Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, aka, Madonna, was born to Italian fther and French-Canadian mother in Bay City, Michigan in 1958. 18 years of Catholic schooling saw her graduate in 1976 from Rochester Adams High School, then go on to study at the North Carolina School of Dance. Here she won a three year scholarship at the University of Michigan, where she would study modern dance and drama.
Madonna moved to New York in the late 1970?s and began working with choreographer Alvin Ailey. She soon joined with the Patrick Hernandez Revue, and formed early pop band Breakfast Club. They worked hard to produce disco-orientated music, which, in 1982, was passed to Sire Records by DJ and producer Mark Kamins. The rest, as they say, is history.1982 marks the year Madonna burst into the limelight. She signed her first record contract with Warner Bros/Sire Records, who saw her release her first single ?Everybody?. The single fails to enter the hot 100 singles chart, but reaches number 3 on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart.
The following year sees Madonna perform ?Holiday? at New York?s highly acclaimed Studio 54. The single was released in July, and reached the number one spot on the dance charts! It is this single that really put Madonna on the music map, and saw the start of the star, who would have such a massive influence on popular music spanning two decades!
Madonna fit perfectly into the whole popular music culture of the 80?s, reaching new heights with her injection of sex! Throughout the 80?s, Madonna garnered number one singles by the fistful, as well as numerous number one selling albums. She influenced girls on a global level with her new, funky take on fashion, and saw rosary beads and rubber wrist bands as the must have accessories.
Not content with conquering the music world, Madonna cast her net much wider. In 1984 she begins filming for ?Desperately Seeking Susan? The film which marks the beginning of her acting career, actually wins her the most acclaim! Later films, including 1987?s ?Who?s That Girl? and 1989?s ?Bloodhounds of Broadway? saw her flop in the film industry, though not through lack of trying! She even worked alongside then husband Sean Penn on 1986?s ?Shanghai Surprise?, which gained loathing from the critics, and only grossed about $2m! the odds looked set against her, but Madonna strove ahead, and went onto star in box office hits like ?A League of their Own? in 1992, and more importantly ?Evita? in 1996. ?Evita? won Madonna acclaim not only as a fine actress, but critics also praised her singing ability.
The singer come actress has also appeared in stage plays, including ?Goose and Tom Tom?, ?In Artificial Light? and in ?Speed-The-Plow?. Felicity Huffman later took on Madonna?s role when the play progressed to Broadway!
Through all of this, Madonna continued to spout out hits like ?Material Girl?, ?Like A Virgin? and ?Papa Don?t Preach?. The controversially released ?Justify My Love? was banned from VH1 and MTV completely, and the now infamous ?Erotica? was aired only after midnight.
Madonna also caused stirred reactions with ?Like A Prayer?. Pepsi actually retracted an advertising deal they had with Madonna at the time for fear that the imagery in her video might cause too much of a stir. Images like burning crosses, murder and racism had never before been dealt with in popular music videos, and the video was risqu? to say the least. However, the single reached number one, where it remained for three weeks, leaving Madonna publicly grateful to Pepsi for ?causing such controversy?.
Madonna?s appreciation for the old-fashioned glamour of Hollywood has been recognized, and she has often been hailed as the modern day Marilyn Monroe! With the release of ?Vogue?, the singer was able to show her appreciation of long-past starlets, and the song was a tribute to them and all they stood for.
Throughout the nineties, Madonna went on to have two children, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, born from a short-lived love affair with actor/fitness instructor Carlos Leon. Lourdes was born on 14th October 1996. Madonna gave birth a second time to a son, Rocco John Ritchie on 11TH August 2000. Rocco is the living product of her marriage to high-flying British film director Guy Ritchie. Having a family has not deterred Madonna from working though, and her career has continued to move from strength to strength! She has become known for her apt ability to reinvent herself, keeping fans across the globe addicted to her journey.
Madonna?s popularity has progressed with her music, and she has reached new heights of superstardom! ?Ray of Light? really marked her return to the music industry, and was the first in a new string of releases from the idol. More recent singles like ?What It Feels Like for a Girl? and ?American Life? have garnered a multitude of new fans for her, as they are a true depiction of the adept diversity of the reigning Queen of Pop.
Her career currently spans more than twenty years, and there seems to be no stopping Madonna yet! She released her latest number 1 album ?Confessions On A Dancefloor? in Winter 2005! Her upcoming ?Confessions? tour commences in May, and promises to be a must see! There seems to be no stopping Madonna! Complete world domination does not seem out of the grasp for this endlessly rising star!
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