Born August 16, 1958, Madonna Louise Ciccone has come a long way since she first burst on the scene as pop music's "It Girl" of the early 1980s. Known by various names -- Madge, Esther, the Material Girl, and some unfit for a family news source -- Madonna is easily the top-selling female recording artists of all time and also the most controversial. A singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, activist, entrepreneur, and all-round entertainer, she's successfully reinvented herself throughout her career. She's often touted as both the Queen of Reinvention and the Queen of Pop, and it's clear she presides over both domains with confidence and clarity. It was convenient, if unintended, that her career flourished with the advent of MTV and that she took full advantage of the new medium to hew her image. She is, in every sense, the most media-savvy performer to come along in the past 50 years, Elvis and the Beatles notwithstanding.