Legendary recording artist Madonna has a lot to be proud of, both in and out of her illustrious career, although lately, she seems to be losing a bit of confidence. Despite her prestigious sex symbol image, the star has recently released statements claiming she has a “love/hate relationship” with her body, and although she has garnered more awards than most people even know exist, she claims she’s become tired with her own music. The passage of time and repetition are sure causes of her funk, but a quick look back at 10 of the greatest achievements of Madonna’s career may help to motivate the aging star.
1: She’s the Most Successful Dance Artist in Music History
Outdoing even the late master Michael Jackson, Madonna has had a plethora of success with her dancing prowess, as well as her music. Her choreography has been replicated and adored by many fans and fellow dancers, and teaching moves from her famous dances has become a prime feature of the Hard Candy Fitness Studio (of which she is the co-proprieter). It recently celebrated a Toronto opening (the first in Canada), with Madonna herself attending the opening ceremonies. The 11 International Dance Music Awards, gained within a timeframe of 10 years, that Madonna has won, and the numerous others she has been nominated for, all attest to her dancing genius.
2: She’s Spawned a Huge Number of Chart-Topping Singles
With twelve number one singles to top the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and the Guinness World Record for the most number one singles in the UK, Madonna has been a force to be reckoned with in the music world. She also holds the number four spot for most number one singles in the US, with the only female artists to outdo her being Rihanna and Mariah Carey.
3: She’s a Cultural Icon
There is hardly a household to be entered that hasn’t heard of Madonna, be it for her dancing career, music, or movie appearances. She’s the undisputed Queen of Pop, the Material Girl, and she travels with an air of equal parts controversy and reverence wherever she goes.
4: She’s a Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer
Madonna’s long career of chart-topping music landed her as a Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee in 2008. Inspiring many current chart-topping artists, such as Lady Gaga, Pink, and Beyonce, she set the industry standard for stage performance, songwriting and imaginative costumes, paving the way for today’s pop celebrities. It could be argued that her risqué cone brassieres single-handedly spawned a new generation of sexually daring performers.
5: She’s a Movie Star
A two-time Golden Globe Award winner, Madonna has been established as a multimedia powerhouse, and her acclaimed performance as the lead role of Eva Peron in 1996’s Evita launched her to film superstardom. Apart from starring in feature films, the Material Girl also holds the record for most MTV Video Music Awards, with 20 awards won and over 50 other nominations.
6: She’s Got an Award Winning Body
2002 saw Madonna being awarded the number one slot on VH1’s 100 Sexiest Artists list. Over 10 years later in 2013, she was ranked number 21 on VH1’s updated list, an achievement Madonna is surely proud of, given the fact she focuses on health and fitness as of great importance in her life. Even in 2014, at the age of 55, Madonna remains a sex symbol with washboard abs, all while donning her signature suits.
7: She’s a Leading LGBT activist
A well-known activist for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual community and openly bisexual herself, Madonna has been at the forefront of many LGBT rights issues. Along with George Takei of Star Trek fame, Madonna is one of the leading celebrity activists, having prompted her fans at concerts on many occasions to accept equality and acceptance. Before the 2011 Marriage Equality Act in New York, Madonna had urged her fans mid-concert to vote to pass the bill, and, several days later, the bill was passed. Her messages often involve appreciation of self-worth and having no shame for who you are, emphasized by her slogan, “All you need is love.”
8: She’s Rolling in Riches
With a net worth of approximately $650 million, a number that is heavily debated online, as many people believe she has reached billionaire status, Madonna is the richest female recording artist in the world. Through massive tours, online and physical sales of her music, royalties, etc., Madonna has amassed a fortune that most people can only dream of. Not to confuse the Material Girl with a selfish celeb, it should be noted that she frequently gives to charity, most often those involving LGBT rights, health and disease, music, and impoverished children/societies.
9: She’s All About Girl Power
Madonna has long been an advocate for women’s empowerment, and her music often pulls her passion to the forefront, with lyrics like “Long stem roses are the way to your heart, but he needs to start with your head” (from her acclaimed song Express Yourself). Alongside leading female icon Marilyn Monroe, Madonna’s incredible persona and outlook on life has long been an ongoing influence to women. Her powerful beliefs in gender equality, outrageous fashion and staggering multimedia success has earned her the respect and admiration of many women across the globe, an honor that won’t soon be shed.
10: She’s Got Some of the Most Devoted Fans Ever
As a myriad of fan-made sites raving about the Pop Queen will surely testify, Madonna has some seriously loving fans. With approximately 250 million albums sold and a massive amount of awards/nominations, her fans are nothing if not vocal about their admiration, much to Madonna’s satisfaction. Some of the more extreme members of her fan base have even gone so far as to tattoo her face and likeness onto their bodies, showing that a little pain is a small price to pay when it comes to proving devotion.
As one of the greatest stars of the past century, the iconic Madonna has far too many achievements in her life to be summed up effectively in a top 10 list. Though recent problems understandably plague the Material Girl’s mind, there is little doubt her next move will be one for the record books.
By Christopher White