Powerful Ladies of the 80's: Madonna

15th September 2017


Madonna Louise Ciccone born on 16 August 1958 in Michigan is the eldest daughter of six children to Chrysler engineer Tony Ciccone and his wife, Madonna Fortin. Madonna’s mother died of breast cancer in December 1963, aged 30. Just five at the time, Madonna was devastated by her death. Her authoritarian father would later employ a succession of housekeepers to care for his children, one of whom, Joan Gustafson – became his second wife. The loss of her mother significantly affected Madonna's adolescence. She rebelled against her traditional upbringing by turning her conservative clothing into revealing outfits, frequenting underground gay nightclubs and rejecting her religious background.

Madonna, though seen as insubordinate, she has driven by 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 full scholarship to their dance program. In 1978, she dropped out of college and relocated to New York City. She had little money and worked as a waitress at Dunkin' Donuts and with modern dance troupes, taking classes at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and eventually performing with Pear Lang Dance Theater.

Various music journalists, critical theorists, and authors have deemed Madonna the most influential female recording artist of all time. She topped VH1's "100 Greatest Women in Music" list and The Daily Telegraph's "20 Greatest Female Artists" list. Madonna has received acclaim as a role model for businesswomen in her industry, "achieving the kind of financial control that women had long fought for within the industry", and generating over $1.2 billion in sales within the first decade of her career. She was noted as undoubtedly the most important woman in the history of popular music and a great businesswoman in herself; creating fashion, breaking taboos and provoking controversies. Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. She holds the record for the most number-ones on all combined Billboard charts, including twelve number-one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and eight number-one albums on the Billboard 200.

Madonna has supported a wide range of charities, including American Foundation for AIDS Research and her own Raising Malawi, a nonprofit that supports community-based organizations that provide vulnerable children and caregivers in Malawi with food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care.

We can take inspiration from this fierce lady by always staying true to yourself - pay no mind to what other people think of you; strive to be the best you can be. Just because it hasn't been done, doesn’t mean it can't!