Madonna, moniker for Madonna Louise Ciccone, born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, is an American singer, dancer, actress, film producer, director and businesswoman.
Arriving in New York City in 1978 to pursue a career as a dancer, Madonna signed to Sire Records in 1982 and released her debut album the following year, which was followed by a series of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums: Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986) sold over 20 million copies each, while Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005) won Grammy Awards. Several of his singles have reached the top of the charts, such as Holiday, Like a Virgin, Into the Groove, Who's That Girl, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Frozen, Music, Hung Up and 4 Minutes.
Named by the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling singer of all time (over 335 million records), Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. Nicknamed The Queen of Pop, she also makes inroads into other styles such as dance, disco, electronic music, rock and jazz. Reinventing her image and her music over the years, her provocations (on subjects such as religion, sexuality and politics) have contributed greatly to her notoriety.
Considered one of the first female popstars, she is often cited as a major influence on young artists in the 21st century and is considered one of the biggest stars on the planet.
Madonna has also embraced the acting profession: despite positive reviews for her first film, Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), and her Golden Globe for Best Actress for Evita in 1996, most of her films have received a lukewarm to icy reception. Scalded by these negative reviews, she prefers to turn to directing from 2008.
With an estimated fortune of between $570 and $800 million, Madonna is the highest paid singer in the world. She is one of six artists (and the only woman) whose tours have brought in over $1 billion in revenue since 1990.