Madonna (artist)

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Madonna (2015)

Madonna [ məˈdɑna ] (born August 16, 1958 in Bay City , Michigan as Madonna Louise Ciccone, since her confirmation in 1967 Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone ) is an American singer , songwriter , actress , author , director , producer and designer .

Madonna rose to mega-star in the 1980s with hits like Like a Virgin (1984), Material Girl (1985), La Isla Bonita (1987) and Like a Prayer (1989). Other world hits such as Vogue (1990), Frozen (1998), Music (2000), Hung Up (2005), 4 Minutes (2008) and Give Me All Your Luvin ' (2012), with which she has been at the top for decades the global charts claimed sharpened her reputation as a global pop icon . It sold between 300 and 350 million records worldwide. This makes her the most commercially successful singer in the world and number 4 among the world's most successful performers . The Guinness Book of Records has named her the most successful musician in the world several times over the course of her career and the singer with the most sold records of all time. In the history of the American Billboard charts she is the most successful solo artist and ranks second behind the Beatles . With 50 songs at the top of a singular section of the Billboard charts, she is the first and so far only artist who succeeded scoring so many number one hits in five different decades.

Her Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008) and her MDNA Tour (2012) occupy positions one and three of the most successful world tours by a singer. The music magazine Rolling Stone calls their Blond Ambition Tour (1990) "the greatest concert tour of the 90s"; the controversial world tour is considered a pioneer of today's pop concerts in modern music history. While her music video for Like a Prayer (1989) was voted the most groundbreaking music video in terms of pop culture by the music broadcaster MTV , her album Erotica (1992) is considered the most controversial pop album of the 1990s.

The US TV station VH1 named her Greatest Woman in Music in 2012 , and she is also number 1 in the Billboard ranking of the most successful female artists “of all time”. Because of her success and her influence on other artists, Madonna is considered by musicologists and many media outlets (including World Music Awards and MTV ) also as the world's most influential singer to date. She is also referred to as the Queen of Pop by the media and her fans . In addition, she is considered the first woman in the music business who controlled every step of her career and always carried full responsibility for her public image. Together with Michael Jackson and Prince , Madonna is one of the three most important representatives of modern pop music. Given her great cultural influence, Madonna is one of the 25 most powerful women of the past century, according to Time magazine .

In addition to seven Grammys (including 1998 for Ray of Light ), she also received two Golden Globes (1997 for her portrayal in the musical adaptation of Evita and 2012 for her film song Masterpiece from the film WE , which she also directed). She also wrote some children's books ( Die Englisch Rosen , 2003) and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. She is one of the richest people in the music business, with an estimated net worth of over $ 1 billion.

Family and personal life

Madonna was born in Bay City , Michigan in 1958 . Her father, the son of Italian immigrants, was the auto mechanic Silvio Anthony Ciccone. She was named after her mother, the French-Canadian Madonna Louise Fortin. Her nickname within the family was therefore Little Nonni. Her parents had three daughters and three sons after their marriage in July 1955. Her mother died of breast cancer in 1963 at the age of 30 , presumably caused by her work as an X-ray assistant ;; Madonna was five years old at the time. In 1966 her father Silvio married the family housekeeper, Joan Gustafson, with whom he has two other children. In 1967, on the occasion of her confirmation , Madonna took the name Veronica  - after Saint Veronica  - as her third first name.

She was married to the American actor Sean Penn from 1985 to 1989 . The marriage remained childless. Their daughter was born on October 14, 1996; it comes from Madonna's relationship with her Cuban fitness trainer Carlos Leon. From 2000 to 2008 Madonna was married to British director Guy Ritchie . From this marriage comes a son who was born on August 11, 2000. Since the divorce, both parents have fought for custody of their child for a long time. From October 2006 she tried to adopt a 15-month-old boy from Malawi , which became legally binding in May 2008. In June 2009 she adopted a four-year-old orphan girl who was also from Malawi. In February 2017, she announced the adoption of Malawian twin girls.



After Madonna was born in Bay City, the family first lived in Pontiac, Michigan . In the late 1960s she moved to the small town of Rochester, Michigan . Madonna was educated in Catholic schools and at times in a convent school. Madonna found self-affirmation in school, Rochester Adams High School in Oakland County, Metro Detroit, especially in theater performances and cheerleading . Madonna was a very good student. In high school, she was in the top two percent with an IQ of 140. She took piano and dance lessons on the side, and decided to become a dancer after school. Madonna's dance teacher Christopher Flynn recognized and encouraged Madonna's talents. Together they visited museums and theaters as well as gay discos in Detroit, where they met Stephen Bray - with whom she later produced some of her greatest hits. This time also shaped her musical style, which was based on rocking New Wave, before it later led to dance and disco. Flynn encouraged her to go to New York and make a career there.

After high school, Madonna began dance training at the University of Michigan, but dropped out. Instead, she moved to New York City with $ 30 in her luggage. For the first time she kept her head above water with odd jobs: she worked as a waitress, sold donuts and took nude photos (which a few years later appeared in millions in the magazines Playboy and Penthouse ). She also learned to play drums and guitar and wrote her first songs with Dan Gilroy and Stephen Bray.

After engagements as a dancer with the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe and Pearl Lang's Dance Company , Madonna experimented as a singer and drummer in punk and pop bands ( Breakfast Club , Emmy ). For a short time she had her first record deal with Gotham Productions, but after a few demo recordings and jobs as a background singer (for Otto von Wernherr, among others ), they separated again. The then disco singer Patrick Hernandez (Born to Be Alive) sponsored Madonna in 1979 and took her to Paris to bring her out as a star. However, she only accompanied him to his shows as a dancer and went back to New York after four months. There she gained fame in the discos when she danced to the demos of her first songs - and made contacts with disc jockeys who had connections to the record industry. One of these disc jockeys was Mark Kamins, who later produced Madonna's first single, Everybody . Fireplace made Madonna the director of Sire Records , Seymour Stein , above. He was enthusiastic about Madonna's demo tapes (including Everybody , Ain't No Big Deal , Burning Up ), and so she got another record deal in 1982. The single Everybody became a respectable success in the discos and sold 250,000 times.

In July 1983 Madonna released her debut album Madonna , which her boyfriend and DJ at the time, Jellybean Benitez, co-produced. With the third single, Holiday , she broke into the top ten of the international charts . In addition to numerous television appearances in the United States, Europe and Japan, Madonna made the film Vision Quest (int. Crazy for You ), directed by Harold Becker . She only made two brief appearances as a nightclub singer, but a year later the film became a hit - mostly with Madonna's singles Crazy for You and Gambler .


After the first album had sold millions of copies, Madonna looked for a new producer: Nile Rodgers , who had already produced Michael Jackson , Duran Duran and David Bowie . Madonna's music became rockier now, but kept its catchy melodies. This collaboration resulted in the album Like a Virgin .

Madonna presented the theme song Like a Virgin in a wedding dress at the first MTV Video Music Awards ceremony in September 1984. American parent associations and conservative media guards were shocked - the young audience was enthusiastic. From now on, all the trends were copied by Madonna's fans. Crucifixes , crop tops and leather bracelets were the beginning. Madonna began to develop a new “look” for each album - which she often borrowed from the classic Hollywood stars. With the following video for Material Girl , she copied her role model Marilyn Monroe . While shooting the video in Los Angeles, Madonna met and fell in love with American actor Sean Penn on set . In the spring of 1985 Madonna first went on a sold out Virgin tour of the United States and Canada. The album Like A Virgin has sold around 20 million copies to date and is one of the 100 best-selling albums worldwide.

Her singles topped the charts around the world, and her first Susan Seidelman movie Susan… Desperately Wanted - with the hit single Into the Groove - was a hit with critics and audiences alike. She was also able to increase her popularity by performing at the Live Aid concert. Shortly before, her old nudes from her time in New York before her breakthrough had appeared in relevant men's magazines. On August 16, 1985, her 27th birthday, Madonna married Sean Penn in Los Angeles .

The 1986 album True Blue  , dedicated to her husband, the “coolest man in the universe” , heralded the “intoxication of being in love ”. The album, on which Madonna co-wrote all the tracks, was again a huge success. True Blue became number one in 28 countries and has sold over 25 million copies. The songs Live to Tell , Papa Don't Preach and Open Your Heart climbed to number one on the Billboard Singles Chart, and La Isla Bonita was their first number one in the German-speaking area. Herb Ritts' cover photo made her an icon of the 1980s. Madonna was photographed in clothing by Lagerfeld , Lacroix or Chanel and established herself as a sex symbol.

Madonna live on Who's That Girl World Tour , 1987

In June 1987 Madonna started the Who's That Girl World Tour . With this world tour she became the most successful pop singer of the 1980s. The tour began in Japan, passed through the United States and Canada, and from August 1987 through Europe. Her first appearance in Germany was on August 22, 1987 in the Waldstadion in Frankfurt in front of 60,000 spectators. The Wembley Stadium in London sold out was three times in succession, and in France the enthusiasm was great. 120,000 fans attended their concert in Paris on August 29th. The Turin show was televised live by satellite on September 4, 1987.

Madonna's albums and singles sold millions of copies around the world, but her film career did not get off the ground: the films Shanghai Surprise (1986) and Who's That Girl (1987) were flops. The marriage to Sean Penn got into a crisis.

In November 1987, Madonna released a remix album entitled You Can Dance . With that she said goodbye to the music business for a while. In 1988 she made another film, Bloodhounds Of Broadway , and appeared on Broadway in the sold-out play Speed ​​the Plow from May to September . Then she prepared her new album Like a Prayer . The album came to terms with her failed marriage, the complicated relationship with her family - and last but not least, her split relationship with the Catholic Church. The title song was voted one of the 500 "best songs of all time" by the American and German editors of the music magazine Rolling Stone in 2004.

In 1989, her marriage to Sean Penn was divorced. Musically, however, Madonna was still successful. The music video for Like a Prayer was released in March 1989. Among other things, Madonna addresses racism - in the video, a black man is innocently accused of a violent crime; she dances in front of burning crosses - symbols of the Ku Klux Klan  - and kisses a statue of Martin von Porres that has come to life , which many believed to be a "black Jesus". The beverage company Pepsi then stopped an advertising campaign with her, and the Vatican was also indignant.

Another video caused a worldwide sensation. In Express Yourself , Madonna was inspired by Fritz Lang's film Metropolis , showed herself in suspenders and dancing in a man's suit and lay naked in bed with heavy iron chains. The single Cherish established itself again in the US top five, giving Madonna 16 US top five singles in uninterrupted order, which had previously only been achieved by the Beatles . MTV called Madonna "Artist of the Decade".


Madonna live on the Blond Ambition World Tour , 1990

The new world tour Blond Ambition World Tour started on April 13, 1990 in Tokyo, Japan. This was followed by numerous concerts in the United States and Canada, and finally Europe was on the tour schedule in the summer. On stage, she wore creations by Parisian fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier . Hardly any other performance shaped Madonna's image more than her performance of Like a Virgin . She wore a gold corset with a tapered bra, simulating masturbation . In Canada, Madonna even faced imprisonment, and in Italy the Vatican called for a boycott of Madonna's concert in Rome. On August 5, 1990, Madonna's controversial Blond Ambition Tour came to an end in Nice. This concert was televised exclusively in the United States by HBO and received a high audience.

Madonna's affair with Warren Beatty lasted so long in 1990 until the joint film Dick Tracy was a success. In this cinema adventure she can be seen as the protagonist Breathless Mahoney . Madonna contributed to the album I'm Breathless also the soundtrack for the film. Vogue , actually intended as the B-side of the last Like A Prayer release Keep It Together , was released as an independent single at short notice and thus became one of their greatest hits; the video by director David Fincher turned Madonna into a gay icon. Shortly afterwards, she made a statement about gay friends and family members - and brought herself into the media as potential bisexuals when she exchanged kisses with Sandra Bernhard and Rosie O'Donnell .

Madonna's first greatest hits album, The Immaculate Collection , has been sold over 30 million times to date, making it the best-selling “best of” by a singer. It also presented the next scandal: the sexually revealing video for Justify My Love , which was recorded with her then lover, model Tony Ward . It has been banned or banned from night programs by many television stations. Madonna took advantage of this video scandal and released Justify My Love as a video single.

On the evening of the Oscars on March 25, 1991, she was accompanied by Michael Jackson and presented the song Sooner or Later from the film Dick Tracy live . The song eventually won an Oscar for Best Original Song . In May 1991 Madonna released the documentary Truth or Dare , a documentary on the Blond Ambition tour in 1990. To promote her film, Madonna came to the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France on May 12, 1991 and produced her next Scandal : On the red carpet, she opened her silk kimono and bared herself in lingerie. In Europe, the film called In Bed with Madonna was released . Madonna also worked in films such as A Class of Its Own (1992) and Shadows and Fog (1992). Both had positive reviews and were also a hit at the box office.

During her image change to an erotic star, Madonna also worked on her independence. She founded her own production company, Maverick , in order to have unrestricted freedom about her work and also to promote young talent. Maverick has released albums by Alanis Morissette , Meshell Ndegeocello , Candlebox and The Prodigy , among others . Madonna's most provocative years followed in 1992/93. The album Erotica is a concept album on the subject of sexuality with strong BDSM and fetish symbolism. Each of the songs included reflects a different facet of human sexuality, mostly with reference to sexual relationships. In its lyrics, the album does not establish the relationship between sexually motivated contacts and romantic feelings or love, which is widespread in pop culture. As a typical dance floor album, it is strongly influenced by the hip-hop-heavy beats and soulful melodies that were typical of the two co-producers Shep Pettibone and André Betts at the time. It was the artist's first album that had to be given a youth protection notice on the US market. A censored second edition contained the song Did You Do It? Not. The album reached number two on the US charts and drew six single releases, of which the title song Erotica was the most successful. The song was also the title with the second highest entry position in the history of the US Hot 100 Airplay Charts . The music video accompanying the song was only aired three times in the United States by MTV in the uncensored original version due to its sexual orientation.

The Erotica advertising campaign also included the erotic illustrated book SEX , published by Madonna on October 21, 1992, which caused worldwide headlines and controversy. Never before had an internationally known pop artist staged himself in such a way and presented himself naked in sexual poses to an audience of millions. SEX came out with a circulation of 1.5 million copies that sold out within a week.

The erotic thriller Body of Evidence tried in 1993 in vain to repeat the success of the blockbuster Basic Instinct . With this movie, Madonna “won” another Golden Raspberry for worst actress. In the spring of 1993 her film and musical career threatened to stagnate because of the erotic offensive. The film Snake Eyes, directed by Abel Ferrara, flopped again at the box office and the single Bad Girl did not reach the American top 20 on the Billboard charts for the first time since 1983 .

Madonna live on The Girlie Show World Tour, 1993

A great success, however, was the sold-out 1993 world tour The Girlie Show . On September 25, 1993 Madonna opened her new world tour at London's Wembley Stadium in front of 72,000 fans. The stage program, inspired among other things by the musical Hair and the German film diva Marlene Dietrich , again provoked protests from conservative organizations and politicians - this time because of an implied group sex scene. Madonna appeared in her as a whip-wielding dominatrix surrounded by topless dancers. In Puerto Rico, Madonna caused a scandal when she rubbed the island's flag between her legs; Orthodox Jews protested against their first appearance in Israel . The highlight of the tour were the sold out open air concerts in Australia , where it was also seen live for the first time. This great success was captured on the DVD Madonna The Girlie Show - Live Down Under .

In March 1994, she caused another scandal on her talk show appearance on David Letterman . Madonna's expression, which was perceived as inappropriate, and her peculiar behavior caused indignation in the US media. Madonna made a brief appearance as a singing telegram in the film Blue in the Face by Wayne Wang . With her next album Bedtime Stories (1994) Madonna was able to present herself better again, among other things as a first-class ballad singer. The stylistically diverse album, in the production of which Babyface , Nellee Hooper , Dallas Austin and Björk , among others , were involved, was received by most of the critics very favorably, and sales figures slowly picked up again. The second single, Take a Bow , reached number one on the Billboard charts and became one of their most successful singles in the United States.

In 1995 the now 37-year-old Madonna worked as a model for Gianni Versace . The Milanese fashion designer designed his fashion collections with her. To prepare her audience for her next important career step, Madonna brought out her most beautiful ballads on the album Something to Remember in the fall of 1995 ; She also appeared in the episode film Four Rooms and Spike Lee's film Girl 6 .

In 1996, Madonna's years of efforts to play Evita Perón in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita were rewarded. Alan Parker signed her for the lead role. Madonna delighted the Argentines when she sang Don't Cry for Me Argentina in front of hundreds of extras on the balcony of the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires . Evita became the most successful musical film of the 1990s. The accompanying album Evita sold very well, and Madonna again attracted attention more musically than through scandals. This comeback was “crowned” a year later when she received the 1997 Golden Globe for best actress. However, she was not nominated for the Academy Award (Oscar). Even so, she presented the song You Must Love Me there , which won the award for composer / lyricist Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice .

Madonna became a mother on October 14, 1996 when she gave birth to her daughter Lourdes Maria in Los Angeles. The child's father is Madonna's fitness trainer at the time, Carlos Leon. A decade that began controversially for Madonna has now been rewarded with her first child, her first musical role and a Golden Globe for best actress. Musically, too, the 39-year-old Madonna set out for new shores.


After the birth of her daughter, Madonna began work on the new album Ray of Light . To create a new sound, Madonna hired British producer William Orbit . With the album released in March 1998, Madonna was able to build on her most successful times: she received four Grammys in February 1999 - including for best pop album and best dance album - after years of being ignored in the Grammy nominations. Lyrically, Madonna focused on the subjects of motherhood ( Little Star ) and her affection for Far Eastern religions ( Frozen , Shanti / Ashtangi , Sky Fits Heaven ). From the album Ray of Light 17 million recordings sold to date and published five singles. The accompanying videos set new accents in the video clip genre. Ray of Light became Madonna's most successful studio album of the 1990s.

In September 1998, Madonna met and fell in love with British director Guy Ritchie over dinner with her musician friend Sting in London . In interviews at that time, Madonna often spoke about her motherly happiness, gave educational advice and was a guest on many television shows. She also made no secret of the fact that she is an avid student of Jewish Kabbalah . The cosmetics company Max Factor (Ellen Betrix) designed their worldwide advertising campaign with Madonna in 1999.

On the other hand, the film A Friend to Fall in Love was not commercially successful . This film, however, is linked to another worldwide hit by Madonna, namely the cover version of Don McLean's classic American Pie . With this song she reached the first place in the German charts for the first time after La Isla Bonita in 1987. The electronic follow-up album Music from 2000 impressed with innovative production and underground sounds by French DJ Mirwais . The focus of this production was for the first time Madonna's more mature voice, which was underlaid in a minimalist manner, mainly with guitar and electronic beats. The album and singles became a huge success: the singles and videos, for example Music and Don't Tell Me , set off the next fashion trend: cowboy hats, hipsters and boots. The album sold 15 million times. In preparation for her tour the following year, Madonna gave two small concerts in New York and London in autumn 2000, in which she presented songs from music .

Madonna live on the Drowned World Tour , 2001

After the birth of her son Rocco on August 11, 2000 and her wedding to Guy Ritchie on December 22, 2000 in Dornoch / Scotland, Madonna started the sold-out Drowned World Tour in June 2001 after years of absence from the stage , which she took to Spain, Italy, Germany and France and England led. Madonna's US tour began in July. The tour ended in Los Angeles on September 14th. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 had shocked the world three days earlier , Madonna interrupted the tour and called her audience to prayer. The second greatest hits album GHV2 was released in November 2001. It did not offer any new material and Madonna did not promote it either.

Then Madonna returned to the theater stage in May 2002 after 14 years. In David Williamson's play Up For Grabs and directed by Laurence Boswell, Madonna played the role of the art dealer Loren. Up For Grabs was performed at Wyndham's Theater in London's West End and Madonna received the Audience Award (Theatregoers' Choice Theater Award).

In the fall of 2002, Madonna caused a sensation with her theme song for James Bond  - Die Another Day, written together with Mirwais . Another Day became the best-selling Bond theme song and Madonna also played a little cameo role in the film : the fencing instructor Verity. Madonna was also seen in Guy Ritchie's film Swept Away , which was one of the biggest flops in film history.

In 2003 the album American Life was released . The follow-up album to Music brought little new to Madonna's musical world. Furthermore, in 2003 it was drawn into the maelstrom of Madonna's partisanship against US President George W. Bush . Her engagement against the Iraq war triggered a boycott on the conservative radio stations , which prevented the following decoupled singles from being placed on the Billboard charts, although Die Another Day , American Life and Hollywood were in the top ten best-selling singles. The singles Die Another Day and Nothing Fails even reached number one on the sales charts. The album American Life fell far short of expectations with sales of 5 million records. The American Life project , particularly Madonna's political "advertising", had damaged her career in the United States. Shortly thereafter, Madonna released a duet as a single for the first time in her career, namely Me Against The Music with Britney Spears . Madonna had previously recorded songs with other artists - with Prince the love song on the album Like a Prayer and in 1999 with Ricky Martin Be Careful (Cuidado con mi corazon) for his album Ricky Martin - but neither song was released as a single. The live kiss with Britney Spears (and Christina Aguilera ) at the MTV Awards 2003 brought Madonna back into the conversation - and the quickly produced duet with Britney Spears was a passable success. Madonna's remix album Remixed & Revisited could not give the main album American Life any new momentum.

Madonna live on the Re-Invention World Tour , 2004

In September 2003 Madonna's first children's book, The English Roses, was published . The New York Times and Barnes & Noble listed the book as number one of the best-selling books - and the four following were so successful that Madonna had sequels and extensive merchandising (clothing, dishes, jewelry, etc.) produced for The English Roses . The author donated all of her profits from the project to related children's aid organizations.

The 2004 Re-Invention World Tour was a great success . Madonna returned to the United States, Canada and Europe on this sold-out tour. The show offered political statements, exclusive costumes by Karl Lagerfeld, religious motifs and a calculated scandal: Madonna sang a song on an "electric chair". In contrast to the previous tours, this time the focus was on their greatest hits, including many songs from the 1980s. This tour was Madonna's only musical project in 2004. Similar to the Blond Ambition world tour, Madonna had herself, her dancers and everything that happened around the tour documented. The tour documentary I'm Going to Tell You a Secret premiered in New York in October 2005 and is now available on DVD.

At Christmas 2004, Madonna and Ritchie renewed their wedding vows. The two exchanged rings again at a ceremony.


In 2005 Madonna started a campaign for the Versace fashion house. The series of photographs by photographer Mario Testino could be Donatella Versace cost US $ 10.5 million. For the benefit of the flood victims of the tsunami that hit parts of Asia in December 2004, she appeared with other well-known stars on Tsunami Aid and sang the John Lennon classic Imagine . Another performance at a benefit concert took place on July 2, 2005. Madonna performed at the Live 8 concert in London - 20 years after the Live Aid concert. At her show she presented the classics Like a Prayer , Ray of Light and Music .

On August 16, 2005, her 47th birthday, Madonna fell from her horse and broke her collarbone, hand and several ribs. Despite these injuries, she made the dance video for Hung Up two months later . In November 2005, Madonna's long-awaited album Confessions on a Dance Floor came out, making her number one in 29 countries. This time, Stuart Price was the album's lead producer. With her dance album, the 47-year-old was played on the dance floors of the clubs again. The album was accompanied by a song that set the tone in autumn 2005: Hung Up . For the biggest hit of her career, Madonna was allowed to sample a sample of the ABBA classic Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Use (A Man After Midnight) . In terms of sales strategy, Madonna broke new ground, because Hung Up first appeared as a mobile phone ringtone for download . When the song was released commercially, Hung Up was number one in 41 countries.

The album Confessions on a Dance Floor was advertised extensively: After the moderate success of the previous album, everything was done to make the new album a greater success: In addition to "release parties", advertising campaigns, commercials, websites and appearances in many programs worldwide - including Star Academy (France), Wetten, dass ..? , MTV-EMA , Ellen DeGeneres  - Madonna also presented the album in person in New York, London and Tokyo.

Hung Up sold over four million times in the first three months. In the United States, Madonna drew level with Elvis Presley : Both placed 36 singles in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Sorry , the album's second single, was released in February 2006 and was also very successful in the global charts. On February 15, 2006 Madonna received the BRIT Award for best international artist and on March 12, 2006 two Echo music prizes : for best “International Rock / Pop Artist” and for Hung Up as “Hit of the Year”.

Madonna live on the Confessions Tour , 2006

On May 21, 2006, Madonna started her Confessions Tour in Los Angeles . On July 30th 2006 she opened the European part of her concert tour in Cardiff (Wales). In London, eight sold-out concerts took place at Wembley Arena. As part of the Confessions Tour , Madonna came to Germany in August for two sold-out concerts (August 20, 2006, Düsseldorf , LTU Arena and August 22, 2006, Hanover AWD-Arena ). Madonna performed four times in Paris and twice in the Amsterdam Arena in September. For the first time, Prague and Moscow were tour stations on Madonna's worldwide concert tour. The tour ended on September 21, 2006 in Tokyo after a total of 60 sold-out shows .

Madonna was again much more provocative than in previous appearances in recent years. So there are again BDSM -Anspielungen, Ponyplay and a crucifixion scene, the ballad at the Madonna Live To Tell sings on the cross during the shows. The singing Madonna with a crown of thorns on the cross in particular was perceived by many Christians around the world as blasphemous . The Düsseldorf public prosecutor checked her show for a violation of § 166 StGB ( abuse of denominations, religious societies and ideological associations ). Countless lawsuits were filed against Madonna in courts around the world , but these did not lead to the superstar being banned from appearing. Madonna's concert in Hanover should even be boycotted. The then regional bishop of Hanover, Margot Käßmann , appealed to this without success. Madonna responded to the Church's criticism by inviting the Pope to her show in Rome, which sparked further controversy. Disco is also a big theme of the show. Madonna wears costumes based on ABBA and John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever . The Confessions Tour became the most successful tour by an artist to date.

Shortly after the successful but controversial tour, Madonna dominated the headlines again, this time due to the controversial adoption of the little David Banda from Malawi in October 2006. Madonna became the target figure of the media , who had mostly negative coverage . She was accused of having "bought a souvenir from Africa" ​​and not having complied with Malawi's adoption laws, i.e. having received a star bonus. In late October 2006, Madonna publicly commented on these allegations on the Oprah Winfrey Show .

After the hits Sorry and Get Together , Jump was the last single from the hit album Confessions on a Dance Floor . The video was shot in Tokyo, in which Madonna presented herself with her new platinum blonde bob hairstyle. The song achieved a top ten ranking in many countries, became a great airplay hit worldwide (airplay refers to the frequency of play on the radio) and dominated clubs and discos around the world at the end of 2006. The album has sold 12 million times to date.

On January 26, 2007, Madonna released The Confessions Tour as a live album and DVD. The album immediately reached number two in the German charts. It thus became Madonna's seventeenth top ten album in Germany.

As early as summer 2006, the fashion chain H&M made an extensive collection of clothing available for the tour team. In March 2007, the international sale of a fashion collection composed entirely by Madonna followed. The promotional video shows Madonna as a dominant lifestyle icon who misses an inappropriately dressed schoolgirl with the popping of her whip with fashion wisdom such as Don't think it - you need to know it , in order to then have her completely fashionably converted.

In April 2007, Madonna traveled again to Malawi , where she visited charitable institutions. When it became known that Madonna's husband, Guy Ritchie, was not going to Malawi with her, divorce rumors surfaced again in the global media. After her return she devoted herself to the production of new songs for the upcoming album Hard Candy and began directing the short film Filth and Wisdom , which premiered in 2008 at the Berlinale , Germany's largest film festival.

Two new songs from the Hard Candy album sessions , The Beat Goes On and Candy Shop , had been illegally recorded and appeared on the Internet. But Warner Music immediately filed a lawsuit against all platforms that had offered the song on their servers, so it quickly disappeared again. These two songs strongly signaled Madonna's change of direction to hip-hop. Both songs were produced by Pharrell Williams and Madonna.

On May 17, 2007, Madonna released her new single Hey You (produced by Pharrell Williams) as a download. She sang the song at the Live Earth concert on July 7th at London's Wembley Stadium . For each of the first million downloads - free the first week - MSN promised to donate 25 US cents to the Alliance for Climate Protection . A video was also published for Hey You , which shows the effects of climate change and what the world could look like without this problem. Madonna does not appear in the video. The new song Hey You was very well received by fans . Madonna's Live Earth performance included four songs: Hey You , Ray of Light , La Isla Bonita, and Hung Up .

The American Forbes Magazine voted Madonna in June 2007 number 3 of the most influential personalities in the world. This rating refers to 2006, which turned out to be one of the most successful years for Madonna in artistic terms. With revenues of 72 million US dollars (then about 48.6 million euros) during the period June 2006 to June 2007, Madonna was, also according to Forbes Magazine, the most successful musician of the year in financial terms. The money comes primarily from the February 10, 2008 Grammy- winning Confessions Tour , record sales, and advertising deals.

On September 12, 2007, Madonna began a multi-day trip to Israel for the Jewish New Year celebrations with husband Guy Ritchie and their three children. Madonna and Guy were seen entering the home of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Israel Shimon Peres on the evening of September 15, 2007, after the Jewish New Year celebrations . Peres gave Madonna a copy of the Old Testament, the originally Jewish part of the Bible, during the meeting she is said to have asked for. The meeting itself was not open to the press.

Madonna left her longtime record label Warner Music Group and signed a new contract with Live Nation , which was officially confirmed on October 16, 2007. It had already been reported from Madonna's environment that the deal was worth 120 million US dollars (around 85 million euros at the time). Madonna justified the change in a joint statement with Live Nation, saying that the music business had changed in recent years and that she had to move with the times.

According to the announcements, Madonna will receive a bonus of $ 18 million and an advance of $ 17 million each for three albums. According to the contract, Madonna will work on three studio albums and four tours over the next ten years.

Madonna was also one of 23 artists who contributed to the song Sing by former eurythmics singer Annie Lennox . The track is featured on Lennox's album Songs of Mass Destruction . On December 1, 2007, the song was released as a download single. The proceeds from this publication flowed into various AIDS projects.


On February 13, 2008, Madonna officially presented her film Filth and Wisdom at the 58th  Berlinale as her directorial debut. She appeared with her film crew in Berlin, which received a lot of media attention. The film was originally planned as a short film. It did not take part in the competition, but served the premiere . It is not yet known whether Madonna's film will be shown in cinemas around the world. It was released on DVD in some countries. Filth and Wisdom is about a Russian immigrant named AK ( Eugene Hütz ) who wants to realize his dream of becoming a great musician with his band Gogol Bordello and therefore tries to keep himself afloat with countless jobs in London. He lives with two young women who have a similar goal and have to go through the dirt ( English "filth") in order to arrive at wisdom ( English "wisdom"). The critics praised Madonna's courage and the characters of the film and, with a few exceptions, took the film appreciatively. On October 14, 2008, Madonna officially presented her film in New York City.

On March 10, 2008, Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . The ceremony took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York .

On May 21, 2008, Madonna presented her documentary on Malawi, entitled I Am Because We Are , at the 61st Cannes Film Festival . She acted as executive producer and will comment on the film herself, directed by Nathan Rissman . The documentary was presented by Madonna on April 24, 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York . In addition, in August 2008 Madonna also attended the premiere of the film in Traverse City , Michigan , a now well-known film festival which was started by Michael Moore .

Madonna's next album Hard Candy was released on April 25, 2008 in Germany . In other European countries, such as the UK , it was released on April 28, and in the United States on April 29, 2008. On March 15, 2008, a long-awaited artwork for the album cover was released, on which for the first time the word "Madonna" would not be printed. Timbaland already presented Madonna's first single from the upcoming album at a concert in Philadelphia in December 2007 : 4 Minutes , a song for peace with Justin Timberlake . The video clip was filmed with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake in London at the end of January 2008. The single made its official international radio debut on March 17th, it was released as a download on March 25th and as a maxi CD on April 11th. 4 Minutes and Hard Candy immediately reached number one in the German charts. Hard Candy became Madonna's tenth number one album in Germany. In June 2008 the second single Give it 2 me from the album Hard Candy was released .

In July 2008, Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone published the biography Life With My Sister Madonna in the United States . He had worked with Madonna for many years until Madonna severely restricted contact with him after his cocaine addiction became known. The book caused a sensation internationally and was finally published on October 24, 2008 in Germany.

Madonna live on the Sticky & Sweet Tour , 2008

On August 23, 2008 Madonna started her worldwide Sticky & Sweet Tour in Cardiff / Wales to promote the album Hard Candy . Berlin , Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main were among the stops on the tour; Madonna also made guest appearances in Vienna and Switzerland for the first time, namely at the Dübendorf military airfield near Zurich . After the European phase of the world tour, numerous concerts followed in the United States and, for the first time in 15 years, concerts in South America. In April and May 2008 three small concerts of the Hard Candy Promo Tour had already taken place, with stops in New York, Paris and Maidstone / Kent .

The third single Miles Away from the album Hard Candy was released on November 21 in Germany. The song quickly became a hit on German radio stations and took first place in the airplay charts after five weeks. Because of the global financial crisis, Madonna canceled all dates of her Sticky & Sweet world tour in Australia in early December 2008 .

In January 2009, the Louis Vuitton fashion house launched a large-scale advertising campaign for luxury bags in which Madonna was seen as a model. Marc Jacobs , creative director of Louis Vuitton, justified this as follows: “The new campaign was supposed to be very sensual, bold and atmospheric. To combine all of that in one person, we needed the ultimate actress - and for me that is Madonna ”.

Madonna made headlines again through an affair with the 28-year-old Brazilian model Jesus Luz, which was preceded by a “W” photo campaign in December 2008. This campaign appeared in March 2009 under the title Blame It On Rio and led to a public discussion due to the revealing photos and the sexual innuendos shown in them. Madonna attracted further attention when she traveled to Malawi at the end of March 2009 to carry out another adoption of a four-year-old girl. The adoption did not take place because a Malawian court ruled against Madonna's application in April 2009. On June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court of Malawi issued a ruling that Madonna was given approval for adoption. The reason for the original refusal, namely that adoptive parents must have lived in Malawi for at least 18 months before they can adopt a Malawian child, was, according to Judge Lovemore Munlo, “too narrow a legal interpretation based on old laws. In this global village, a person can have more than one place of residence. ”He also stated that Madonna's longstanding relationship with Malawi and her commitment to disadvantaged children should have been taken into account. The decision in favor of Madonna's adoption again divided public opinion.

On July 4th, 2009, Madonna continued her successful Sticky & Sweet Tour from 2008 in London, the first time in Madonna's career that she continued on a world tour. An accident on July 16, 2009 while setting up the stage for Madonna's show in Marseille resulted in two deaths and several injuries, whereupon the mayor of Marseille canceled the concert. The concert tour ended on September 2, 2009 in Tel Aviv. It was the world's most successful tour by a solo artist to date.

Madonna's third best-of album, Celebration , was released on September 18, 2009 and was the last album in collaboration with Warner Bros. Records. The first single of the same name, Celebration , was released in Germany on September 4, 2009 and made it into the top five of the German charts, the album was at number one for two weeks. The second single Revolver from the best-of album is a collaboration with Lil Wayne .


Madonna, 2012

In early 2010 Madonna was again the face of a new international fashion campaign, this time for Dolce & Gabbana , for which she received very positive reviews. On January 22, 2010, Madonna performed in New York on Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief and sang her hit Like a Prayer . The donations from this program benefited the victims of the Haiti earthquake. In March 2010, Madonna's third live album, Sticky & Sweet Tour, was released as a CD / DVD combination. She was also featured in another Dolce & Gabbana campaign in the summer of 2010.

In July 2010 she directed the historical drama WE , for which she had also written the script. The film deals with the controversial affair between the British King Edward VIII and the commoner Wallis Simpson . WE had its official premiere in September 2011 at the Venice International Film Festival . The film and Madonna's direction were largely received positively. The song Masterpiece used in the film was awarded at the Golden Globe Awards 2012 in the category "Best Song".

Her twelfth studio album, MDNA , was released in March 2012 . This made it to number one on the iTunes charts even before it was released thanks to high pre-orders in 50 countries , which was a new record. The album's first single, Give Me All Your Luvin ' , was released in February 2012 and was part of Madonna's performance at the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. With Girl Gone Wild , the album's second single was released before MDNA was released. The revealing video may not be shown on YouTube or other video platforms for reasons of youth protection.

MDNA debuted at number one on the charts in the United States and Great Britain, and the album reached number three in Germany. At the end of May 2012, the 88-concert MDNA tour started in Tel Aviv, which, in addition to an extensive European stage, also took Madonna to North and South America. The reviews of the opening concert were mostly positive, but the sometimes excessive depiction of violence in the first act of the show was criticized by some media. With revenues of $ 305.2 million (with 2,212,505 tickets sold), it was the most successful tour of 2012.

In May 2013 she won three prizes at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in the categories of “Dance Artist of the Year”, “Dance Album of the Year” for MDNA , and “ Most Successful Tour of the Year” for the MDNA Tour 2012 “excellent. In September 2013, a live recording of the tour was released under the title MDNA World Tour in the form of a double album, a DVD and Blu-Ray. At the end of September Madonna presented her project Art for Freedom , which includes a controversial short film called secretprojectrevolution , in which Madonna promotes tolerance and equality. The film was offered for free download worldwide and premiered on oversized street screens in various metropolises around the world. The Forbes magazine led with an income of around 125 million US dollars in the period 2012/13 as highest-paid artist in show business.

In January 2014, Madonna performed with Mary Lambert and Queen Latifah at the 56th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. They were part of the "Same Love" performance by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis . Madonna also sang her classic Open Your Heart . The performance campaigned for acceptance for homosexual couples. At the beginning of December 2014 revealing pictures of the 56-year-old Madonna caused a stir in Interview magazine . In addition, two weeks later, 13 songs appeared on the Internet, which should be on their next album. She described the leak as "artistic rape" and stated that the songs were unfinished demos and would not be included on an album. In response, on December 20, she released six of the leaked songs in finished form on iTunes and multiple streaming platforms. At the same time, her upcoming album was released for pre-order. In April 2015, Madonna made headlines again when she kissed rapper Drake at the Coachella Festival .

Madonna, 2015

Madonna's thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart , was released in March 2015. The album received positive reviews internationally, was number 1 in Germany, but sold fewer units worldwide than its predecessor. The decoupled singles Living For Love , Ghosttown and Bitch I'm Madonna were only commercially successful in a few countries. Living For Love and Ghosttown missed a placement on the American Billboard Hot 100 . In contrast, Living For Love achieved a number one hit in the US Dance Club Play Charts - Madonna's forty-fourth overall.

In September 2015 Madonna started her Rebel Heart Tour in Montreal . 82 concerts took place worldwide. The singer appeared in Australia for the first time in 23 years and also gave her first concerts in New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. The tour ended in Sydney in March 2016 and grossed $ 169.8 million, with more than 1 million tickets sold. In the Billboard ranking, Madonna is number one of the most successful female touring acts with sales of 1.31 billion US dollars.

At the Billboard Music Awards in May 2016, Madonna sang his hit Nothing Compares 2 U as a tribute to her longtime boyfriend, the late singer Prince , and then performed the song Purple Rain, also written by Prince, with Stevie Wonder . In December 2016, Madonna was named "Woman of the Year" at the Billboard Women in Music Awards and gave a ten-minute speech a. dealt with the topics of sexism , feminism and hostility towards women in the music business. During the Women's March on January 21, 2017 after Donald Trump's inauguration , she gave a speech against sexism and the new US administration and for women's rights. The sometimes very offensive statements such as, "I often thought about blowing up the White House" ("Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House") sparked discussion. Donald Trump described them as "disgusting".

In February 2017, Madonna adopted twins from Malawi . In September 2017 the live release of the Rebel Heart Tour was released on double CD, Blu-ray and DVD. The live album reached number 8 in the charts in Germany. In April 2019, Madonna's fourteenth studio album Madame X was announced. On April 17, 2019, she released the first single from the album, Medellín , a duet with Maluma . Her appearance at the 64th ESC 2019 on May 18, 2019, where she performed Like a Prayer and premiered her new song Future (together with Quavo ), was received in media differentiated, but mostly negatively. After Madame X was released on June 14, 2019, the album reached number 1 on the Billboard charts in the USA. On September 12th, Madonna's eleventh concert tour starts in New York City with the Madame X Tour .

Madonna phenomenon

Madonna shaped the pop culture of the 20th century like hardly any other artist. For over 30 years she has been one of the most photographed and most discussed women in the world.


Madonna portrait of the stucco artist Paul Harvey

Madonna's parents were practicing Catholics, whose household was dominated by Catholicism . Madonna spoke in numerous interviews about her childhood and her early experiences with the Roman Catholic Church . She remembered her mother in particular as a devout Catholic. Madonna Louise Ciccone celebrated her first communion in 1965 and was confirmed two years later. At her confirmation she took the name Veronica as her company name. As a teenager, however, Madonna broke with her parents' religion and has been associated with a love-hate relationship ever since.

In her creative career as a singer, however, Madonna has very often resorted to religious and especially Catholic symbols . Whether in song lyrics, in music videos or stage shows, religious symbols can be found everywhere in Madonna's work. Madonna dedicated the album Like A Prayer to her mother, "who taught her to pray". Early in her life, when her mother died, Madonna was confronted with the experience of death and pain. Madonna processed these experiences and her difficult relationship in the music video Oh Father .

Madonna also liked to bring religion and eroticism together, sometimes so aggressively that there was strong protest from the church. Cardinals spoke out several times in favor of Madonna's excommunication .

When Madonna was pregnant with her daughter Lourdes Maria, a friend introduced her to the Kabbalah and the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles. Madonna has been a student of Kabbalah since 1996 and speaks of it frequently in interviews. She also creatively processed these influences in her albums, for example in Ray Of Light and American Life . Her children's books, published between 2003 and 2005, also contain well-known Kabbalistic messages. Madonna donates the income from the books to the children's organization Spirituality for Kids , which is connected to the Kabbalah center. Several times Madonna has already been to Kabbalah meetings in Israel, supported the Kabbalah center financially and recruited new members under her self-chosen name "Esther".

Musical development

In addition to keyboard and drums, Madonna also plays guitar, which she built in as a permanent part of the stage shows during her last tours. Her “perfectly produced pop songs”, which she mostly writes in collaboration with renowned producers ( Nile Rodgers , Stephen Bray , Patrick Leonard , William Orbit , Lenny Kravitz , Shep Pettibone , Mirwais and others), reflect the zeitgeist and also document her personal development. Their focus is on their spirituality and their - albeit difficult - love for their parents' family, which is evident in the very personal texts.

The first years and their first album Madonna were influenced by black funk and the related disco music. This was followed by the years of catchy and commercial pop, such as the albums Like a Virgin and True Blue . In 1989 Madonna surprised with her artistically most valuable album to date, Like a Prayer . On I'm Breathless , the soundtrack to the film Dick Tracy , she ventured into jazz for the first time and sang rather difficult ballads by Stephen Sondheim . At the same time, she returned to her roots in dance with songs that were clearly influenced by the then hip house sound, such as Express Yourself and Vogue . In the first half of the 1990s, Madonna mainly produced black / soul music with typical hip-hop and R'n'B beats on the albums Erotica and Bedtime Stories . Influences of the trip-hop , which was very popular in the club scene at the time, could also be heard many times.

In the fall of 1995 Madonna took three months of professional singing lessons in London in order to be able to perfectly sing Evita's musical songs . Andrew Lloyd Webber insisted that the soundtrack for his musical adaptation be recorded live with orchestral accompaniment. The effort was worth it, because the ballad You Must Love Me , interpreted by Madonna, won the Oscar for best film song in 1997.

Madonna's desire to be respected as a musician by critics culminated in 1998 with the album Ray of Light . It was produced by William Orbit and is very much influenced by spirituality and the “addiction to self-knowledge”, as she assured in interviews. Musically, the album was a clear departure from the R'n'B sound of previous years and stylistically moved between trance , ambient and modern house . The album was celebrated at the Grammy Awards - and Madonna had also made a comeback commercially: The singles Frozen , Ray of Light and The Power of Good-Bye were high in the charts around the world.

Most of the albums Music and American Life were co-produced by the French underground musician Mirwais and were based on progressive electronica - electronic beats and sounds from synthesizers from the eighties, combined with guitar and dominant vocals. Madonna's attempts to position herself politically against the US president were counterproductive in the United States. Stigmatized as "un-American", Madonna was boycotted by the Republican- dominated radio stations. The fact that the singles sold well in the United States was not reflected in the charts there, because most of them are based on radio use. Because of the radio boycott, their billboard placements fell. In the rest of the world, too, the album and the released singles fell far short of expectations, although many critics (Rolling Stone, Music Maker) emphasized Madonna's talent as a composer. The greatest successes of this time were the remixes of the singles that gave Madonna five number one hits on the Billboard Dance Charts - including the remix by Stuart Price on Hollywood . After Madonna's attempts to establish herself as a serious artist were not crowned with the commercial success she had hoped for, she went back to her roots and produced - against all trends - an electronic dance album in the United States: Confessions on a Dance Floor . After the great success of the first single Hung Up , which topped the charts in over 40 countries, the album was able to repeat this success. Strengthened by an extensive doctorate, it became one of her greatest successes.

Madonna mostly writes her songs herself, in collaboration with the most respected producers on the music scene. She has very precise ideas about how a song or the entire album should sound. For most of her songs, Madonna is responsible for the lyrics . The death of her mother, her family, her self-reflection , her joy in dance, party and music as well as sexuality were topics of her songs.

For the first time since 1994, Madonna worked for the recordings for her album Hard Candy again only with American producers such as Timbaland and Justin Timberlake . The music on the album is more clearly adapted than ever to the current zeitgeist and once again contains catchy pop with a strong R&B and hip-hop influence . It is obvious that Madonna is trying to cater to the American market again, as album sales have suffered there since 2003.

All Madonna records of the 1980s and 1990s were made in the United States; Madonna's albums have been recorded in London since 2000, as the British capital became the center of her life.

Madonna and Feminism

While conservatives in the United States around 1990 rejected the very direct portrayal of sexuality as irresponsible, Madonna was hailed as an avant-garde by sex-positive feminists of the third wave of feminism such as Camille Paglia. Paglia names the reasons for her positive criticism in the appearance of androgynous people, transsexuals and drag queens in Madonna's videos, the depiction of sadomasochistic sex and in Madonna's stage persona, who is equally self-determined, strong and sexy. Madonna stood for a new image of women: She has control over her life, over her sexuality, over her artistic output and is economically successful - "a complex modern woman". Paglia saw in Madonna the "future of feminism". Madonna's contribution to this continues to be the healing of women from being divided into the roles of saints and whores - by means of their role play as dominatrix and prostitutes. Role models for Madonna's equally strong and sexy stage persona are Deborah Harry , the singer and songwriter of the band Blondie , as well as Chrissie Hynde , the guitarist and singer of the Pretenders . For the magazine interview , Madonna was back in front of the camera in 2014 at the age of 56 for erotic pictures and in lingerie . In her 2016 election woman of the year speech , she described herself as a bad feminist .


Studio albums

year Title
music label
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sources
(Year, title, music label , placements, weeks, awards, notes)
1983 Madonna
Sire / Warner Bros.

(16 weeks)DE
AT15 (4 weeks)
- UK6th

(124 weeks)UK
Quintuple platinum
× 5
Quintuple platinum

(168 weeks)US
First published: July 27, 1983
Sales: +6,185,000
1984 Like a Virgin
Sire / Warner Bros.
Triple gold
× 3
Triple gold

(63 weeks)DE
AT3 (34 weeks)
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(24 weeks)CH
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(152 weeks)UK

(109 weeks)US
First published: November 12, 1984
Sales: + 21,000,000
1986 True Blue
Sire / Warner Bros.
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(67 weeks)DE

(47 weeks)AT
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(36 weeks)CH
Seven times platinum
× 7
Seven times platinum

(90 weeks)UK
Seven times platinum
× 7
Seven times platinum

(82 weeks)US
First published: June 30, 1986
Sales: + 25,000,000
1989 Like a Prayer
Triple gold
× 3
Triple gold

(35 weeks)DE

(29 weeks)AT
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(26 weeks)CH
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(73 weeks)UK
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(77 weeks)US
First published: March 29, 1989
Sales: + 9,120,818
1992 Erotica
Maverick / Sire

(21 weeks)DE

(19 weeks)AT

(12 weeks)CH
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(39 weeks)UK
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(53 weeks)US
First published: October 20, 1992
Sales: + 6,000,000
1994 Bedtime Stories
Maverick / Sire

(37 weeks)DE

(21 weeks)AT

(29 weeks)CH

(30 weeks)UK
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(48 weeks)US
First published: October 25, 1994
Sales: + 8,000,000
1998 Ray of Light
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(83 weeks)DE
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(42 weeks)AT
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(57 weeks)CH
Six-fold platinum
× 6
Six-fold platinum

(138 weeks)UK
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(78 weeks)US
First published: February 22nd, 1998
Sales: + 16,000,000
2000 Music
Maverick / Warner Bros.
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(50 weeks)DE

(37 weeks)AT
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(42 weeks)CH
Quintuple platinum
× 5
Quintuple platinum

(73 weeks)UK
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(55 weeks)US
First published: September 18, 2000
Sales: + 8,920,000
2003 American Life
Maverick / Warner Bros.

(20 weeks)DE
AT1 (20 weeks)

(23 weeks)CH

(20 weeks)UK

(14 weeks)US
First published: April 21, 2003
Sales: + 2,430,000
2005 Confessions on a Dance Floor
Maverick / Warner Bros.
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(42 weeks)DE
AT1 (35 weeks)
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(42 weeks)CH
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(54 weeks)UK

(37 weeks)US
First published: November 9, 2005
Sales: + 6,843,588
2008 Hard Candy
Warner Bros.

(40 weeks)DE

(28 weeks)AT

(29 weeks)CH

(26 weeks)UK

(30 weeks)US
First published: April 19, 2008
Sales: + 4,000,000
2012 MDNA
DE3 (15 weeks)

(7 weeks)AT
CH2 (21 weeks)

(12 weeks)UK

(13 weeks)US
First published: March 23, 2012
Sales: +2,000,000
2015 Rebel Heart
DE1 (15 weeks)

(5 weeks)AT
CH1 (12 weeks)

(12 weeks)UK
US2 (11 weeks)
First published: March 6, 2015
Sales: + 1,000,000
2019 Madame X
DE5 (6 weeks)
AT4 (5 weeks)
CH2 (9 weeks)
UK2 (5 weeks)
US1 (2 weeks)
First published: June 14, 2019


Madonna at the Berlinale 2008

Madonna pulled it in front of the cameras early. Since her school days, she has completed several acting courses. Some of these projects have been filmed and have nothing more than the character of simple amateur recordings. The Egg Movie , for example, is reduced to showing Madonna's free belly on which a fried egg is being fried. Artificial Light is more of a theatrical improvisation, for which all actors wrote their own texts. A Certain Sacrifice is the best-known film in the series as it was released as a scandalous video in 1984 at the first peak of Madonna's career. However, the cheap amateur production turned out to be a lengthy art film with the charm of a failed school performance.

At the same time as her breakthrough as a pop star, Madonna had her first success as an actress in the mistaken comedy Susan ... Desperately Wanted , which earned her mostly praise from critics. The following films could not repeat this success. According to criticism, Madonna's image in public did not allow her portrayal to find attention in more ambitious films such as Snake Eyes or Stormy Love . What was more striking was Madonna's instinct for the poor selection of roles that were doomed to failure from the start due to poor scripts and production (e.g. Shanghai Surprise, Body of Evidence or A Friend to Fall in Love with). For this Madonna received the Golden Raspberry several times for the worst actress and was also "awarded" as the worst actress of the century .

What worked very well in Madonna's music videos, slipping into different roles for four minutes, was only moderately convincing to the cinema-length audience. Only film roles that the viewer associated with Madonna ( Dick Tracy or Evita ) made the cash registers ring. A fact that confirmed the critics in their opinion that Madonna is only playing herself.

The tour documentary I'm Going to Tell You a Secret was not released in 2005: the film's religious message seemed too intrusive for the film distributor. After the success of the 2005 album Confessions on a Dance Floor  - and the cinematic failures of the past few years - Madonna refrained from further film projects.




In addition to film, Madonna also devoted herself to theater. Her appearances, which mostly took place in sold out houses, did not convince the critics. But there were also benevolent voices about her last performance in Up For Grabs . For this she received the Theatregoers' Choice Theater Award in 2003.

year piece Director Book / template role theatre
1986 Goose and TomTom Gregory Mosher David raven Lorraine Mitzi Newhouse Theater, Off-Broadway, New York

with Sean Penn

1988 Speed ​​the plow Gregory Mosher David Mamet Secretary Karen Royale Theater, Broadway, New York
2002 Up for grabs Laurence Boswell David Williamson Art dealer Loren Wyndham's Theater, London / West End


Dozens of books have been written about Madonna, but she is also active as a writer: Her illustrated book SEX with personal texts was created in 1992 and her children's book series was published in 2003, starting with The English Roses . There were also several authorized books for which Madonna wrote short texts.


The publication of the illustrated book SEX in 1992 caused a controversy among parts of the public. Madonna's first book is a large-format, metal-bound, erotic illustrated book. It was created in collaboration with the American fashion photographer Steven Meisel . The images varied sexual taboos and are based to a large extent on stylistic quotations from the areas of BDSM and fetish . Publication of the book was banned in some countries, including Japan and India .

  • SEX (1992) ISBN 3-453-06271-X
    Alternative German title: SEX - Erotic Fantasies. Photo book by Madonna with pictures by Steven Meisel. (With maxi CD Erotic and eight-page story in comic style: Dita in The Chelsea Girl ), Heyne, Munich.

Children's books

The mother of two Madonna presented a strong contrast to SEX eleven years later: the number one bestseller (New York Times & Barnes & Noble) The English Roses, which (according to criticism) interprets the story of her own daughter.

A series of five books developed from the first children's book. These have been illustrated by a variety of artists and are intended to convey conservative basic moral values ​​to children, which are rooted in Madonna's belief in a form of Kabbalah . Each of the books should contain a core topic and be prepared in a child-friendly manner. Billie Bargeld , the last of the children's book series, was translated into 37 languages ​​in 2005 and published in 110 countries. The proceeds from the books go entirely to grants from the Kabbalah Center- related children's foundation. The children's book series was also implemented as an audio book CD. It is read by Madonna herself.

  • The English roses (2003) ISBN 3-446-20412-1
    Original title: The English roses. Children's book, Hanser-Verlag. With illustrations by Jeffrey Fulvimari.
  • Mister Peabody's apples (2003) ISBN 3-446-20423-7
    Original title: Mr Peabody's apples. Children's book, Hanser-Verlag. With illustrations by Loren Long.
  • Jakov and the Seven Thieves (2004) ISBN 3-446-20561-6
    Original title: Yakov and the Seven Thieves. Children's book, Hanser-Verlag. With illustrations by Gennady Spirin.
  • The adventures of Abdi (2005) ISBN 3-446-20616-7
    Original title: The Adventures of Abdi. Children's book, Hanser-Verlag. With illustrations by Olga and Andrej Dugin .
  • Billie Bargeld (2005) ISBN 3-446-20512-8
    Original title: Lotsa de Casha. Children's book, Hanser-Verlag. With illustrations by Rui Paes.
  • Madonna's Five Books For Children Box Set (2005)
    Collection of the five children's books (English)
  • Madonna's Five Books For Children Audio Set (2005)
    Collection of the five children's books as audio book CDs (English)

After this series of children's books on various subjects and characters, the first children's book The English Roses was continued in its own series. The first sequel appeared in 2006: The English Roses: too good to be true (English, ISBN 978-0-670-06147-1 ). Another 12 sequels about the "English Roses" followed from 2007 to 2009 in English.

Authorized books

The following books were created in collaboration with Madonna. They are illustrated books that also contain texts or personal comments by Madonna.

  • Karl Lagerfeld and Madonna: Madonna Superstar. Photographs. Munich: Schirmer / Mosel Verlag 1988, ISBN 3-88814-278-4 .
  • Camille Paglia and Madonna: Madonna Megastar. Photographs. Munich: Schirmer / Mosel Verlag 1988, 1993², 1994³, ISBN 3-88814-498-1 .
  • Madonna: The Girlie Show. Tour book with music CD (English). Munich: Schirmer / Mosel Verlag 1992, ISBN 3-88814-498-1 .
  • Steven Klein: X-STaTIC Pro = CeSS. (Book accompanying the exhibition), 2003.
  • Madonna: Nobody Knows Me. 2003 (English, official fan club publication).

Madonna also reads an episode in:

  • Starbright Foundation: The Emperor's New Clothes: An All-Star Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale (book with audio CD), 1998 (Harcourt)


Madonna sings the song 4 Minutes live on the Sticky & Sweet Tour
Madonna sings Human Nature live on the MDNA tour
year Surname Number of concerts
1985 The Virgin Tour 40
1987 Who's That Girl World Tour 37
1990 Blond Ambition Tour 57
1993 The Girlie Show World Tour 39
2001 Drowned World Tour 47
2004 Re-Invention World Tour 56
2006 Confessions Tour 60
2008-2009 Sticky & Sweet Tour 85
2012 MDNA tour 88
2015-2016 Rebel Heart Tour 82
2019-2020 Madame X Tour 81

Musical successes and records

In the course of her career, Madonna repeatedly set a series of new world records that went far beyond her musical successes. Her children's book The English Roses from 2003 is the fastest-selling picture book for children to date. and her illustrated book SEX the best-selling coffee table book.

However, Madonna achieved her greatest success in music. Below is an overview of their most important musical successes:

Record sales

  • With over 300 million records sold, Madonna is the most commercially successful singer in the world and the fourth most successful artist after Elvis Presley , the Beatles and Michael Jackson . For this she received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records several times . Last in 2014. It is currently estimated that Madonna has sold over 335 million records.
  • According to the World Association of the Phono Industry ( IFPI ) and Warner Bros. alone, the number of albums she has sold worldwide is over 200 million, of which she has sold over 64.5 million in the USA alone. Along with the Rolling Stones , Pink Floyd , Michael Jackson , Elvis Presley and the Beatles, she is one of only six performers worldwide who can boast album sales of over 200 million.
  • Her albums The Immaculate Collection (1990), True Blue (1986), Like a Virgin (1984) and Ray of Light (1998) are among the world's best-selling albums.
  • Her album The Immaculate Collection is the world's best-selling greatest hits album by a solo artist with sales of 30 million units.
  • In the US, Like a Virgin (1984) became the first album by a singer, which sold over five million times. In 1985, the album went five times platinum. To date, over 21 million copies of the album have been sold worldwide.
  • Her two albums, The Immaculate Collection (1990) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005) are among the 50 best-selling albums in the UK.
  • Until the release of Adeles 21 , The Immaculate Collection (1990) was the best-selling album by a singer in the UK, with over 3.7 million copies sold.
  • True Blue (1986) is the world's most successful studio album by a singer of the 1980s, with sales of almost 25 million copies. It topped the charts in 28 countries and brought Madonna her first entry in the Guinness Book of Records. It is also the best-selling album by a foreign artist in Italy, with over 1.5 million copies sold.
  • With over 17.8 million singles sold, Madonna has sold more singles in the UK than any other singer.
  • Justify My Love (1990) is the world's best-selling single that was released on VHS.
  • Her album MDNA , released in 2012, went seven times platinum in Russia. It was the first time that a non-Russian artist received this award.

Chart successes

  • In Great Britain, Madonna is by far the most successful artist in chart history with 63 top 10 hits, 13 number one hits and 12 number one albums. Between 1985 and 1994, 35 of her songs even reached the top 10 of the charts without interruption.
  • In the United States, Madonna has 38 more top 10 hits than any other artist with 38 songs, 12 of which topped the charts. This puts her behind the Beatles in second place among the most successful performers in the history of the Billboard charts.
  • Between 1983 and 1989 Madonna was able to place 17 of her singles in the top 10 of the American Billboard charts. In doing so, she broke the Beatles' long-term record .
  • Madonna holds the record for having the most number one hits on a single Billboard chart. It made it to the top of the Billboard Dance Club chart 47 times.
  • With a total of 164 number one hits (as of 2020) spread across all Billboard charts, Madonna had more number one hits than any other artist. Most recently her studio album Madame X (2019) reached the top of the US album charts and her single I Don't Search, I Find (2020) reached number 1 on the Billboard Dance Club charts.
  • In 2013, the US Billboard magazine named Madonna “Top Artist Of The 1980s” as part of an analysis . So she was more successful in the 80s than her greatest musical competitors Michael Jackson , Prince and Whitney Houston .
  • With 62 songs (including 26 in the top 10), Madonna is the most successful solo artist in the German singles charts, according to Billboard .
  • Hung Up climbed to the top of the charts in 41 countries in 2005. This makes Hung Up the single that has reached number 1 in most countries in the world.
  • Madonna is the only international artist who has ever appeared in the top 10 of the Japanese album charts with two albums at the same time. She achieved this in 2012 with MDNA and the compilation The Complete Studio Albums .
  • With 34 consecutive weeks at the top, True Blue (1986) stayed at number 1 longer than any other album in the history of the European album charts .
  • Madonna holds the record for being the oldest female artist on both the UK singles and album charts. She succeeded in doing this in 2005 with Hung Up and the accompanying album Confessions on a Dance Floor .


  • Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008) and MDNA Tour (2012) occupy places 1 and 2 in the list of the world's most successful tours by a singer. With her Rebel Heart Tour (2015), she achieved her breakthrough as the most successful solo touring act to date . Overall, Madonna grossed over $ 1.3 billion from her world tours.
  • Madonna already received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for her Confessions Tour (2006): With revenues of 193.7 million US dollars and 1.2 million tickets sold, she was the most successful world tour by a singer to date. Madonna broke this record two years later when she grossed over $ 408 million on her own Sticky & Sweet tour .
  • Her appearance in Helsinki, Finland, as part of the Sticky & Sweet Tour on August 6, 2009, with 85,000 tickets sold, is the largest ever concert by an artist in Scandinavia.
  • On August 29, 1987, Madonna performed in Paris in front of over 131,000 people as part of her Who's That Girl World Tour . A record unbroken in France to this day. She also performed on November 6, 1993 during her The Girlie Show World Tour in Rio de Janeiro in front of around 120,000 people. This makes her the only solo artist in music history who has performed twice in front of over 100,000 people at her concerts.

Other records

  • At $ 125 million between 2012 and 2013, Madonna holds the record for the highest annual income by a musician.
  • Madonna is the richest person in the music business with a net worth of roughly $ 1 billion.
  • With Evita (1996), Madonna holds the record for most costume changes (85) in a film.
  • Between 2000 and 2009 Madonna was the most played performer on British radio.
  • Her Super Bowl Halftime Show (2012) was the most-watched TV event in the United States to date, with over 114 million viewers.
  • Her concert in London as part of the Don't Tell Me promo tour is still the most-watched concert on the internet with 11 million viewers on the internet.
  • With a total of 19 entries, Madonna holds the record for the most entries by a singer in the Guinness Book of Records.

See also: Madonna (Artist) / Music Sales Awards and Madonna (Artist) / Discography


Overview of Madonna's previous awards.

Madonna with the Golden Globe Award for the best film song 2012


A list of the promotional activities (including benefit and promotion).

  • 1985: MTV ( I Want My MTV , TV spot)
  • 1987: Panasonic (Japan, TV spot) (song Open Your Heart )
  • 1987: Mitsubishi (Japan, 3 TV spots) (Song La Isla Bonita )
  • 1988: Musicians For Life (USA, TV spots)
  • 1989: Pepsi (worldwide campaign, TV commercial. Canceled after the Like A Prayer scandal )
  • 1990: Pioneer (Japan, TV commercial)
  • 1990: Rock The Vote (USA, TV spot) (Song Vote / Vogue )
  • 1991: Good Morning America (USA, TV commercial)
  • 1991: Red Cross (USA, TV commercial)
  • 1992: Pure Estiquers (Japan, 2 TV spots)
  • 1992: Global Warming (USA, TV commercial)
  • 1992: Rock The Vote (USA, TV spot)
  • 1995: Takara / June Legend ( Japan , 3 TV spots) (Song I'm pure )
  • 1995: Versace (Worldwide, Ads)
  • 1996: Environmental Awareness (USA, TV commercial)
  • 1999: Ensemble (France, TV spot)
  • 1999: Max Factor / Ellen Betrix (worldwide campaign, 4 TV spots)
  • 1999: Ebel : Tag Heuer Swiss Tag Watch (advertisements)
  • 1999: GAP (Song Dress You Up , TV spot)
  • 2000: NSPCC (USA, TV commercial)
  • 2001: BMW (Internet, Film: The Hire: Star)
  • 2001: Microsoft Windows XP (Song Ray Of Light for TV commercial)
  • 2001: Madonna Condoms (packaging based on a nude photograph from 1979 by Martin Schreiber. Legal, but not authorized)
  • 2002: Oxygen (US TV station) (USA, TV commercial)
  • 2002: Yahoo (Internet)
  • 2003: Estée Lauder : Beyond Paradise (Song Love Profusion and Promotion)
  • 2003: GAP (Worldwide, TV spot, Song Into the Hollywood Groove)
  • 2005: Versace (Worldwide, Ads)
  • 2005: Moto ROKR iTunes / Motorola (Internet, TV commercial, Song Hung Up)
  • 2006: H&M
  • 2007: H&M
  • 2007: Ariake / Just perfect / Think Family , (TV spots)
  • 2007: Seat
  • 2009: Louis Vuitton (handbags)
  • 2010: Dolce & Gabbana
  • 2014: Versace (Worldwide, Ads)
  • 2016: Pepsi (Song Express Yourself )



The following non-fiction books deal with Madonna and are not authorized.

  • Matthew Rettenmund: Encyclopedia Madonnica . St. Martin's Press, 1995, ISBN 0-312-11782-5 .
  • Mick St. Michael: Madonna, In my own words . Palmyra, 2001, ISBN 3-930378-37-X .
  • Michael Craig: Who's That Girl: The Ultimate Madonna Trivia Book . Writers Club Press, 2001.
  • Nicole Claro: Madonna . Chelsea House Publishing, 1994, ISBN 0-7910-2355-9 .
  • Norman King: Madonna: The Book . Morrow, 1991.
  • Andy Koopmans: Madonna . Lucent Books, 2003, ISBN 1-59018-138-7 .
  • Jan-Oliver Decker: Madonna: Where's That Girl - Star image and eroticism in media space 2005, ISBN 3-933598-90-7 .
  • TV scandals . UVK-Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-89669-470-7 .
  • Christopher Ciccone, Wendy Leight: My sister and I Madonna . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2008, ISBN 978-3-89602-867-9 .
  • Randy J. Taraborrelli: Madonna: An Intimate Biography . Simon & Schuster, 2002, ISBN 0-7432-2880-4 .


Web links

Commons : Madonna  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: Madonna  - Quotes

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