• Madonna at 60: Six success secrets from the Queen of Pop

    Singer, songwriter, actress and entrepreneur Madonna is 60 today and Mandy.com is celebrating the international pop sensation's life – and 41 years in showbusiness – by offering up the wise words she's said over the years about how she reached such dizzying heights of success.

    16th Aug 2018By Andrew Wooding

    Madonna Louis Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, US on August 16 1958 and, after dropping out of college, moved to New York with $35 in her pocket to play guitar, drums and vocals in bands and support herself by waitressing.

    After four years of hard work, Madonna signed her first deal with Sire records and achieved international acclaim by 1983 with her first top 10 hit 'Holiday' from her eponymous first album Madonna.

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    Since then, the Queen of Pop has become the wealthiest woman in the music industry with an estimated net worth of $590-$800million (£460-£620), the highest-grossing solo artist of all time and has won seven Grammy awards, two Golden Globes and 283 other awards.

    Here are six brilliant quotes Madonna said over the years on succeeding in the industry:

    1. "One of the things that helps me tell a story through music is to create a character. I have to have a muse, whether it's Frida Kahlo, Martha Graham, Marlene Dietrich, or Pippi Longstocking."

    Madonna's constant self-reinvention has been core to maintaining her fanbase. Creating characters also acts as a way of separating her stage and public persona from her real self – a fantastic way of divorcing work and life.

    2. "I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams."

    Madonna has always pushed the boundaries in her work – often causing controversy – and constantly fights for human rights around the world. Her ability to ignore the white noise and stay loyal to her creative vision is a key ingredient to what made her succeed and continue succeeding.

    3."I guess some people are brilliant enough to be brilliant on their own and never doubt anything and come up with fabulous things. But I think it's good to get into arguments with people and have them say, 'That sucks' or 'You're crazy' or 'That's cheesy' or 'What do you think of this?'"

    Madonna's commitment to hearing criticism from outsiders has helped her hone her skills continually over four decades. Listening to opinions – and analysing or confronting them – is a great quality to have to succeed.

    4. "I always thought I should be treated like a star."

    Madonna's belief that she was, and is, entitled to success is unmatched. Faith, as well as hard work and talent, is one of the main foundations every performer needs to rise. If you don't believe you're entitled to your dreams, they're unlikely to come true.

    5. "I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want."

    Madonna's focus, thick skin and ambition have helped her achieve almost endless goals. Whether making music, movies, fashion designing, writing children's books or running her own business, the American dreamer has always entered each endeavour with a clear idea of what she wants to get out of it.

    6. "I always felt like I was a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn't fit in anywhere."

    For those feeling like they don't belong, Madonna proves that being an outcast can be made into a weapon for success just as much as a disadvantage.

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