Genre: Pop, Dance
Hometown: Bay City, Michigan
Awards: 7 Grammy Awards, 20 MTV VMA Awards
Albums: Madonna (1983); Like a Virgin (1984); True Blue (1986); Like a Prayer (1989); Erotica (1992); Bedtime Stories (1994); Ray of Light (1998); Music (2000); American Life (2003); Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005); Hard Candy (2008)
Hits: "Like a Virgin," "Material Girl," "Crazy for You," "Live to Tell," "Papa Don't Preach," "Open Your Heart," "Who's That Girl," "Like a Prayer," "Vogue," "Justify My Love," "This Used to Be My Playground," "Take a Bow," "Music," "4 Minutes"
Other: Top selling female recording artist of all time.
Every once in a while there's an entertainer that transcends genre's and generations, and over the last 30 years nobody has fit the bill more than Madonna. Since she burst on the scene with her provocative lyrics and unique public persona, she has gone on to be one of the best-selling artists of all time and has been a staple of the music scene, even influencing acts of today and certainly beyond.
After toiling in obscurity throughout much of the late '70s and early '80s, Madonna got her big break with her self-titled debut. Released in 1983, the album was a smash hit and became one of the most popular albums of the year, eventually cracking the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts.
The record featured a number of now-classic hits including "Everybody," "Borderline," "Holiday," and "Lucky Star." As a debut album it was certainly impressive, but Madonna's presence in the music would only get bigger with each album.
Madonna's second album, 1984's Like a Virgin, remains one of the seminal records of the decade. Along with the iconic title track, the album helped cement her place in pop music thanks to tracks like "Material Girl" and "Dress You Up."
As she moved on throughout the rest of the '80s, Madonna joined Michael Jackson in being one of the true icons of the decade. Over the next several years, her list of hits kept growing and growing with songs like "Papa Don't Preach" and "Like a Prayer" sparking controversy and earning rave reviews.
Fresh off her whirlwind '80s, in which many considered her to be the artist of the decade, Madonna kept it up through the '90s, even starring in a number of movies, including the classics A League of Their Own and Evita. However, though she was broadening her appeal, her music didn't suffer and the 1998 album Ray of Light remains one of her best.
Even as Madonna entered into her 40s, she did not let up and songs including a unique cover of "American Pie," and the dance anthem "Music," made her a star in the new millennium. Now, it's tough to find someone who hasn't been a fan of the original Queen of Pop.