The news this past week has been all about new music from Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, but they both owe more than they’d probably care to admit to the woman celebrating her birthday today: Madonna, the Queen of Pop. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turns 55 Friday, has not only influenced several generations of female — and some male — performers, but continues to be a vital touring and recording artist, with no plans to retire anytime soon. While appearing on NBC’s Rock Center last year, she said, “I certainly have stuff left to say and I think that’s really why I’m doing it. I still feel like expressing myself that way and I’ll keep doing it as long as I do.” While last year was an exceptionally busy one for Madonna — she released her #1 album MDNA, circled the globe on her record-breaking MDNA tour and launched her first line of fragrances.
Madonna also came in at #5 on Forbes’ “Celebrity 100″ list, and #1 on Billboard’s Top Money Makers List.
In addition, Madonna has been focusing heavily on social activism. In March, she presented an award toAnderson Cooper at the GLAAD Media Awards dressed as a boy scout, and from the podium, she denounced the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy.