Madonna Louise Ciccone ( ; born August 16, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, director, dancer, and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance and performed in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy.
Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She attained immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Critics have praised her diverse musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy. Madonna released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and followed it with a series of successful albums, including the Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Many of her songs peaked atop record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Into the Groove", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes".
Madonna received generally positive reviews for her role in Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), though her later film appearances received mixed commentary. She received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other performances. She has been recognized as an acclaimed businesswoman, involving herself in fashion design, writing children's books, and film directing and producing. In 1992, she founded entertainment company Maverick as a joint venture with Time Warner, which also included the label Maverick Records. In 2007, she signed a US $120 million record, touring and merchandising 360° deal with Live Nation, resulting in her leaving Warner Bros. Records, her label since 1982.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. Time considered her to be one of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" for being an influential figure in contemporary music. Madonna is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second best selling female artist in the United States, with 64.5 million certified albums. Considered by Forbes and other publications as a cultural icon,
1958-81: Early life and career beginningsMadonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958. Her father, Silvio Anthony Ciccone, is a first-generation Italian American (with roots in Pacentro, Italy), while her mother, Madonna Louise (née Fortin), was of French Canadian descent. Her father worked as a design engineer for Chrysler and General Motors. As Madonna had the same name as her mother, family members called her "Little Nonni". The third of six children from her father's first marriage, her full-blood siblings are: Martin, Anthony, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie. She was raised in the Detroit suburbs of Pontiac and Avon Township (now part of Rochester Hills). Her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 30, in 1963.
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