Christmas Day

Screen Praise at Last

Madonna stars as Eva Perón in Evita, which earns her a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy and an Oscar for Best Song "You Must Love Me" from the movie's double disk soundtrack, which includes several other songs by Madonna.



August 11

Two Years and Baby No. 2

Madonna meets Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie (10 years her junior) at a 1998 luncheon hosted by Trudie Styler, Sting's wife. Two years later, the couple have baby boy, Rocco Ritchie, 5 lbs., 9 oz.


December 22

Madonna & Ritchie Wed

In a Stella McCartney gown, Madonna marries Ritchie, who wears a Mackintosh clan kilt at the Great Hall of Scotland's 19th-century Skibo Castle. Lourdes, then 4, acts as flower girl, and a kilt-clad Rocco held by the nanny sits in front. Guests include Gwyneth Paltrow, Donatella Versace and Sting.



October 11

Swept Away

Ritchie directs Madonna in Swept Away, a critical and box office flop. "Everybody wants to know, 'God, weren't you really bummed out by the reaction?' Yes, I was," she tells PEOPLE. "But did it affect my relationship with my husband? No. If our relationship couldn't have handled the failure of that movie, what would have been the basis of it?" Besides, she says, they had fun filming it. "Contrary to what people think, I take direction very well."



March 24

Wartime Protest

In her album American Life, Madonna expresses her feelings about the war in Iraq. The original version of the video shows the singer tossing a grenade at a George W. Bush lookalike and has to be re-cut. "Children, brothers, wives and sons were over there, and people at home were worrying about them," the singer said to PEOPLE about the decision to change the video. "I'd be putting salt in their wounds."


August 28

A Pop-Star Threesome

During the MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera join Madonna onstage for a much talked about performance that ends with Madonna locking lips with Aguilera and then Spears. "It was a lovely, soft kiss," Aguilera tells PEOPLE.


September 15

Madonna's Roses

Madonna's children's book The English Roses goes on sale. "I want to be able to help girls and in the process help myself," says the singer, who follows the success of Roses with Lotsa de Casha in June 2005.



November 15

Back to the Dance Floor!

After spending her 47th birthday in the hospital for injuries sustained from falling off a horse, Madonna releases Confessions on a Dance Floor. After embarking on a worldwide tour, she wins her sixth Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2007.




An International Family

Despite following all legal procedures, the superstar faces scrutiny from human rights groups and the media when she begins the process to adopt David Banda, a 13-month-old from Malawi. In a statement to PEOPLE, Madonna says she was shocked by the reaction: "I expect to be given a hard time about many of the things I do. I know they are provocative and I prepare myself, but I did not expect the media, the government or any human rights organizations to take a stand against me trying to save a child's life."



October 16

Madonna's New Deal

Madonna leaves Warner Music Group for a deal with concert promoter Live Nation. The agreement, which will give the company a stake in her albums, tours, merchandising, films and other music-related projects, is worth about $120 million over 10 years, according to the AP. "The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a business woman, I have to move with that shift," Madonna says in a statement.

Photo Credits

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): JEAN CUMMINGS/RETNA; Brendan Beirne/Corbis; Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage; Daniel Smith/Columbia Tristar/ZUMA; REUTERS/Warner Bros.; Scott Gries/GETTY; Frank Micelotta/Getty Images; Unimedia International; INF; Dave Hogan/Getty

Real Name
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Date of Birth
August 16, 1958
Birth Place
Bay City, Mich.
Brahim Zaibat, boyfriend (2010 to present)
Jesus Luz, ex-boyfriend (2009 to 2010)
Guy Ritchie, ex-husband (2000 to 2008; divorce final in Jan. 2009)
Carlos Leon, ex-boyfriend (1994 to 1997)
Warren Beatty, ex-boyfriend (1989 to 1990)
Sean Penn, ex-husband (1985 to 1989)
John "Jellybean" Benitez, ex-boyfriend (1983 to 1985)
Steve Bray, ex-boyfriend (1980 to 1982)
Dan Gilroy, ex-boyfriend (1979 to 1980)
Lourdes Maria "Lola" Ciccone Leon, daughter (10/14/1996)
Rocco John Ritchie, son (8/11/2000)
David Banda, adopted son (9/24/2005)
Mercy James, adopted daughter
Edited by Julia Wang


Celebrity Central / Top 25 Celebs