Madonna Pictures - Madonna Biography

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Madonna holds her adopted son, David Banda, at an orphan care center run by Raising Malawi, a grassroots initiative by Madonna, in Mphendula Village, about 40 km from the capital Lilongwe April 19, 2007
Madonna holds her adopted son, David Banda, at an orphan care center run by Raising Malawi, a grassroots initiative by Madonna, in Mphendula Village, about 40 km from the capital Lilongwe April 19, 2007

Madonna Biography

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was the third of eight children born into a large Italian family in Michigan. Her father, Sylvio Ciccone, was a design engineer for General Motors, and her mother was Madonna Ciccone. She died when Madonna was six years old.

Madonna attended the University of Michigan on a dance scholarship for two years before heading to New York City to become a ballet dancer. She danced for the Patrick Hernandez Revue before teaming with Dan Gilroy to form the band, Breakfast Club. She later formed the band, Emmy, with Stephen Bray. Their first two singles, "Everybody" and "Physical Attraction" became club hits in New York. The next single, "Holiday," became her first Top Ten hit. Since then Madonna has had a spectacular career in show business as a singer, actress, and producer. Through her ability to evolve with the audiences, she has had more number one singles than any other female artist, eleven in all. Her song, "Rescue Me" off of THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION, became the highest-debuting single by a female artist in U.S. chart history, entering at number 15. She has won numerous MTV Music Awards, five Grammys, and a Golden Globe for her performance in EVITA. In 1992 she signed with Time Warner to create her own record label, Maverick.

Madonna continues to record music and act in films, splitting her time between Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and London. She has a daughter, Lourdes Maria, whom she calls "Lola" and is expecting another baby in late 2000.


1958 She was born in Bay City, Michigan. (August 16)

1964 Her mother died of breast cancer.

1977 She moved to New York City.

1979 She became part of the Patrick Hernandez Revue.

1980 She formed the band Emmy with Stephen Bray.

1982 She was signed by Sire Records.

1983 MADONNA - album

1984 LIKE A VIRGIN - album; VISION QUEST - film

1985 She married Sean Penn.; DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN - film

1986 TRUE BLUE - album; SHANGHAI SURPRISE - film

1987 WHO'S THAT GIRL - album & film; YOU CAN DANCE - album

1989 She and Sean Penn divorced.; LIKE A PRAYER - album; BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY - film


1991 TRUTH OR DARE - documentary

1992 She won a Grammy for Best Music Video (Long Form) for MADONNA: BLONDE AMBITION WORLD TOUR LIVE.; SEX - photographic book; EROTICA - ALBUM; SHADOWS & FOG, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN - films She signed with Time Warner to create Maverick, her own record label.


1994 BEDTIME STORIES - album


1996 EVITA -album & film; She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture for EVITA.; Her daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, was born. (October 14); GIRL 6 - film

1998 RAY OF LIGHT; She won three Grammy Awards for RAY OF LIGHT in the categories, Dance Recording, Pop Album, and Music Video.

1999 She won a Grammy for a Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media for "Beautiful Stranger."

2000 THE NEXT BEST THING - film; MUSIC - album; She announced in March that she is due with her second child.

Personal life

Relationships and family

Early relationships and first marriage
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Madonna dated Dan Gilroy, with whom she formed the band Breakfast Club. In the early 1980s, she also dated musician Stephen Bray, who later co-produced songs such as "Into the Groove" and "Express Yourself", artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, DJ and record producer Mark Kamins, and musician Jellybean Benitez, who produced tracks and remixed her debut album Madonna.

While filming the music video for "Material Girl" in 1985, Madonna began dating actor Sean Penn. The two were married later that year on Madonna's twenty-seventh birthday. Their relationship was marred by Penn's frequent outbursts against the press, leading the couple to be dubbed the “Poison Penns.” After filing and withdrawing divorce papers in December 1987, Madonna and Penn separated on New Year's Eve of 1988 after allegations of abuse on Penn's part, and were officially divorced in September 1989. Of her marriage to Penn, Madonna later told Tatler, "I was completely obsessed with my career and not ready to be generous in any shape or form."

Post-divorce relationships, motherhood, and remarriage
After the divorce from Penn was made official in 1989, Madonna began a highly-publicized relationship with Warren Beatty while working on the film Dick Tracy early in 1989. Despite rumors that the two had become engaged in May 1990, the couple's relationship seemed to have ended by the summer. In a 1991 interview with Vanity Fair, Madonna said, "I'd go, 'Warren, did you really chase that girl for a year?!?' And he’d say, 'Nah, it's all lies.' I should have known better. I was unrealistic, but then, you always think you're going to be the one."

In late 1990, Madonna dated Tony Ward, a young bisexual model and porn star who starred in her music videos for "Cherish" (1989) and "Justify My Love" (1990). Their relationship ended by early 1991,and Madonna later began an eight-month relationship with rapper Vanilla Ice, who appeared later in her Sex book.

In 1992; Madonna dated actor John Enos, her bodyguard James Albright, and in 1994 went out with basketball player Dennis Rodman for four months.

In September 1994, while walking in Central Park, Madonna met fitness trainer Carlos Leon who became her personal trainer and lover. On October 14, 1996, Madonna gave birth to the couple's child, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. The couple ended their relationship in 1997 Madonna then began dating Andy Bird, who sold his story to the newspapers in a tell-all about their eighteen-month relationship in late 2000/early 2001.

On August 11, 2000, Madonna gave birth to a son, Rocco John Ritchie, with Guy Ritchie, whom she had met in 1999 through mutual friends Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. On December 22, 2000, Madonna and Ritchie were married in Scotland. As of 2007, Madonna resides in Marylebone, London and her country estate in Wiltshire, with Ritchie and their children.

In March, 2007 Crown Publishing canceled a tell-all book deal, thought to be worth 5 million dollars, with Madonna and Ritchie's former nanny Melissa Dumas. The book claims that Madonna and Ritchie have a cold and distant relationship and that they are both fixated on money and restrictive dietary habits.

Post Adoption Pregnancy
- German Magazine 'In Touch' broke a story that Madonna is possibly pregnant with her third biological child.

Over the span of her lengthy career, Madonna also has been rumored to be romantically linked to numerous men and women including John F. Kennedy, Jr., Sandra Bernhard, Prince and Esai Morales in 1988; Lenny Kravitz in 1990; Michael Jackson in 1991; José Canseco, Ingrid Casares and Big Daddy Kane in 1992; Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Kiedis in 1993; Charles Barkley and Tupac Shakur in 1994; Chris Paciello in 1997; Billy Zane in 1998; David Blaine and Jenny Shimizu in 1999 before her marriage with Ritchie. But most of these affairs are unconfirmed so far.

David Banda adoption
On October 10, 2006, Madonna filed adoption papers for a Malawian baby boy named David Banda, whom her family renamed David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie, born September 24, 2005, during her trip to an orphanage in Malawi.

After a passport and visa were issued for the child, Banda was flown out of Malawi on October 16.The adoption raised public controversy about whether special treatment was given to Madonna considering the fact that Malawian law normally requires one year of residence for potential adoptive parents.

Madonna appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 25, 2006, to refute the allegations. During the half-hour interview, the singer claimed that there are no written adoption laws in Malawi that regulate foreign adoption and that she had been planning to adopt for two years. She also claimed that Banda had been in critical condition and was suffering from pneumonia after surviving malaria and tuberculosis when she had found him in the orphanage. In addition, Madonna blamed the media for "doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just the orphans of Malawi", by discouraging people from adopting children from African nations. She stated, "I wanted to go into a Third World country—I wasn't sure where—and give a life to a child who might not otherwise have had one."

On October 22, 2006, it was reported that Yohane Banda, David Banda's birth father, did not understand what "adoption" meant and that he had not realized that he was giving up his son "for good." He had assumed that this arrangement was more like a fostering agreement. A few days later, after the Winfrey interview, he said, "These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing." He was also reported to say, "They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband." On November 1, 2006, Madonna responded to Banda's comments on an Dateline NBC interview with Meredith Vieira by saying that Yohane Banda had known what he was doing, having refused to accept her offer to financially support him and the child without adopting the child.

Because of Malawi laws, Madonna and Guy Ritchie remain David Banda's foster parents for the required eighteen-month period.

Kabbalah Center
Since the late-1990s, Madonna has become a devotee of the Kabbalah Centre and a disciple of its controversial head Rabbi Philip Berg and his wife Karen. Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie attend Kabbalah classes and have been reported to have adopted a number of aspects of the movement associated with Judaism. The media has reported that Madonna has taken on the Biblical name of Esther and has donated millions of dollars to Kabbalah Centres in London, New York, and Los Angeles. She no longer performs on Friday nights because this is the time when the Jewish Sabbath begins. Madonna wears a red string and has visited Israel with members of the Kabbalah Centre to celebrate some of the Jewish holidays. She also studies personally with her own private-tutor, Rabbi Eitan Yardeni, whose wife Sarah Yardeni runs Madonna's favorite charitable project, "Spirituality for Kids", a subsidiary of the Kabbalah Centre.Madonna reportedly donated $21 million towards a new Kabbalah school for children.

Controversy erupted again well before the release of her most recent album Confessions on a Dance Floor. Many Israeli rabbis condemned Madonna and the forthcoming song "Isaac" (tenth on its track listing) because they believed the song to be a tribute to Rabbi Isaac Luria, also known as Yitzhak Luria (1534–1572), one of the greatest Kabbalists of all time, and claimed that Jewish law forbids using a holy rabbi's name for profit. In interviews, Madonna had called this song: "The Binding of Isaac" and rumors spread that it was based on the major episode in the life of the Hebrew patriarch Isaac. Despite continued accusations that the song is about Isaac Luria, Madonna has repeatedly denied such accusations, claiming she could not think of a title for the song and, therefore, named it after Yitzhak (Isaac) Sinwani. In the song, Madonna sings with Sinwani, an Israeli singer, who is chanting a Yemenite Jewish song. Said Madonna: "The album isn't even out, so how could Jewish scholars in Israel know what my song is about? I don't know enough about Isaac Luria to write a song, though I've learned a bit in my studies."

Madonna has openly defended her Kabbalah studies by stating, for example:

“ I wouldn't say studying Kabbalah for eight years goes under the category or falls under the category of being a fad or a trend. Now there might be people who are interested in it because they think it's trendy, but I can assure you that studying Kabbalah is actually a very challenging thing to do. It requires a lot of work, a lot of reading, a lot of time, a lot of commitment and a lot of discipline. ”

Furthermore, Madonna said in a BBC interview that she believes Christianity is intolerant of questioning, whereas Kabbalah is not. Madonna has also defended Kabbalah against detractors who claim it is a cult designed to extort money from followers.

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