Madonna on Strength from Sadness You only have your voice.

Madonna is an American singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman and is considered to be one of the most influential women in contemporary music. She is the undisputed queen of pop, known for pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream music and imagery in her music videos.

She graduated high school with a dance scholarship but dropped out of university to move to New York in 1982. She was discovered by Sire Records and released her first single ‘Everybody’. In 1984, when Madonna appeared on the TV show American Bandstand. Dick Clark asked her what her goal was, without any hesitation she replied “to rule the world”.

The pop legend was not born with this kind of self-confidence. Circumstances in her early life made her who she is today. Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan on August 16, 1958. She was only five years old when her mother died from breast cancer; the early loss of her mother significantly affected Madonna’s adolescence.

Haunted by the memories of her mother’s frailty during her final days, Madonna was determined to make her own voice heard. Following her mother’s death, Madonna knew that she would have to remain strong and be the queen of her own castle.

“If you want to affect change in the world, you do have to have a platform to stand on. And in order to have a platform to stand on, you have to keep doing your job.” – Madonna

Her perseverance was apparent in her 1985 album, Like a Virgin, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Chart. By 1991, she had achieved 21 top ten hits in the United States and sold more than 70 million albums internationally. In January 2008, she was named the world’s wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine.

Madonna constantly stirred up controversy in her career with the use of explicit sexual imagery and lyrics, religious symbolism and irreverent behaviour in her live performances, which forced the public to sit up and take notice. She also made headlines in her relationships with some famous celebrities; she remained unapologetic and defiant despite numerous criticisms.

“I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams.” – Madonna

Having established herself as the queen of popular music, Madonna did not stop there, but continued re-inventing. That’s how she was able to stand the test of time; her musical style never idled and never aged. Adapting to culture’s changing while still keeping true to Madonna kept her relevant while other artists from her era faded.

The anguish of losing a loved one can be devastating. Madonna did not let the emptiness of losing her mother get the better of her. She got over the heartache and made herself strong. When we go through tough times we must remind ourselves to be strong and channel our energy into something productive, turning our weakness into strengths. The power to reinvent is within us. We just need to recognize it.

“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, You can always change, become a better version of yourself ” – Madonna


Image Credit: Olavtenbroek (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons