Portal:Madonna (entertainer)

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Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983. She followed it with a series of albums in which she found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on the record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes". Madonna has been praised by critics for her diverse musical productions while at the same time serving as a lightning rod for religious controversy.

Her career was further enhanced by film appearances that began in 1979, despite mixed commentary. She won critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her role in Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other film roles. Madonna's other ventures include being a fashion designer, children's book author, film director and producer, and owner of her own recording company Maverick corporation, as a joint venture with Time Warner. She has been acclaimed as a businesswoman, and in 2007, she signed an unprecedented US $120 million contract with Live Nation.

Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world's top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. Considered to be one of the most influential figures in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She is recognized as an inspiration among numerous music artists.

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The Sticky & Sweet Tour was the eighth worldwide concert tour by American singer-songwriter Madonna to support her eleventh studio album Hard Candy. It was Madonna's first major venture from her new recording and business deal with Live Nation. Announcements for the tour happened as early as February 2008 with dates for the UK and the American venues being announced. However, though initially planned, the tour failed to visit Australia like her past three tours, due to financial problems and the recession. Costume designer Arianne Phillips designed the costumes, supported by a number of renowned famous designers and brands. The stage for the main show was planned almost the same way as Madonna's 2006 Confessions Tour. After the tour was over in 2008, Madonna announced plans of resuming the tour in 2009, to play in previously unventured territories. The second leg, however, did not go to the United States.

The Sticky & Sweet Tour broke many records in terms of its ticket sales, commercial gross and audience attendance. After the first leg, it became the highest grossing tour by a solo artist by earning $282 million, breaking the previous record by Madonna herself with the Confessions Tour. The second leg of the tour was equally successful. Overall Madonna performed to over 3.5 million fans in 32 countries, grossing a total of US$408 million, making it also the second highest grossing tour of all time and the highest grossing tour by a solo artist. At the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards, the Sticky & Sweet Tour won the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. Madonna's manager Guy Oseary won the Top Manager award.

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Ray of Light is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on March 3, 1998 by Maverick Records. After giving birth to her daughter Lourdes, Madonna collaborated with Patrick Leonard and William Orbit in developing the album. After failed sessions with other producers, Madonna pursued a new musical direction with Orbit and incorporated his extensive usage of trance and electronic music in her songs. The recording took place over four months, but experienced problems with the Pro Tools arrangement by Orbit as well as the absence of live bands. Upon release, the album was lauded by contemporary critics as a music masterpiece of the decade. Reviewers complimented the album for its mature, restrained nature as well as commending Madonna's musical direction, calling it her "most adventurous" record. Commercially, the album was a success on the world charts, peaking at number one in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe. On the U.S. Billboard 200, the album debuted and peaked at number two. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it Quadruple Platinum on March 16, 2000, recognizing four million shipments in the United States, making it her fifth best-selling recording there. Worldwide, Ray of Light sold 20 million copies.

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"I'll Remember" is a song by American recording artist, song-writer, composer and dancer Madonna. It was released on March 8, 1994, by Warner Bros. Records as the soundtrack single of the 1994 film With Honors. The song was a radical change in image and style for Madonna, who had received negative feedback both critically and commercially for the prior two years due to the release of the book Sex, studio album Erotica and the film Body of Evidence. Warner Bros. decided to use Madonna as the vocalist for the song after noting that most of her previous soundtrack singles achieved commercial success.

"I'll Remember" has characteristics of late Seventies styled songs. It utilizes a synthesized keyboard arrangement to bring about a continuously reverberating sound of heartbeat. Madonna's voice is supported by backing vocals. Contemporary critics praised the song, hailing it as one of Madonna's best works. After its release, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Madonna's fifth song to do so. It reached the top of the charts in Canada and Italy. In other nations it reached the top-ten.

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Madonna singing "Ray of Light" in Sofia 2008


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