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Madonna - Biography

Madonna's Biography

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born on August 16, 1958, in Bay City, Michigan, USA. Madonna was the third of eight children into a large Italian family. Her father, Sylvio Ciccone, was a design engineer for General Motors, and her mother was Madonna Ciccone. When Madonna was six years old, she lost her mother.

Madonna attended the University of Michigan on a dance scholarship for two years before heading to New York City to become a ballet dancer. In 1977, she went to New York, studying with noted choreographer Alvin Ailey and taking modeling jobs. Two years later, Madonna moved to France to join a show featuring disco singer Patrick Hernandez. There she met Dan Gilroy and, back in New York, the pair formed club band the Breakfast Club. Madonna played drums for that band, but she soon becomes a lead singer. In 1980, she left the band and formed Emmy with Detroit-born drummer and former boyfriend, Steve Bray.

Together, Madonna and Bray created club tracks and these tracks worked its way to Mark Kamins, a New York-based DJ/producer. Kamins directed the tape to Sire Records, who signed the singer during 1982. Madonna's first single, "Everybody," who became a club and dance hit. Since then she had given many hits. Madonna broke out from the disco scene into mainstream pop with "Holiday", written and produced by Jellybean which was her third club hit.

In 1983, "Madonna" her debut album is released. In 1984, Madonna's second album, the Niles Rodgers-produced "Like a Virgin", was released. The title track hit number one, staying at the top of the charts for six weeks. After that "Material Girl" became a number two hit in March, Madonna began her first tour, supported by the Beastie Boys. "Crazy for You" became her second number one single. "Desperately Seeking Susan" was also released in the same year, becoming a box-office hit. In August, she married actor Sean Penn; the couple had a rocky marriage that ended in 1989.

In 1989, "Like a Prayer" released, it was her most ambitious and far-reaching album, incorporating elements of pop, rock, and dance. It was another number one hit and launched the number-one title track, and "Express Yourself," "Cherish," and "Keep It Together," three more Top Ten hits.

In April 1990, she began her massive Blonde Ambition tour, which ran throughout the entire year. "Vogue" became a number one hit in May, setting the stage for her co-starring role in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy, it was her most successful film appearance since Desperately Seeking Susan. Madonna released a greatest-hits album, "The Immaculate Collection", at the end of the year. It featured two new songs, including the number one single "Justify My Love," and the second one, "Rescue Me," became the highest-debuting single by a female artist in U.S. chart history, entering the charts at number 15.

During spring 1991, Truth or Dare, a documentary of the Blonde Ambition tour, was released to positive reviews and strong ticket sales.

1992: Madonna returned to the charts in the summer of 1992 with the number one "This Used to Be My Playground," a single featured in the film "A League of Their Own", which featured the singer in a small part. In 1995, Madonna began one of her most subtle image makeovers as she lobbied for the title role in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. As the filming completed, Madonna announced she was pregnant and her daughter, Lourdes, was born late in 1996, just as Evita was scheduled for release.

The movie was greeted with generally positive reviews and Madonna began a campaign for an Oscar nomination that resulted in her winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy), but not the coveted Academy Award nomination.

In 1997, she worked with producer William Orbit on her first album of new material since 1994's Bedtime Stories. The resulting record, Ray of Light, was heavily influenced by electronica, techno, and trip-hop, thereby updating her classic dance-pop sound for the late '90s. Ray of Light received uniformly excellent reviews upon its March 1998 release and debuted at number two on the charts.

Two years later she returned with Music, which reunited her with Orbit and also featured production work from Mark "Spike" Stent and Mirwais, a French electro-pop producer/musician in the vein of Daft Punk and Air.

The year 2000 also saw the birth of Madonna's second child, Rocco, who she had with filmmaker Guy Richie. On 22 December, she married the UK film director Guy Ritchie in Scotland and managed once again to grab most of the newspaper headlines. In 2002 starred in the director's ill-fated remake of "Swept Away". The same year Madonna performed the theme song to the new James Bond movie, "Die Another Day".

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