9 Madonna facts every fan should know

16 August 2018, 09:48

Madonna
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

She is the world's most successful female singer, and one of the most famous people on the planet.

As Madonna celebrates her 60th birthday in 2018, here are all the big facts that every fan should know.

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  1. What is Madonna's real name?

    Madonna's full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone.

    Upon being confirmed in the Catholic Church in 1966, she adopted Veronica as a confirmation name.

  2. How many children does Madonna have?

    Madonna and her children
    Madonna and her children (L-R: David, Lourdes, Mercy, Rocco). Picture: Getty

    In total, Madonna has six children.

    Four of her kids have been adopted: David Banda in 2006 and Mercy James in 2009, and twins Esther and Stella Mwale in 2017.

    She also has a biological daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, aged 21, who she had with former partner Carlos Leon.

    She also has a son, Rocco Ritchie, 17, with ex-husband Guy Ritchie.

  3. How old is Madonna?

    Madonna was born on August 16, 1958.

    She celebrates her 60th birthday in 2018.

  4. How many records has Madonna sold worldwide?

    Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling female recording artist of all time according to Guinness World Records.

    She is also the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, earning $1.4 billion from her concert tickets.

  5. What jobs did Madonna have before her music career?

    In 1978, Madonna dropped out of college and relocated to New York City. She didn't have much money and worked as a waitress at Dunkin' Donuts and with modern dance troupes, taking classes at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and later performed with Pear Lang Dance Theater.

    Madonna later said of her move to New York: "It was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done."

    She then started to work as a backup dancer for other artists. While performing as a backup singer and dancer for Patrick Hernandez in 1979, Madonna started dating musician Dan Gilroy. Together, they formed her first band, the Breakfast Club, for which Madonna sang and played drums and guitar.

    In 1980 she left Breakfast Club and, with her then boyfriend Stephen Bray as drummer, formed the band Emmy. She later later decided to promote herself as a solo act, where she was soon spotted and signed.

  6. How many husbands has Madonna had?

    Madonna and Guy Ritchie
    Madonna and Guy Ritchie. Picture: Getty

    Madonna was married to actor Sean Penn from 1985 to 1989.

    She later married English director Guy Ritchie in 2000, but divorced in 2008.

  7. Who has Madonna dated?

    Madonna dated personal trainer and actor Carlos Leon from 1994 to 1997, and they had one daughter together: Lourdes.

    She has also dated Dennis Rodman, Tupac Shakur, Vanilla Ice, Warren Beatty and John F Kennedy Jr among others in the past.

  8. Who were Madonna's parents, brothers and sisters?

    Madonna was born to Catholic parents Madonna Louise (née Fortin) and Silvio Anthony 'Tony' Ciccone. Her father's parents were Italian emigrants from Pacentro, while her mother was of French-Canadian descent. Tony worked as an engineer designer for Chrysler and General Motors.

    She has two elder brothers, Anthony and Martin, and three younger siblings, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie.

  9. What is Madonna's net worth?

    According to Forbes, Madonna's net worth as of 2018 is £462 million ($590m).