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August 16, 1958
Madonna Louise Ciccone is born to Silvio "Tony" and Madonna Ciccone in Bay City, Michigan, where her mother is visiting. Madonna spends her early years in Pontiac, Michigan, a Detroit suburb.

A straight-A student, Madonna graduates from Rochester Adams High School and receives a dance scholarship to attend the University of Michigan.

After four years of struggling to earn money dancing, acting and singing, Madonna signs her first record deal with Sire Records. Her first single, "Everybody," is a hit on the dance club scene.

"Borderline" becomes Madonna's first Top 10 single. Later in the year, she wins two MTV Video Music Awards and gives a memorable performance of "Like a Virgin." An album of the same name follows in November.

Madonna's third album, "True Blue," is released. Religious groups attack the song "Papa Don't Preach"; the lyrics concern a young unwed mother wanting to keep her baby. She also appears with husband Penn in the movie "Shanghai Surprise," a huge flop.

Madonna embarks on her "Blonde Ambition" tour. She also releases the album "I'm Breathless," with songs from the movie "Dick Tracy." The year ends with the release of a greatest hits album, "The Immaculate Collection."

Madonna wins her first Grammy, best long-form video for "Madonna: Blonde Ambition World Tour Live." She also becomes an "author," delivering the steamy pictorial book called "Sex." Later that year, she signs a contract with Time Warner and starts her own music and film label, Maverick Records. The label launches the careers of Candlebox, Alanis Morissette and Prodigy.

Madonna scores with the musical "Evita," winning a Golden Globe for her role as Argentine first lady Eva Peron. During the filming, she discovers she is pregnant with the child of boyfriend Carlos Leon. On October 14, a daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, is born.

"Beautiful Stranger" wins Madonna another Grammy. The song appears on the soundtrack of the 1999 movie "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."The singer announces she is pregnant, this time with the child of British director Guy Ritchie. She gives birth to Rocco Ritchie in August, the same month her new album, "Music," is released. Madonna weds Ritchie at the end of the year in Scotland.

Madonna's mother dies from cancer.

Madonna drops out of the University of Michigan and moves to New York City.

Madonna's self-titled debut album is released. The song "Holiday" earns her an appearance on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand." After her performance, she declares that she wants "to rule the world."

Madonna wins praise for her appearance in the movie "Desperately Seeking Susan." In the same year, the singer marries actor Sean Penn in a Malibu, California, ceremony.

Madonna files for divorce from Penn. Later in the year, she releases a new album, "Like a Prayer," and signs a multimillion deal to appear in Pepsi commercials. The ads are pulled because of controversy over religious references in her "Like a Prayer" video.

"Truth or Dare," a documentary about the "Blonde Ambition" tour, premieres, giving fans a rare behind-the-scenes look at the "real" Madonna. Later that year, MTV bans the video "Justify My Love" for explicit sexual content. The video is aired, in its entirety, on ABC's "Nightline" and is sold in video stores across the nation. The singer also receives the Award of Courage from the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

The album "Bedtime Stories" is released. The single "Take a Bow" becomes Madonna's most successful song to date, spending nine weeks at No. 1. This more traditional approach marks a departure from her "Sex" years.

Madonna receives three Grammys for the 1998 "Ray of Light" album -- best pop album, best short-form video and best dance recording.

Madonna embarks on the "Drowned World" tour, her first world tour in eight years.

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