[FOUNTAIN]Fame and a nameMadonna is a common name for girls in Italy. In English, Madonna is a respectful term for “lady.” Roman catholics refer to the Virgin Mary as Madonna. The name has been popular among many Italian-Americans since the early 20th century. But the name has gained even greater fame because the pop diva Madonna has become a world-renowned singer and entertainer.
Her original name was Maria Louise Veronica Ciccone.
The early life of this celebrated performer was full of hardship. She was born into an Italian-American family in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1958. She was the eldest of the eight children, the daughter of a poor car mechanic. When she was 5 years old, she watched her mother die of breast cancer. When her father remarried soon after her biological mother’s death, Madonna refused to call her stepmother “Mom.”
Madonna got into the world of dance because her boyfriend was a ballet dancer. She was admitted to the University of Michigan on a dance scholarship, but she dropped out of the college and went to New York City when she was 20. When she arrived, she told a taxi driver to drop her at the center of the world, Times Square. All Madonna had was $35 and a snuggly doll.
Ambitious, she danced in order to dominate the world. She worked as a part-time nude model and a clerk at a convenience store, but every night she sang and danced at clubs. Within five years, a music producer discovered her and she came out with an album titled “Madonna.” From her second album emerged the smash hit single “Like a Virgin,” which immediately sent her to the top of the music world.
“Like a Virgin” is meant to upset the image of the sacred Virgin Mary. In her music video, Madonna dances and tempts men while dressed in white lace veils. Madonna confessed that her images can be described as both virginal and prostitutional.
Another album, “Erotica,” released in 1992, featured explicit lyrics, and her 1992 nude photo album, titled simply “Sex,” had a cooperating effect on readers.
Madonna, who has been in the entertainment world for 20 years, continues to provoke and provide variations of her image based on sexuality. However, her most recent album, “American Life,” is an anti-war salute. In this album, Madonna criticizes American self-righteousness and materialism. Maybe, she is trying to return to the sacred image that is her name.
by Oh Byung-sang
The writer is the London correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.