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Madonna Facts

American singer-songwriter and producer

  • Madonna was born as Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan.
  • Her roots stretch back to Pacentro in Italy, where her grandparents came from. In 1988, town officials in Pacentro began to construct a 13-foot (4 meter) statue of Madonna.
  • She is one of six children born to Silvio Ciccone and Madonna Louise Ciccone (nee Fortin). She was named after her mother.
  • She also has a stepbrother and stepsister from her father's second marriage to his former housekeeper Joan Gustafson.
  • She was a member of the cheerleading team at Rochester Adams High School.
  • She is 5 feet, 44 inches (1.64 metres) tall. Her measurements are 34C-23-33.
  • She worked in a New York City Dunkin' Donuts while she was struggling to make it as a dancer in the Big Apple. She was reportedly fired after squirting jam in a customer's face.
  • She once drummed for New York pop group the Breakfast Club. A later member of the band was American Idol judge Randy Jackson. Ex-boyfriends Dan Gilroy and Stephen Bray were also members of the Breakfast Club.
  • She has acted in 22 films.
  • She beat out acting greats Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Debbie Reynolds and Barbra Streisand to grab a Best Actress Golden Globe Award in 1997 for her role in Evita.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America has named Madonna the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century. She's also the second top-selling female artist in the United States with 63 million certified albums.
  • The Guinness World Records list Madonna as the world's most successful female recording artist of all time; she has sold over 200 million records worldwide.
  • Her first single, Everybody, was released on 24 April, 1982.
  • Her hit album Like A Virgin is among the Definitive 200 Albums of All Time, according to the Rock + Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted the pop star earlier this year.
  • Her commercial for Pepsi was pulled due to the controversy over 'Like A Prayer'.
  • As well as starring alongside Sean Penn in Shanghai Surprise, Madonna also joined her then-husband onstage in her theatrical debut Goose + Tom Tom in 1986.
  • Madonna and Sean Penn separated on New Year's Eve (31Dec) 1988.
  • Her Confessions Tour is the highest grossing concert tour by a female artist.
  • She is the most successful female in her adopted U.K.'s pop charts and has more number one singles than any other female solo artist.
  • She has a new species of tardigrade named after her. The anthropod-type animals, also known as water bears, are often found living on mosses. They can survive in extreme conditions that would kill most other living species.
  • Her father, Tony Ciccone, recently decided to advance his winery business by releasing Madonna Wine, which is available in five varieties: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. Prices range from $25 (GBP12.50) to $40 (GBP20) per bottle.
  • Celebrity Cellars also produced a line of collectible wine, called Madonna - Confessions on a Dance Floor.
  • She made her London West End stage debut in 2002 in Up for Grabs.
  • Her first children's book, The English Roses, was published in 2003 and she has since published a total of 10 books.
  • She was among the inaugural UK Music Hall of Fame inductees in 2004.
  • She has released a total of 68 official singles to date, according to the singer's own website.
  • She was among People Magazine's '50 Most Beautiful People of 1991' and '25 Most Intriguing People of 2001'.
  • In March 2007, she created a clothing line for the retailer H+M.
  • She is good friends with Sting and his actress wife Trudie Styler, who introduced her to director Guy Ritchie. The couple fell in love and are now husband and wife.
  • Sting is godfather to Madonna and Guy Ritchie's son Rocco.
  • She is the only artist who performed at the benefit concerts Live Aid (1985), Live 8 (2005), and Live Earth (2007).
  • She suffers from brontophobia - a fear of thunder.
  • She was considered for the role of Catwoman/Selina Kyle in the 1992 film Batman Returns. She turned the part down and the role went to Michelle Pfeiffer. She also fought for the role of Ginger in Casino, but lost out to Sharon Stone.
  • She turned down leading roles in Showgirls and The Fabulous Baker Boys.
  • She does not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was selected for the honour in 1990 but she showed no interest and the invitation has now expired. Walk of Fame spokeswoman Ana Martinez-Holler states that, in order to receive a star, Madonna would have to be "resubmitted for a nomination," adding, "since she is not interested, I highly doubt that she will give a nominator the permission to do so."
  • She was paid $5 million (GBP2.5 million) by Pepsi to film a commercial that never even aired. Pepsi bosses pulled the controversial ad, which was related to her Like A Prayer video and full of religious overtones.
  • She has won nine Razzie Awards: Worst Actress for Shanghai Surprise in 1987, Worst Actress for Who's that Girl in 1988, Worst Actress for Body of Evidence in 1994, Worst Supporting Actress for Four Rooms in 1996, Worst Actress of the Century in 2000, Worst Actress for The Next Best Thing in 2001, Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple for Swept Away in 2003, and Worst Supporting Actress for Die Another Day in 2003.
  • Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion and Mark Wahlberg are distant relatives of Madonna, according to a recent ancestry study.
  • She auditioned for the part of Kevin Costner's high-maintenance love interest in The Bodyguard. Whitney Houston landed the role.
  • She played a lesbian witch in the 1996 movie Four Rooms.
  • She appears dressed as a Geisha girl in Nothing Really Matters.
  • She originally dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer.
  • The Beastie Boys supported her on her very first solo tour.
  • She was ranked Number 1 on VH1's '100 Sexiest Artists' in 2002.
  • She has been nominated for a total of 18 Grammy Awards; she has won five.
  • She has been a vegetarian since she was 15.
  • She hates the colour orange.
  • She was named one of People magazine's worst-dressed, in 1999.
  • Her controversial Sex book, which featured naked photos of the Material Girl, was so popular that a re-print had to be ordered within 48 hours.
  • She dedicated her album True Blue to then-husband Sean Penn, who she called "the coolest guy in the universe".
  • Gwyneth Paltrow was Maid of Honour at Madonna's Scottish wedding in 2000.
  • Fight Club director David Fincher was the man behind the camera on four of Madonna's videos.
  • Madonna's What It Feels Like For A Girl and Justify My Love were banned from MTV.
  • She performed during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
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