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Celebrity birthdays: Madonna turns 56

16 AUGUST 2014

Happy birthday Madonna! As the Queen of Pop turns 56, HELLO! Online takes a look at what the stars have in store for Madonna and you...

This is what Madonna, who is a Leo, can be expecting today:

Why are there so many billions of people on the planet? That's surely a little excessive. You couldn't possibly get around to meeting them all, even if you tried. But perhaps we are here, in such vast numbers, so that we never run out of others on whom to pin blame. There will always be a fool who should have known better or an idiot who has made it all go wrong. It is tempting now to hold someone else responsible for a silly situation. But you need a solution, not a scapegoat, this week.

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 Madonna

There's no denying Madonna is the mother of reinvention. The Michigan-born icon is one of the few people to have remained a mover and shaker on the pop scene over the course of her three-decade-long career. While the diva's propensity to shock has lessened, she still has the capacity to surprise the world.

Born on 16 August the third of eight children, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone lost her mother to breast cancer when she was just six years old. "I became an over-achiever to get approval from the world," she explained later.

She left the University of Michigan, where she was studying dance, after just three terms and hot-footed it to New York with $35 in her pocket. A regular on the club scene she worked at developing her vocal talents and soon signed a record deal. Success came in 1984 with Holiday and Like A Virgin. The latter's provocative video combined with the growing influence of MTV meant she was soon a global player in the pop world.

During filming Evita  in Argentina, where she won a Golden Globe for her performance as Eva Peron,  Madonna discovered she was pregnant by her boyfriend, personal trainer Carlos Leon. Their daughter Lourdes was born in October 1996, inspiring the Grammy award-winning album Ray Of Light.

The singer had married actor Sean Penn in 1985, but the two divorced four years later. Madonna had always said she would never marry again but that was before she met British film director Guy Ritchie. "My head spun round on my body," she said of their first meeting. They married in 2000 and the same year their son Rocco was born. In 2008 they divorced.

Madonna adopted two other children David Banda and Mercy James, who are both now eight years old.

The superstar is currently dating 26-year-old Timor Steffens.

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