Bay City native Madonna’s song “Like a Virgin” reached the top of the Billboard charts on Dec. 22, 1984 — and stayed there for six weeks.
Ironically, the song that made her career hadn’t been written for her or even for a female singer, according to “The Billboard Book of Number One Hits.” Warner Brothers Records executive Michael Ostin happened to have a meeting with Madonna the night after he’d heard the song, and when he played it for her, the future pop icon grabbed the chance to make it hers.
The blonde who was born Madonna Louise Ciccone has gone on to become a fashion icon and actress. She married and later divorced Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie.
Her hits have included “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Like a Prayer,” “Express Yourself,” “Justify My Love” and “Hung Up.”
The 55-year-old, who grew up in the same neighborhood where Bob Seger and his family lived, attended St. Frederick’s in Pontiac and St. Andrew’s and West Junior High in Rochester before graduating from Rochester’s Adams High School and studying ballet at the University of Michigan for a year. Her father was a Chrysler/General Dynamics engineer.
Before college, Madonna took dance with private instructor Christopher Flynn, who ran the Christopher Ballet in Rochester and took her to the Detroit gay dance club Menjo’s.
Michigan native Madonna and two dancers perform an encore of 'Like a Virgin' during a show at Cobo Arena in 1985. / Detroit Free Press