Madonna Louise Ciccone ( chi-KOH-nay) (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. One of the most prominent cultural icons for over three decades, she has achieved an unprecedented level of power and control for a woman in the entertainment industry. She attained 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. Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. Music critics have praised her diverse and innovative musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy. Cited as an influence among numerous artists around the world, she is often referred to as the "Queen of Pop".
Born in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she signed with Sire Records (an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records) in 1982 and released her self-titled debut album the following year. She followed it with a series of commercially successful albums, including the Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Throughout her career, she has written and produced most of her songs, with many of them having hit number one on the record charts, including "Like a Virgin", "Into the Groove", "Papa Don't Preach", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Frozen", "Music", "Hung Up", and "4 Minutes".