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Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, United States), known as Madonna, is a dance-pop singer-songwriter, record and film producer, dancer, actress, author and fashion icon. She is noted for her ambitious music videos and stage performances as well as using political, sexual, and religious themes in her work.

In 2000, Guinness World Records listed Madonna as the most successful female recording artist of all time, with estimated worldwide sales of 120 million albums; in 2005, her record company credited her as having sold over 200 million albums worldwide. Madonna is the highest earning female singer of all time according to both the 2007 Guinness Book of Records and Billboard Magazine. Forbes magazine has estimated her net worth at $325 million. In addition, Madonna's 2006 Confessions World Tour holds the record for the highest-grossing concert tour ever by a female artist.

After signing to Sire Records in 1982, her debut single "Everybody" was released in October of the same year. One year later, her debut album "Madonna" followed, and since then hits such as "Holiday," "Like a Virgin" and "Like a Prayer" catapulted her to massive success. By the 1990s, her commercially successful albums, constantly reinvented image, groundbreaking music videos and controversial nature would earn her the title "Queen of Pop."

According to the aforementioned Guinness Book of World Records, Madonna is the most successful female solo artist of all time. Apart from achieving 12 No.1 singles and 37 top 10 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, 48 top 40 hits, maintains the record for the most separate calendar weeks as a female artist with a charting single in any position(853+ weeks), she has also garnered 20 MTV Video Music Awards (including the Video Vanguard Award), seven Grammy Awards, as well as a Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe Award for her performance in 'Evita'. Two soundtrack cuts performed by Madonna, "Sooner or Later" and "You Must Love Me", were awarded with Oscars.

Madonna's most recent studio release, the 2005 album Confessions On A Dance Floor, co-written & produced by Stuart Price previously known best for his remixes and as band member of Les Rythmes Digitales and Zoot Woman by set a new world record by going to No. 1 in a total of 40 countries, the most ever for an album. The lead single, Hung Up also set a record for going to No. 1 in 41 countries. "Hung Up" has become one of Madonna's best selling singles ever with a total sales of 4.7+ million from digital, ringtones and single sales. 'Hung Up' uses a sample from ABBA's 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!' after begging to use it the swedish group finally allowed her to.

Recent projects:

In the Fall of 2006, Madonna was featured in H&M's latest advertising campaign around the world.

In 2008, Madonna promoted her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy, with the Hard Candy Promo Tour. It was lauded by Rolling Stone as an "impressive taste of her upcoming tour." The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, where Madonna achieved ten number one albums. Hard Candy sold 100,000 copies in the United States upon its first day of release. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with over 280,000 copies sold. The album received mostly positive reviews worldwide, though some critics panned it as "an attempt to harness the urban market". Its lead single "4 Minutes" reached number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the U.S. Radio & Records Pop Chart. Future promotion of the album will include the Sticky & Sweet Tour due to begin in August 2008.

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