had met the founder of Sire Records Seymour Stein who acknowledged the young woman’s exceptional potential and signed an agreement with Madonna at once. After that, in 1983, the singer recorded her debut album “Madonna” that turned out to be a failure.
However, the singer’s second album “Like a Virgin” topped the prestigious American charts right away and glorified Madonna all over the world. More than that, this album is still considered the most successful in her homeland. In 1985, Madonna released her first music video “Material Girl.”
In 1986, the third Madonna’s album “True Blue” was out. Devoted to Madonna’s lover Sean Penn, the album became the singer’s most commercially successful release, and the song “Live to Tell” became the distinguishing single by the pop-diva. The singer continued to work on music videos. In 1986, the video “La Isla Bonita” created in the genre of Latin-American pop music was out.
In 1995, Madonna became known all over the world again with her new song “You’ll See” after which the last doubts about the singer’s phenomenal talent faded away.
In 1998, the album “Ray of Light,” “the greatest pop-masterpiece of the 1990s,” as the album was called by “Rolling Stone” magazine, was out. The single “Frozen” became a record breaker in relation to the leading positions in prestigious music charts. “Frozen” made it to the second place of the American chart “Billboard Hot 100” which made Madonna the top singer whose songs reached the second place on this list. In Great Britain, the song took the first place on the national chart.
After this album, Madonna won the title of the progressive musician again. The album received four Grammy Awards including the one for the best pop album. Four songs of the new disc became hits: the title track “Ray of Light” and the songs «The Power of Good-Bye», «Drowned World/Substitute for Love», «Nothing Really Matters».
The music video for “Ray of Light” also drew attention of fans and critics. The video received six MTV Video Music Awards. However, the performances supporting the release of the album became the reason for the scandal. Madonna was singing wearing the Indian clothes, with a dot on her forehead. The singer positioned this appearance as the devotion to God, but religious organizations considered Madonna’s dress blasphemous.
In 1999, the singer won another Grammy Award for the song “Beautiful Stranger” which was the soundtrack for the movie “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”
In 2000, Madonna released her 8th album “Music” in which she used the vocoder for the first time. The album took the first places in top charts of the USA and Great Britain. The music video “What It Feels Like for a Girl” was made by Guy Ritchie. Because of the cruel scenes, the video was banned by MTV and VH1.
In 2001, after the 8-year break, the singer started the tour “Drowned World Tour.” It was notable for its gloomy drama. In addition, the singer began to accompany herself on the guitar.
In 2003, the singer released her new album “American Life” in the minimalistic style. The album failed. The critics believe it was connected with the major theme – deconstructing the American dream – and emphasized pacifism.
In the same year, Madonna debuted as a writer and published an illustrated children’s book “The English Roses” that topped in The New York Times bestseller list.
The singer’s fame as a children’s author was clouded by the scandal. On the MTV ceremony, the famous incident – the kiss with Britney Spears – took place. Madonna was accused of gay propaganda. The singer explained the kiss with the image: she was wearing the costume of a groom while Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were wearing wedding dresses.
In 2005, as the single “Hung Up” came out, the singer also became known as the queen of dance, and her foot-tapping shows and music videos promoted it. In the same year, the singer released a new album “Confessions on a Dance Floor.”
Once again, the singer’s performances provoked a religious outcry: Madonna was singing in the image of Jesus Christ on a mirror cross, surrounded by the pictures of suffering African children. During the world tour, the Russian Orthodox Church encouraged to boycott the singer’s concert in Moscow.
In 2012, Madonna’s song “Masterpiece” from the movie “W.E.” received the Golden Globe Awards and took the first places in charts.
In 2014, an Israeli hacker broke into the singer’s computer and posted 40 songs recorded during the work on the new album on the Internet. A couple of days later, the 13th album was officially announced. In 2015, the album “Rebel Heart” was out and got positive reviews by music critics; in the USA and Great Britain, it climbed up to the second place in charts.
In 2015-2016, Madonna toured in support of the new album. She gave 82 concerts and earned $170 million. Summed up with other concerts, this tour made Madonna the record holder who earned on concert tickets sold – the singer got $1.3 billion throughout her career.
Madonna’s acting career was less successful than that of a singer. Madonna’s filmography includes about 20 movies many of which, however, were smeared by critics.
In 1990, the documentary “Madonna: Truth or Dare” picturing the singer’s life out of stage was out.
In 1996, Madonna played a leading role of the Argentinian President’s controversial wife Eva Perón in the musical movie by Andrew Lloyd Webber “Evita.” For this role, the singer took up extra vocal lessons which positively influenced Madonna’s music career. In the collection of the movie songs album, the singer demonstrated she could sing in the top register and from the diaphragm.
The movie received positive responses from movie critics and the author of the original musical Andrew Lloyd Webber. The movie also won Oscar for the song “You Must Love Me” that Madonna performed for the movie. Besides, the singer got the Golden Globus Award as the Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” became the hit of UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100.
In 2000, Madonna starred in the movie “The Next Best Thing.” For this movie, the singer recorded the composition “Time Stood Still” and cover “American Pie.”
In 2004, the second documentary about Madonna “I’m Going to Tell You a Secret” came out.
The sensations-oriented media presented Madonna as a porn star, but all movies with the singer were far from porn; still, the public skepticism toward her remain. Madonna appeared in the movies “Vision Quest,” Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Dick Tracy,” and “A League of Their Own.” The last movie in Madonna’s career was “Swept Away” that was marked as a failure by critics so that the movie was not even shown in movie theaters.
Apart from starring in movies, Madonna is actively involved in directing; she produced several works that became quite popular on the big screen. She wrote scripts to “Filth and Wisdom,” “W.E.,” and some others. In 2014, the singer purchased the screening rights to the movie “Ade: A Love Story” and began to work on it.
Madonna’s personal life is worth noticing. The Great Marge – that is how her fans called her – did not limit herself in choosing men and never felt awkward publicity in this personal matter. The pop-icon made a sexual revolution all over the world with her works. In her own life, the sexual revolution pertained to relationships with many partners. Having settled down in New York, the 20-year-old dancer was dating the famous producer John Benitez who helped the singer solidify her position. With his assistance, Madonna had many useful contacts; as a DJ, Benitez himself played her songs at the discos.
Later, Madonna had a love affair with the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Just like with many other favorites, she lost interest in him soon. In contrast, one of the most famous star marriages – Madonna and the actor Sean Penn – lasted for 4 years. The actor was even called “Mr. Madonna.”
After the divorce, the singer had a series of short-term love affairs none of which was successful. The scandalous affairs with Lenny Kravitz and RHCP singer Anthony Kiedis were only bright stories on the surface. Madonna’s first child Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon was born in 1996 when she was seeing the Latino-American Carlos Leon who worked as a fitness trainer. Soon after that, the singer broke up with Carlos.
The break-up provoked criticism of social organizations that promoted two-parent families. Besides, the singer was accused of speculating on the subject of family and childhood and got pregnant as a part of her PR campaign.
At that period, the singer got into yoga, Buddhism, and Kabbalah. Madonna considers the later teaching to be scientific, not religious – it connects science and spirituality.
The unprecedentedly long for Marge relationship – more than 8 years – she had with the British director Guy Ritchie. In 2000, their son Rocco was born. Having married to Ritchie, the baronet’s stepson, Madonna joined the British noble and got the British citizenship.
After that, fans noticed the singer’s synthetic British accent. It provoked the Americans’ displeasure and the British’ irony; the term “Madonna’s syndrome” was invented.
The singer began to lead the British noble life: drinking ale, hunting, riding a horse. In 2005, the new habits led to the tragedy: Madonna was thrown by a horse. The woman had fractured ribs and other traumas.
Except for two own children, Madonna adopted two other kids – Mercy James and David Banda. The new children were also the reason for the scandal “Kids for Cash” because, at that moment, the Malawian law forbade foreigners to adopt children.
In 2008, the singer announced she divorced.
The latest Madonna’s “toy” is the dancer in her ballet Brahim Zaibat who is said to have proposed to the pop queen.
According to the media, now Madonna is pursuing in court with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie regarding their 15-year-old son. Rocco lives with his father and does not plan to return to his mother at the moment. Despite many court sessions, the parties have not made a compromise.
In March 2016, to the fans’ surprise, Madonna changed the concert format and gave a performance with a chamber program “Tears of a Clown” in Sidney. The name corresponded to the show content: for 40 minutes, Madonna who was wearing the clown costume alternated songs with jokes, anecdotes, and classic clown acts. As the singer said, that show was still raw.
For the second time, Madonna presented “Tears of a Clown” in December of the same year in Miami. The singer earned $7.5 million that she donated to build a children’s hospital in Malawi.
On January 21, 2017, the singer took part in the massive turnout to protest against Donald Trump on the so-called “Women’s March.” Madonna has been at feud with the new American President since the 1990s. In her anti-president speech, the singer used the foul language twice. In the new songs “Express Yourself” and “Human Nature,” Madonna changed some lines into swear-words against Trump.
Because of the singer’s strong language, the American TV channels stopped broadcasting the protest actions. Later on, Madonna was accused of anti-American and unpatriotic speeches. The fans were also displeased by the singer’s words that brought discredit to the march in the audience’s opinion.
In February 2017, Madonna adopted two children – the 4-year-old Malawian twins Stella and Esther. The stepdaughters are frequently seen on the singer’s Instagram. Madonna posts photos and videos in which the twins play with other children, show their new fashionable clothes, and hug their mother. The photos from shows are uploaded not so often so the page is more personal than working. Madonna’s account is verified, and 9.7 million followers watch the updated materials.
Madonna’s photo without makeup generated clamor among fans. They were upset because the singer gets older. With all that, Madonna keeps in shape, practices sports, and tries to hold the same weight – 55 kg. The singer’s body is close to the popular beauty standard 90-60-90 with the height 158 cm.
- "Like a Virgin"
- "True Blue"
- "Like a Prayer"
- "Bedtime Stories"
- "Ray of Light"
- "American Life"
- "Confessions on a Dance Floor"
- "Hard Candy"
- "Rebel Heart"