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Madonna has made front page news for nearly two decades, both as a successful actress and pop star. She has been the first female pop star to have complete control over her music and image. She left Michigan to New York in 1977, with dreams of becoming a ballet dancer and studied choreography. In 1979 she became part of the New York music scene, working with many bands and quickly establishing herself as the lead singer.

Two club and dance hits in 1982 and 1983 were followed by a third, the cheerful and friendly Holiday. Madonna's debut album Madonna followed. Borderline became her first Top Ten hit in March of 1984, beginning a remarkable string of 17 Top Ten hits. Mixing New Wave with her own brand of Catholic imagery to create a unique look, Madonna released her second album, Like A Virgin at the end of 1984.

During 1985 Madonna became an international celebrity, selling millions of records on the strength of her stylish, sexy videos and forceful personality. After Material Girl became a number two hit, Madonna began her first tour.

Madonna's movie career took off with a starring role in Desperately Seeking Susan, which was released in July 1985 and became a box office hit.

With celebrity came the inevitable interest in her past. An attempt was made to release the video of A Certain Sacrifice, a low-budget erotic drama she filmed in 1979. This wasn't the only embarrassing secret revealed during the summer of 1985 - both Playboy and Penthouse published nude photographs of Madonna that she posed for in 1977. Nevertheless, her popularity continued, with thousands of teenage girls adopting her sexy appearance, becoming known as ‘Madonna Wannabes’. In August 1985, she married actor Sean Penn.

While Madonna’s musical career was thriving, her film career took a bad turn with the release of Shanghai Surprise. Madonna co-starred with her husband Sean Penn, but the comedy received terrible reviews and was a box office disaster. Imitating the failure of their screen partnership, Madonna and Sean Penn's marriage ended in divorce in 1989.

In 1990 Madonna changed more than her hair colour for her massive Blonde Ambition tour, which ran for the entire year: She reinvented herself as a screen idol from the forties. This led to her co-starring role in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy.

Two years later Madonna found a new way to shock her audience and keep her in the headlines. In 1992 she released Sex, an expensive, soft-core pornographic book that featured hundreds of erotic photographs of herself and several models. Sex received severe critics and enormous negative publicity, but that didn't stop the accompanying album, Erotica, from selling over two million copies.

During 1995, Madonna began one of her most subtle image changes as she tried to win the title role of the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. Madonna presented herself as a sophisticated artiste. The album Something to Remember was part of her plans. It was
made up of ballads, designed to appeal to the mature audience that would also be the target of the film. It worked, and Madonna won the prized role of Evita Peron. As the film completed, Madonna announced she was pregnant and her daughter, Lourdes, was born late in 1996, just as Evita was scheduled for release. The movie was greeted with generally positive reviews and Madonna won the Golden Globe for Best Actress, but not the Academy Award nomination she wanted so much.

With the birth of Lourdes, Madonna took on the new image of a mother. Determined to give her daughter a life far removed from the excesses of the music and film worlds, she has fiercely protected Lourdes' privacy. In an extraordinary display of conventional behaviour, Madonna registered her daughter for the most old-fashioned school in England, Cheltenham Ladies College. She finally chose a private school in London, where Princess Caroline of Monaco was educated.

Time went by and today Madonna has turned into her new Mommie Dearest role with her daughter Lourdes, her son Rocco and her husband Guy Ritchie. It seems that the queen of scandal and sensation has been grooming a princess fit for a king.


"Ray of Light is the first self-conscious album in Madonna's catalog, the first time that she genuinely seems worried about keeping up with the times.
In some ways, she had good reasons to worry. At the time she released Ray of Light, she hadn't released an album of new material in four years; during that time, she renovated her image, scoring her first successful movie role in Evita and becoming a mother.
All this indicated that she was out of touch with contemporary dance culture, but Madonna decided to hit back enlisting techno producer William Orbit for this CD.
Sonically, it's the most adventurous record she has made, but it's far from inaccessible, since many of the songs have strong melodic hooks, whether it's the meditative opener "Substitute for Love" or the ballad "Frozen".
Madonna had singing lessons for Evita so here she is technically precise on record. Combined with the stylish, detached electronic music and self-consciously matured lyrics, the singing helps make Ray of Light the most mature album in Madonna's catalog. And while that's an easy achievement to admire, it's not necessarily an easy one to love".



The queen of reinvention has achieved the seemingly impossible yet again. Film students at New York Hunter University got a big surprise recently when their professor for the day turned out to be the former Material Girl herself!

Madonna talked with and answered questions for some 125 students who had just watched a preview of Madonna’s new movie I’m Going to Tell You a Secret.The pop superstar said she had "no regrets" over her controversial career, but she talked about how her life had changed dramatically since she embraced the Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah after having children.

“Being a
celebrity you can get caught up and seduced into believing and thinking that what you do is the most important thing in the world and get very attached to material things. I'm guilty of that… but hopefully I’m becoming less attached. Kabbalah may not be the best thing for everybody. It has worked for me.”

Source: New English Digest (Michael Parks); Stephen Thomas Erlewine (Acoustic Sounds Catalogue);
New York Hunter University Website


front page news: news in papers and magazines front pages (noticia en primera plana)
took off
: started (arrancó)
: not expensive (de bajo presupuesto)
: causing shame or embarrassment (incómodo, molesto)
: aspiring young persons (aspirantes, imitadoras)
: growing stronger (consolidándose)
headlines: heading of papers and magazines (titulares)
subtle: difficult to analyse (sutil)
made up of: composed of (compuesto por, integrado por)
target: objective, goal (objetivo)
it worked: it was successful (funcionó, dio resultado)
: expecting a baby (embarazada)
took on
: adopted (adoptó)
grooming: preparing for the future (gestando)
: adequate (adecuada)

self-conscious: aware of your appearance of behaviour (recatado)
keeping up: harmonising (armonizar)
released: published, launched (lanzó)
enlisting: appointing, naming (nombrando)
sonically: with reference to sound (con respecto al sonido)
: accurate, sharp (exacto, preciso)
achieved: reached, fulfilled (alcanzado)
turned out to be: became (resultó ser)
former: previously (antigua)
preview: a screening for a select audience in advance of release for the general public (pre-estreno)
she had "no regrets" over: she "didn't feel censurable" for (no sentía culpa por)
celebrity: a widely known person (celebridad, persona famosa)
get caught up: become trapped (quedar atrapado/a)
you get very attached: you become very fond of, appreciate (le tomas cariño)
I'm guilty of: I'm the one to be blamed for (me siento culpable por)
worked for me: been successful in my personal case (funcionado en mi caso)