Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City for a career in modern dance. After performing as member of the pop musical groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and then produced three consecutive number-one studio albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1980s and four more since year 2000.
Madonna is known for exploring religious symbolism and sexual themes in her work. This drew criticism from the Vatican in the late 1980s. In 1992, she founded an entertainment company, Maverick, which published a book of photographs (Sex). She also released a studio album (Erotica) and starred in a film (Body of Evidence) with erotic themes. These works generated negative publicity and coincided with a fall in commercial sales in the 1990s. Madonna’s career was revived in 1998, when the release of her album Ray of Light garnered critical acclaim.
Madonna has acted in 22 films. Although most failed critically and commercially, she earned a Golden Globe Award for her role in the 1996 film Evita. In 1996 Madonna gave birth to a daughter, Lourdes Maria (also known as Lola) by personal trainer Carlos Leon before marrying film director Guy Ritchie in 2000. She and Ritchie have two sons, Rocco and David Banda, a Malawian boy they adopted in 2006, which caused media allegations they violated that country’s adoption laws.
Madonna has been regarded as "one of the greatest pop acts of all time" and dubbed the "Queen of Pop" by various sources. She is ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling female rock artist of the twentieth century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States with 63 million certified albums. Guinness World Records list her as the world’s most successful female recording artist of all time and the top-earning female singer in the world with an estimated net worth of US$490 million, having sold over 200 million records worldwide. On March 10, 2008, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.