With a career spanning over three decades, Madonna is a cultural icon, an influential figure in music and pop culture. She was steaming hot in the 1980’s, the 90’s and it seems that she refuses to slow down, even as she celebrates her 55th birthday.
Madonna Louise Ciccone was born on August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan. His father is an Italian-American while her mother was of French-Canadian descent. The Ciccones were strict Catholics, and many elements of Catholicism are noted to have been integrated in Madonna’s wardrobe, live performances and music videos.
Madonna’s mother died of breast cancer at 30 years old. Madonna was only five. She sought refuge in her grandmother and like her siblings, rejected anyone brought who seemingly assumed the role of their late mother, including housekeepers and her father’s second wife.
Despite her domestic discontent, Madonna was already an overachiever at a young age. Not surprisingly she was a cheerleader and dancer, but she was also a straight-A student who graduated from high school a semester earlier. She earned a full scholarship at the University of Michigan for their dance program and a six-week scholarship with New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
She dropped out of college after two years of study; did a number of odd jobs from nude art modeling to being a waitress; and worked in France as a showgirl. She grew fond of with singing and performance art, and formed several bands.
Madonna decided to pursue a solo career in 1981. She got herself a manager and convinced Sire Records to produce her album. Her debut album Madonna was released in 1983. It included the hit singles ”Holiday”, “Borderline,” and “Lucky Star.”
Soon girls over the United States—-and the rest of the world—-were dressing up like Madonna and singing her songs. “Like a Virgin” became number one, and so did _“Crazy for You.” She released a dozen albums from 1981 to 2012, and had nine concert tours from 1985 to 2012. She has starred in several films, including Dick Tracy, A League of Their Own, and Evita.
Madonna is not just a singer, songwriter, and actress. As a recording artist she’s influenced successors along the line; as an entertainer and pop icon, she has both infuriated and influenced legions of women around the world.
Happy Birthday, Madonna!