Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (a.k.a. Madonna) is born in Bay City, Michigan.
Madonna debuts with the 12-inch single “Everybody.” Failing to make Billboard’s Hot 100, it will be her only single to suffer this fate.
Madonna, the singer’s first album, enters the album chart, where it will spend more than three years and sell over 5 million
“Holiday,” from Madonna’s self-titled debut album, enters the Billboard Hot 100, where it will peak at #16.
“Lucky Star,” by Madonna, peaks at #4, kicking off a record-breaking streak (for a female artist) of 16 consecutive Top Five singles.
adonna’s second album, Like a Virgin, begins the first week in its two-year run on Billboard’s album chart. The album will hit #1, yield four hit singles and sell 10 million copies.
“Like a Virgin,” Madonna’s first #1 hit, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of six weeks.
Desperately Seeking Susan, starring Madonna in her first film role, makes its theatrial debut.
“Crazy for You” becomes Madonna’s second #1 single, displacing “We Are the World,” by USA for Africa.
Madonna and actor Sean Penn are married. They will divorce four years later.
“Live to Tell” becomes Madonna’s third #1 single – and the first one she had a hand in writing.
True Blue, Madonna’s third album, enters the chart, where it will peak at #1 for five weeks and generate five hits.
Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach,” a controversial song about an unwed teenager who decides to keep her baby, reaches the top position.
“Open Your Heart” becomes the third #1 single from Madonna’s third album, True Blue. “True Blue” (#3) and “La Isla Bonita” (#4) will bring to five the number of Top Five songs from the album.
The title track from Madonna’s film Who’s That Girl becomes her sixth #1 single.
Like a Prayer, Madonna’s fourth album of new music is released. It will top the charts for six weeks.
Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” reaches #1. Its controversial video draws criticism from the Vatican and ends Madonna’s lucrative endorsement deal with Pepsi.
“Cherish,” by Madonna, peaks at #2 for the first of two weeks. It is the singer’s 16th consecutive Top Five hit. She’s now surpassed the Beatles in that category and trails only Elvis Presley for most Top Five hits in a row.
“Vogue,” by Madonna, reaches #1. It appears on the Dick Tracy soundtrack but not in the movie itself.
Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection, her first greatest-hits set, is released.
“Justify My Love,” one of two new songs appended to Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection, reaches #1. When the accompanying video proves too controversial for MTV, it becomes the first commercially marketed video single.
Madonna’s Truth or Dare? , an uncensored documentary filmed on her Blonde Ambition Tour, is released.
Madonna launches Maverick, a multimedia company that includes Maverick Records, in a deal with Time-Warner that is estimated to be worth $60 million.
“This Used to Be My Playground,” from the film A League of Their Own, becomes Madonna’s tenth #1 single.
Madonna’s Erotica album is released the same month that her scandalous, adult-themed photo book Sex makes headlines.
“Take a Bow,” by Madonna – from her 1994 album Bedtime Stories - reaches #1 for the first of seven weeks. It remains the biggest hit of her career.
The soundtrack for Evita, with vocals by Madonna and others, hits the charts, where it will reach #2.
Tony Bennett presents Madonna with the Artist Achievement Award at the seventh annual Billboard Music Awards.
Madonna wins the Golden Globe award for Best Actress for her performance in Evita.
Ray of Light, Madonna’s first new album of original songs in four years, is released. Her interest in Kabbalah and spiritual matters informs its songs.
Like a Virgin, Madonna’s second album (released in 1984) is certified diamond (10 million copies sold) by the RIAA.
Music, by Madonna, is released three days after the title track hits #1. The album itself will also top the charts – her first to do so in over a decade.
Madonna marries British filmmaker Guy Ritchie at a Scottish castle.
The Immaculate Collection, Madonna’s best-selling hits album from 1990, is certified diamond (10 million copies sold) by the RIAA.
“Die Another Day,” by Madonna – the title song from the latest James Bond film – enters the Billboard chart, where it will peak at #4. It is her 50th single.
American Life, Madonna’s fifth #1 album, is released. The title song’s controversial video was withdrawn the previous month.
Madonna and Britney Spears kiss after performing “Like a Virgin” on the MTV Video Music Awards.
On her 47th birthday, Madonna cracks three ribs and breaks her collarbone and hand in a fall from a horse.
Confessions on a Dance Floor, by Madonna, is released. It is the artist’s tenth album of new material and sixth to reach #1.
Madonna is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 23rd annual induction dinner. Justin Timberlake is her presenter.