Although it seems barely possible, today Madonna is celebrating her 60th birthday.
Age-defying in every sense, Madonna has enjoyed a long and scandalous career, pushing buttons and boundaries since she burst into the world in 1983 with the trilly pop song Holiday.
Since then her music has veered from predictable to decent, but that almost doesn't matter, as it has never been just about her songs. Aside from the career high of the song Vogue in 1990, it has always been about Madonna the woman, and her knack for continually reinventing herself. Short blonde hair? Madonna did that in 1986. Corset in public? In 1990 Madonna paraded in the under-as-outerwear costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier for her Blonde Ambition Tour (where she even managed to offend the Pope).
Alas, Madonna's provocative nature means it is impossible to show many of her most defining moments - case in point her banned 1992 book - yet her career has seen her win seven Grammys, star in the title role of the 1996 film Evita, all while releasing fairly mundane music, but launching a thousand trends. It was Madonna who unleashed the dance craze of 'vogue-ing' into the world, and line dancing with her 2009 song Music, and even leotards over leggings in Hung Up, 2009. Bold and always visually arresting Madonna paved the way for the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Rihanna.
Madonna has a rare talent for surrounding herself with the leading image makers of the day including Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino and Riccardo Tisci. She married actor Sean Penn in 1985, (in such a toxic relationship it earned the pair the moniker 'The Poison Penns') and film director Guy Richie in 2000. Courageous, motivated and utterly fearless. Although she may not be what she once was (not even Madonna can withstand the passing of time) but love her or hate her, Madonna was, is, and will always be a groundbreaker.
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