Madonna, a mediocre singer on a good day, opted for ‘style’ over substance, in a distinctly unforseen way. One has to remember that Madonna broke in the middle of the 1980s, when female popstars were not prone to rampantly blurring the lines between pornstar and popstar.
Since the beginning of her career in the early 1980s, American singer and songwriter Madonna has had a social-cultural impact on the world through her recordings, attitude, clothing and lifestyle. Called the "Queen of Pop", Madonna is labeled by international authors as the greatest woman in music, as well as the most influential and iconic female recording artist of all time.
A global cultural icon, Madonna has built a legacy that goes beyond music and has been studied by sociologists, historians and other social scientists. Her impact is often compared with that of Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Michael Jackson; they are the best selling acts of all time in the general, solo male and female category respectively. Madonna is a key figure in popular music; critics have retrospectively credited her presence, success and contributions with paving the way for every female artist and changing forever the music scene for women in the music history, as well as for today's pop stars. Even reviews of her work have served as a roadmap for scrutinizing women at each stage in their music career.
Madonna is the first multimedia pop icon in history and professionals agree that she has become the world's biggest and most socially significant pop icon, as well as the most controversial. However, some intellectuals, like the Frenchman Georges Claude Guilbert, felt that she has greater cultural importance, like a myth, that has apparent universality and timelessness. References to Madonna in popular culture are found in the arts, food, science and each branch of entertainment. In a general sense, journalist Peter Robinson noted that "Madonna invented contemporary pop fame so there is a little bit of her in the DNA of every modern pop thing."
However, she is not only an omnipresent figure, but also a polarizing one. During her career, Madonna has attracted contradictory cultural social attention from family organizations, feminist "anti-porn" and religious groups worldwide with boycott and protests.