Madonna is as popular today, if not more so, than she was twenty years ago.

Not only is there a continuing interest in Madonna, but critics have recently rated her latest album 5 stars.

Well, the critics may love it, but how about you and I. Myself, being a total 80s kid, I miss the pre-90s Madonna.

But the new Madonna is still breaking social barriers for women and giving girls the hope to break through the glass ceiling to realize their full potential in their creative and work lives. In short, Maddona’s still totally cool!

For new and old Madonna fans, here are a few things you may not have known about one of your favorite stars:

Madonna 80s1. Madonna was born Madonna Loise Veronica Ciccone.

2. She was the third child and eldest daughter of lower-middle class Italian American parents Silvio and Madonna.

3. The nickname her father gave her as a child was “Little Noni”.

4. Madonna was born on August 16, 1959 – making her a Leo. The Lion is considered to be generous and warmhearted, creative and enthusiastic, broad-minded and expansive, faithful and loving.

However, the Lion can also be pompous and patronizing, bossy and interfering, as well as dogmatic and intolerant.

These traits, when compared to what many who have known Madonna through the years have said of her, do indeed sum her up well.

5. Madonna graduated from Rochester Adams High School in 1976 when she was 17, and the recognition she’d gained from acting in the lead roles at her high school theater, combined with her strong academic achievements got her a four-year scholarship to the University of Michigan’s dance departments.

She chose to spend the summer in New York City studying dance with top choreographers, turning down a “free-ride” at the University of Michigan, which of course, was offered again later.

6. The year was 1978. Madonna did attend college for a year, but quit and returned to New York City for good to continue her dance studies.

Working odd jobs and living in a cockroach infested apartment in New Yorks Lower East Side, absorbing the ethnic and urban culture of the place, romanticizing her gypsy lifestyle, experimenting with her looks and driving herself harder than ever to achieve what she then thought she wanted to be.

7. In 1979, Madonna met Dan Gilroy of The Breakfast Club – called such because they often rehearsed until early in the morning and ate breakfast together after rehearsal. Madonna had vague notions of becoming a singer at this point.

8. She left Dan and went to Paris for a while as a sort of “pet project” for tow wealthy Frenchman she’d met who said they’d make her star. Madonna was bored in Paris, and she needed desperately to “get back to work”, realizing that she was not getting anywhere.

9. Madonna hooked back up with Dan Gilroy, who helped her learn to play the drums. Yes she played the drums. She had caught the music bug for good now and, after briefly playing in some of New York’s seedier clubs, it was time for her to strike out on her own.

10. It was early 1980 and Madonna was 20 years old. Madonna moved into an old loft in Manhattan and began recruiting musicians. She called her first group “Emmy”, after the nickname Dan Gilroy had given her when she was a full-fledged, drum-pounding member of The Breakfast Club.

Madonna Loise Veronica Ciccone Early 80sMadonna’s life at this point began to take on a momentum of it’s own. Things were looking up musically. There were many challenges for Madonna at this critic turning point in her life and career.

She got involved in nude modeling again, acting and more. Oftentimes whenever things looked as if they couldn’t get any worse, a seeming miracle would happen and everything would turn around.

Here “blond ambition” was now at full throttle and things began to happen fast for Madonna.

Stay-tuned for more about the ‘material girl”. The years from 1981-1985 were fascinating for any Madonna fan and I look forward to sharing in more detail many interesting facts about Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.