Madonna is more than just a pop singer, an actress,
and a celebrity. She is a phenomenon, one of the most talked about,
photographed, loved, lusted after, hated, and worshipped women today.
Madonna strikes a pose, and all the world watches. Since she exploded
on the pop scene in the early 1980s, she has been constantly transforming
both herself and transforming pop culture. Professors write books
and articles about her, and hold academic conferences analyzing her
impact on American culture.
Born on August 16, 1958, Madonna Louise Ciccone grew
up in the suburbs near Detroit, Michigan. Her birth mother, also named
Madonna, died when she was only five. As a young woman, Madonna moved
to New York City hoping, like thousands of other starstruck youths,
to be discovered for her singing and dancing talents. Unlike most
of the others, she was.
The phenomenon begins with the 1983 release of the album
Madonna, her Sire Records debut. A young, sexy Madonna singing "Burning
Up" was the perfect video for the fledgling MTV music channel. With
suggestively unkempt hair, stacks of bracelets, and "mix and match"
thrift-store clothes, she writhed her way into the heart of the pop
She was no flash in the pan, either. Subsequent years
brought additional albums, each showing a different side of this fascinating
diva. With every release, she has sported a new look and a new sound.
Her 1998 album Ray of Light is one of her most critically acclaimed
and popular albums so far. Her fans have consistently supported her,
and her detractors can't seem to get enough, either. Conventions,
web sites, fanzines, and shrines swirl around her larger-than-life