Sunday, December 19, 2010

Madonna's Great Achievement and Popularity In The World

Madonna (entertainer) American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor-

Upper body of a middle-aged blond woman. Her hair is parted in the middle and falls in waves to her shoulder. She is wearing a loose dress with black and brown prints on it. A locket is hung around her neck, coming up to her breasts. She is looking to the right and is smiling.
Madonna at the premiere of I Am Because We Are in 2008
Background information
Birth name Madonna Louise Ciccone
Also known as Madonna Ciccone, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (confirmation name), Esther (Kabbalah name)
Born August 16, 1958 (age 52)
Bay City, Michigan,
United States
Genres Pop, rock, dance
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress, film producer, film director, fashion designer, author, entrepreneur
Instruments Vocals, guitar, percussion, drums
Years active 1979–present
Labels Sire, Maverick, Warner Bros, Live Nation Artists
Associated acts Breakfast Club, Emmy

Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone; August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983. She followed it with a series of albums in which she found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on the record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes". Madonna has been praised by critics for her diverse musical productions while at the same time serving as a lightning rod for religious controversy.

Her career was further enhanced by film appearances that began in 1979, despite mixed commentary. She won critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other film roles. Madonna's other ventures include being a fashion designer, children's book author, film director and producer. She has been acclaimed as a businesswoman, and in 2007, she signed an unprecedented US $120 million contract with Live Nation.

Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the Billboard chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. Considered to be one of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She is recognized as an inspiration among numerous music artists.

1982–85: Madonna, Like a Virgin and marriage to Sean Penn-

Madonna signed a singles deal with Sire, a label belonging to Warner Bros. Records. Her debut single, "Everybody", was released on October 6, 1982, and became a dance hit. She started developing her debut album Madonna, which was primarily produced by Reggie Lucas, a Warner Bros. producer. However, she was not happy with the completed tracks and disagreed with Lucas' production techniques, so decided to seek additional help. Madonna moved in with boyfriend John "Jellybean" Benitez, asking his help for finishing the album's production. Benitez remixed most of the tracks and produced "Holiday", which was her third single. The overall sound of Madonna is dissonant, and is in the form of upbeat synthetic disco, utilizing some of the new technology of the time, like the usage of Linn drum machine, Moog bass and the OB-X synthesizer. The album peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200, and yielded the hit singles "Holiday", "Borderline" and "Lucky Star".

"I was surprised by how people reacted to "Like a Virgin" because when I did that song, to me, I was singing about how something made me feel a certain way – brand-new and fresh – and everyone interpreted it as I don't want to be a virgin anymore. Fuck my brains out! That's not what I sang at all. 'Like a Virgin' was always absolutely ambiguous."
—Madonna on the backlash for "Like a Virgin"
Gradually, Madonna's look and manner of dressing, her performances and her music videos started influencing young girls and women. Her style became a female fashion trend of the 1980s. It was created by stylist and jewelry designer Maripol and the look consisted of lace tops, skirts over capri pants, fishnet stockings, jewelry bearing the crucifix, bracelets, and bleached hair. She achieved global recognition after the release of her second studio album: Like a Virgin in 1984. It topped the charts in several countries and became her first number one album on the Billboard The title track, "Like a Virgin", topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks. It attracted the attention of family organizations, who complained that the song and its accompanying video promoted premarital sex and undermined family values, and moralists sought to have the song and video banned. Madonna further came under fire when she performed the song at the first MTV Video Music Awards where she appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and bridal veil, adorned with her characteristic "Boy Toy" belt buckle. The performance is noted by scholars and by MTV as an iconic performance in MTV history. In later years, Madonna commented that she was actually terrified of the performance. She recalled, "I remember my manager Freddy shouting to me, 'Oh my God! What were you doing? You were wearing a wedding dress. Oh my God! You were rolling around on the floor!' It was the bravest, most blatant sexual thing I had ever done on television." Like a Virgin was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and sold more than 21 million copies worldwide. The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed the album as one of the "Definitive 200 Albums of All Time" in 1998. 200.

Madonna entered mainstream films in 1985, beginning with a brief appearance as a club singer in Vision Quest, a romantic drama film. Its soundtrack contained her U.S. number one single, "Crazy for You". She also appeared in the comedy Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), a film which introduced the song "Into the Groove", her first number one single in the United Kingdom. Although not the lead actress for the film, her profile was such that the movie widely became seen (and marketed) as a Madonna vehicle. The film received a nomination for a César Award for Best Foreign Film and The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby named it one of the ten best films of 1985. While filming the music video for the second single from Like a Virgin—"Material Girl"—Madonna started dating actor Sean Penn and married him on her birthday in 1985.

Beginning in April 1985, Madonna embarked on her first concert tour in North America, The Virgin Tour, with the Beastie Boys as her opening act. Madonna commented: "That whole tour was crazy, because I went from playing CBGB and the Mudd Club to playing sporting arenas. I played a small theater in Seattle, and the girls had flap skirts on and the tights cut off below their knees and lace gloves and rosaries and bows in their hair and big hoop earrings. [...] After Seattle, all of the shows were moved to arenas." In July, Penthouse and Playboy magazines published a number of nude photos of Madonna, taken in New York in 1978. She had posed for the photographs as she needed money at the time, and was paid as little as $25 a session. The publication of the photos caused a media uproar, but Madonna remained defiant and unapologetic. The photographs were ultimately sold for up to $100,000. She referred to the whole experience at the 1985 outdoor Live Aid charity concert saying that she would not take her jacket off because "[the media] might hold it against me ten years from now."

1986–91: True Blue, Like a Prayer and the Blond Ambition Tour-

The image of a young blond woman. She is wearing a black coat. Her hair is short, straight and parted from the left to the right. She has bright red lips and appears to be speaking to someone on her left while looking down.
Madonna during the Blond Ambition World Tour
True Blue, Madonna's third studio album, was released in June, 1986. It spawned three number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100: "Live to Tell", "Papa Don't Preach" and "Open Your Heart", and two more top-five singles: "True Blue" and "La Isla Bonita". The album topped the charts in over 28 countries worldwide, an unprecedented achievement at the time. Rolling Stone magazine was generally impressed with the effort, writing that the album "sound[s] as if it comes from the heart". She also starred in the critically panned film Shanghai Surprise, and made her theatrical debut in a production of David Rabe's Goose and Tom-Tom, both co-starring Penn. The next year, Madonna's second feature film Who's That Girl was released. She contributed four songs to its soundtrack, including the title track and "Causing a Commotion". In June 1987, she embarked on the Who's That Girl World Tour which continued until September. Regarding the tour, Madonna commented "I realised that I could go from being unmoulded clay, and over time and with the help of people, I could turn myself into something else. This tour is the reflection of that belief and it's as if saying to me 'Who are you girl?' Hence the name, its the new me." Later that year, she released a remix album of past hits, entitled You Can Dance, which reached 14 on the Billboard 200. Madonna and Penn filed for divorce in December 1987, citing irreconcilable differences, with Madonna's lawyer pointing to Penn's drinking problem and his abusive nature. The divorce was finalized in January 1989. Of her marriage to Penn, Madonna later said, "I was completely obsessed with my career and not ready to be generous in any shape or form."

"In Like a Prayer I've been dealing with more specific issues that mean a lot to me. They're about an assimilation of experiences I've had in my life and in relationships. They're about my mother, my father and my bonds with my family about the pain of dying, or growing up and letting go. [The album] was a real coming-of-age record for me emotionally. [...] I had to do a lot of soul-searching and I think it is a reflection of that."
—Madonna talking about the inspiration behind Like a Prayer.
In January 1989, Madonna signed an endorsement deal with soft drink manufacturer Pepsi. In one of her Pepsi commercials, she debuted her song "Like a Prayer". The corresponding music video featured many Catholic symbols such as stigmata and burning crosses, and a dream about making love to a saint, leading the Vatican to condemn the video. Religious groups sought to ban the commercial and boycott Pepsi products. Pepsi revoked the commercial and canceled her sponsorship contract. However, she was allowed to retain her fee of five million dollars. The song was included on Madonna's fourth studio album, Like a Prayer, which was co-written and co-produced by Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray. Rolling Stone hailed it as " close to art as pop music gets". Like a Prayer peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 13 million copies worldwide, with 4 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. Six singles were released from the album, including "Like a Prayer", which reached number-one, and "Express Yourself" and "Cherish", both peaking at number two. By the end of the 1980s, Madonna was named as the "Artist of the Decade" by media such as MTV, Billboard and Musician magazine.

Madonna starred as "Breathless" Mahoney in the film Dick Tracy (1990), with Warren Beatty playing the title role. To accompany the film, she released the soundtrack album I'm Breathless, which included songs inspired by the film's 1930s setting. It also featured the U.S. number one hit, "Vogue", and "Sooner or Later", which earned songwriter Stephen Sondheim an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1991. While shooting the film, Madonna began a relationship with Beatty which dissolved by the end of 1990. In April 1990 she began her Blond Ambition World Tour, which continued for nearly four months. Regarding the tour, Madonna commented "I know that I'm not the best singer and I know that I'm not the best dancer. But, I can fucking push people's buttons and be as provocative as I want. The tour's goal is to break useless taboos."Rolling Stone called it an "elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza" and proclaimed it "the best tour of 1990". The tour was met with strong reaction from religious groups for her performance of "Like a Virgin", during which two male dancers caressed her body before she simulated masturbation. The Pope asked the general public and the Christian community not to attend the concert. A private association of Catholics calling themselves Famiglia Domani also boycotted the tour for its eroticism. In response, Madonna said, "I am Italian American and proud of it. [...] The tour in no way hurts anybody's sentiments. It's for open minds and gets them to see sexuality in a different way. Their own and others"; she declared that the Church "completely frowns on sex ... except for procreation." The Laserdisc release of the tour won Madonna a Grammy Award in 1992 for Best Long Form Music Video.

1992–96: Maverick, Sex, Erotica, Bedtime Stories and Evita-

A picture of a Evita, former first lady of Argentina. Her hair is drawn into a tight bun at the back. She is wearing a black, low-cut dress. Around her neck is a number of chains. The lady's hands are folded in her front and she has a white fur shawl around her. This is an official state portrait taken in the Argentine government house, the Casa Rosada.
Eva Perón (pictured). Madonna's portrayal of Perón in the film Evita garnered her critical acclaim.
In 1992 Madonna had a role in A League of Their Own as Mae Mordabito, a baseball player on an all-women's team. She recorded the film's theme song, "This Used to Be My Playground", which became a Hot 100 number one hit. The same year she founded her own entertainment company, Maverick, consisting of a record company (Maverick Records), a film production company (Maverick Films), and associated music publishing, television broadcasting, book publishing and merchandising divisions. The deal was a joint venture with Time Warner and paid Madonna an advance of $60 million. It gave her 20% royalties from the music proceedings, one of the highest rates in the industry, equaled at that time only by Michael Jackson's royalty rate established a year earlier with Sony. The first release from the venture was Madonna's book, entitled Sex. It consisted of sexually provocative and explicit images, photographed by Steven Meisel. The book caused strong negative reaction from the media and the general public, but sold 1.5 million copies at $50 each in a matter of days. At the same time she released her fifth studio album, Erotica, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Its title track peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Erotica also produced five further singles: "Deeper and Deeper", "Bad Girl", "Fever", "Rain" and "Bye Bye Baby".

The provocative imagery that was her trademark continued in the 1990s with the erotic thriller Body of Evidence, a film which contained scenes of sadomasochism and bondage. It was poorly received by critics.Dangerous Game, which was released straight to video in North America. The New York Times described the film as "angry and painful, and the pain feels real." In October 1993, she embarked on The Girlie Show World Tour, in which she dressed as a whip-cracking dominatrix surrounded by topless dancers. The show faced negative reaction, specifically in Puerto Rico where she rubbed the island's flag between her legs on stage. The same year, she appeared as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, using profanity that was required to be censored on television and handing Letterman a pair of her underwear and asking him to smell it. The releases of her sexually explicit films, albums and book, and the aggressive appearance on Letterman all made critics question Madonna as a sexual renegade. She faced strong negative publicity from critics and fans, who commented that "she had gone too far" and that her career was over. She also starred in the film.

1997–2002: Ray of Light, Music and Drowned World Tour-

A female standing on a stage. She has short blond hair and wears black jeans and a jacket. Her right hand points a vocal microphone toward the audience, to pick up their sound. Her left hand is held behind her ear with a facial expression indicating that she is listening.
Madonna performing on the Drowned World Tour
After Lourdes' birth, Madonna became involved in Eastern mysticism and Kabbalah. She was introduced to the Jewish mysticism by actress Sandra Bernhard in 1997. Her seventh studio album, Ray of Light, (1998) reflected this change in her perception and image. She commented: "This record, more than any other records, covers all the areas of life. I had recently joined Kabbalah and I had left off partying—but I had just had a baby, so my mood was complete, and I was incredibly thoughtful, retrospective and intrigued by the mystical aspects of life." The album generated positive critical reviews and Slant Magazine described it as "one of the great pop masterpieces of the '90s". Ray of Light was honored with four Grammy Awards, and listed as one of Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Topping the charts in Australia, Canada, U.K. and mainland Europe, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200—held off from the top spot by the soundtrack to the film Titanic—and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The album's first single, "Frozen", became Madonna's first single to debut at number one in the UK, while in the U.S. it became her sixth number two single and set another record for Madonna as the artist with the most number two hits. The second single, "Ray of Light", debuted at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Madonna's relationship with Leon ended in December 1998; she declared that they were "better off as best friends." Following their break-up, Madonna signed to play a violin teacher in the film Music of the Heart but left the project, citing "creative differences" with director Wes Craven. She followed the success of Ray of Light with the single "Beautiful Stranger", recorded for the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It reached number 19 on the Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for "Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media". The song was banned in Belgium, however, adjudicated to be plagiarized from Belgian songwriter Salvatore Acquaviva's 1993 song "Ma Vie Fout L'camp".

In 2000, Madonna starred in the film The Next Best Thing, and contributed two songs to the film's soundtrack: "Time Stood Still" and the international hit "American Pie", a cover version of Don McLean's 1971 song. She released her eighth studio album, Music, in September 2000. It featured elements from the electronica-inspired Ray of Light era, and catered to her gay audience. Collaborating with French producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï, Madonna commented: "I love to work with the weirdos that no one knows about—the people who have raw talent and who are making music unlike anyone else out there. Music is the future of sound." Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic felt that "Music blows by in a kaleidoscopic rush of color, technique, style and substance. It has so many depth and layers that it's easily as self-aware and earnest as Ray of Light. The album took the number one position in more than 20 countries worldwide and sold four million copies in the first ten days. In the U.S., Music debuted at the top, and became her first number one album in eleven years since Like a Prayer. It produced three singles: the Hot 100 number one "Music", "Don't Tell Me" and "What It Feels Like for a Girl". The music video of "What It Feels Like for a Girl" depicted Madonna committing murders and involved in car accidents, and was banned by MTV and VH1.

Around the same time of the Music album, Madonna became involved in a relationship with Guy Ritchie, whom she had met in 1999 through mutual friends Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. On August 11, 2000, she gave birth to their son, Rocco Ritchie. In December, Madonna and Ritchie were married in an exclusive ceremony in Scotland.

Her fifth concert tour, entitled Drowned World Tour, started in April 2001. The tour visited cities in North America and Europe and was one of the highest grossing concert tours of the year, earning $75 million from 47 sold-out shows. She also released her second greatest-hits collection, entitled GHV2, to coincide with the home video release of the tour. GHV2 debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200. Madonna starred in the film Swept Away, directed by Ritchie. Released direct to video in the UK, the film was a commercial and critical failure. Later that year, she released "Die Another Day", the title song of the James Bond film Die Another Day, in which she had a cameo role. The song reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated both for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Raspberry for Worst Song.

2003–06: American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor-

The front profile, from the waist up, of a middle-aged blond woman. She is wearing a white, sleeveless coat and white pants. Her hair is parted in the middle and is in locks around her face. She is holding a microphone in her right hand while her left hand is placed behind her head. She is smiling looking down. Behind her a video screen is red.
Madonna performing at the Live 8 benefit concert
Following Die Another Day, Madonna collaborated with fashion photographer Steven Klein in 2003 for an exhibition installation named X-STaTIC Pro=CeSS. It included photography from a photo shoot in W Madonna released her ninth studio album, American Life, which was based on her observations of American society, and received mixed reviews. She commented, "[American Life] was like a trip down memory lane, looking back at everything I've accomplished and all the things I once valued and all the things that were important to me." Larry Flick from The Advocate felt that "American Life is an album that is among her most adventurous and lyrically intelligent. [...] It is like the flip side to 2000's Music, and turns out to be a lazy, half-arsed effort to sound and take her seriously." The title song peaked at number 37 on the Hot 100. Its original music video was canceled as Madonna thought that the video, featuring violence and war imagery, would be deemed unpatriotic since America was then at war with Iraq. With only four million copies sold worldwide, American Life was the lowest selling album of her career. She gave another provocative performance later that year at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, while singing "Hollywood" with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott. Madonna mouthkissed Spears and Aguilera during the performance, triggering a tabloid frenzy. In October 2003, Madonna provided guest vocals on Spears' single "Me Against the Music". It was followed with the release of Remixed & Revisited. The EP contained remixed versions of songs from American LifeBedtime Stories recording sessions.The English Roses, was published in September 2003. The story was about four English schoolgirls and their envy and jealousy of each other. Kate Kellway from The GuardianThe New York Times Best Seller list and became the fastest-selling children's picture book of all time. magazine, and seven video segments. The installation ran from March to May in New York's Deitch Projects gallery. It then traveled the world in an edited form. and included "Your Honesty", a previously unreleased track from the Madonna also signed a contract with Callaway Arts & Entertainment to be the author of five children's books. The first of these books, entitled commented "[Madonna] is an actress playing at what she can never be – a J.K. Rowling, an English rose." The book debuted at the top .


The next year, Madonna and Maverick sued Warner Music Group and its former parent company Time Warner claiming that mismanagement of resources and poor bookkeeping had cost the company millions of dollars. In return, Warner filed a countersuit alleging that Maverick had lost tens of millions of dollars on its own. The dispute was resolved when the Maverick shares, owned by Madonna and Ronnie Dashev, were purchased by Warner. Madonna and Dashev's company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music, but Madonna was still signed to Warner under a separate recording contract. In mid-2004 Madonna embarked on the Re-Invention World Tour in the U.S., Canada and Europe. It became the highest-grossing tour of 2004, earning $125 million. She made a documentary about the tour named I'm Going to Tell You a Secret. Rolling Stone ranked her at number 36 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". In January 2005, Madonna performed a cover version of the John Lennon song "Imagine" at Tsunami Aid. She also performed at the Live 8 benefit concert in London.

"I tried several different things when Stuart [producer Sutart Price] brought me music. And it was like divine inspiration. It just clicked, like: 'This is the direction of my record.' That's what we intended, to make a record that you can play at a party or in your car, where you don't have to skip past a ballad. It's nonstop."
—Madonna talking about Confessions on a Dance Floor.
Her tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, was released in November 2005 and debuted at number one in all major music markets. Musically the album was structured like a club set composed by a DJ. The songs on the album started out light and happy, and as it progressed, it became intense, with the lyrics dealing more about personal feelings, hence "Confessions." Keith Caulfield from Billboard commented that the album was a "welcome return to form for the Queen of Pop." The album won a Grammy Award for "Best Electronic/Dance Album". The first single from the album, "Hung Up", went on to reach number one in a record-breaking 45 countries, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. "Sorry", the second single, became Madonna's twelfth number one single in the UK. She embarked on the Confessions Tour in May, which had a global audience of 1.2 million and grossed over $194.7 million, becoming the highest grossing tour to that date for a female artist. Madonna used religious symbols, such as the crucifix and Crown of Thorns, in the performance of "Live to Tell". It caused the Russian Orthodox Church and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia to urge all their members to boycott her concert. The Vatican protested the concert, as did bishops from Düsseldorf. Madonna responded: "My performance is neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous. Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole."
While on tour, Madonna participated in the Raising Malawi initiative by partially funding an orphanage and traveling to that country. On October 10, 2006, she filed adoption papers for a boy from the orphanage, David Banda Mwale. He was later renamed David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie. The adoption raised strong public reaction, because Malawian law requires would-be parents to reside in Malawi for one year before adopting, which Madonna did not do. She addressed this on The Oprah Winfrey Show, saying that there were no written adoption laws in Malawi that regulated foreign adoption. She described how Banda had been suffering from pneumonia after surviving malaria and tuberculosis when she first met him. Banda's biological father, Yohane commented, "These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing. [...] They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband." The adoption was finalized on May 28, 2008. A clothing line titled M by Madonna, in collaboration with Swedish clothing retailer H&M, was launched internationally in 2006. The collection consisted of leather trench coats, sequined shift dresses, cream-colored calf-length pants and matching cropped jackets. H&M said the collection reflected Madonna's "timeless, unique and always glamorous style."

2007–09: Live Nation, Hard Candy and the Sticky & Sweet Tour-

A blond woman in a black dress, holding a black hat atop her head with her riht hand, and a microphon in her left. She is pointing her tongue towards the camera. Beside her the smiling face of a man is visible.
Madonna performing at the Live Earth concerts
Madonna released the song "Hey You" for the Live Earth series of concerts. The song was available as a free download during its first week of release. She also performed it at the London Live Earth concert. Madonna announced her departure from Warner Bros. Records, and a new $120 million, ten-year contract with Live Nation. She became the founding artist for the new music division, Live Nation Artists. She produced and wrote I Am Because We Are, a documentary on the problems faced by Malawians. The documentary was directed by Nathan Rissman, who worked as Madonna's gardener. She also directed her first film Filth and Wisdom. The story of the film was about three friends and their aspirations. Madonna commented that it was Ritchie who inspired her to develop the screenplay for the film. "The fact of the matter is that all the work I do is very autobiographical, directly or indirectly, because who do I know better than me?" The Times said she had "done herself proud" while The Daily Telegraph described the film as "not an entirely unpromising first effort [but] Madonna would do well to hang on to her day job." In December 2007, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced Madonna as one of the five inductees of 2008. At the induction ceremony on March 10, 2008, Madonna did not sing but asked fellow Hall of Fame inductees and Michigan natives The Stooges to perform her songs "Burning Up" and "Ray of Light". She thanked Christopher Flynn, her dance teacher from 35 years earlier, for his encouragement to follow her dreams.

Madonna released her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy, in April 2008. Containing R&B and urban pop influences, the songs on Hard Candy were autobiographical in nature and saw Madonna collaborating with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Nate "Danja" Hills. Rolling Stone complimented it as an "impressive taste of her upcoming tour."

"Probably in many respects most of the songs [on Hard Candy] are [autobiographical]. But in more of an unconscious way. I don't really think about telling personal stories when I'm writing music. It just comes. And then a lot of times, six months later, eight months later, I go, 'Oh, that's what I wrote that song about.' But that's when I play the song for lots of people and they all go, 'Oh, I can totally relate to that.'"
— Madonna talking about the inspiration behind Hard Candy
The album debuted at number one in 37 countries and on the Billboard 200. It received generally positive reviews worldwide though some critics panned it as "an attempt to harness the urban market". Its lead single, "4 Minutes", reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was Madonna's 37th Hot 100 top-ten hit—it pushed Madonna past Elvis Presley as the artist with the most top-ten hits. In the UK, she retained her record for the most number one singles for a female artist; "4 Minutes" becoming her thirteenth. To further promote the album, Madonna embarked on the Sticky & Sweet Tour; her first major venture with Live Nation. With a gross of U.S. $280 million, it became the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist, surpassing the previous record Madonna set with the Confessions Tour. It was extended to the next year, adding new European dates, and after it ended, the total gross was U.S. $408 million.
Life with My Sister Madonna, a book by Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone, debuted at number two on The New York Times Bestseller List. It was not authorized by Madonna, and led to a rift between them. Madonna was honored with the Gold International Artist of the Year, at the Recording Industry Association of Japan Gold Disc Awards, for her album Hard Candy. She decided to adopt again from Malawi. The country's High Court initially approved the adoption of Chifundo "Mercy" James; however, the application was rejected because Madonna was not a resident of Malawi. Madonna appealed, and on June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court of Malawi granted Madonna the right to adopt Mercy James. She also released Celebration, her third greatest-hits album, and the closing release with Warner. It contained the new songs "Celebration" and "Revolver" along with 34 hits spanning her career. Celebration She appeared at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards on September 13, 2009, to speak in tribute to deceased pop star Michael Jackson. Madonna ended the 2000s as the best-selling singles artist of the decade in the United States. She was also named the most-played artist of the decade in the United Kingdom. reached number one in the UK, tying her with Elvis Presley as the solo act with most number one albums in the British chart history. Problems also arose between Madonna and Ritchie, with the media reporting that they were on the verge of separation. Ultimately, Madonna filed for divorce from Ritchie, citing irreconcilable differences, which was finalized in December 2008.

2010–present: W.E. and other projects-

Madonna performed "Like a Prayer" at the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief concert in January 2010. In April she released her third live album, Sticky & Sweet Tour. It was her first release under Live Nation, but was distributed by Warner Bros. She announced plans of directing her second film, W.E., a biopic about the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. It was co-written with Alek Keshishian. She later clarified that the film is about a woman's journey and was not going to be about the duchess' life. Instead, the duchess would act as the woman's spiritual guide. Madonna granted American TV show Glee the rights to her entire catalogue of music, and the producers planned an episode which would feature Madonna songs exclusively. Titled "The Power of Madonna", the episode was approved by her, telling Us Weekly that she found it "brilliant on every level", praising the scripting and the message of equality.Entertainment Weekly called it "one of the best hours of TV you’re likely to see all year", writing that the episode pays Madonna "the highest compliment possible" in not just expressing admiration for the singer, but "demonstrat[ing] a potent understanding of why Madonna matters." Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna, an EP containing eight cover versions of Madonna songs featured in the episode was released in May. The EP debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, with 98,000 copies sold in the United States. The episode also received positive reviews from critics. 

Following the completion of the shooting for W.E., Madonna released the "Material Girl" clothing line, which she designed with her daughter, Lourdes. The 1980s inspired clothing line, borrowed from Madonna's punk-girl style when she rose to fame in the 1980s, was released under the Macy's label. Soon after the clothing line went on sale, apparel manufacturer L.A. Triumph Inc. sued her saying that they have been using the name Material Girl and selling clothes under that name since 1997. They demanded that Madonna's clothing line be stopped from selling and the profits be returned. As the lawsuit continued, Madonna announced plans of opening a series of fitness centers around the world. Named Hard Candy Fitness, the gyms are a partnership between Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary and Mark Mastrov, the founder and CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. The first of the gyms was opened at Mexico City in November 2010, as Madonna believed that Mexico City "will serve as a great test market before bringing the gyms to cities around the world." She added, "If any of you have seen my shows, you know that I don't skimp on them, and the same is true for the gym. We spend what it takes to make a globally first-class gym."


Bust of a blond woman in short curled hair and wearing a bright pink, sleeveless dress. Putting both her hands up, she looks to the right of the image.
Marilyn Monroe (pictured) had a profound influence on Madonna.
According to Taraborrelli, "Almost certainly, the defining moment of Madonna's childhood—the one that would have the most influence in shaping her into the woman she would become—was the tragic and untimely death of her beloved mother." Psychiatrist Keith Ablow suggests that her mother's death would have had an immeasurable impact on the young Madonna at a time when her personality was still forming. According to Ablow, the younger a child is at the time of a serious loss, the more profound the influence and the longer lasting the impact. He concludes that "some people never reconcile themselves to such a loss at an early age, Madonna is not different than them." Conversely, author Lucy O'Brien feels that the impact of the rape is, in fact, the motivating factor behind everything Madonna has done, more important even than the death of her mother: "It's not so much grief at her mother's death that drives her, as the sense of abandonment that left her unprotected. She encountered her own worst possible scenario, becoming a victim of male violence, and thereafter turned that full-tilt into her work, reversing the equation at every opportunity."

As they grew older, Madonna and her sisters would feel deep sadness as the vivid memory of their mother began drifting, farther from them. They would study pictures of her and come to think that she resembled poet Anne Sexton and Hollywood actresses. This would later raise Madonna's interest in poetry with Sylvia Plath Later, Madonna commented: "We were all wounded in one way or another by [her death], and then we spent the rest of our lives reacting to it or dealing with it or trying to turn into something else. The anguish of losing my mom left me with a certain kind of loneliness and an incredible longing for something. If I hadn't had that emptiness, I wouldn't have been so driven. Her death had a lot to do with me saying—after I got over my heartache—I'm going to be really strong if I can't have my mother. I'm going to take care of myself." Taraborrelli felt that in time, no doubt because of the devastation she felt, Madonna would never again allow herself, or even her daughter, to feel as abandoned as she had felt when her mother died. "Her death had taught her a valuable lesson, that she would have to remain strong for herself because, she feared weakness—particularly her own—and wanted to be the queen of her own castle." being her favourite.

In 1985, Madonna commented that the first song to ever make a strong impression on her was "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra; she said it summed up her own "take-charge attitude". As a young woman, she attempted to broaden her taste in literature, art, and music, and during this time became interested in classical music. She noted that her favorite style was baroque, and loved Mozart and Chopin Other musical influences included artists Karen Carpenter, The Supremes, Led Zeppelin, and dancers such as Martha Graham and Rudolf Nureyev. Madonna's Italian-Catholic background and her relationship with her parents were reflected in the album Like a Prayer. It was an evocation of the impact religion had on her career. Her video for the title track contains Catholic symbolism, such as the stigmata. During The Virgin Tour, she wore a rosary, and also prayed with it in the music video for "La Isla Bonita". The "Open Your Heart" video sees her boss scolding her in the Italian language. On Who's That Girl World Tour, she dedicated the song "Papa Don't Preach" to the Pope. because she liked their "feminine quality".

Music videos and performances-

A female blond performer wearing a red top. She is holding a microphone in her brown-gloved right hand.
Madonna performing at the Confessions Tour in 2006
In The Madonna Companion, biographers Allen Metz and Carol Benson noted that more than any other recent pop artist, Madonna had used MTV and music videos to establish her popularity and enhance her recorded work. According to them, many of her songs have the imagery of the music video in strong context, while referring to the music. The media and public reaction towards her most-discussed songs such as "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer" or "Justify My Love" had to do with the music videos created to promote the song and their impact, rather than the song itself. Morton felt that "artistically, Madonna's songwriting is often overshadowed by her striking pop videos." Madonna's initial music videos reflected her American and Hispanic mixed street style combined with a flamboyant glamor. She was able to transmit her avant-garde downtown New York fashion sense to the American audience. The imagery and incorporation of Hispanic culture and Catholic symbolism continued with the music videos from the True Blue Author Douglas Kellner noted, "such 'multiculturalism' and her culturally transgressive moves turned out to be highly successful moves that endeared her to large and varied youth audiences". Madonna's Spanish look in the videos became the fashion trend of that time, in the form of boleros and layered skirts, accessorizing with rosary beads and a crucifix as in the video of "La Isla Bonita". Academics noted that with her videos, Madonna was subtly reversing the usual role of male as the dominant sex. This symbolism and imagery was probably the most prevalent in the music video for "Like a Prayer". The video included scenes of an African-American church choir, Madonna attracted to a statue of a black saint, and singing in front of burning crosses. This mix of the sacred and the profane upset the Vatican and resulted in the Pepsi commercial withdrawal. Madonna has been honored with record-breaking 20 MTV Video Music Awards, including the lifetime achievement "Video Vanguard Award" in 1986 for her contributions to the world of music video. era.


A blond woman standing on a stage. She has curvy, flowing hair and is dressed in a black, translucent top with boots in her leg and a white hat. The woman is holding an electric guitar with her left hand and singing in to a microphone in her right. She is surrounded by audience members whose heads can be seen in the image. Behind the woman, tow back-up singers can be seen in the distance.
Madonna performing at her Sticky & Sweet Tour, the highest-grossing tour of all time by a solo artist
According to Rolling Stone, Madonna "remains one of the greatest pop acts of all time". She has achieved multiple Guinness World Records, including world's top-selling female recording artist and the most successful female recording artist of all time. On March 10, 2008, Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. Billboard magazine ranked her as the most successful solo artist (second overall, behind only The Beatles) on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists". Madonna is featured in the book 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, published by Ladies' Home Journal In July 2003, she ranked seventh on VH1 and People magazine's list of the "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons of All Time." In 2006, a new water bear species, Echiniscus madonnae, was named after her. The paper with the description of E. madonnae was published in the international journal of animal taxonomy Zootaxa in March 2006 (Vol. 1154, pages: 1–36). The Zoologists commented: "We take great pleasure in dedicating this species to one of the most significant artists of our times, Madonna Louise Veronica Ritchie." Other than her commercial accomplishments, Madonna was included in the elite list of the "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time in 2010 for being an influential figure in contemporary music. She has also scored many hits on major international charts, including 13 number-one singles in the United Kingom, 11 in Australia, and 23 in Canada—more than any other female artist. in 1998.

Throughout her career Madonna has repeatedly reinvented herself through a series of visual and musical personas, earning her the nickname "Queen of Reinvention". In doing so, "she exploited her sexuality to fashion herself into a cultural and commercial icon who, for more than a decade, was unchallenged as the reigning Queen of Pop music." Fouz-Hernández agrees that these reinventions are one of her key cultural achievements. Madonna reinvented herself by working with upcoming talented producers and previously unknown artists, while remaining at the center of media attention. According to Freya Jarman-Ivens, "In doing so Madonna has provided an example of how to maintain one's career in the entertainment industry." As Ian Youngs from BBC News commented, "Her ability to follow the latest trends and adapt her style has often been credited with preserving her appeal." Madonna's use of shocking sexual imagery has benefited her career and catalyzed public discourse on sexuality and feminism. The Times stated, "Madonna, whether you like her or not, started a revolution amongst women in music ... Her attitudes and opinions on sex, nudity, style and sexuality forced the public to sit up and take notice." Rodger Streitmatter, author of Sex Sells! (2004), commented that "from the moment Madonna burst onto the nation's radar screen in the mid-1980s, she did everything in her power to shock the public, and her efforts paid off."Hating women (2005), felt that Madonna was largely responsible for erasing the line between music and pornography. He stated: "Before Madonna, it was possible for women more famous for their voices than their cleavage, to emerge as music superstars. But in the post-Madonna universe, even highly original performers such as Janet Jackson now feel the pressure to expose their bodies on national television to sell albums." Such reinvention was noted by scholars as the main tool in surviving the musical industry, for a female artist. 

From Wikipedia-

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