Madonna Profile
Madonna Profile Photo

Madonna

Famous As
Pop singer, actress
Birth Name
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Birth Date
Aug 16, 1958
Birth Place
Bay City, Michigan, USA
Famous As
Pop singer, actress
Popular for
Single "Holiday" from album "Madonna" (1983)
Birth Name
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Birth Date
Aug 16, 1958
Birth Place
Bay City, Michigan, USA
Height
5' 4.5
Nationality
American
Education
  • Graduated from Rochester Adams High School in 1976
  • Attended St. Andrews Patrick Catholic School
  • Attended North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Attended University of Michigan
Father
Silvio Ciccone
Mother
Madonna Louise Fortin
Brother
Christopher Ciccone (interior designer), Martin, Anthony, Mario (half)
Sister
Paula, Melanie, Jennifer (half)
Spouse
Sean Penn (actor, 16-Aug-85 - 14-Sep-89), Guy Ritchie (movie director, 22-Dec-00 - 2-Jan-09)
Relation
Jellybean Benitez (musician), Warren Beatty (actor), Tony Ward (model-porn star), Vanilla Ice (rapper), John Enos (actor), James Albright (her bodyguard), Dennis Rodman (NBA player), Carlos Leon (fitness trainer, 1994 - 1997), Andy Bird, Brahim Zaibat
Son
Rocco John Richie (b. 11-Aug-00), David Banda (adopted, b. 24-Sep-05)
Daughter
Lourdes Leon (b. 14-Oct-96), Mercy James (adopted), Stella and Esther (twin, AdopTed, b. Aug-2012)

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone renowned as one of world's famous pop divas and frequently referred to as the Queen of Pop Music was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958. She was raised in a large, devoutly Catholic, Italian American and French Canadian family, in the Detroit suburb of Rochester. Her father is Italian, while her mother is French-Canadian who died of cancer when she was still five years old. Madonna has several siblings, whom among others are Martin (1957), Anthony (1956), Christopher (1960), Paula (1959), Melanie (1962), Mario (1969) and Jennifer (1968). Her brother Christopher Ciccone, to note, designs restaurant interiors.

During her early age, Madonna took classes for piano and ballet, and was an active participant in a variety of artistic activities at school, like becoming a cheerleader in her high school. Relying on her persistence, she was then handed a dance scholarship and attended the University of Michigan for two years, but quit and moved to Corona, Queens district of New York in 1978 to pursue dance and acting professionally. During this period of time, she danced with several minor modern dance companies, including Ailey II and the Walter Nicks dancers while also doing modeling as well. Moreover, she also appeared in a short film called "A Certain Sacrifice."

In 1979, she became part of the Patrick Hernandez Revue, a disco outfit who had the hit "Born to Be Alive," which traveled her to Paris, where she met Dan Gilroy, who would soon become her boyfriend. Before returning to New York, the couple formed the Breakfast Club, a pop/dance group, with Madonna originally playing drums for the band, but soon became its lead singer. In 1980, she left the band and formed Emmy with her former boyfriend, drummer Stephen Bray. Soon afterwards, Bray and Madonna broke off from the group and began working on some dance/disco-oriented tracks that brought her local fame in gay dance clubs, such as Danceteria. As fate would have it, a demo tape of these tracks brought them to a New York-based DJ/producer, Mark Kamins.

From that point on, Kamins directed the tape to Sire Records, who signed Madonna during the year 1982. Once signed, she performed her demo song "Ain't No Big Deal", which was written by her frequent collaborator Stephen Bray, but was shelved for several years since it had just been recorded and released by the Epic Records group Barracuda. Five years later, Madonna's version finally surfaced on the B-side of the "True Blue" single, though it has never appeared on any of her albums. Shortly thereafter, her single dubbed "Everybody" produced by Mark Kamins, was released and became a club and dance hit at the end of 1982. Along with the success of the single, Madonna also became a trendsetter, in which her appearance reflecting a playful and sexy combination of punk and pop culture, made her a quick fixture on the network. Subsequent to this, her bleached blonde hair, sexy lace gloves, lingerie on the outside and "Boy Toy" belt buckle soon became all the rage in malls and schoolyards across America.

In 1983, Madonna released her another single titled "Physical Attraction," which quickly became another hit. In September that same year, she also released her self-titled debut album "Madonna," which first hit "Holiday," written by Jellybean Benitez, became her first Top 40 hit the following month, topping the charts around the world. In addition, the album also spawned several other hits, including "Borderline" that became her first Top 10 hit in March of 1984, beginning a remarkable string of 17 consecutive Top Ten hits; and "Lucky Star" that was climbing to number four. Subsequently, the album itself was also a smash hit, and catapulted Madonna into instant stardom. Garnering success for her early music work, the singer bravely decided to begin working on her first starring role in a feature film, joining the cast of Susan Seidelman's "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985).

Upon the release of the film, Madonna's second album, the Niles Rodgers-production "Like a Virgin", was released in the end of 1984. This album's title track hit number one in December, staying at the top of the charts for six weeks; a time during which it was the start of a whirlwind year for Madonna. In succession, during the year of 1985, the singer became an international celebrity, selling millions of records on the strength of her stylish, sexy videos, and forceful personality. Despite her rapid success, Madonna provoked further controversy when she appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards, singing "Like A Virgin" while at the same time wore a combination of wedding dress/bustier, writhing on the floor and revealing her underwear. Notwithstanding that, the track favorably topped the US charts for six weeks with three more additional Top 5 hits; "Angel" (#5), "Dress You Up" (#5), and her signature song, "Material Girl" (#2). To response the album's success, Madonna then embarked on her first tour, which was supported by the Beastie Boys.

In an attempt to jack up her fame, in 1985 Madonna made a brief appearance in the film "Vision Quest", starring as a club singer. The title song of the movie, "Crazy For You," to follow, became her second number one hit, handing Madonna her first Grammy nomination ever. At almost the same time, that was in July, "Desperately Seeking Susan" was released and became a box-office hit thus prompting a planned video release of "A Certain Sacrifice," a low-budget erotic drama Madonna filmed in 1979. By and by, still Madonna's popularity continued unabated as more and more teenage girls adopted her sexy appearance, being dubbed "Madonna Wannabes." In the middle of her fame, on August 16, 1985, Madonna married actor Sean Penn. It was with him that she appeared in the 1986 completely unsuccessful "Shanghai Surprise," which was unanimously panned by critics, resulted in the couple dedicated reputation for hostility towards the media. The comedy, in fact, received wide terrible reviews, which were translated into disastrous box-office returns.

Later, in the beginning of 1986, Madonna began collaborating with Patrick Leonard, the one who would co-write most of her biggest hits in the '80s, including "Live to Tell," which hit number one in June of 1986. As a result of the collaboration, the following month Madonna released her third album "True Blue" which she herself co-produced alongside Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard. Unlike her two previous albums, this one was a more ambitious and accomplished record, having more massive commercial success by being number one in both the U.S. and U.K., selling over 5 million copies in America alone. To add the success, this album also spawned such hits, as "Open Your Heart," which was accompanied by a video in which Madonna played a stripper who befriends a young boy; "True Blue," which was the song chosen for an MTV amateur video-making contest; "Live To Tell"; "La Isla Bonita"; and "Papa Don't Preach", an anthem about keeping a baby conceived out of wedlock, which became her fourth number one hit in the U.S.

While her musical career was becoming even more vigorous, a number of black and white nude photos of Madonna, taken during the early 1980s when she posed for art photographers as a way to make money, were hugely published in both Penthouse and Playboy magazines. Despite the photos' potential devastation to her career, she ignored them off, responding at ease "So what?". At this point, Madonna transformed her image, made it as something that would become a trademark for years to come. And so she began to pale her face and highlight her beauty spot, replacing her punky bleached blonde hair with a glamorous platinum blonde look reminiscent of her hero Marilyn Monroe. After the planned changes, she starred in the film "Who's That Girl" (1987), which was also a flop in the U.S. and a minor success in the rest of the world. In addition to starring in the film, Madonna also contributed four songs to its soundtracks, including its title track "Who's That Girl" which was taken from the album of the same name. Its second single "Causing a Commotion" was another success, peaking in the U.S. at #2 for three weeks.

In an attempt to increase the success of the film and its soundtrack, in 1987 Madonna embarked on the "Who's That Girl World Tour" and began her longtime association with backing vocalists and dancers Donna DeLory and Niki Haris. That same year she also released an album of dance remixes of some of her earlier materials entitled "You Can Dance." Unfortunately, the album failed to sell as well as her previous ones. However, Madonna kept trying her luck by appearing as Hortense in a film called "Bloodhounds of Broadway" (1989) which was harshly dismissed by many reviewers. Since then, critics began to justify Madonna as a thing of the past, whose career seemed to be fading fast. In chain with the minor judgment, on September 14, 1989, the controversial singer divorced with husband Sean Penn, citing spousal abuse. Later in the spring of the same year, Madonna once again changed her image. This time she traded in her close short platinum coif for long, curly black hair and an almost wholesome look for her album "Like a Prayer" which was believed as her most ambitious and far-reaching album, incorporated elements of pop, rock, and dance that year.

Once more using the provocative religious imagery, the album's title track compared the experience of lovemaking to praying. The video, which also featured burning crosses, was denounced by the Vatican for its "blasphemous" mixture of eroticism and Catholic symbolism, and sparked such controversy, causing Pepsi Cola, who had paid her $5 million for a commercial endorsement, to pull out of their contract, though Madonna kept her fee. Nevertheless, the single went on to number one around the world, thanks to all the controversies that contributed to the set's many publication. Moreover, the album also became another number one hit that spawned three more Top 10 Hits; "Express Yourself", "Cherish", and "Keep It Together". Subsequent to the achievement, a single and animated music video for the track "Dear Jessie" was released in Europe and became another top ten hit, and the album itself also featured a duet with singer Prince entitled "Love Song".

In April 1990, Madonna began her massive "Blonde Ambition Tour," which ran throughout the entire year. That same year she also starred as Breathless Mahoney in "Dick Tracy" alongside Warren Beatty, whom she also briefly dated. It was her most successful film appearance since "Desperately Seeking Susan" that she earned some good reviews for the role though critics pointed out that it continued her tradition of performing well when portraying characters quite similar to herself. In succession, the film's soundtrack spawned the huge hit "Vogue", which popularized a dance trend in which people in clubs struck poses like fashion models, and the top ten single "Hanky Panky." Towards the end of 1990, Madonna released her first greatest hits album titled "The Immaculate Collection", which she actually dedicated to the Pope, whom she cited as her "divine inspiration." The album featured two new songs, including the number one single "Justify My Love," which sparked another controversy with its sexy video; and "Rescue Me," which became the highest-debuting single by a female artist in U.S. chart history, sitting at number 15 on the charts.

Notwithstanding the achievement, the sexual content of the song, accompanied with an erotically charged music video, caused MTV, who had been so instrumental in Madonna's early success, to ban it. As a result, the video was sold stand-alone on videotape, the first "video single" ever released. Despite the controversy and the video's still-standing American TV ban, "Justify My Love" CD single successfully went on to sell over a million copies (platinum) with the video single being sold over 400,000 copies, qualifying it as quadruple platinum. Coming along with the accomplishment was an additional controversy as Prince protege Ingrid Chavez claimed partial songwriting credit for the lyrics of "Justify My Love", insisting the track to sample the Public Enemy's instrumental "Security of the First World." Madonna, in response, claimed that she was unaware of any deliberate copying and Chavez was later granted a percentage of the song's royalties. Less forgiving, Chavez then released three "answer records" to Madonna in defense of Public Enemy producer Hank Shocklee. The three songs among others; "To My Donna" by Young Black Teenagers, "Al Will Justify Your Love" by Al B. Sure and "Justify Satisfy" by D-Melo, all of which failed to generate much public interest.

In 1991 Madonna starred in a hit documentary film "Truth or Dare," which chronicled her "Blonde Ambition Tour." This film did explore in intimate details her personality and private life, in which she was pictured as extremely ambitious, demanding, forthright, sexy and smart, and it also showed her softer side as she confronted family members and visited the grave of her mother. Later on, "Truth or Dare" was re-titled "In Bed with Madonna" for its UK release, which was then parodied by the UK TV show "In Bed With Medinner" and the American TV spoof "Medusa: Dare to be Truthful," which starred former MTV personality Julie Brown. The following year, Madonna starred in the Penny Marshall film "A League of Their Own," which revolved around a women's baseball team. In addition to starring in the movie, she also wrote and performed its theme song entitled "This Used to Be My Playground," which music video featured movie clips, and the song became a huge AC hit and Madonna's tenth Hot 100 number one single.

Later that year, Madonna tried her hand at writing, releasing "Sex," an expensive, steel-bound soft-core pornographic book that featured hundreds of erotic photographs of herself, several models, and other celebrities, like Isabella Rossellini, Big Daddy Kane, Naomi Campbell, and Vanilla Ice, as well as selected prose. Adult in nature, the book featured Madonna as the centerpiece of photographs depicting various sexual fantasies and acts, including lesbianism, anal sex and sadomasochism, which caused extreme critical reviews and huge negative publicity. In the same year, she released her next album "Erotica", which almost the same with the book, featured bold sexual anthems that made no attempt to disguise their star's appetite for erotic fantasy and role-playing. In fact, this album, which record was co-written and produced by Madonna and the legendary Shep Pettibone, spawned a number of top ten hits, including "Erotica" which became the highest-debuting (#2) single in the history of the Hot 100 Airplay Chart; and "Deeper And Deeper." Outside of America "Fever" and "Bye Bye Baby" were also hits, while domestically "Rain" and "Bad Girl" went on to achieve modest chart success.

To take it great, two different shorts of the title video were released; an "uncut" European version and a censored American version. Due to the song's sex theme, the video was only aired a total of three times on MTV, always after midnight and always preceded by a warning issued by Kurt Loder that viewers should change the channel if S&M and homosexuality were not to their taste. Aside from those minor responses, the Madonna "industry" appeared to go into overdrive in 1993 when she appeared in a number of films, one of them was "Body of Evidence" which was perceived as an exercise in soft-core pornography. After that in 1994, Madonna released "Bedtime Strories", which in point of fact took her back to her R&B roots, found her in sultry voice as she tackled a number of topics which extended far beyond the subject matter of her early songs. Sad to say, the album didn't chart well, prompting some critics to label her a had-been. Nonetheless, the album spawned her biggest hits; "Take a Bow," which spent seven weeks at number one; the Bjork-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; and "Secret" that told the story of a heterosexual man in love with a transsexual. At the end, the album was nominated for a Grammy in the same year, and Madonna sang "Take a Bow" at the American Music Awards. To note, at the time it was made in 1995, "Bedtime Story", which cost over $2 million, was the most expensive music video in history.

As if all those minor and negative publication had not yet been enough for her, in March 1994 Madonna made an appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" during which she repeatedly uttered profanities, saying the word "fuck" 13 times. By and by the singer grew older, she became wiser and realized that she needed a change. Hence, in order to soften her image, in late 1995 Madonna released her second greatest hits album "Something to Remember" which was a number of ballads collection. To add, she also began to wear fashionable designer dresses and softened her hair to honey blonde, such efforts that might help her to secure the most wanted role of Evita Peron in the 1996 film "Evita," in which she got her first leading role ever. To everyone's surprise, her performance could favorably deliver a Golden Globe winning performance and was critically praised. In companion, the soundtrack of "Evita," titled "Selections From Evita," had also become Madonna's twelfth platinum album, thanks to the singles "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and "You Must Love Me", the latter received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song in A Movie. While "You Must Love Me" was a moderate hit on radio and MTV, it was actually a dance remix of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" that cemented the soundtrack's mainstream pop success. The remix later on became a worldwide top ten hit in early 1997 and helped "Argentina" to peak at #8 on the Hot 100. What's more, the 3rd single "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" had become a European top ten hit, whereas the announced 4th single "Buenos Aires" was only released as a promo.

During the year 1996 and 1998, Madonna for one more time reinvented herself yet again, beginning to study mystical Judaism and The Kabbalah, take Yoga lessons and pursue a vigorous exercise regime that brought her body to a peak of toned fitness. Personally, she became pregnant by her then lover, personal trainer Carlos Leon, and gave birth to her daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, on October 14, 1996. Two years later, Madonna released "Ray of Light" (1998), an album co-produced by European techno music performer William Orbit and co-written by Orbit, Patrick Leonard and Rick Nowels. Just like her many previous albums, the effort became her biggest hit in nearly ten years, selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Above all, "Ray of Light" had spawned such Top 10 singles; as "Frozen"; "Ray of Light"; "Drowned World / Substitute For Love"; "Nothing Really Matters" (accompanied by a video in which she portrayed a cross between a clubber and a geisha girl); and "The Power of Goodbye."

Valuing the success of "Ray of Light," Madonna received three Grammy awards, in addition to her one and only previous Grammy award for Best Longform Video "The Blonde Ambition Tour" in 1992. After endless promotion of "Ray of Light," Madonna contributed the top ten hit "Beautiful Stranger" to the soundtrack of the "Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me" film in 1999. One year later in 2000, she worked on her favorite project, which was a film called "The Next Best Thing," which told the story of a heterosexual woman and her gay best friend, for which she co-starred her friend, the openly gay actor Rupert Everett. The movie was a flop everywhere, yet its soundtrack spawned the worldwide number one hit "American Pie", a dance cover version of the Don McLean classic. Still in the same year, she released another album titled "Music" which was an actual commercial and critical hit that saw her abandoning her earlier sexual and religious themes for throwaway lyrics and the "party" spirit of dance, pop and techno. This album, produced partly by Orbit and French techno musician Mirwais Ahmadzai, spawned Madonna's 12th number one single "Music", plus the hits "Don't Tell Me" and "What It Feels Like For A Girl." During the shooting of the "Music" video, the singer was pregnant with her second child. Giving birth to a son named Rocco John Richie on August 11 she later on married film director Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle in Scotland on December 22 that same year.

In 2001, Madonna released her second Greatest Hits album "GHV2". Unlike her previous greatest hits compilation, "GHV2" featured a selection of her hits from the year 1992 to 2001 period, but did not contain any new songs. With no single to promote the album, Madonna decided to release a promotional-only single and video entitled the "Thunderpuss GHV2 Megamix," which medley earned relatively low radio coverage, whereas the video was a modest success on MTV, MTV2, and VH1. In June that year, she appeared in "Star", a short film directed for BMW by husband Guy Ritchie, and she, too, began working on a remake of the classic film "Swept Away", which story told of a wealthy socialite who, after a shipwreck, was trapped on a deserted island with a poor male servant. The film was later on released in 2002, critically panned and went on to become another string of acting flops.

Continuing to make music, in 2002 Madonna released "Die Another Day" for the James Bond film of the same name, in which she had a cameo as Verity, a fencing instructor. The Bond theme gave her another smash hit. And while she seemed to focus more on her family than her music career, it did continue to keep her in the spotlight. In 2003, she came back with her new album "American Life", which America critics described as "tired", monotonous, and an indication that she was "in need of a vacation" from the stress of her career. At almost the same time, Madonna filmed a music video for "American Life", which included a scene of her tossing a hand grenade into the lap of a President George W. Bush replica. Soon then, her album marketers and promoters attempted to disrupt the Internet file sharing networks by uploading a large number of "junk" musical files bearing her name. Instead of downloading an actual Madonna song, seekers of online music found themselves downloading a file of Madonna saying, "What the fuck do you think you're doing?". This project was later compiled into the so-called "Madonna Remix Project" with additional music to ridicule her attempt to "inspire guilt" in peer-to-peer users. The album, yet, became a huge success outside the U.S. where the subsequent singles "Hollywood" and "Love Profusion" continued to place Madonna on the charts.

Following that Madonna tried to make ready American radio to the collection with a promotional campaign with rapper Missy Elliott sponsored by The Gap retail clothing chain using the tune "Into The Hollywood Groove" and "Love Profusion," the last-mentioned was also used by Estee Lauder. Unfortunately, neither promotion was success. Later that year, Madonna once again provoked media frenzy as she portrayed a groom and kissed her "brides" Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage during her appearances at the MTV Video Music Awards. The gender role-exchange and lesbian scene immediately created front-page headlines. The next year in 2004, Madonna embarked on her "Re-Invention World Tour," exploring social, political and religious themes, and included images of yoga, sacred geometry, tarot cards and astrology, as well as Judeo-Christian iconography, such as the tree of life, during which she played 56 dates across the United States, Canada, and Europe. The tour was, indeed, mentioned by Billboard as The Highest Earning Tour of the Year 2004, grossing 125 million dollars, making it the best ever while at the same time provided evidence that Madonna was still present and at the top of her game. Above all, her musical scope also expanded as she added a cover version of the John Lennon favorite "Imagine" to her live repertoire.

Happening by chance, during her "Re-Invention World Tour" Madonna met "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker Michael Moore backstage for a photo opportunity and openly embraced political commentary in her act, which included a scathing indictment of George W. Bush and the 2003 Iraq war. Also, in 2004 she became one of the five founding members of the UK Music Hall of Fame, joining Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Marley, and U2 as automatic inductees. After that, because of a conflict with Warner Brothers Music, with whom she shared her record label Maverick at a percentage of 40/60 respectively, Madonna sold her shares in the label and announced that she was no longer involved in its dealings. At almost the same time she announced her adoption of the name Esther, a tribute to the legendary Jewish Queen of ancient Persia. Her adoption of the name and much of the aesthetic imagery used in her recent work were widely believed to have been driven by her intense study of Kabbalah at the controversial Kabbalah Centre, and her abandonment of Catholicism.

Trying her hand at writing book, on September 15, 2003 Madonna released her first, of five, children's book titled "The English Roses" which instantly became the biggest and fastest selling book ever by a first-time children's author. The book debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List for children's picture books and also received the widest launch in publication history as it was released in over 100 counties on the same day while also was debuted in 30 languages. The set was then made available in 40 languages and in more than 110 countries worldwide. The series of book, Madonna has outed ever since, may very well mark the existence for the first time of Kabbalist children's books, in which all of the books strove to teach lessons the author has learned in her study of this branch of Jewish mysticism. The follow up of "The English Roses", including "Mr. Peabody's Apples" and "Yakov and the Seven Thieves," were both released in 2003 and 2004 respectively and debuted at #1 on the New York Times list while also became international best sellers. Overall, Madonna's first three children's books have sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. Positively responding to the books' success, Callaway Arts & Entertainment subsequently released her next book, "The Adventures of Abdi" (2004) and her latest one "Lotsa De Casha" (2005).

In the year of 2005, Madonna had some projects to finish, among others her "Re-Invention Tour Documentary"; the Re-Invention Tour on DVD; and a possible new album in the spring or fall. That same year, she also lent her voice for the animated film "Arthur and the Invisibles" (2006), voicing the role of princess Seleina. Afterwards stepping back into the recording studio, Madonna released her tenth effort, dubbed "Confessions on a Dance Floor," on November 15, 2005 via Warner Bros. Close to the set's release, there were criticisms from Kabbalah rabbis, protesting one of its tracks, "Isaac," which was about a 16th century Jewish mystic and Kabbalah scholar named Yitzhak Luria. Those rabbis were unimpressed with the pop diva's musical tribute and tend to perceive the inclusion of "Isaac" on the album as an attempt by Madonna to profit from his name which could lead to divine retribution due to the fact that "Jewish law forbids the use of the name of the holy rabbi for profit." Notwithstanding the protest, the album went very successful, becoming a hit the US and UK as well, topping the Billboard Hot 200 for three times consecutively while staying at number one in the UK album chart for two weeks. The album's first single "Hung Up," an ABBA-sampling disco anthem, was additionally atop the UK singles chart for three consecutive weeks, whereas another track titled "Sorry" once debuted on the top spot of UK singles chart, marking Madonna's 12th British number one. What next was a tour embarked to support the success of the album. The so-called material girl kicked off her "Confessions Tour" in Los Angeles on May 21, 2006, working eastward through North America and jumping to Europe on July 30 in Cardiff, Wales.

No stranger to controversy, this iconic pop singer once again was forced to deal with some weighty issues when she decided to adopt a one-year-old boy from the impoverished African country Malawi. Merely intended for an additional family member, Madonna and hubby Ritchie took custody of a motherless boy named David Banda, which beyond her expectation received negative response and even protests from some human rights groups who accused her to have bent the adoption rules to bring the boy to the UK to live with her. Being keen on setting the record straight on that matter, Madonna broke her silence, responding for the first time to the many negative speculations and claimed the adoption as fully legal. In a so-called "An Open Letter from Madonna," the singer said "My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi. I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter. After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand our family."

Feeling that letter not yet enough to put the brake on the false persistent rumors, the pop icon made an appearance in an exclusive chat show interview with Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show", denying Malawi's adoption laws were bent for her, as some human rights groups had claimed. She, moreover, revealed that she and Ritchie had been contemplating adoption for more than two years before she first saw her future child, David, in a clip from a documentary she's producing about the poverty-stricken African region, and felt an immediate connection. After the much controversies, Madonna's adoption of David Banda at last was approved by the Malawian government in late 2007. In March 2008, all her hard work in more than two decades was paid off with her being named as the inductee of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the boards that becomes a singer's highest honor. Iggy Pop and several of her mates attended the ceremony and paid tribute to the queen of pop. With the personal life going smooth, Madonna channeled her time working on a new studio album. With collaboration from Justin Timberlake and Timbaland she released a single called "4 Minutes to Save the World" that marks her departure from dance vibe in "Confessions" to a more Hip-Hop-driven album. She named the set "Hard Candy" and released it on April 29, 2008. "4 Minutes" managed to peak at #3 on Hot 100 chart, consequently becoming her 37th top ten hit in the U.S. and beating Elvis Presley's record of 36 top ten singles in U.S.

In 2011, Madonna released "W.E.", a film she co-wrote and directed. The drama about American divorcee Wallis Simpson and her relationship with Britain's King Edward VIII received mixed reviews. The singer, however, picked up a Golden Globe for "Masterpiece", an original song she co-wrote and sang for the film.

In 2012, Madonna headlined the Super Bowl XLVI. When she was first announced as a performer for the coveted gig, she received lukewarm response from many football fans. She managed to put on an impressive show during the Super Bowl, but her special guest M.I.A. provoked an outcry when she used an obscene hand gesture in her live performance.

In March that year, Madonna released her new album "MDNA". She caused controversy again during a tour launched to support the record. She occasionally flashed her audiences and used Nazi imagery while performing in France. At a concert in St. Petersburg, Russia, she spoke out in support of LGBT rights, which had landed her in legal trouble. She was sued for more than $10 million for breaking a law against promoting homosexuality to minors, but charges were later dismissed.

In early 2014, Madonna revealed that she'd started working on her next album with producers like Avicii and Diplo. She kept giving updates on the album throughout the year and finally announced the title and release date in December following the leak of her songs. The "Rebel Heart" album was preceded by the single "Living for Love" and is coming in the U.S. on March 10.