Rags to Riches: The Madonna Story You Never Knew

By Jack Ripley | December 27, 2023

Her First Breakthrough Hit Was "Holiday", But She Didn't Write It, 1983

Welcome to a visual journey of the Material Girl! From her religious start in Michigan, to the gritty streets of New York City, to the dazzling heights of pop royalty, this electrifying photo gallery charts the meteoric rise and lasting legacy of the one and only Madonna. Prepare to be mesmerized as you witness the evolution of an icon who defied convention, broke boundaries, and redefined the world of music and fashion. Get ready to strike a pose and join us in celebrating the Queen of Pop's extraordinary journey.

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"Holiday" was initially written by Curtis Hudson and Lisa Stevens of the group Pure Energy, who had hoped to secure the song for another artist. However, fate had other plans, as Sire Records' executive Michael Ostin discovered the catchy tune and recognized its potential as the perfect song for the label's rising star, Madonna. It didn't take long for the Material Girl to put her unique spin on the track, creating an instant dance-pop classic. "Holiday" went on to peak at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, cementing Madonna's status as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Madonna Was A Straight-A Student, 1970's

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Throughout her school years, Madonna always got great grades! She attended St. Frederick's and St. Andrew's Catholic Elementary Schools, then West Middle School, and Rochester Adams High School, with straight A's all the way through. She said:

I wasn't rebellious in a certain way. I cared about being good at something. I didn't shave my underarms and I didn't wear make-up like normal girls do. But I studied and I got good grades... I wanted to be somebody.