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Jeri Heiden, born 1969
Alberto Tolot, born 31 Dec 1969
Madonna, born 16 Aug 1958
Color photolithographic halftone poster
Sheet: 151.1 x 101.6 cm (59 1/2 x 40")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
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Born Bay City, Michigan
Before she became a cultural icon, Madonna studied with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. But by the early 1980s, she had embraced pop choreography, and the rise of MTV would make her a superstar.
The “Material Girl” used the razzle-dazzle of music videos to transform pop concerts into dance spectacles. Because videos used lip-synching, performers could concentrate on showmanship, and Madonna’s pyrotechnical extravaganzas were unsurpassed. She popularized the use of the headset microphone to allow greater movement and used choreography to continually push conventional boundaries. She was also the first performer to use her concert tours as reenactments of her music videos. In 2003 MTV named her “The Greatest Music Video Star Ever” for her innovative contributions to that art form.
The chart-topping single “Vogue” was featured in the 1990 film Dick Tracy.