entertainment

Madonna: What you should know about the pop icon

By CNN Staff

Published August 16, 2020

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Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born 62 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 more than 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

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… 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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Although 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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