Madonna turns 60

An often controversial and ever evolving pop icon

By CNN Staff

Published August 16, 2018

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born 60 years ago, on Aug. 16, 1958, in Bay City, Michigan. Since then, she's lived a remarkable, accomplished life.

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She's sold 64 million albums in the US with 12 multi-platinum records. She has a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Her first hit, in 1984, was "Borderline"

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… and the song "Like a Virgin" made her a star


… but it was the song "Material Girl" that made her a superstar and gave her a nickname that would stick with her to this day.

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The music industry recognized her achievements, too: Madonna has 28 Grammy Awards nominations and seven wins.

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Athough she won a Grammy for a music video in 1991, she didn't win for an audio recording until 1999, for her hit "Ray of Light"

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During her long career, she has never shied away from controversy -- and she never rested on her laurels, always presenting new sounds and looks.


A provocative performance of "Like a Virgin" in a wedding dress on the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 raised plenty of eyebrows.

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So did her video for the song "Like A Prayer," which featured burning crosses and Catholic imagery.

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In addition to changing her look frequently, Madonna gave her fans creative, show-stopping performances.


She's dabbled in acting and directing, too. Her best-known roles may well be "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "Evita," in which she took on Andrew Lloyd Webber's music to play Argentine first lady Eva Perón.


And she embraced generations of performers who came after her -- sometimes literally.

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In recent years, Madonna started a nonprofit group providing aid to children in Malawi, including opening the country's first-ever pediatric surgery and intensive care center.

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The two-time divorcée also has six children, including four adopted from Malawi.