American pop icon, actress, director and writer, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone celebrates her 60th birthday today.
In her career, Madonna has performed on 10 concert tours and sold more than 300 million records, making her the best-selling female recording artist of all time, according to the Guinness World Records.
Pursuing a music career, Madonna recorded demos with her boyfriend Stephen Bray. An early rejection letter from 1981 was auctioned in New York City in 2001, in which a music professional states: “I do not feel she is ready yet, but I do hear the basis of a strong artist.”
Holiday was Madonna’s first breakthrough hit in the US, entering the chart late in 1983 and climbing to number 16 in January 1984. Other early career-defining singles Like A Virgin and Material Girl followed. The year 1985 was a landmark one for the young singer. Her Virgin Tour was a sell-out, supported by the Beastie Boys, and Madonna played at the historic Live Aid concert, helping to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia.
In 2017, Forbes estimated Madonna’s net worth at $580m (£454m), making her the richest female artist based in America. Celine Dion is a runner-up with $380m (£299m). After seven huge world tours, the artist is looking to develop her performance style to suit smaller audiences. She told BBC News in 2017: “I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience.