Possibly the only 50-year-old woman hot enough to jump out of her own birthday cake, Madonna (who hits the big 5-0 this Saturday, the 16th) is an inspiration to women of all ages. Here, we continue our birthday celebration of her American life with five more magic moments from her illustrious career. And there's only five more to go before we hit number one!
6) Madonna Enters The Rock Hall Of Fame
You know you're officially the Coolest Woman In The World when you're inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame by Justin Timberlake, and the Stooges honor you at the ceremony with punk-rock covers of "Burnin' Up" and "Ray Of Light." Really now, how better to pay homage to Madonna on her big night? Here are a couple clips of Madonna getting her Hall Of Fame due earlier this year...and with men like Justin and Iggy Pop fawning over her, she probably didn't even miss her husband Guy Ritchie, who oddly did not attend the ceremony and was not thanked in her acceptance speech:
7) She Visits Seymour Stein In The Hospital
Madonna certainly has a good bedside manner. When Sire Records founder Seymour Stein was hospitalized in the early '80s for an infection stemming from a heart condition, a young unknown named Madonna Louise Ciccone paid him a personal visit. Legend has it she persuaded him to sign her record contract right then and there, as he lay in his sick bed in his green hospital-issue pajamas. And the rest was history. It may have seemed selfish of Madge at the time, but surely the millions of dollars she eventually earned for Stein's company must have been good for what ailed him.
8) "American Life" Goes Back In The Vault
From the too-hot-for-TV "Justify My Love" longform video to the cross-burning epic "Like A Prayer," Madonna has made some controversial, even outright banned music videos. But in the case of the 2003 video for American Life's title track, the censorship was self-inflicted. Madonna's original "American Life" video was blatantly anti-war, some might even say unpatriotic, and given the flak (and death threats) the Dixie Chicks had recently received after their little "we're ashamed George Bush is from Texas" remark, Madonna wasn't taking any chances. Her choice to shelve the video was a rare moment of conservatism from a woman who'd never before seemed to care one bit if she offended anyone and everyone. In a way, this was actually a little disappointing. Even more disappointing was the quickly slapped-together video released in the aborted video's place, which resembled a public-access cable show with its cheapo, not-so-special, green-screen effects. Compare and contrast the original and revised versions of "American Life" below:
9) Our Angel Is A Centerfold
Old, presumed-forgotten nude photos cropping up Penthouse and Playboy--especially old photos featuring noticeably unshaven armpits--could be a major career disaster for a budding pop star. But not for Madonna, of course. Sure, she tried to block her nudie pics--taken in the late '70s--from being published, but when she failed, she just shrugged it off and went about her plan to become the biggest pop star in the world. And she had the last laugh about 10 years later, when she released her Sex book and made a Hefner/Guccione-style fortune off selling her own naked image on her own terms.
10) Desperately Seeking A Good Movie Role
There is one movie role Madonna was born to play: herself. And she did a great job doing just that in her first big major motion picture, Desperately Seeking Susan--in which she was wisely typecast as a smart-talking, midriff-flashing, heartbreaking, hitman-attracting wild child. Subsequent roles in box-office bombs like Body Of Evidence and The Next Best Thing were harder for her to pull off, but Desperately Seeking Susan scenes like the one in which Madonna blow-dries her underarms in a public restroom or sprawls on a suburban husband's king-size bed in a man's button-down and garters...well, those are iconic movie moments, for sure:
Come back tomorrow for the final five Madonna moments!