August 16, 1958: American singer & actress Madonna born

Madonna (1958-)

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the “Queen of Pop” since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music, as well as visual imagery in music videos and on stage. She has also frequently reinvented both her music and image while maintaining autonomy within the recording industry. Besides sparking controversy, her works have been praised by music critics. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.

Madonna moved to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing as a drummer, guitarist and vocalist in the rock bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, Madonna signed with Sire Records in 1982 and released her eponymous debut album the next year. She followed it with a series of successful albums, including the global bestsellers, Like a Virgin (1984) and True Blue (1986), as well as Grammy Award winner, Ray of Light (1998). Throughout her career, Madonna has written and produced most of her songs, with many of them reaching number one on the record charts, including “Like a Virgin”, “La Isla Bonita”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Take a Bow”, and “Frozen”.

Madonna’s popularity was further enhanced by her roles in films such as Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Dick Tracy (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), and Evita (1996). While the latter earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, many of her other films received poor reviews. As a businesswoman, Madonna founded her own entertainment company Maverick, including the label Maverick Records, in 1992. Her other ventures include fashion design, writing children’s books, opening of health clubs, and film-making.

Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is recognised as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) listed her as the second highest-certified female artist in the U.S., with 64.5 million album units. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo act on its Hot 100 song chart and second overall behind the Beatles. She is also the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, earning U.S. $1.4 billion from her concert tickets. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility, Madonna topped VH1’s countdown of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Additionally, Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

20th Century Works


August 16, 1988: The Presidio opens in UK cinemas

1988-The_PresidioThe Presidio is an American crime drama film starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon.


When a landmark of historic tradition becomes the scene of a shocking murder, a military commander and a street-tough cop are forced into action…

against the killer, the mysterious past, and each other.

Jay Austin is now a civilian police detective. Colonel Caldwell was his commanding officer years before when he left the military police over a disagreement over the handling of a drunk driver. Now a series of murders that cross jurisdictions force them to work together again. That Austin is now dating Caldwell’s daughter is not helping the relationship at all. []


Sean Connery (1930-), “Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell”

Mark Harmon (1951-), “SFPD inspector Jay Austin”

Meg Ryan (1961-), “Donna Caldwell”

Jack Warden (1909-2006), “Max Corkle”

August 16, 1958: American actress Angela Bassett born

Angela Bassett (1958-)

Angela Bassett is an American actress and activist. She is known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won a corresponding Golden Globe Award. Bassett has additionally portrayed Betty Shabazz in both Malcolm X (1992) and Panther (1995), and Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992).

Bassett began her film career in the mid-1980s, after earning a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a master of fine arts degree from drama school. In the 1990s, she appeared in films nearly every year. Bassett won awards for her performances in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Music of the Heart (1999), among others.

20th Century Highlights
The Jacksons – An American Dream (1992 TV miniseries), Katherine Jackson
Malcolm X (1992), Betty Shabazz

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993), Tina Turner

Strange Days (1995), “Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason”

Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), “Detective Rita Veder”

Waiting to Exhale (1995), “Bernadine ‘Bernie’ Harris”

How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), “Stella Payne”

Music of the Heart (1999), “Janet Williams”