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Madonna Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Madonna, musician and actress.


Birth date: August 16, 1958

Birth place: Bay City, Michigan

Birth name: Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone

Father: Silvio Ciccone, engineer

Mother: Madonna (Fortin) Ciccone

Marriages: Guy Ritchie (December 22, 2000-November 21, 2008, divorced); Sean Penn (August 16, 1985-September 14, 1989, divorced)

Children: adopted: Mercy, Stella and Esther (twins); adopted with Guy Ritchie: David; with Guy Ritchie: Rocco; with Carlos Leon: Lourdes

Education: Attended University of Michigan on a dance scholarship, 1976-1978

Other Facts

Has sold more than 65 million albums in the United States with 12 multi-platinum records, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Nominated for 28 Grammy Awards, has won seven.


Early 1980s – Performs in New York dance clubs with bands including the Millionaires, Modern Dance and Emmy.

1982 – Signs a contract with Sire Records, an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records.

July 1983 – Her self-titled debut album is released. It features such hits as “Borderline,” “Lucky Star” and “Burning Up.”

1984 – Madonna performs the song, “Like a Virgin,” in a wedding dress, on the first MTV Video Music Awards. The provocative performance helps propel the song to the top of the Billboard singles chart. It’s her first #1 single.

1985 – Stars in the film, “Desperately Seeking Susan,” and launches her first major concert tour.

1988 – Makes her Broadway acting debut in the David Mamet play, “Speed-the-Plow.”

1990 – MTV bans her sexually explicit video “Justify My Love.”

May 10, 1991 – “Truth or Dare,” a documentary about Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour, is released.

February 25, 1992 – Wins a Grammy for Best Music Video, Long Form for “Madonna – Blond Ambition World Tour Live.”

April 1992 – Time Warner signs her to a multimedia deal that includes albums, books and videos. With the deal, Madonna launches her own record label, Maverick Records.

1992 – Madonna’s photo book titled “Sex” is published, and within a week, it tops the New York Times bestseller list.

1992-2004 – Head of Maverick Records.

March 1994 – Appears on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The expletive-laced interview garners high ratings but also prompts viewers to write letters of complaint to the FCC. Rolling Stone magazine later ranks it as one of Letterman’s most iconic TV moments.

December 14, 1996 – “Evita,” starring Madonna as the title character in a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical, premieres in Los Angeles. The film goes on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song and it earns four nominations in technical categories.

February 24, 1999 – Wins three Grammy Awards, for Best Dance Recording for “Ray of Light,” Best Pop Album for “Ray of Light ” and Best Short Form Music Video for “Ray of Light.”

February 23, 2000 – Wins a Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for “Beautiful Stranger,” from the soundtrack of “Austin Powers – The Spy who Shagged Me.”

August 28, 2003 – Kisses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.

August 16, 2005 – Falls off a horse at her home outside London, suffering three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone, and a broken hand.

2006 – Establishes a nonprofit group called Raising Malawi, providing aid to children in Malawi.

October 2006 – Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie begin the process of adopting a baby boy named David Banda from Malawi, despite laws that forbid non-residents from adopting Malawian children. Children’s rights groups attempt to block the adoption, but they are eventually allowed to adopt the child.

February 11, 2007 – Wins a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album for “Confessions on a Dance Floor.”

February 10, 2008 – Wins a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video for “The Confessions Tour.”

February 11, 2008 – Directorial debut, “Filth and Wisdom,” premieres at the Berlin International Film Festival.

March 10, 2008 – Is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

2008 – Writes and produces the documentary, “I Am Because We Are,” about AIDS in Malawi.

June 12, 2009 – Malawi’s high court overturns a lower court ruling, allowing Madonna to adopt a three-year-old girl from the country.

October 2009 – Announces plans to break ground on a girls’ school in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Two years later, the project is abandoned.

February 5, 2012 – Performs at the halftime show for Super Bowl XLVI.

April 2013 – A Malawi government spokesman accuses Madonna of demanding VIP treatment during a goodwill visit to the country earlier in the month. In a statement, Madonna denies asking for special treatment and says that she traveled to Malawi to visit schools funded by her nonprofit, Raising Malawi.

September 17, 2013 – Announces a new project called Art for Freedom, aimed at fighting intolerance and oppression through art.

February 8, 2017 – Announces she’s adopted twin girls from Malawi.

July 11, 2017 – Opens the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care. The hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, is named after her adopted daughter.

April 19, 2018 – A New York Supreme Court judge rules that online auction site can proceed with the sale of memorabilia that once belonged to Madonna, which includes a 1995 letter from rapper Tupac Shakur. Madonna filed a preliminary injunction in July 2017 to prevent the auction of the items.

July 28, 2020 – Instagram flags and removes a post by Madonna after she shares a video featuring a group of doctors making false and dubious claims about the coronavirus. The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, features a group of people wearing white lab coats calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

June 28, 2023 – Madonna’s manager announces that Madonna “developed a serious bacterial infection which led to a several day stay in the ICU.” She will be postponing at least some of her Celebration world tour that had been set to commence in July.

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