Madonna was born Louise Veronica Ciccone on 16th August 1958, in Bay City, Michigan. She was the oldest of eight children. Her mother died of cancer when she was six years old.
She started singing and dancing when she was eight, participating in school shows and being a cheerleader. She also had piano and ballet lessons. In 1977 she to the University of Michigan, where she studied dance, but she put aside her studies after two years and went to New York, because she had dreams of becoming a star. She had no money, so she worked in shops and as a model. In 1980 she decided to start singing, and found work as a backing vocalist. She wrote songs and performed at local discos. She signed a contract with Warner Brothers in 1982 and immediatelly her career took off. She had her first number one hit in 1984 wiht Like a Virgin. In 1985 she appeared as the liad in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. Around this time she married Sean Penn. Unfortunately the marriage only lasted for four years.
In 1992 she founded her own record company called Maverick. In 1996 she starred in the film Evita and she was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress. In the same year she had her first child, Lourdes Maria. The father was her personal trainer, Carlos Leon. Now she lives in London with her husband, Guy Ritchie, with whom she had a second child, a boy called Rocco.
She has had eleven number one hits – more than any other female artist.