Facts about Madonna

  1. Thunder: Madonna suffers from brontophobia – the fear of thunder
  2. Filmography: Madonna has appeared in 26 films, 7 short films, 3 plays, 10 episodes of TV series and 15 commercials
  3. Record sales: Madonna has sold over 300 million records worldwide
  4. Singles: Madonna has released 78 singles
  5. Height: Madonna is 1.64 m tall
  6. Tardigrades: A species of tardigrade – Echiniscus madonnae – is named after the Madonna. Tardigrades are small, hardy animals that can survive extremes of drought, heat, cold, water, pressure, etc.
  7. Wine: Madonna’s father, Tony Ciccone, has recently launched a wine in his daughter’s name: Madonna Wine. Wine producer Celebrity Cellars also has their own Madonna wines
  8. Clothing line: In March 2007, Madonna created a clothing line for clothing giant H&M
  9. Walk of Fame: Madonna has no star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was selected to receive a star in 1990, but showed no interest in it and the invitation has therefore expired
  10. Pepsi: Pepsi paid Madonna 5 million dollars to use the song ‘Like a Virgin’ in one of their TV commercials. However, in the end, the advert was never shown on TV as it was too controversial and full of religious undertones
Fact: Madonna is one of the world's most famous and influential female pop stars
Attribution: David Shankbone – Wikipedia.org

Fact: Madonna has sold more than 300 million records and appeared in 26 films, and is therefore considered one of the most influential female entertainers in the world. The image above is from 2008


Facts about Madonna’s life and career

  • Childbirth: Madonna Louise Ciccone was born on August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, USA. She once referred to her hometown as “a shitty little town in northern Michigan” on national TV
  • Growing up: Madonna grew up in Pontiac, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). She has described her childhood as follows: “I was a lonely girl looking for something. I wasn’t rebellious per se. I wanted to be good at something. I didn’t shave my armpits and I didn’t wear makeup like normal girls do. But I studied and got good grades… I wanted to be something.”
  • School: During her school days, Madonna was known to do cartwheels and handstands in the school hallways so boys could see her underwear
  • Siblings: Madonna was the third in a sibling group of six children: Martin, Anthony, Paula, Christopher and Melanie. Madonna was the eldest daughter
  • Parents and caregivers: His father, Silvio Anthony “Tony” Ciccone, was an engineer who worked for Chrysler and General Motors. His parents were Italian immigrants. His mother, Madonna Louise, died of breast cancer in 1963 and was of French-Canadian descent. His father later married the family maid, Joan Gustafson, with whom he had two more children
  • Name: Since Madonna had the same name as her mother, the family called her ‘Little Nonni’ to differentiate between the two
  • Dancing: Madonna was a cheerleader at Rochester Adams High School. She later convinced her father to let her take ballet, which earned her a scholarship to the University of Michigan. However, she dropped out in 1977 and moved to New York with just 35 dollars in her pocket. Here she worked a series of low-paying odd jobs to make ends meet. At the same time, she studied dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and danced in several dance troupes
  • Europe: In 1979, she became a backup dancer for a French disco artist named Patrick Hernandez. In Europe, she met musician Dan Gilroy, with whom she formed the band Breakfast Club. However, she left the band the following year to join the band Emmy. Here she was spotted by producer Seymour Stein, who released her first single ‘Everybody’ on October 6, 1982
  • Getting started: In collaboration with her boyfriend, John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez, she went on to produce her first album ‘Madonna’. In 1984, her success really took off when her hit ‘Borderline’ entered the Top 10 and she became internationally known later that year when her album ‘Like a Virgin’ reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200
  • Controversial style: Several family organizations tried to get the video for ‘Like a Virgin’ banned because it promoted premarital sex (including Madonna wearing a wedding dress in the video)
  • Movies: Madonna made her film debut in 1985, playing a singer in the movie Vision Quest. Soon after, she got a much bigger role in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan. Later she also appeared in the movie ‘Dick Tracy’ and numerous other films (22 in total). Her greatest performance was in the 1966 film Evita, where she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress. She also earned her own world record in the Guinness Book of Records for “most costume changes in a movie”
  • Sean Penn: She began dating Sean Penn while working on ‘Material Girl’ and the two married on her 27th birthday in 1985. The couple divorced again in 1989, due to a combination of Sean Penn’s alcohol abuse at the time and Madonna’s extreme obsession with her own career
  • Top songs: The 1986 album ‘True Blue’ topped the charts in 28 countries with the singles ‘Live to Tell’, ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ and ‘Open Your Heart’. The song ‘Like a Prayer’, released in 1989, didn’t go down well with the Vatican – but Pepsi made a deal with Madonna to use the song in one of their TV commercials. The video for the song ‘Justify my Love’ was banned by MTV for showing bondage and two girls kissing. In the years since, Madonna has had numerous songs and albums at the top of the charts around the world
  • Maverick: Madonna started her own entertainment company, Maverick, and her own record label, Maverick Records, in 1992
  • Daughter: On October 14, 1996, she gave birth to her daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. The father was her Cuban fitness trainer Carlos Leon. Around the same time, Madonna was introduced to the Hebrew religion Kabbalah by American comedian Sandra Bernhard
  • Guy Ritchie: In 1999, Madonna met film director Guy Ritchie through Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. On August 11, 2000, Madonna gave birth to their son Rooco Ritchie and they married in December of that year in Scotland. The couple divorced in December 2008.
  • Children’s book: Madonna’s first children’s book ‘The English Roses’ from 2003 became the fastest-selling children’s picture book in the history of the world. She has since published 9 more children’s books
  • Most Top 10 songs: The song ‘4 minutes’ from the album ‘Hard Candy’ (from 2008) made Madonna the artist with the most Top 10 hits in the world. The previous record holder was none other than Elvis Presley himself
Fact: Madonna has been married twice
Attribution: Seher Sikandar + Wildhartlivie + Georges Biard – Wikipedia.org

Madonna has been married to Sean Penn (1985 – 1989) and Guy Ritchie (1999 – 2008)