Madonna wore this corset on her 1990 Blond Ambition tour, and it quickly became one of many iconic looks associated with the entertainer.

Photograph by Brandon Carson, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Download this file

  • On August 16, 1958, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan. Madonna is the best-selling female recording artist of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and recognized by music industry magazine Billboard as the most successful solo artist in its history.

    Madonna’s continually evolving public persona inspired an entirely new, entirely controversial, area of focus in popular culture: “Madonna studies.” Historians, musicians, and anthropologists trace her influences—from African American gospel music to Japanese fashion, Middle Eastern spirituality to feminist art history—and the ways she borrows, adapts, and interprets them.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    adapt Verb

    to adjust to new surroundings or a new situation.

    anthropologist Noun

    person who studies cultures and characteristics of communities and civilizations.

    controversial Noun

    questionable or leading to argument.

    historian Noun

    person who studies events and ideas of the past.

    industry Noun

    activity that produces goods and services.

    interpret Verb

    to explain or understand the meaning of something.

    popular culture Noun

    goods, services, ideas, and patterns of their use in a population.

    public Adjective

    available to an entire community, not limited to paying members.

    spirituality Noun

    belief in supernatural powers.