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Kristin Booker • August 17, 2009

Daily Style Icon: Madonna

Madonna performs in Goteborg, Sweden

Photo Credit:Photo by Patrik Jonsson/Stella Pictures/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom.

This week’s FSB style icons are changelings, women who have reinvented themselves and emerged better and brighter not only from a style perspective but who have emerged like a phoenix from the flames to have incredible careers. Let’s kick this off with the ultimate changeling, yesterday’s birthday girl, Madonna.

Born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City in 1977 and never looked back. After some time in the club scene, she released her self-titled debut album, Madonna in 1983, and became an instant sensation in both music and fashion. If you were alive then, it didn’t matter what color or size you were or what your demographic might have been: you wanted black rubber bangles, a huge cross dangling from your ear, permed hair and a club-kid outfit. We ALL wanted to be Madonna.

Throughout her career, Madonna’s countless style reinventions cause ripple effects through the industry. From her partnerships with designers (John-Paul Gaultier, Dolce and Gabanna, Gucci, Stella McCartney) to her ability to broadcast what’s happening underground with style and make it mainstream, Madonna is the icon who makes it perfectly okay to break away from the crowd and stand out. Sometimes vilified for her opinions and ambitions, Madonna has remained a true model of screwing your courage to the sticking place and remaining unswayed when you know what you want. She’s famously said,”I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” I think it makes her one of my heroes.

Ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century, the stats of Blonde Ambition are proof that the woman knows what she’s doing: she’s sold over 200 million albums worldwide. In 2007, Madonna was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful female recording artist of all time and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the following year. Having just celebrated her 51st birthday yesterday , she’s remains a force to be reckoned with both on the world stage and in the style arena.

It would be impossible to pick just one Madonna look to highlight, so here is a group of fabulous drag queens dressed in her multiple incarnations as part of her MTV VMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. She’s obviously had other style changes since then, but this is so much fun.

Madonna, there are so many things I can say about your style and beauty, but the most important lesson you ever taught us is to express ourselves. Thanks for never backing down, baby. You’re an ultimate style icon.

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