Madonna: The Material Girl

About Madonna:

"How could I have been anything else but what I am, having been named Madonna. I would either have ended up a nun or this."


Madonna Louise Ciccone (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She achieved popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Madonna is known for reinventing both her music and image, and for maintaining her autonomy within the recording industry. Music critics have acclaimed her musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pop", she is cited as an influence among other artists around the world.


Madonna was born to Catholic parents Silvio Anthony "Tony" Ciccone and Madonna Louise Fortin (c. 1933 – December 1, 1963) in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958. Her father's parents were immigrants from Pacentro, Italy, while her mother was of French-Canadian ancestry. Tony worked as an engineer designer for Chrysler and General Motors. Since Madonna had the same name as her mother, family members called her "Little Nonni". She has two elder brothers, Anthony (born 1956) and Martin (born 1957), and three younger siblings, Paula (born 1959), Christopher (born 1960), and Melanie (born 1962).


Controversies:
1. Like A Prayer:
In January 1989, Madonna signed an endorsement deal with soft-drink manufacturer, Pepsi. In one of her Pepsi commercials, she debuted her song "Like a Prayer". The corresponding music video featured many Catholic symbols such as stigmata and cross burning, and a dream about making love to a saint, leading the Vatican to condemn the video. Religious groups sought to ban the commercial and boycott Pepsi products. Pepsi revoked the commercial and canceled her sponsorship contract.


"Catholicism is not a soothing religion. It's a painful religion. We're all gluttons for punishment."

2. Blond Ambition World Tour:
In April 1990, Madonna began her Blond Ambition World Tour, which was held until August. Rolling Stone called it an "elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza" and proclaimed it "the best tour of 1990". The tour was met with strong reaction from religious groups for her performance of "Like a Virgin", during which two male dancers caressed her body before she simulated masturbation. In response, Madonna said, "The tour in no way hurts anybody's sentiments. It's for open minds and gets them to see sexuality in a different way. Their own and others."


"I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay."

3. The Immaculate Collection:
The Immaculate Collection, Madonna's first greatest-hits compilation album, was released in November 1990. It included two new songs, "Justify My Love" and "Rescue Me". The album was certified diamond by RIAA and sold over 30 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling compilation album by a solo artist in history. "Justify My Love" reached number one in the U.S. and top ten worldwide. Its music video featured scenes of sadomasochism, bondage, same-sex kissing, and brief nudity. The video was deemed too sexually explicit for MTV and was banned from the network. Madonna responded to the banning: "Why is it that people are willing to go and watch a movie about someone getting blown to bits for no reason at all, and nobody wants to see two girls kissing and two men snuggling?"


4.  Madonna's Book:
The first release from the venture was Madonna's book, titled Sex. It consisted of sexually provocative and explicit images, photographed by Steven Meisel. The book caused strong negative reaction from the media and the general public, but sold 1.5 million copies at $50 each in a matter of days.


The provocative imagery continued in the 1990s with the erotic thriller, Body of Evidence, a film which contained scenes of sadomasochism and bondage. It was poorly received by critics.

5. The Girlie Show World Tour:
In September 1993, Madonna embarked on The Girlie Show World Tour, in which she dressed as a whip-cracking dominatrix surrounded by topless dancers. The show faced negative reaction, specifically in Puerto Rico where she rubbed the island's flag between her legs on stage.


6. The Late Show with David Letterman:
In March 1994, she appeared as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, using profanity that was required to be censored on television and handing Letterman a pair of her underwear and asking him to smell it. The releases of her sexually explicit films, albums and book, and the aggressive appearance on Letterman all made critics question Madonna as a sexual renegade. She faced strong negative publicity from critics and fans, who commented that "she had gone too far" and that her career was over.


7. Mismanagement of Resources:
In 2004, Madonna and Maverick sued Warner Music Group and its former parent company Time Warner, claiming that mismanagement of resources and poor bookkeeping had cost the company millions of dollars. In return, Warner filed a countersuit alleging that Maverick had lost tens of millions of dollars on its own. The dispute was resolved when the Maverick shares, owned by Madonna and Ronnie Dashev, were purchased by Warner. Madonna and Dashev's company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music, but Madonna was still signed to Warner under a separate recording contract.


8. The Confessions Tour:
Madonna embarked on the Confessions Tour in May 2006, which had a global audience of 1.2 million and grossed over $193.7 million, becoming the highest-grossing tour to that date for a female artist. Madonna used religious symbols, such as the crucifix and Crown of Thorns, in the performance of "Live to Tell". It caused the Russian Orthodox Church and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia to urge all their members to boycott her concert. At the same time, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced officially that Madonna had sold over 200 million copies for her albums alone worldwide.


9. Relationship Problem:
Problems also arose between Madonna and Ritchie, with the media reporting that they were on the verge of separation. Ultimately, Madonna filed for divorce from Ritchie, citing irreconcilable differences, which was finalized in December 2008. She decided to adopt from Malawi. The country's High Court initially approved the adoption of Chifundo "Mercy" James; however, the application was rejected because Madonna was not a resident of the country. Madonna appealed, and on June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court of Malawi granted Madonna the right to adopt Mercy James.


Controversy erupted when Madonna decided to adopt from Malawi again. Chifundo "Mercy" James was finally adopted on June 2009. Madonna had known Mercy from the time she went to adopt David. Mercy's grandmother had initially protested the adoption, but later gave in, saying "At first I didn't want her to go but as a family we had to sit down and reach an agreement and we agreed that Mercy should go. The men insisted that Mercy be adopted and I won't resist anymore. I still love Mercy. She is my dearest." Mercy's father was still adamant saying that he could not support the adoption since he was alive.

"To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt."


10. The MDNA Tour:
The MDNA Tour, which further promoted the album, began in May 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The tour has received positive critical reception, but featured controversial subjects such as violence, firearms, human rights, nudity and politics. Lawsuits threatened against Madonna have also been engaged from the tour. It was a box office success with a gross of $305.2 million from 88 sold-out shows, and became the highest-grossing tour of 2012 and the tenth highest-grossing tour of all time.


11. Charity Problem:
When Madonna visited the schools in April 2013, President of Malawi Joyce Banda expressed criticism of the star and her charity, accusing her of exaggerating her charity's contribution. Madonna responded by releasing a statement saying she was saddened that Banda had chosen to act negatively about her endeavors. "I have no intention of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations," she added. Later, it was confirmed that Banda had not approved the statement released written by her press team and was "incandescent with anger" over the mix-up.


Interesting Facts:
1. When she was little, Madonna dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer.


2. She was a straight-A student and cheerleader at Rochester Adams High School.

3. Madonna's often-copied signature '80s look was created by stylist and jewelry designer Maripol.

4. Madonna lost her virginity in the back of a Cadillac. It was revealed by her brother Christopher Ciccone in his book, Life With My Sister Madonna.

5. Madonna dedicated her album "True Blue" to then-husband Sean Penn who she called "the coolest guy in the universe".


6. She also dated rapper Vanilla Ice, Tupac, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Antonio Banderas, Lenny Kravitz, Dennis Rodman, and the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.








"I'm anal retentive. I'm a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I'm a control freak. That's why I'm not married. Who could stand me?"

7. In October 2000, Madonna won her fight against a cybersquatter using the domain name madonna.com to operate a pornography website. The UN World Intellectual Property Organization found that site operator Dan Parisi "lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name." Parisi claims that he was in the process of handing over the rights to the domain name to a US hospital, Madonna Rehabilitation, which has the domain name madonna.org, when the case started.

8. Madonna's father, Tony Ciccone, decided to advance his winery business by releasing Madonna Wine, which is available in five varieties: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. Prices range from $25 to $40 per bottle.


Achievements:
1. The 1998 edition of Guinness Book of World Records stated: "No female artist has sold more records than Madonna around the world".

2. Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

3. The Guinness World Records acknowledged her as the best-selling female recording artist and the fourth best-selling act of all time, behind The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson.

4. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female albums artist in the United States, with 64.5 million certified albums.

5. Madonna is the most certified artist of all time in United Kingdom, with 45 awards from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) as of April 2013.

6. Billboard named Madonna as the top touring female artist of all time.

7. In May 2014, the magazine listed her as the fourth highest grossing touring act since 1990, with total earned revenue of $1.14 billion and 9.7 million attendance at her shows.

8. Madonna has been honored with 20 MTV Video Music Awards—the most for any artist—including the lifetime achievement Video Vanguard Award in 1986.

9. Madonna holds the record for the most number-ones on all combined Billboard charts, including twelve number-one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and eight number-one albums on the Billboard 200.

10. With 45 songs topping the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, Madonna became the artist with the most number-one songs on an active Billboard chart, pulling ahead of George Strait with 44 number-one songs on the Hot Country Songs chart.

11. She has also scored 38 top-ten singles on the Hot 100, more than any other artist in history.

12. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked her at number two, behind The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of American singles chart.


The Story:
she received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She convinced her father to allow her to take ballet lessons and was persuaded by Christopher Flynn, her ballet teacher, to pursue a career in dance. In 1978 she dropped out of college and relocated to New York City. She had little money and worked as a waitress at Dunkin' Donuts and with modern dance troupes. Madonna said of her move to New York, "It was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done." She started to work as a backup dancer for other established artists. During a late night, Madonna was returning from a rehearsal, when a pair of men held her at knifepoint and forced her to perform fellatio. Madonna later commented that "the episode was a taste of my weakness, it showed me that I still could not save myself in spite of all the strong-girl show. I could never forget it."


"Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another."

While performing as a backup singer and dancer for the French disco artist Patrick Hernandez on his 1979 world tour, Madonna became romantically involved with musician Dan Gilroy. Together, they formed her first rock band, the Breakfast Club, for which Madonna sang and played drums and guitar. In 1980 or 1981 she left Breakfast Club and, with her former boyfriend Stephen Bray as drummer, formed the band Emmy. The two began writing songs together and Madonna later decided to market herself as a solo act. Their music impressed DJ and record producer Mark Kamins who arranged a meeting between Madonna and Sire Records founder Seymour Stein.

Madonna's look and style of dressing, her performances, and her music videos influenced young girls and women and her style became one of the female fashion trends of the 1980s. Created by stylist and jewelry designer Maripol, the look consisted of lace tops, skirts over capri pants, fishnet stockings, jewelry bearing the crucifix, bracelets, and bleached hair.


"I wouldn't have turned out the way I was if I didn't have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against."

1996 saw the release of Evita, in which Madonna played the title role of Eva Perón. For a long time, Madonna had desired to play Perón and even wrote to director Alan Parker, explaining how she would be perfect for the part. She stated, "This is the role I was born to play. I put everything of me into this because it was much more than a role in a movie. It was exhilarating and intimidating at the same time.

And I am prouder of Evita than anything else I have done." After securing it, she underwent vocal training and learned about the history of Argentina and Perón. During shooting she fell sick many times due to the intense emotional effort required. However, as she told Oprah, she was also pregnant during the filming, which was also a factor: "I was winded after every take. I had to lie on the couch every ten minutes so I could recover from dizzy spells, I was worried that I was shaking the baby around too much and that would injure it in some way." Nevertheless, Madonna managed to find a positive side to those problems, which she wrote in her personal diary at the time: "Ironically, this feeling of vulnerability and weakness is helping me in the movie. I'm sure Evita felt this way every day of her life once she discovered she was ill."


"I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art."

Visit: +Madonna
http://www.madonna.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_(entertainer)


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