August 16, 1958. Mrs Madonna Ciccone gives birth to Madonna Louise, nicknamed 'Little Nonni' to distinguish her from her mother. Cute! August 16 became a famous date when, in 1977, Elvis chose that day to die. From then on Madonna felt a spiritual connection with the king. Spooky!
Madonna sneaks a look at one of her dancers' manhoods in a scene from 'In Bed With Madonna' and declares "It's fucking blue!"
The black plastic bangles and fingerless lace gloves. Two words: fashion statement.
"Push the button, don't push the button, trip the station, change the channel...etc"
Playing a stripper, whose best friend is a small boy, in the video for 'Open Your Heart'. The boy was played by a model named Felix Howard who became a bit of a fashion icon during the 80s but went on to co-write songs with Kylie and Sugababes.
Marrying 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' director Guy Ritchie in a big castle in Scotland on December 22, 2000. This act made Madonna officially British and she immediately took up wearing tweed, shooting birds and hanging out with Vinnie Jones, like a typical English lady.
Being a red tongued silver beasty in the video for 'Fever'.
Writing 'Love Won't Wait' for Gary Barlow. Or was it that she wrote 'Love Won't Wait' then gave it to Gary Barlow because it wasn't very good? No, it must be the first one.
Showing her builder's bum in front of the stars & stripes in the 'American Pie' video. We think it was a political statement about war.
Being asked by Smash Hits, during her first interview for the magazine in 1984, if she'd consider dating Simon le Bon and replying "Ugh! Ugh! Yeeuch!"
Emma from The Modern
's favourite Madonna moment: "When she turned up to a premiere in the early 90s wearing a Geisha coat and everyone thought, 'oh that's a bit tame', and then she took the coat off and she had the Jean Paul Gaultier basque on underneath! I thought that was so cool."
Taking a bath with dinosaur skulls in the video for 'Bedtime Story'. Don't knock it, have you seen her skin?
Signing her first record deal in hospital. Having released 'Everybody' as a one-off single with Sire, the label decided to take the fledgling Madge on full time, with a $5000 album advance. However, record company boss Seymour Stein was recovering from heart surgery so the contract was signed at his bedside. Stein was wearing boxers, a dressing gown and was attached to a drip!
'Dear Jessie' - the fourth single to be taken from the 'Like A Prayer' album. A beautiful lullaby about pink elephants and lemonade that for some reason Maddy has so far left off her greatest hits CDs and DVDs, even though the video features her as a cute cartoon fairy. What's not to love?
The Gap advert with Missy Elliot. Madonna lip syncs to a bootleg mix of 'Hollywood' and 'Into The Groove' while convincingly skipping down a street, happily wearing jeans that would never normally be allowed within ten feet of her behind. And they criticize her acting ability?
Great Madonna rhymes of our time: "I'm drinking a soy latte/I get a double shot-te"
And not forgetting: "I drive my Mini Cooper/And I'm feeling super-duper"
Remembering to feed her pussy, despite being a bad girl, in the 'Bad Girl' video. She licks her meaty finger afterwards. Gross!
Working with the legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim for the 'Dick Tracy' soundtrack and 'I'm Breathless' album. Certain citizens of San Francisco and Old Compton Street were said to be "thrilled".
Frolicking with a mer-child in the video for 'Cherish'. Directed by the legendary fashion photographer Herb Ritts, it seems to suggest that the child is perhaps Madonna's after an inter-species fling with a mer-man. How would that work? He's all tail. And was it a human birth or did she lay caviar-like eggs? We don't know.
Simulating a Botox injection in the video for 'American Life' as an example of modern superficiality, despite rumours that Madonna herself regularly goes 'under the needle'.
Taking a swipe at the tabloids during the 1997 MTV VMAs, in response to the death of Princess Diana: "It's time for us to take responsibility for our own insatiable need to run after gossip and scandals and lies and rumors, to live vicariously through other people's misery. Until we change our negative behaviors, tragedies will continue to occur."
The 1986 movie 'Shanghai Surprise'. Despite its reputation as a bit of a turkey, this quintessentially 80s action caper is really not all that bad.
"A material, a material, a material..."
The stitched corpse lips in the video for 'Oh Father'. Ew! Madonna refused to cut this scene from her 1989 video, which also featured suggestions of child abuse and domestic violence, when TV execs expressed concerns. When they say "concerns", we imagine they just went "Ew!" like us.
Marrying her 'Shanghai Surprise' co-star Sean Penn on her birthday in August 1985, in Malibu. Despite the couple divorcing in January 1989, Madonna is heard to describe Penn as the love of her life during the 'truth or dare' game in the movie 'In Bed With Madonna'. The Magi astrology website
suggests the reason the marriage failed was because she was not in her "Cinderella transits". Oh, of course...
Having a massive white afro in the 'Deeper And Deeper' video.
Making her West End acting debut in David Williams' play 'Up For Grabs' at the Wyndham theatre in May 2002. Madonna played Loren, a ruthless art dealer who, at one point, straps on a dildo to satisfy a potential buyer's particular fetish. Nice! The play received lukewarm reviews, but Madge got standing ovations every night. Hurrah!
The 1987 movie 'Who's That Girl'. Despite its reputation as a bit of a turkey, this quintessentially 80s crime caper is really not all that bad.
Nicking an old hippie song and turning it into the electropop brilliance of 'Ray Of Light'. The song 'Sepheryn' was originally written by Curtis Muldoon and Dave Curtis in 1970 but re-recorded by William Orbit and vocalist Christine Leach. When Madonna came to work with Orbit, she re-wrote the melody and gave the track a whole new arrangement. It reached number two in the UK in 1998.
Aimee from Love Bites
' favourite Madonna moment: "There's a song on the '13 Going On 30' soundtrack that I really love but I've got no idea what it is." That song would be 'Crazy For You', released in 1985 - a whole three years before Aimee was even born. It also featured in the movie 'Vision Quest' that absolutely no one went to see.
Sniffing a man's unfeasibly long hair in the video for 'La Isla Bonita'. We bet it smelled like crab paste.
Riding a mechanical bull on stage during the 'Drowned World' tour. The bull was supplied for the 2001 concerts by Rockin' B Bucking Machines
of Oklahoma, blessed by a priest before rehearsal and used during the song 'Human Nature'. The saddle was custom made to fit Madonna's 'dimensions'.
The movie 'Body Of Evidence'. Despite its reputation as a bit of a turkey, this 1993 erotic crime thriller is actually really terrible. But you do get to see Madge in the nip and sitting on man's face, so it's not all bad.
The stop-start guitar thing on her Mirwais produced single 'Don't Tell Me' that caused several confused fans to return their CD to the shop believing it was faulty. Perhaps this was the reason it only got to number 4 in the UK, in December 2000.
Great Madonna quotes of our time: "I would rather live one year as a tiger, than a hundred as a sheep."
And how about
: "Bruce Springsteen was born to run. I was born to flirt."
Riding in the Shaguar with Austin Powers for the video of 'Beautiful Stranger', taken from the soundtrack to 1999's 'Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me'. The video won a Grammy and a VMA.
Snogging Mike Myers on 'Saturday Night Live' whilst appearing in a fantasy sequence during a 'Wayne's World' sketch.
Wayne: "I might make love to two women at once!"
Madonna: "Yeah, you might. And monkeys might fly out of my butt!"
Doing it with a randy bullfighter in the video for 'Take A Bow'. The bullfighter sadly leaves her. Ah! The video, directed by Michael Haussman, featured 1930s-style clothes designed exclusively by Galliano, Prada and Versace. No bulls were harmed in the making of the video, but the part of the bullfighter was played by real-life matador Emilio Munoz, so he's probably killed hundreds.
Assuming the identity of Dita Parlo, a deep voiced dominatrix, for the 1992 single 'Erotica'. The song continued the sexual themes of 'Justify My Love', this time focusing on submission, pleasure in pain and all manner of leather-clad naughtiness. Written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, it featured a sample from Kool and the Gang's 'Jungle Boogie'.
Asking fans to leave their confessions via a 1-888 number in the States and a website
in the UK to promote her album 'Confessions on a Dance Floor'. Did someone really have "sex with a priest on my sister in law's sofa"? Blimey.
Brilliant Madonna single covers we have loved: 'Bad Girl'. Yes, smoking is bad and wrong but it looks so cool in bed.
Great Madonna rhymes of our time: " I like to singy singy singy / Like a bird on the wingy wingy wingy."
The 1996 film 'Evita'. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 1978 stage musical was brought to the screen by director Alan Parker. Madonna said of her role as Argentinian first lady Eva Peron: "This is the role I was born to play. I put everything of me into this because I was playing a woman so much like me." She surprised many critics, who'd previously scoffed at her acting abilities, and despite not being nominated in the Best Actress category, performed the song 'You Must Love Me' at the 1997 Oscars. Re, and indeed, spect.
Calling herself Esther, after the heroine of Hebrew scriptures. Why she do dat? It's a Kabbalah thing.
Having mouths for eyes and an eye for a mouth in the video for 'Bedtime Story'. Easily done in Photoshop but still bloody scary.
Classic moments from 'In Bed With Madonna' #1:
Throat doctor: "Do you wanna talk at all off camera?"
Warren Beatty: "She doesn't wanna live
'Italians do it better' - t-shirt slogan from the video for 'Papa Don't Preach'. Do what better? Does she mean pizza? Don't understand...
Covering Don McLean's 1972 Buddy Holly-immortalising 'America Pie' for the soundtrack of not-very-popular movie 'The Next Best Thing', starring Madge and Rupert Everett. Madonna and William Orbit's version lost several verses from the original, taking it from a whopping 8 minutes 38 seconds down to a slimline 4 minutes (for the radio edit) and reached number one in March 2000. Don McLean should not be confused with Don Maclean, the fella from 'Crackerjack' who rides about on a giant ostrich in Peter Kay's 'Amarillo' video.
's favourite Madonna moment: "It was the 'Like A Virgin' tour. We saw it in LA and it was such a fabulous show. She wore that little wedding dress. We said "hi!" to her afterwards and she said she used to dance to our records in New York, which was fantastic. It's the only time we've ever met her."
Getting stigmata in the video for 'Like A Prayer'. The first person to ever experience this religious phenomena was Stephen Langton from England in the year 1222. Two years later, St Francis of Assisi also claimed to be a sufferer. Science is rather skeptical about these mysterious bleeders.
Saying "fuck" 13 times while being interviewed on the Late Show with David Letterman in March 1994. She also gave Dave her panties, offered to kiss a man in the audience and smoked a cigar.
Dave: "This is American television. You can't be talking like that."
Dave: "Because people don't want that in their own homes at 11:30 at night."
Madonna: "They don't?"
Beating Michael Jackson to a pulp on a 1999 episode of MTV's 'Celebrity Deathmatch'.
Jacko had made the fatal error of morphing himself into a hamster by doing the moonwalk, after which Madge seized her opportunity and kicked him into a pool of acid.
46 James Bourne
's favourite Madonna moment: "'Dick Tracy', yeah! The thing about 'Dick Tracy' is that the buildings are so blatantly cardboard. That's cool." Madonna played Breathless Mahoney in the 1990 movie version of the popular 1930s comic strip.
Warren Beatty took the lead, also becoming her off-screen love interest. The soundtrack album proved to be far more successful since it featured the song 'Vogue' and several numbers by the great Stephen Sondheim. In the film, Madonna is crushed by a big cog.
Great Madonna quotes of our time: "Courtney Love is such a miserable person."
And how about
: "Boy George makes me sick."
Spanking a Chihuahua in the video for 'Human Nature'. The rat-like canine was Maddy's own dog Chiquita. Emma
out of TV's 'Vet's In Practice' had this to say about it: "I think she's very talented and she has aged beautifully, but I have to say I am disappointed by her choice of pooch." Sadly, Madonna was forced to give Chiquita and her buddies, Rosita and Evita, away to a good home. The home turned out not to be so good and Evita was found by Burbank dog shelter workers with her face beaten in
Great Madonna rhymes of our time: "Romeo and Juliet / They never felt this way, I bet."
Brilliant Madonna single covers we have loved: 'Dear Jessie'. Mickey Mouse ears. Brilliant!
Kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in a lezzy way at the 2003 VMAs. The threesome performed 'Like A Virgin' and 'Hollywood' alongside Missy Elliot (whom no one wanted to snog) at the ceremony in Miami, climaxing with the dirty, headline-grabbing business. Britney's ex-boyf Justin Timberlake was shown arching an eyebrow at the antics, and it was later reported that Jennifer Lopez had been asked to take part but refused. Presumably she didn't want cooties.
Getting everyone steamed up over her interest in the Kabbalah
. This ancient Hebrew interpretation of the Torah is viewed by some as a religion bordering on a cult. Madonna insists it's merely a study that has helped reconcile her belief in God with her understanding of science. "If I started hanging out with the Pope, people would be a lot more comfortable with it," she told Parky on that TV show he does. But what are the red wristbands all about?
The Marie Antoinette inspired version of Vogue performed at the 1990 VMAs (where the song bagged three awards).
Great Madonna rhymes of our time: "They had style / They had grace / Rita Hayworth gave good face."
Being a crazy, plastic bag cuddling Geisha in the video for 'Nothing Matters' (costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier).
The last line of 'Human Nature' being "Absolutely no regrets."
The jerky dance in the video for 'Nothing Matters'.
Starting her own media company Maverick Entertainment in 1992. Inspired by Andy Warhol's Factory, Madonna declared her new venture to be "an intellectual thing" before going on to sign Alanis Morissette, Michelle Branch and the Deftones. For which we're all very grateful.
Great moments from 'In Bed With Madonna' #2: Making the international symbol for "I'm gagging" after a backstage visit from Kevin Costner.
Kevin: "We thought it was neat."
Madonna: "Neat? Anybody who says my show is 'neat' has to go."
Duetting with Britney Spears for the 2003 single 'Me Against The Music'. The first single to be taken from Britney's 2003 'In The Zone' album was this frenetic collaboration between the two queens of pop. The video featured a continuation of their VMA lesbo action. Nice.
Dave (and Steve) from Son Of Dork
's favourite Madonna moment: "The 'Sex' book! It's absolutely amazing. She's got everything out."
Steve: "What, her minge? You can see her rat?"
Dave: "You can see everything. That book rules."
Steve: "David looks quite a lot like Madonna in those early days when she had the white hair and big black eyebrows."
The book the boys are referring to was a collection of photographs by Steven Meisel, released in 1992 sealed in a silver bag. It featured Madonna acting out a selection of sexual fantasies, one of which involved having Vanilla Ice put his hands down her pants. Does nothing for us...
Madonna album covers we have loved: 'True Blue'. Her third album, released in 1986, featured this iconic, colourized, Herb Ritts portrait.
Pissing off the Pope. In 1987, Madonna embarked on the 32 date 'Who's That Girl' tour, ending in Italy where his Holiness John Paul II urged fans not to attend, possibly because the show featured a "safe sex" message (he was never keen on that). In 1990, Madonna again incurred the Papal wrath for the infamous 'Like A Virgin' masturbation routine during her 'Blonde Ambition' tour. John Paul tried but failed to have her banned from Italy. In the same year Madonna released 'The Immaculate Collection' album and dedicated it to the pontiff as "My divine inspiration".
Bringing back the cowboy shirt for the video of 'Don't Tell Me'.
Her response to Playboy and Penthouse discovering and subsequently publishing nude photographs of the star, taken back when she was a penniless dancer in New York: "So what? I'm not ashamed."
'Everybody'. Madonna's 1982 debut single was written solely by the singer and was a re-recording of a track from her Stephen Bray produced demo tape. Its popularity with R'n'B radio stations in America led to the label releasing it without a picture of the singer on the sleeve, so people wouldn't find out that she wasn't black!
Great Madonna quotes of our time: "Basically there are two kinds of nut - the sex maniac who wants a piece of my underwear and the moral majority who condemn me to emotional hell."
's Madonna moment: Playing the Hacienda in 1982.
Hooky: "She told me to fuck off!"
Bernard: "Hooky's got a 25 year grudge against her. When she played her first gig in England it was at the Hacienda, our club. Why did she tell you to fuck off?"
Hooky: "I asked her to do a second spot for twenty five quid. That was a lot of money in them days!"
Bernard: "Yeah, that's thirty pounds in today's money."
Scaring an old granny in the video for 'What It Feels Like For A Girl'. Directed by hubby Guy Ritchie, both MTV and VH1 in America refused to show the video more than once because of its violent content. It went on to become the best selling DVD single of all time ever.
Having Ali G in the video for 'Music' while he was still funny.
Ali G: "Your Babylons look larger on the telly, but I still definitely would."
Madonna: "You wish."
Ali G: "I do, actually."
Great moments from 'In Bed With Madonna' #3: Stretching out on her mother's grave. Madonna senior died of breast cancer on December 1, 1962 when Maddy junior was just five. As 'Promise To Try' from the 'Like A Prayer' album plays, Madonna is seen crouching on, then kissing, then lying on her mum's grave. Her brother looks on from the waiting limo. A simultaneously touching and disturbing scene.
Great misheard Madonna rhymes of our time: 'La Isla Bonita'. "Last night I dreamt of some dago... Young girl with eyes like potato..."
'Hung Up'. Having released her lowest selling album to date with 'American Life', it was unclear what the queen of re-invention would do next. What no one expected was an album of club tracks, preceded by this ABBA-sampling monster, co-produced by her musical director Stuart Price in his tiny Kilburn flat. He calls her 'M', you know?
Madonna agrees to be interviewed for Channel 4 by Parkinson's natural successor, Dermot O'Leary. Click here for a clip
. (Do you think anyone noticed how shamelessly we shoehorned that in? Nah...)
All the journalists, paparazzi and socialite scum having massive scary eyes in the video for 'Drowned World'. Directed by Walter Stern, the video was filmed at London's Savoy hotel and some scenes bear an uncanny and possibly deliberate similarity to the events surrounding the death of Princess Lady Di of Windsor, the year before.
Great moments from 'In Bed With Madonna' #4: The "finger fuck" bit.
Madonna's childhood friend Moira McFarland is asked about Madonna's memories of their relationship.
"Madonna, I did not teach you how to insert a tampon. And if we got in bed together naked, I don't remember that."
"She said she was never in bed naked with me? She's a liar. Did she say she finger-fucked me? I remember looking at her bush. I know."
This is also rumoured to be Cliff Richard's favourite part of the movie.
Becoming a best selling author of children's fiction. In 2003 Madge produced the first in a series of illustrated stories aimed at kids aged six and upwards. 'The English Roses' was a morality tale about four girls named Nicole, Amy, Charlotte, and Grace who were fond of dancing the monkey and the tickety-boo, whatever that was, and who learn it's wrong to be jealous of other girls because they might turn out to live in a shit house with no mum and stuff. Hmm...
Being a bin bag full of crows that can also turn into a Doberman Pincher and run about in the desert, in the Chris Cunningham directed video for 'Frozen'.
Appearing at 1985's Live Aid in Philadelphia. Not only did Madonna perform three of her own hits, but she sang backing vocals for the most extraordinary collaboration of the event: The Beatles' 'Revolution' as performed by the Thompson Twins and Nile Rogers. It has to be seen and heard to be believed.
Stuart Price's favourite Madonna moment: "I was never really a Madonna fan 'til... 'til I started getting paid by her! No, I started noticing her when I realised this was someone who could turn their hand to anything and come out with a hit. I realised the music and beats she was coming out with were so individual and ahead of their time that this had to be someone who knew what they were doing. It all came together for me with 'Justify My Love'. I just went: "What is that beat, how did they make it? There's no singing on this, just some sexy moaning! And what is it doing to my trousers?" That's when I started to go: "Wow! Who is this girl?"
'I'm Going To Tell You A Secret'. 15 years after Maddy's last fly-on-the-wall experience, we were treated to what, for all intents and purposes, is 'In Bed With Madonna 2'. And it was great (apart from when it got a bit too 'spiritual'). We'll still buy it on DVD though. And quote the best bits when we're being drunk and obnoxious.
The Jean Paul Gaultier designed pointy corset bra thing. "One, two - tit pie!"
Being the best at 2005's Live 8 concert in Hyde Park. Old people will tell you that Live 8 was all about Pink Floyd. Young people might tell you it was all about Pete Doherty trying to smoke a cigarette lighter while dressed as a gay captain. Bob Geldof is convinced it was something to do with world poverty. They're all wrong (apart from Bob). Having hugged the irrepressibly smiley survivor of the 1984 African famine Birhan Woldu (something all of us present wanted to do) she launched into astonishingly energetic performances of 'Like A Prayer', 'Ray Of Light' and 'Music', complete with a gospel choir and breakdancers doing things with their heads that are actually impossible. She also did some swearing. Bloody ace.
Katherine Jenkins' favourite Madonna moment: "'Material Girl'. It's the first song I ever bought. The video is my inspiration. Even now, if I put a dress on and gloves, I just think 'Ooh, this is a Madonna 'Material Girl' moment!' I will always think of that when I'm buying dresses."
'Ray Of Light'. Released in 1998, the album is largely a collaboration between Madonna and knob-twiddler William Orbit, but it also saw the return of former co-writer Patrick Leonard. It spawned five top ten hits in the UK and is, arguably, her most perfect album. Don't agree? Get your own music-based website.
Daniel Powter's favourite Madonna moment: "'Desperately Seeking Susan' was really my Madonna moment, because I really wanted to bed both of those women at the same time. I would've been 14. Jeez, I was a bit of horny guy, wasn't I? I don't think I could bed both of them now. I think I'm too old for it. I couldn't keep up."
Thanks Dan, probably should've kept that under your hat. It's probably fair to say that Madonna has never made a better film than 1985's 'Desperately Seeking Susan'. Shot on a fairly small budget by Susan Seidelman, it co-starred Rosanna Arquette as a suburban housewife who loses her memory and ends up living the life of Madonna's character because she buys her jacket. And then there's some kind of theft and a magician and... well anyway, Madonna is great and it's got 'Into the Groove' in it.
'Vogue'. Just when the world thought Madge had become the queen of everything with 'Like A Prayer', she reinvented herself as a sharp-suited dancefloor trendsetter paying homage
to movie divas of yesteryear. 'Vogue' - a collaboration with Shep Pettibone - was originally intended to be a B-side for 'Like A Prayer', but Sire insisted it be a single. The song and the dance - voguing (invented by black and Latino drag queens in NY) - swept the nation.
'Like A Virgin'. Madge shocked the world with 'Like A Virgin', because it was released in 1984 and in them days people still used words like 'courting'. Contrary to popular belief, the song isn't actually about having it off - it's a metaphor for being in lurve
and that. Aaah. However when Madge premiered the song at the MTV Video Music Awards, she rolled around the stage floor in a wedding dress, fondling her nethers and all sorts - so maybe it was a bit
about having it off.
'Like A Prayer'.
Why is ‘Like A Prayer’ our all time greatest Madonna moment of all time? Well, besides being the first great adult pop record of her career, both the song and accompanying video feature the three core elements that define her career: sex, religion and controversy. Oh, and changing her hair colour. So that’s four, really.
Everything about the song itself is marvellous beyond belief and it didn't really need
a video where she kisses a black Jesus, experiences stigmata and dances in front of burning crosses. But Madge did that anyway! Hurrah! And she showed off her luverly natural brunette-ness to boot.
As blood vessels threatened to burst across bible belt America and Pepsi dropped her from their ad campaign like a hot can of coke, anyone with half a brain rejoiced in the wondrous ability of pop to challenge, question and
be brilliantly catchy and danceable at the same time. And it was all down to Madge. Blub!
But anyway, that's our greatest Madonna moment of all time, and we hope it's yours too. Clutch it to your bosom and never let it go!