Madonna Fast Facts
CNN Editorial Research
Here is a look at the life of Madonna, singer, and actress.
Birth date: August 16, 1958
Birth place: Bay City, Michigan
Birth name: Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Father: Silvio Ciccone, an 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
Has sold more than 64 million albums in the United States with 12 multi-platinum records. (RIAA)
Nominated for 28 Grammy Awards, with seven wins.
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. Reportedly, the contract is worth $60 million.
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.
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 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 Madonna and Ritchie 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."
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, deciding that Madonna will be allowed 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.
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.
February 8, 2017 - Madonna announces via Instagram 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 GottaHaveRockandRoll.com 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.
November 4, 2019 - Nate Hollander, a fan, files a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County court against both Live Nation and Madonna, alleging that the change in start times for her Madame X Tour is a breach of contract made between the singer and the ticket buyer.
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 related to the coronavirus. The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, featured 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.
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.