Born in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, 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 have 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".
Madonna's popularity was further enhanced by her critically successful role in film Desperately Seeking Susan (1985). However, most of her film appearances received harsh feedback. She garnered critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Evita (1996). Her other ventures include: fashion design, writing children's books, and film directing and producing. She has been acclaimed as a businesswoman, most notably after she founded entertainment company Maverick (including the label Maverick Records) in 1992 as a joint venture with Time Warner. In 2007, she signed an unprecedented US $120 million 360 deal with Live Nation.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. Madonna is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second best selling female artist in the United States, with 64.5 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard ranked her at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the American singles chart. The publication also declared Madonna as the top-touring female artist of all time. Due to her major influence in contemporary music, Madonna has been included in the list of "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time and was crowned the "Greatest Woman In Music" by VH1. She became one of the five founding members of the UK Music Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility.
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