Bio and birth dates - facts on Madonna and children Lourdes Maria, Rocco, David Banda and Mercy James
Madonna has racked up countless No.1 music hits, music awards and even dipped her toes into acting and bagged herself a number of movie awards. In 1996, Madonna decided to add another credit to her name - Mum.
Madonna announced that she was pregnant with her and dancer boyfriend Carlos Leon's first child together in 1995. While there was much speculation that Madonna was simply using Carlos as a 'sperm donor', Madonna insisted that she 'hadn't become pregnant for shock value', and that it was a happy accident instead.
Madonna showed off her growing baby bump in 1996 and said at the time about her pregnancy, "I have to work for someone in life. I needed something that's mine, that I can be proud of."
Although flamboyant Madonna kept a surprisingly low profile during her pregnancy, she did describe the first moment her unborn baby made her own "on-camera" appearance via an ultrasound! "I was stunned when I saw on the ultrasound a tiny, living creature spinning around in my womb. Tap-dancing, I think. Waving its tiny arms around and trying to suck its thumb. I could have sworn I heard its laughing."
Madonna became a mum for the first time in October 1996 when she gave birth to her 6lb 9oz daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone. Lourdes was born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Many of her fans were surprised that she didn't opt to give brith in the hospital favoured by most high-profile celebrities, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre. Madonna admitted that becoming a mum inspired her to join the Kabbalah faith, which she is still a part of to this day, as are all her children.
After her relationship with Lourdes' dad ended in 1998, Madonna went it alone and kept her daughter Lourdes out of the spotlight for years as she continued to tour and pursue her acting career.
For years of it being just Madonna and Lourdes, it changed when Madonna was introduced to British film director Guy Ritchie by their mutual friends, singer Sting and his wife Trudy Styler. The couple hit it off and in 1999 announced that they were going to give Lourdes a sibling.
Their son, Rocco, was born three weeks prematurely in August, 2000 at a undisclosed hospital in the USA. Although Madonna and Guy were living in the UK at the time, Madonna famously snubbed the option of giving birth in a British hospital, saying, "Come on, have you been to a hospital in England? They're old and Victorian."
During Madonna's Confessions tour in 2006, Madonna took a trip to Malawi as part of a charity mission and it was here that she met her future adopted son David Banda, who she met at the 'Home of Hope' orphanage in Mchinji, Malawi when he was one. Madonna was so moved by what she saw, she filed for adoption of the little boy around the same time it was rumoured that her and Guy's marriage was on the rocks. She originally tried to adopt a little girl named Mercy, whose mum had died during childbirth, but the girl's grandmother refused.
The adoption proceedings were long and complicated because it's currently illegal to adopt in Malawi. Her adoption was a controversial one because David's dad was still alive, but unable to look after him. Even the Queen of overseas adoption, Angelina Jolie, voiced her views at the time on Madonna's decision to adopt. "Personally, I prefer to stay on the right side of the law. I would never take a child away from a place where adoption is illegal," she said at the time.
Madonna and Guy brought David home in 2006 but it wasn't until Christmas 2007 that the adoption was approved by the Malawian government. Many felt that Madonna was given preferential treatment and side stepped the adoption laws because of her star status. Sadly, a year after Madonna and Guy brought David to the UK, the couple decided to split and divorced after eight years of marriage.
However, whispers about Madonna's star treatment during David's adoption and endless stories about her complicated divorce from Guy, didn't stop Madonna pursuing her dream of a bigger family. In 2009, Madonna decided to adopt again - and the complications were just as major! Madonna set her heart on adopting the Malawian orphan girl Mercy James who she couldn't adopt before. Her first bid was rejected because she wasn't a Malawi resident and Mercy's dad wouldn't allow it. However, after an appeal (and much speculation that she was given the green light because of the £12 million she donated to Malawian orphanges), Madonna was given the green light from Malawian courts to adopt her officially adopted Mercy in June, 2009.
Madonna and her four children are regularly seen hanging out together or jetsetting from country to country, however it's eldest daughter Lourdes who is seen with her pop star mum most often.
Although Lourdes was brought up by her mum, she still remains close to dad Carlos and regularly stays with him in New York, where he lives. His dancing roots have obviously rubbed off on her and combined with her mum's singing talent, it's clear to see that Lourdes has inherited the pop star/ performer gene.
After Lourdes revealed to her mum that she wanted to be an actress and a dancer, strict Madonna insisted Lourdes finish school before heading down the entertainment route. Lourdes enrolled in the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts in New York, which boasts actress Jennifer Aniston as a former pupil.
During ther past few years, we've seen alot more of Lourdes. It was even announced that her and mum Madonna were joining forces to launch a teenage clothing range, Material Girl. Despite rumours that Madonna isn't very close to her children, (apparently they have to make 'appointments' with her), Madonna appears to have a great relationship with her mini-me daughter, so great, she even borrows her clothes!
Madonna's eldest son Rocco splits his time between New York, where mum Madonna lives, and the UK where his dad Guy Ritchie lives. Poor Rocco recently found himself sandwiched in a row about his schooling recently, after it was revealed that his parents views clashed - with Madonna wanted him to be educated in the USA, but Guy wanting him nearer in the UK. It's rumoured that Madge is now considering a move to the UK, so it looks like Guy might have won that battle...
However, it's not all doom and gloom in Rocco's life. Due to his jetsetting lifestyle as a celebrity child, he gets to go on tour with his mum and tread the red carpet at film premiere's with his dad.
Two years ago Rocco proved that it wasn't just his sister Lourdes who had potential star quality. During his mum's Sticky & Sweet tour in 2009, Rocco took to the stage and showed off some impressive break dancing moves in front of a huge crowd in Tel Aviv.
His dance moves went down a storm and they were so good, his pop star mum even let him (and sister Lourdes) appear in her 'Hung Up' music video where he busted the same moves. It ended up being a huge hit on YouTube!
Rocco even got to go behind the scenes and help his mum out on her directing debut, 'Filth and Wisdom'. Looking the spitting image of his dad Guy, Rocco helped his mum keep his other siblings David and Mercy entertained. Do we spy a mini-film director in the making?
Rocco has also been dubbed as the next 'it' rich kid for the future, alongside the Beckham boys Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz...
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