Madonna, the True American IdolCan the media take a real public icon and bring her to her knees? Maybe others will succumb, but never Madonna. Celebrity adoptions in the news, marriages on the rocks, divorce: the media can play up on every small detail, making the life of our entertainment icons come to life, but not always in a positive way.
One of the most popular performers of our time, Madonna rises above the trivia printed in the press and stands true to her goals. A celebrity often feels the need to compromise their goals for fear of their career being harmed, but Madonna has used her fame in order to strengthen her goals and bring assistance to those most needy.
Born Madonna Louise Ciccone, she went to school on a dance scholarship, finally moving to New York City to search for those who could help her in her career. Music was her savior and got her through the tough times. Now that same music is getting others through their tough times.
What are some of the things Madonna has accomplished? She is currently directing a movie in London, her first, called Filth and Wisdom, a thirty-minute comedy by report. And Madonna's music gets acclaim the world over. "Music" was the most successful single in 2000 and won multiple awards. Her album charts show 17 releases with six making #1 and five making #2. In 20 years she won numerous awards, including American Music Awards, International Dance Music Awards and a number of Grammies. Nominations were legion. MTV Video awards fill her shelves.
But besides innumerable DVDs and Videos, CD sales in the clouds, Madonna has worked to help the planet and the people on it. "The Material Girl" has spent countless hours donated to charities aimed at resolving important issues. She has donated many dollars from the sales of her music to fight the war against AIDs. When her new song, "Hey You" was downloadable on Microsoft's Home page, Microsoft pledged 25 cents per download for the first million, donating the money to the Alliance for Climate Protection, one of Madonna's key concerns. She takes part in the call to action in combating Planet Earth's climate crisis.
Madonna doesn't just limit herself only to speaking out on issues of concern. She has taken the care of African orphans to heart with the adoption of a Malawi infant, David Banda. Busy with her celebrity projects, she is never too busy to go out there and make a difference.
Of course, the media has to come into play. Attacks proliferate. Her adoption of the baby came under attack and was challenged by an organization in Africa, quoting rules and concerns, making it seem a bad thing to adopt. Madonna commented on it on the Oprah Winfrey show, "The media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just Malawi, by turning it into such a negative thing." She had found herself drawn to the boy. He survived malaria and tuberculosis and still had pneumonia, and she wanted to ensure he got treatment right away. The baby's birth father supports Madonna's adoption, knowing the child had no future without her.
Yes, the media can make a circus of any life, with gossip about failing marriage "heating up," but who is fanning the flames? It's been reported for years of strain and trouble in her marriage to Guy Richie, but what has come of it? Nothing. They've been together for years, now raising an infant together.
Being a celebrity isn't just about entertaining the American public and Madonna has proven this time and time again. Her celebrity has enabled her to drive home important messages. More importantly, it has enabled her to take effective action to change conditions in our world.
Like all celebrities everywhere, she must deal with the media, the gossip, the turning of some common real-life incident into a crisis. But it's bound to happen, and she will deal with it better than most, because she has the stamina and the integrity of her goals to do it. Yes, our true American Idol.
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