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Madonna
(August 16, 1958 - living) U.S.A.

Madonna

Cultural icon - singer, musician

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Born Veronica Louise Ciccone in Bay City, Michigan, into an Italian, Roman Catholic family, and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Madonna briefly studied music and dance in Michigan and Nort Carolina.

Madonna moved to New York City in the late 1970s for a career in modern dance. She studied with renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey, joined up with the Patrick Hernandez Revue, formed a pop/dance band called "Breakfast Club" and then began working with then boyfriend Stephen Bray on recording several disco oriented songs.

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The song Holiday (1983) and its parent eponymous album were her first international hits. The following album, Like a Virgin, cemented Madonna's emerging image as independent, knowing and raunchily provocative. She has subsequently reinvented herself again and again: now a saint; now a slut; now a repentant sinner.

On December 22, 2000, Madonna and Ritchie were married in Scotland. As of 2008, Madonna resides in Marylebone, London and her country estate in Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, with Ritchie, her two biological children and David Banda (adopted).

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"Sex" is Madonna's favorite subject. Like any good scholar, she has explored her field of interest in depth and breadth. Among others, she is rumored to have had affairs with actress Sandra Bernhard and singer Whitney Houston.

Though many pop stars of Madonna's ilk have made titillating use of queer themes in their work, her music and videos are idiosyncratic insofar as they appeal to both lesbian and gay cultures simultaneously. She appropriates the style and mannerism of gay male culture on the one hand, while flirting with "lesbian chic". Nevertheless in one of her books she expresses disgust at the sight of lesbian sex...

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001 - et alii

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