Happy birthday to our favorite Material Girl!
Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone) celebrates her 52nd birthday Monday, and RadarOnline.com has long lost pictures of the Like A Virgin singer before she was famous – before she was a music icon – and before she was a mom.
In these professionally shot black-and-white photographs – taken in 1978 and 1979 – Madonna was just 20-years-old and had recently moved to New York City to study dance after having dropped out of college at the University of Michigan, where she was a dance major.
The Bay City, Michigan native soon found herself emersed into the New York underground club scene, where she was exposed to a new sound in dance music that inspired her to begin performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy.
In 1982, while establishing herself as a singer in the Big Apple, Madonna met Seymour Stein, president of Sire Records, who signed her after listening to her first dance single Everybody, which would hit #3 on the dance chart.
On July 27, 1983, when she was nearly 25, she released her debut album for Sire. It was simply entitled, Madonna, and as they say – the rest is history!
In all, Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world’s top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States, behind Barbra Streisand, with 64 million certified albums.
In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Madonna 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 chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year.
Happy birthday Madonna!