There's no one quite like Madonna.
Though there have been many imitators and pretenders to the throne in the 30-plus years that she's been reigning as the Queen of Pop, very few have ever even come close to achieving that sort of cultural longevity and impact. With her forward thinking and countless reinventions, Her Madgesty is responsible for single-handedly crafting the template for the modern pop diva—give or take a Cher. (Hey, everyone can count someone else as inspiration, right?)
Her imprint on pop culture extends far beyond just music, even with 14 albums under her belt. Since her rise to fame in the 1980s, Madonna's added filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and activist to her resume, always keeping fans on their toes as they wonder what she'll surprise them with next.
As she told USA Today in 1998, "I am not reinventing myself; I am going through layers and revealing myself. I am on a journey, an adventure that's constantly changing shape."
In honor of Madonna's birthday on Aug. 16—and as a way of thanking her for all she's done to essentially deliver the soundtrack of our lives—we're taking stock of a remarkable life well lived (and only just getting started, if you ask us), one crazy fact at a time.
(This story was originally published on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at 3:00 a.m. PT.)