By: Dan Colella
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Madonna is the most successful female recording artist of all time.
- Madonna has 12 No. 1 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart,
- Madonna has 6 No. 2 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart, the most for a female artist, tying her with Elvis Presley for the record.
- Madonna has the most Top 5 singles by a female artist on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart (29).
- Madonna has the most Top 10 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart (37), Surpassing Elvis.
- Madonna has the most Top 20 singles by a female artist on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart (42).
- Madonna has the most Top 30 singles by a female artist on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart (44).
- Madonna has the most Top 40 singles by a female artist on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart (47).
- Madonna has the most certified (RIAA) singles by an artist with 24 Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum singles in the U.S.
- Madonna's The Immaculate Collection is the highest selling greatest hits album ever by a female artist with estimated worldwide sales of over 23 million copies.
- Madonna has had more music videos played more often on MTV than any other artist.
- Madonna was voted by MTV viewers as the greatest music video icon ever on the network's 25 Greatest Video Stars.
- Madonna was named the sexiest recording artist ever on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
- Madonna is the most successful act in the history of MTV's Video Music Awards with an all time record 67 VMA nominations and 19 VMA wins.
- Madonna is the richest female singer in the world.
- Madonna has won 7 Grammy awards.
- Madonna won a Golden Globe in 1996 for her role on Evita.
- Madonna has been regarded as "one of the greatest pop acts of all time" and dubbed the "Queen of Pop"
Madonna's life before the Fame
Born in August 1958, Madonna Ciccone was the third child of six in a Catholic family living in Bay City, Michigan. Her father, Tony, a design engineer for Chrysler/General Dynamics, was a conservative, devout Roman Catholic and a first-generation Italian American. Madonna's mother and namesake was of French-Canadian descent. She died of breast cancer when Madonna was five years old.
In her younger school years Madonna acted in school plays. As she entered adolescence, Madonna discovered her love and talent for dancing, an activity she pursued under the direction and leadership of Christopher Flynn, her private ballet instructor. Dedicated and disciplined, Madonna worked hard, but played hard as well, something Flynn made easy by introducing her to the disco nightlife of downtown Detroit.
An apartment in an East Village tenement building surrounded by crime and drugs was the place from which she began her steady and focused climb to superstardom. Her first jobs included figure modeling for artists and acting in low budget movies. She danced briefly with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, studied for a time with Pearl Lang of the Martha Graham Dance group, and went to Paris as a short-lived singer/dancer with French disco artist Patrick Hernandez.
It has been said that Madonna has inspired modern artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and even Britney Spears.
A source offers the following information...
She also expressed the dominant views of women at the time and referred to the state of the culture during the decade in her lyrics, singing "…'cause the boys with the cold hard cash is always Mr. Right…'cause we are living in a material world and I am a material girl." Because of Madonna's presence as a celebrity, she had the power to bring many people to admire her glamorous portrayal and influenced them to want to look and act like her to feel as if they were part of the rich and famous lifestyle.
The fact that "Material Girl" was popular and was replayed constantly contributed to the impact that her image made on the culture and provoked many people to desire these attributes of glamour and style that defined beauty as depicted in the song's music video and lyrics. As a result, this music video further perpetuated a hegemonic culture where society agreed on the definition of beauty and what constituted the ideal woman.
In the early 1990s, Madonna constructed a new hegemonic ideal of a woman by reinventing herself and her body, creating an image that illustrated a dominant and independent woman. Madonna's body became more toned, portraying a more masculine, strong, and powerful woman, as seen in her music video "Express Yourself," in which she wore men's suits. This video not only represented a new fashion trend of less glamorous and more sophisticated and masculine clothes, but they also captured the shift in portrayals of women to a more dominant position.
With these images, she promoted equality between men and women and reinforced the idea that women can perform the same roles as men with equal effectiveness. Furthermore, Madonna used her body in her music video to exert power and control over men, not simply to seduce men as was the conventional thought of the practice and use of women's bodies.
Not only did Madonna change the view of women through the music industry, but she also gives back to the community. She has supported the following charities...
Afghanistan Relief Organization
American Foundation for AIDS Research
BID 2 BEAT AIDS Bony Pony Ranch
Charity Projects Entertainment Fund
Children in Need
Children of Peace
Every Mother Counts
Partners in Health
Raisa Gorbachev Foundation
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
Treatment Action Campaign
UN Millennium Project
As well as supporting the following causes...
Abuse, Adoption Fostering,Orphans, AIDS & HIV At-Risk/Disadvantaged Youth Cancer Children Creative Arts Disaster Relief, Economic/Business Support, Education Environment Health Homelessness Human Rights Human Changes, Mental Challenges, Miscellaneous, Peace, Physical Challenges Poverty, Substance Abuse, Unemployment/Career Support, Water, Women
As the naked eye can see, Madonna has been a great leader for any woman to follow since she has gotten her start. Even though she has been around for a while, she is STILL contributing, even on top of her four kids and work, she is relentless! She has been a role model to follow for girls at any age for more than around 4 decades now, and she plans to continue this trend with her continuous donations and contributions to the society. She truly is a strong independant woman, and her views and accomplishments are known globally.
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