Madonna Net Worth
Madonna is a controversial singer who has often used events and concert arenas to express her opinions. Her music is often just as controversial as her appearances. She is originally from Italy, and at 59-years of age, she is estimated to have a net worth of $580 million.
Who Is Madonna?
Pop music singer Madonna was born in Bay City, Michigan on August 16, 1958. In 1981, she went solo as a pop singer and became a sensation on the then male-dominated ’80s music scene. By 1991, she had achieved 21 Top 10 hits in the United States and sold more than 70 million albums internationally. In January 2008, she was named the world’s wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine.
Madonna Early Life
Singer, performer and actress Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958, to parents Silvio “Tony” Ciccone and Madonna Fortin. Tony, the son of Italian immigrants, was the first of his family to go to college, where he earned a degree in engineering. Madonna’s mother, an x-ray technician and former dancer, was of French Canadian descent.
After their marriage in 1955, the couple moved to Pontiac, Michigan, to be close to Tony’s job as a defense engineer. Madonna was born three years later, during a visit with family in Bay City. The third of six children, Madonna learned early on how to handle her role as the middle child, admitting that she was “the sissy of the family” who often used her feminine wiles to get her way.
Her parents’ strict observation of the Catholic faith played a large role in Madonna’s childhood. “My mother was a religious zealot,” Madonna explains. “There were always priests and nuns in my house growing up.” Many elements of Catholic iconography—including her mother’s statues of the Sacred Heart, the habits of the nuns at her Catholic elementary school, and the Catholic altar at which she and her family prayed daily—later became the subject of Madonna’s most controversial works.
Madonna Family Tragedy
Another heavy influence on Madonna’s early life was her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during her pregnancy with Madonna’s youngest sister. Treatment had to be delayed until the baby reached full term, but by then the disease had grown too strong. On December 1, 1963, at the age of 30, Madonna’s mother passed away. Madonna was only 5 years old at the time of her mother’s death.
The loss of her mother significantly affected Madonna’s adolescence. Haunted by the memories of her mother’s frailty and passive demeanor during her final days, Madonna was determined to make her own voice heard. “I think the biggest reason I was able to express myself and not be intimidated was by not having a mother,” she says. “For example, mothers teach you manners. And I absolutely did not learn any of those rules and regulations.”
She fought especially hard against the rules imposed by her stepmother, Joan Gustafson, who met Madonna’s father while working as the family housekeeper. Madonna says Gustafson often made her take care of the younger children in the household, a task she greatly resented. “I really saw myself as the quintessential Cinderella,” Madonna later said. “I think that’s when I really thought about how I wanted to do something else and get away from all that.” She rebelled against her traditional upbringing by turning her conservative clothing into revealing outfits, frequenting underground gay nightclubs and rejecting her religious background.
Madonna Music and Dance
Madonna balanced the insubordinate side of her personality with a drive for perfectionism and high achievement. She was a straight-A student, cheerleader and disciplined dancer who graduated from high school a semester earlier than her peers. In 1976, her hard work earned her the attentions of the University of Michigan, which offered her a full scholarship to their dance program.
In 1977, during her undergraduate studies at Michigan, Madonna was awarded a six-week scholarship to study with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, followed by a rare opportunity to perform with choreographer Pearl Lang in 1978. At the urging of her dance instructor, the budding star dropped out of college after only two years of study in order to move to New York and further her dance career.
Once in New York, Madonna paid her rent with a handful of odd jobs, including nude art modeling; serving at the Russian Tea Room; and performing for the American Dance Center. In 1979, Madonna began dating Dan Gilroy, one of the founding members of a ska influenced pop-punk band called Breakfast Club. Gilroy introduced Madonna to the head of a vaudeville review in Paris, and she spent some time in France working as a showgirl. During this trip she fell in love with the combination of singing and performing.
When she returned to the States in 1980, she joined Gilroy’s band as its drummer and later became lead singer. Madonna formed several different bands of her own over the next few years, including Madonna & The Sky, The Millionaires and Emmy.
Madonna Rise to Pop Stardom
In 1981, Madonna decided to go solo and hired manager Camille Barbone of Gotham Records to help her get her singing career on track. Camille showed Madonna how to navigate the male-dominated world of the music business, and helped put together a studio band that accentuated the budding star’s hip style. Friend Stephen Bray, a musician in her band, wrote her first hit, “Everybody,” and Madonna used her brash business style to get the recordings to New York music producer Mark Kamins. Kamins then helped Madonna score a record deal with Sire Records. “Everybody” hit No. 1 on the dance charts in 1982.
Using the success of the song as leverage, Madonna convinced Sire to produce the full-length album Madonna in 1983. The album was a slow but steady success, and included the hit singles “Borderline,” “Lucky Star” and “Holiday.” Soon, girls all over the country were imitating Madonna’s distinct sense of fashion, which included fishnet stockings, lace lingerie, fingerless gloves and large crucifix necklaces. “Holiday” also earned the singer an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in 1984, where she told the host that her main ambition was “to rule the world.”
This intensity and determination was apparent in her 1985 follow-up album, Like a Virgin, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Chart and went platinum within a month. The title track, produced by Nile Rodgers, would later be listed as Madonna’s biggest pop hit of all time, with the song remaining on the top of the charts for six weeks. She had two other Top 5 hits from the record: the tongue-in-cheek, empowering “Material Girl” and the dance ditty with bounce, “Angel.”
She also starred in her first mainstream feature film, Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), and performed the soundtrack’s single, “Into the Groove,” which hit No. 1 on the U.S. dance charts. Her next single “Crazy for You”, which she performed for the 1985 film Vision Quest, also became a No. 1 hit. She then started her first music tour, The Virgin Tour, and watched 17 consecutive songs climb into the Top 10 on the Billboard Chart while also creating a wave of iconic music videos, constantly re-crafting her persona.
In the next five years, Madonna’s life was a whirlwind of activity. On August 16, 1985, she married actor Sean Penn and co-starred with him in the film Shanghai Surprise (1986). She then went on to star in three more movies over the next few years: Who’s That Girl (1987), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and Dick Tracy (1990). Madonna’s soundtrack album I’m Breathless: Music From and Inspired by the Film Dick Tracy resulted in two Top 10 hits: “Vogue” and “Hanky Panky.” She also released four more hit albums: True Blue (1986), Who’s that Girl (1987), You Can Dance (1987) and Like a Prayer (1989).
Madonna Personal Life
Madonna became a mother in 1996, giving birth to Lourdes Maria (Lola) Ciccone Leon, whom she had with her lover and personal trainer, Carlos Leon. In 2000, she married British director Guy Ritchie and gave birth to their son, Rocco John Ritchie, the same year. Madonna and Ritchie split in 2008.
On the eve of her 50th birthday in 2008, Madonna faced more challenges in her personal life. She spent much of the previous year fighting allegations that she circumvented traditional Malawi laws to bring home her newly adopted son, David Banda, whom she had been raising since 2006. Critics accused Madonna of using her vast wealth to fast-track the adoption process, a charge she vigorously denied. A coalition of 67 local rights groups challenged the interim custody order on the grounds that existing laws in Malawi do not allow for international adoptions.
Madonna’s application to permanently adopt the boy was approved by Malawai’s high court on May 28, 2008, the pop star’s lawyer said. “It’s a beautiful and positive judgment,” Alan Chinula told reporters.”Finally the court has granted Madonna full adoption rights of the boy. … It’s all over, thank God.” She decided to adopt from Malawai again, and in June 2009, after another legal battle, was granted custody of Mercy James.
In February 2017, Madonna announced she had adopted 4-year-old twins, Estere and Stelle, from Malawi, posting a photo with the girls on her Instagram account.
In 2017, Madonna attempted to legally halt the auction of several of her personal items, then in the possession of ex-personal assistant Darlene Lutz. However, the singer had previously signed a release from “any and all” future claims against her former friend and employee, and as such a judge ruled that the disputed auction could continue the following year.
The list of personal items included panties and a hairbrush, but the one that drew the most attention was a break-up letter from former boyfriend Tupac Shakur. In the letter, the rapper expresses his feelings that while dating a black man likely boosted her reputation for being “exciting,” he only stood to suffer for being involved with a white woman. “I never meant to hurt you,” he writes. “Please understand my previous position as that of a young man with limited experience with an extremely famous sex symbol.”
Madonna Bio Info
Full name: Madonna Louise Ciccone
Born: 16 August 1958 (age 59 years), Bay City, Michigan, United States
Children: Lourdes Leon, Rocco Ritchie, David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie, Mercy James, Estere Ciccone, Stelle Ciccone
Spouse: Guy Ritchie (m. 2000–2008), Sean Penn (m. 1985–1989)
- I think my biggest flaw is my insecurity. I’m terribly insecure. I’m plagued with insecurities 24/7. – Madonna
- When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it. – Madonna
- I always felt like I was a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t fit in anywhere. – Madonna
- I am the result of the good choices I’ve made and the bad choices. – Madonna
- I really saw myself as the quintessential Cinderella. I think that’s when I really thought about how I wanted to do something else and get away from all that. – Madonna
Madonna Videos on YouTube
Here’s a YouTube video taking on Madonna’s net worth and the overview of her life.
Madonna talks about life, love, parenting and music in a January 1999 interview on CNN’s Larry King Live.