Madonna is known for her works that explore religious symbolism and sexual themes which also drew criticism from the Vatican in the late 1980s. In 1992, she founded an entertainment company, Maverick, which published a book of photographs (Sex). She also released a studio album (Erotica) and starred in a film (Body of Evidence) with erotic themes. These works generated negative publicity and coincided with a fall in commercial sales in the 1990s. Madonna's career was revived in 1998, when the release of her album Ray of Light garnered critical acclaim. She subsequently made four consecutive number-one studio albums.
Madonna has acted in 22 films. Although several failed critically and commercially, she earned a Golden Globe Award for her role in the 1996 film Evita. Divorced from actor Sean Penn, Madonna bore a daughter by personal trainer Carlos Leon before marrying film director Guy Ritchie. She and Riche have a son and in 2008 they adopted a second, Malawian David Banda, over media allegations they violated that country's adoption laws.
Madonna has been dubbed "one of the greatest pop acts of all time" and dubbed "The Queen of Pop" by some media. She is ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling female rock artist of the twentieth century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States with 63 million certified albums. Guinness World Records list her as the world's most successful female recording artist of all time and the top-earning female singer in the world with an estimated net worth of over US$400 million, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. On March 10, 2008, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Madonna in the 80s
In 1982, Madonna signed a singles deal with Sire Records, a label belonging to Warner Bros. Records. Her first release was "Everybody" on April 24, 1982. Her debut album, Madonna was primarily produced by Reggie Lucas.
Madonna's look and manner of dress, performances and music videos, became influential among young girls and women. Defined by lace tops, skirts over capri pants, fishnet stockings, jewelry bearing the Christian cross, and bleached hair, it became a female fashion trend in the 1980s. Her follow up album, Like a Virgin, became her first number one album on the U.S. albums chart; its commercial performance was buoyed by the success of its title track, "Like a Virgin", which reached number one in the U.S. with a six week stay at the top. The album sold 12 million copies worldwide, eight of which in the U.S. She performed the song at the first MTV Video Music Awards, wearing her then-trademark "Boy Toy" belt. Like a Virgin is listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the Definitive 200 Albums of All Time.
In 1985, Madonna entered mainstream films, beginning with a brief appearance as a club singer in the film Vision Quest. Its soundtrack contained her second U.S. number-one single "Crazy for You". Later that year, she appeared in Desperately Seeking Susan. The film introduced the song "Into the Groove", which became her first number-one single in the UK. Madonna embarked on her first concert tour in the U.S. in 1985 titled The Virgin Tour, with the Beastie Boys. In July that year, Penthouse and Playboy magazines published a number of black and white nude photos of Madonna taken in the late 1970s. Madonna took legal action to try and block them from being published, but when that failed she became unapologetic and defiant. At the outdoor Live Aid charity concert at the height of the controversy, Madonna made a critical reference to the media and stated she would not take her jacket off because "they might hold it against me ten years from now".
Madonna released her third album, True Blue, in 1986, prompting Rolling Stone to say that "it sounds as if it comes from the heart". The album included the ballad "Live to Tell", which she wrote for the film At Close Range, starring her then-husband Sean Penn. True Blue produced five Top 5 singles on the Billboard charts: "Live to Tell", "Papa Don't Preach", "Open Your Heart", "True Blue" and "La Isla Bonita". In the same year, Madonna starred in the film Shanghai Surprise and made her theatrical debut in a production of David Rabe's Goose and Tom-Tom, both co-starring Sean Penn.
In 1987, Madonna starred in Who's That Girl, and contributed four songs to its soundtrack; including the title track and the U.S. number-two single, "Causing a Commotion". In the same year, she embarked on the Who's That Girl Tour. It marked her first conflict with the Vatican, as Pope John Paul II urged Italian fans not to attend her concerts. Later that year, Madonna released a remix album of past hits, You Can Dance. In 1988, city officials in the town of Pacentro began to construct a 13-foot (4 m) statue of Madonna in a bustier. The statue commemorates the fact that her ancestors had lived in Pacentro.In 1988, Madonna starred as Karen in a play by David Mamet called Speed-the-Plow.
In early 1989, Madonna signed an endorsement deal with soft drink manufacturer Pepsi. She debuted her new song, "Like a Prayer", in a Pepsi commercial and also made a music video for it. The video, which features many Catholic symbols such as stigmata and burning crosses, was condemned by the Vatican.Since the commercial and music video were nearly identical, Pepsi was unable to convince the public that their commercial had nothing that could be deemed inappropriate. They revoked the commercial and cancelled their sponsorship contract with Madonna.
Madonna's fourth album, Like a Prayer, released in 1989, was co-written and co-produced by Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray.Rolling Stone hailed it as "...as close to art as pop music gets".Like a Prayer peaked at number one on the U.S. album chart and sold seven million copies worldwide, with four million copies sold in the U.S. alone.The album produced three Top 5-charting singles: the title track (her seventh number-one single in the U.S.), "Express Yourself" and "Cherish".
Wikipedia contributors. Madonna (entertainer). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. August 1, 2008, 03:15 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Madonna_%28entertainer%29&oldid=229157893. Accessed August 3, 2008.
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