Madonna (entertainer)

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Madonna (entertainer) : biography

August 16, 1958 –

Her tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, was released in November 2005. Musically the album was structured like a club set composed by a DJ with Keith Caulfield from Billboard commented that the album was a "welcome return to form for the Queen of Pop." The album won a Grammy Award for "Best Electronic/Dance Album". Confessions on a Dance Floor and its lead single, "Hung Up", went on to reach number one in 40 and 41 countries respectively, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The song contained a sample of ABBA’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), only the second time that ABBA has allowed their work to be used. ABBA songwriter Björn Ulvaeus remarked "It is a wonderful track—100 per cent solid pop music." "Sorry", the second single, became Madonna’s twelfth number-one single in the UK. She embarked on the Confessions Tour in May 2006, which had a global audience of 1.2 million and grossed over $193.7 million, becoming the highest-grossing tour to that date for a female artist. Madonna used religious symbols, such as the crucifix and Crown of Thorns, in the performance of "Live to Tell". It caused the Russian Orthodox Church and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia to urge all their members to boycott her concert. The Vatican condemned her mock-crucifixion as blasphemous. Madonna replied that performance was neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous and was intended to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. In the same year, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry announced officially that Madonna had sold over 200 million copies for her albums alone worldwide.

While on tour, Madonna participated in the Raising Malawi initiative by partially funding an orphanage in and traveling to that country. On October 10, 2006, she filed adoption papers for a boy from the orphanage, David Banda Mwale. He was later renamed David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie. The adoption raised strong public reaction, because Malawian law requires would-be parents to reside in Malawi for one year before adopting, which Madonna did not do. She addressed this on The Oprah Winfrey Show, saying that there were no written adoption laws in Malawi that regulated foreign adoption. She described how Banda had been suffering from pneumonia after surviving malaria and tuberculosis when she first met him. Banda’s biological father, Yohane, commented, "These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing … They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband." The adoption was finalized on May 28, 2008.

A clothing line titled M by Madonna, in collaboration with Swedish clothing retailer H&M, was launched internationally in 2006. The collection consisted of leather trench coats, sequined shift dresses, cream-colored calf-length pants and matching cropped jackets. H&M said the collection reflected Madonna’s "timeless, unique and always glamorous style."

2007–09: Live Nation, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Hard Candy

Madonna released the song "Hey You" for the Live Earth series of concerts. The song was available as a free download during its first week of release. She also performed it at the London Live Earth concert. Madonna announced her departure from Warner Bros. Records, and a new $120 million, ten-year 360 deal with Live Nation. She produced and wrote I Am Because We Are, a documentary on the problems faced by Malawians. The documentary was directed by Nathan Rissman, who worked as Madonna’s gardener. She also directed her first film Filth and Wisdom. The plot of the film revolved around three friends and their aspirations. The Times said she had "done herself proud" while The Daily Telegraph described the film as "not an entirely unpromising first effort [but] Madonna would do well to hang on to her day job." In December 2007, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced Madonna as one of the five inductees of 2008. At the induction ceremony on March 10, 2008, Madonna did not sing but asked fellow Hall of Fame inductees and Michigan natives The Stooges to perform her songs "Burning Up" and "Ray of Light". She thanked Christopher Flynn, her dance teacher from 35 years earlier, for his encouragement to follow her dreams.