Madonna: Her Career Then & Now

Madonna: Her Career Then & Now
August 16, 2020 - 14:05 / Cynthia Springer

Madonna is one of the most iconic figures of the 21st century. She's widely known for being the "Queen of Pop" and forming herself into an eclectic entertainer over the last twenty years! Check out how she originally began her career and turned herself into one of the wealthiest artists in the music industry...

She's one of the most celebrated performers of all time. Madonna has been nominated for an astonishing 638 awards and has won 218 of these. But, Madonna Louise Ciccone was actually born and raised in a rather small town of Michigan on August 16, 1958.

Madonna: Career Beginnings

Madonna grew up with 5 other siblings in an Italian Catholic family. Upon graduating high school, she received a dancing scholarship for the University of Michigan but dropped out in 1978 to pursue bigger dreams in New York City

Singer Madonna in 1990.

Madonna had always been the rebellious type, but also a Grade-A student growing up. Many thought of her as a provocative but intelligent woman. She moved to New York with $35 in her pocket and started as a backup dancer for many performers. Between 1979 and 1981, she created various bands with different performers, which is eventually how she was noticed by a big name record producer.

Madonna: Her Launch into Stardom

By the time she signed on with the record company, Sire, she had many popular singles including "Everybody" and "Burning Up" which turned out to be Billboard hits. By 1983, she already developed her own self-titled album, Madonna, and the following year Like a Virgin (1984).

Madonna in 1985 as she released Like a Virgin.

Like a Virgin was an international success, becoming number one in countries like Germany, New Zealand, and Spain. It was also the first album in the U.S. to sell over 5 million copies by a female. Madonna had not only become influentially powerful with her music but also her wild style consisting of lace gloves and fishnet stockings. 

Madonna's First Tour

By 1985, Madonna had set off to start her first North American tour, The Virgin Tour, which was headlined by The Beastie Boys. By this time, Madonna was already huge in her music, so much that she had hardcore female fans who would mimic her outfits and style. The following year, she would release True Blue, which had hits like "Papa Don't Preach".

Madonna performs for the "Re-Invention" World Tour 2004in California.

During the mid-80s, she also began her acting career. However, it wasn't until 1990 where she played the title role alongside Warren Beatty in Dick Tracy, eventually earning her a Saturn Award for Best Actress. Her life didn't slow down after this role! She continued touring the same year for her Blonde Ambition World Tour, where she won her first Grammy Award: Best Long Form Music Video.

Madonna poses with one of her four Grammy awards at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

More Accomplishments for Madonna

During the early '90s, Madonna continued entertaining between album releases, tours, and movies. In 1992, she starred in a female baseball film, A League of Their Own, which did exceedingly well in the box office. In 1996, Madonna starred in a musical called Evita, which depicted the First Lady of Argentina and was also highly praised by critics. The award this time: a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Time and time again, Madonna would prove herself as a female powerhouse in the entertainment industry. She came out with further albums in the 2000s, such as American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor. She's performed for multiple charity events, headlined for the Super Bowl, and is constantly on tour, all while raising six kids. Her most recent album, Madame X, was released in June 2019 and is inspired by the Fado-style music she hears in the country she lives in, Portugal.