Portal:Madonna (entertainer)

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Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983. She followed it with a series of albums in which she found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on the record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes". Madonna has been praised by critics for her diverse musical productions while at the same time serving as a lightning rod for religious controversy.

Her career was further enhanced by film appearances that began in 1979, despite mixed commentary. She won critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other film roles. Madonna's other ventures include being a fashion designer, children's book author, film director and producer, and owner of her own recording company Maverick corporation, as a joint venture with Time Warner. She has been acclaimed as a businesswoman, and in 2007, she signed an unprecedented US $120 million contract with Live Nation.

Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. Considered to be one of the most influential figures in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She is recognized as an inspiration among numerous music artists.

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The videography of American recording artist Madonna consists of sixty-six music videos, eight concert tour videos, four music video compilations, four music video singles and two documentaries. In 1982 Madonna signed a recording contract with Sire Records, a label owned by Warner Bros. Records, and released her first two singles before launching her eponymous debut album. Madonna's first music video was for the single "Everybody", for which Sire Records created a low budget, in-house video. Her first video to receive attention on MTV was "Borderline" which was followed by "Lucky Star". In 1984 Madonna released "Like a Virgin", the lead single from her sophomore album of the same name. The video portrayed Madonna roaming through the streets of Venice and lying in a white wedding dress. The same year she also released the follow-up single, "Material Girl". Madonna's third studio album, True Blue, was released in 1986. The video for the lead single, "Live to Tell", ushered in a new image for Madonna. With the video of "True Blue", Madonna's impact on MTV and popular music was established when a contest entitled Making My Video, was held to create a music video for the song. "La Isla Bonita" and "Who's That Girl", both released in 1987, portrayed Madonna's fascination with Hispanic culture and the inclusion of religious symbolism. In 1989 Madonna signed a $5 million deal with Pepsi to use her song "Like a Prayer" in one of their commercial advertisements.

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Ray of Light is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on March 3, 1998 by Maverick Records. After giving birth to her daughter Lourdes, Madonna collaborated with Patrick Leonard and William Orbit in developing the album. After failed sessions with other producers, Madonna pursued a new musical direction with Orbit and incorporated his extensive usage of trance and electronic music in her songs. The recording took place over four months, but experienced problems with the Pro Tools arrangement by Orbit as well as the absence of live bands. Upon release, the album was lauded by contemporary critics as a music masterpiece of the decade. Reviewers complimented the album for its mature, restrained nature as well as commending Madonna's musical direction, calling it her "most adventurous" record. Commercially, the album was a success on the world charts, peaking at number one in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe. On the U.S. Billboard 200, the album debuted and peaked at number two. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it Quadruple Platinum on March 16, 2000, recognizing four million shipments in the United States, making it her fifth best-selling recording there. Worldwide, Ray of Light sold 20 million copies.

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"Like a Virgin" is a song by American recording artist Madonna from her sophomore album of the same name. It was released on November 6, 1984 by Sire Records, as the first single from the album. The song appears on the greatest hits compilation albums The Immaculate Collection (1990) and Celebration (2009). It was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and produced by Nile Rodgers. Steinberg said that the song was inspired by his personal experiences of romance. The song was chosen for Madonna by Michael Ostin of Warner Bros. Records after listening to a demo sung by Kelly. However, Rodgers felt that the song did not have a great hook and was not suitable for Madonna. He changed his opinion after the hook was stuck in his mind and decided to record it with her.

Musically "Like a Virgin" is a dance-oriented song, composed of two hooks. Madonna's voice is heard in a high register while a continuous arrangement of drums are heard along the bassline. The lyrics of the song is ambiguous and consists of hidden innuendo. In sexual terms, the lyrics can be interpreted in different ways for different people. "Like a Virgin" received positive reviews from contemporary as well as old critics, who frequently called it as one of the defining songs for Madonna. It became her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, while reaching the top of the charts in Australia, Canada and Japan and the top-ten of the other countries.

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