Madonna shot to stardom in the early 1980s with her catchy pop songs and sexy, eye-catching videos. The provocative diva ruled the charts for decades by repeatedly reinventing herself, both aesthetically and musically, and by constantly courting controversy, from her make-out session with a saint in the "Like a Prayer" video to her X-rated 1992 picture book Sex to her lip lock with Britney Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards (which was viewed by many as Madonna's unique way of passing the torch to the next generation of pop stars). Her forays onto the big screen weren't as successful. She fared best when basically playing herself (Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, the documentary Truth or Dare), but save for Evita, which earned her a Golden Globe, Madonna's attempts to be taken seriously as an actress (the wannabe screwball comedy Shanghai Surprise opposite first husband Sean Penn, the remake of Swept Away directed by her second husband, Guy Ritchie) were met with critical and commercial scorn, as well as Razzie Awards. While Madonna hasn't exactly mellowed with age, she has shifted her focus. After years of a love-hate relationship with Catholicism, she became a very vocal follower of kabbalah. She also became a mother of four, an author of children’s books and an active supporter of numerous charitable causes, including the non-profit Raising Malawi, which she founded in an effort to improve the lives of orphans in Malawi.
- Idolized nuns when she was growing up.
- Ranked in the top 2 percent of her high school class, scoring straight A's, and her IQ was said to be higher than 140.
- Received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan, but dropped out after a year to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer in New York City; later scored a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey dance school.
- Released her self-titled debut album, featuring the enduring hits "Holiday" and "Borderline," in 1983.
- Earned a place in pop-culture history with her writhing wedding-gown performance of "Like a Virgin" at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.
- Made her Broadway debut in 1988 with David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow.
- Published the controversial coffee-table book Sex in 1992.
- Formed Maverick Records, which released albums by artists such as The Prodigy, Michelle Branch and Alanis Morissette, in 1992.
- Fell off a horse during a celebration for her 47th birthday in 2005, sustaining multiple injuries, but has since fully recovered.
- Has authored several children's books, including Mr. Peabody's Apples, Lotsa de Casha and the English Roses series.
- 1991, Grammy — Best Long Form Music Video: Winner
- 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
- 2003, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1999, Grammy — Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: Winner
- 1995, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2006, Grammy — Best Electronic/Dance Album: Winner
- 1998, Grammy — Best Short Form Music Video: Winner
- 1998, Grammy — Best Dance Recording: Winner
- 2007, Grammy — Best Long Form Music Video: Winner
- 1987, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female Musical Performer: Winner
- 1998, Grammy — Best Pop Album: Winner
- 2012, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
- 2016, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Movie Icon: Winner
- 1988, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1993, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2000, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
- Jesus Luz — Ex-significant Other
- Vanilla Ice — Ex-significant Other
- Stella — Daughter
- Chifundo 'Mercy' James — Daughter
- Joan Ciccone — Stepmother
- Christopher Ciccone — Brother
- Martin Ciccone — Brother
- Anthony Ciccone — Brother
- Jennifer Ciccone — Half Sister
- Paula Ciccone — Sister
- Silvio P. Ciccone — Father
- Carlos León — Ex-significant Other
- Lourdes Leon — Daughter
- Mario Ciccone — Half Brother
- Brahim Zaibat — Ex-significant Other
- Rocco John Ritchie — Son
- Guy Ritchie — Ex-husband
- Madonna Louise Ciccone — Mother
- Sean Penn — Ex-husband
- Melanie Henry — Sister
- Esther — Daughter
- David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie — Son
- Attended University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
- Birth Name: Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
- Birth Place: Bay City, Michigan, United States
- Profession: Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Author, Music producer, Dancer