czwartek, 21 sierpnia 2008

madonna biography

Singer and dancer Madonna (Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, born 1958) is a master marketer and sensational self-promoter who propelled herself to stardom, dominating pop charts, concert halls, film, and music video. She has been called "an outrageous blend of Little Orphan Annie, Margaret Thatcher, and Mae West," and "narcissistic, brazen, comic ... the Goddess of the Nineties."

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.

Tony Ciccone moved the family to Pontiac, Michigan, and married one of the women hired to care for the Ciccone household. The adjustment was difficult for Madonna as the eldest daughter. She had considered herself the "lady of the house" and had received much of her father's affection and attention.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.

Despite the glamour and sophistication she developed with Flynn, who was more than 20 years older than she, neither Madonna's extracurricular activities nor her father's disapproval kept her from caring for her younger siblings and working hard in school. She graduated early from high school with mostly "A's" and was awarded a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan. She stayed two years before going to New York City in 1978 with $37 and a wealth of determination and ambition.

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 Theater, 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.

Talent, Determination, and Unbridled Ambition

Before she left for Paris, Madonna had developed a fascination with the music field. It started with rock and roll, playing drums and singing backup in several small bands. When she returned to New York she spent a lot of time writing songs, making demonstration tapes, and hanging out in such popular lower-Manhattan nightclubs as the Roxy and Danceteria. It was a simple, four-track demo called "Everybody" that earned Madonna a recording contract with Sire Records in October 1982.

The album Madonna sold few copies when it was first released in July 1983. However, repeated club performances and radio air-play of several cuts from the album eventually earned her three huge hits with "Holiday," "Lucky Star," and "Borderline." A flurry of chart-busting hits, videos, concert tours, and films followed. She seemed to have a Midas-like quality with most everything she did. Even a brief singing performance in a largely forgettable film, Vision Quest, resulted in the top-five love ballad "Crazy for You."

Her second album, Like a Virgin, released in late 1984, produced two number one hits--the title track and "Material Girl." Madonna was becoming an accomplished songwriter; she had written five of the songs herself. During the spring of 1985 she embarked on her first concert tour, which was so successful that she had to switch to larger venues as the tour progressed. On the heels of Like a Virgin came the detective/ comedy film Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985 (directed by Susan Seidelman and co-starring Madonna and Rosanna Arquette), which spawned another popular single and video, "In the Groove."

The tour had thousands of teenage girls all over the country tying lace bows on top of their heads, wearing underwear as outerwear, and walking the halls of schools and shopping malls as "Madonna wannabees." Madonna had become an icon as much as a singer to her fans.

Controversial Behavior Shared Center Stage

Madonna was married briefly to actor Sean Penn from August 1985 to early 1989; it was a marriage with many well chronicled ups and downs. In 1986 she released her third album, True Blue, from which three singles topped the charts: "Papa Don't Preach," about a pregnant teen who wants to keep her child; the title track, a light "girl loves boy" tune; and "Live to Tell," a soulful ballad from the soundtrack of At Close Range starring Sean Penn. In 1987 a movie starring Madonna called Who's That Girl was largely ignored, unlike the accompanying soundtrack and concert tour.

The release of Like A Prayer coincided with the breakup of her marriage, and included a fare-thee-well written by Madonna entitled "Till Death Do Us Part." However, it was the video of the title song portraying Madonna's confession to a priest followed by engaging in sexually suggestive behavior with him that caused a stir in the Catholic Church. The controversy resulted in a disagreement over a $5 million endorsement contract with the Pepsi company. Controversy again surrounded Madonna in 1990 when she was banned from MTV before 11 p.m. with the sexually explicit video "Justify My Love," a new track from her greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection.

Other films featuring Madonna include Shanghai Surprise (1986), in which she co-starred with then-husband Sean Penn; Dick Tracy (1989), the film that launched her short-lived affair with Warren Beatty and also was accompanied by a Madonna-sung soundtrack; and Truth or Dare, her own feature-length video/documentary compiled of footage from her Blonde Ambition Tour of 1990-1991.....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. Later that year, Madonna released -Sex, an expensive, steel-bound soft-core pornographic book that featured hundreds of erotic photographs of herself, several models, and other celebrities -- including Isabella Rossellini, Big Daddy Kane, Naomi Campbell, and Vanilla Ice -- as well as selected prose. -Sex received scathing reviews and enormous negative publicity, yet that didn't stop the accompanying album, Erotica, from selling over two million copies. Bedtime Stories, released two years later, was a more subdued affair than Erotica. Initially, it didn't chart as impressively, prompting some critics to label her a has-been, yet the album spawned her biggest hit, "Take a Bow," which spent seven weeks at number one. It also featured the Björk-penned "Bedtime Stories," which became her first single not to make the Top 40; its follow-up, "Human Nature," also failed to crack the Top 40. Nevertheless, Bedtime Stories marked her seventh album to go multi-platinum.

Beginning 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. Backing away from the overt sexuality of Erotica and Bedtime Stories, Madonna recast herself as an upscale sophisticate, and the compilation Something to Remember fit into the plan nicely. Released in the fall of 1995, around the same time she won the coveted role of Evita Peron, the album was comprised entirely of ballads, designed to appeal to the mature audience that would also be the target of 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. The soundtrack for Evita, however, was a modest hit, with a dance remix of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and the newly written "You Must Love Me" both becoming hits.

During 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. Within a month, the record was shaping up to be her biggest album since Like a Prayer. 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, whom she had with filmmaker Guy Ritchie; the two married at the very end of the year. With Ritchie as director and Madonna as star, the pair released a remake of the film Swept Away in 2002. It tanked at the box office, failing to crack seven digits, making it one of the least profitable films of the year. Her sober 2003 album, American Life, fared a little better but was hardly a huge success. That same year she released a successful children's book, -The English Roses (it was followed by several more over the coming years). Confessions on a Dance Floor marked her return to music and to the dance-oriented material that had made her a star; released in late 2005, it topped the Billboard charts, and was accompanied by a worldwide tour in 2006, the same year that I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, a CD/DVD made during her Re-Invention Tour, came out. In 2007 Madonna released another CD/DVD, Confessions Tour, this time chronicling her controversial tour of the same name.

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