52 Things You Didn’t Know About Madonna

Today is Madonna’s 52nd birthday, and while she has decided to celebrate it with a guitar-shaped birthday cake and an intimate party at London’s Shoreditch House, we’re rounding up some of our favorite facts about the pop star after the jump. Feel free to add anything that we’ve missed in the comments!

1. Madonna was born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, which she once referred to as “a stinky, little town in Northern Michigan,” on national television.

2. She was raised in Pontiac, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

3. Her mother, Madonna Louise, died of breast cancer in 1963.

4. Madonna was referred to as “Little Nonni” to distinguish her from her mother.

5. Her father, Silvio Anthony Ciccone, was a first-generation Italian American from Pacentro, Italy. He worked as a an engineer for Chrysler and General Motors.

6. Madonna was the third of six children: Martin, Anthony, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie. She was the eldest daughter.

7. Madonna once described her childhood self to Vanity Fair as a “lonely girl who was searching for something. I wasn’t rebellious in a certain way. I cared about being good at something. I didn’t shave my underarms and I didn’t wear make-up like normal girls do. But I studied and I got good grades…. I wanted to be somebody.”

8. In middle school, Madonna was known for doing cartwheels and handstands in the hallway and flashing boys her underwear.

9. Eventually her father got remarried to the family’s housekeeper. They had two additional children, and moved to a larger house in Rochester Hills.