Biographic by Steve McGarry for October 30, 2005
Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958. She dropped out of the University of Michigan's school of dance to try her luck as a dancer in New York. She studied with the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe and Pearl Lang's Dance Company before landing a job with "Born to Be Alive" disco star "Patrick Hernandez." a spell in paris convinced her that her future lay in music rather than dance. And she joined a group called The Breakfast Club- as the drummer! She soon graduated to vocalist and began picking up valuable stage experience. In 1982, the head of sire records heard a demo tape and signed Madonna as a solo artist. Thanks to hits such as "Holiday," her debut album sold 3 million copies, paving the way for her next album to launch her into the pop stratosphere. "Like A Virgin" was released in 1984. The title track becoming a smash hit the world over. Global Madonamania ensued! She branched out into movies, while results ranging from the dire "Shanghai Surprise" to her golden globe winning performance in "Evita." Her controversial coffee table book was greeted with outrage in some quarters, and her private life was constant fodder for the tabloids. But with each subsequent album, Madonna seemed to reinvent herself, changing images as quickly as she changed musical direction. In a career that has spanned two decades. She has become the most successful female artist of all time, selling over 250 million records and amassing a personal fortune that has been estimated at $450 million. Maverick, the record label she launched in 1992, generated over $12 billion in sales under her control. She is one of the most successful artists in the history of popular music, who carved out parallel careers as an actress and a business mogul. Her Midas touch was even in evidence when she released her first children's storybook. "The English Roses" in 2003, it immediately became the fastest-selling children's picture book in history! Together with her two children and movie director husband Guy Ritchie, she mainly resides in England these days, from where she continues to reign as the undisputed queen of pop.