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Madonna Gets Rock Hall Of Fame Nod

Of the Oakland Press

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will welcome a Material Girl from Michigan next year.

Madonna, a Bay City native who was raised in Pontiac and Avon Township (now Rochester Hills), was one of five acts named to the hall’s class of 2008, joining Indiana rocker John Mellencamp, Canadian singer-songwriter-poet Leonard Cohen, the British pop group the Dave Clark Five and the instrumental group the Ventures.

Little Walter will be inducted in the sideman category, while the newly named Ahmet Ertegun Award for nonperformers will go to legendary Philly Soul producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

The induction ceremony will be March 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland will feature special exhibits dedicated to Madonna and the other inductees in the spring.

Madonna made it into the hall on her first ballot, commemorating a 27-year recording career during which she’s sold more than 200 million albums worldwide and scored hits such as “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “Live to Tell,” “Ray of Light” and “Music.” She’s also acted, with mixed results, with starring roles in films such as “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Evita.” In 2001, the Guinness Book of World Records named her the world’s most successful female musician.

She has also courted controversy thanks to her forthright sexual imagery — including the explicit book “Sex” — and the socio-political-religious commentary that’s dotted both her songs and videos.

Madonna, who graduated with high honors from Rochester Adams High School, where she was a cheerleader and a thespian, is the third of six children born to Silvio “Tony” Ciccone and his late wife, Madonna’s namesake. She has a half-brother and sister from her father’s second marriage.

She attended the University of Michigan on a dance scholarship but dropped out in 1977 to move to New York, where she began singing with a group called the Breakfast Club, following a stint dancing for French disco singer Patrick Hernandez.

Madonna’s rock hall news went unnoticed at her alma mater Thursday (Dec. 13). “We didn’t hear a thing,” said Judy Bronczyk, assistant to the principal at Rochester Adams. Bronczyk said the school used to keep Madonna’s yearbook on display, but removed it after it was stolen several times.

Madonna, 49, currently spends most of her time in England with her second husband, film director Guy Ritchie. They have one child, son Rocco, 7, and also are raising Lourdes, 11, her daughter with trainer Carlos Leon.

The couple adopted a Malawian baby boy, David Banda Mwale, in 2006. She was married for four years to actor Sean Penn, with whom she made the big-screen flop “Shanghai Surprise” in 1986.

She reportedly owns property in the Traverse City area, where her father operates a winery.

Madonna last performed in the area Aug. 25-26, 2001. The second show was broadcast live on HBO. She has skipped the Detroit area on every tour since.

Madonna is the area’s first rock hall inductee since 2004.

Nearly 25 artists with Detroit or Michigan ties have been inducted, including Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr., Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Bill Haley and Parliament/Funkadelic.

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