1958 - Born in Bay City, Michigan. At the age of 19, she moves to New York City to pursue a dance career.
1983 - Releases her self-titled debut album, which peaks at No. 8 on the American charts and No. 6 in Britain. It contains Holiday, her first Top 40 hit song. Her distinctive dress style - bleached hair, lace and fishnet stockings, multiple accessories - sparks a worldwide trend.
1984 - Like A Virgin becomes her first No. 1 hit on the American album charts, while the title track is her first No. 1 on the singles charts. It triggers protests by organisations that accuse her music of promoting premarital sex.
1985 - While her songs continue to dominate the charts, her first starring role in the comedy Desperately Seeking Susan becomes a box-office hit. She marries actor Sean Penn in August. They divorce in 1989.
1986 - While third album True Blue goes to No. 1 around the world, Shanghai Surprise, starring her and Penn, is panned by critics and bombs at the box office.
1987 - A show in France, part of her Who's That Girl World Tour, draws 130,000, her biggest audience ever.
1989 - The title track from her fourth album, Like A Prayer, attracts condemnation, including from the Vatican, for blending sex and religion. Both the song and album goes to No. 1 worldwide.
1990 - The Immaculate Collection, a collection of her hits as well as new singles, is released and becomes the best-selling compilation of all time by a solo artist.
1991 - Her first documentary film, Truth Or Dare, chronicles her successful Blond Ambition World Tour. Acclaimed by critics, it rakes in $29 million at the box office, at that time the biggest taking for a documentary film.
1992 - A busy year in which she has a role in baseball drama A League Of Their Own, releases its No .1 theme song This Used To Be My Playground and starts her own company, Maverick, which spans the music, film, publishing and merchandising businesses. She releases an explicit book, Sex, as well as her fifth album Erotica, and appears in two more films, Body Of Evidence and Dangerous Game.
1993 - Her The Girlie Show World Tour is banned in Singapore on "moral and religious grounds".
1994 - Bedtime Stories, her sixth album, tones down the sexual excess of her recent works and presents Madonna in a softer light. It includes R&B-influenced ballad Take A Bow, a No. 1 hit.
1996 - A landmark year in which she becomes a mother and gives birth to her daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, with her lover, fitness trainer Carlos Leon. She also stars as Argentinian first lady Eva Perón in musical film Evita, a role she had long coveted. A box-office success, it also earns her a Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy), and her single from the soundtrack, You Must Love Me, wins an Academy Award for Best Original Song the following year.
1998 - She releases seventh album Ray Of Light, a critically acclaimed and commercially successful blend of electronica and pop that earns four Grammys, including for Best Pop Album.
2000 - Music, her eight album, becomes her first since Like A Prayer to hit No. 1 on the American album charts. She gives birth to her second child, a son, Rocco John Ritchie, with British film-maker Guy Ritchie. The couple marries later in the year.
2003 - American Life, her ninth album, receives mixed reviews and despite going to No. 1 in several countries including the US and UK, is the lowest-selling album at that time. Later in the year, she courts controversy by kissing pop stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in a performance at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Her first children's book, The English Roses, goes straight to the top of The New York Times' bestseller list.
2005 - Her 10th album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, marks a return to dance-oriented pop and goes to No. 1 worldwide. It also wins her a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album.
2006 - She travels to Malawi for aid work and adopts a boy, David Banda. Human rights activists decry the move, claiming that she failed to meet a requirement that would-be adoptive parents have to stay in the country for at least a year. She counters that the country has no written regulation for foreign adoption.
2008 - Billboard recognises her as the most successful solo artist in US chart history based on her No. 1 singles and albums, and is second overall only to the Beatles. In the same year, she is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and releases her 11th album, Hard Candy. Her marriage to Ritchie ends later in the year.
2009 - The Supreme Court of Malawi approves the adoption of her second child from the country, Chifundo "Mercy" James after an appeal.
2012 - Her Super Bowl performance draws a then-record number of 114 million viewers, more than the game itself. Soon after that, MDNA, her 12th album is released, another No. 1 album on the American and British charts.
2014 - With more than 300 million albums sold throughout her career, Guinness World Records officially recognises her as the best-selling female recording artist of all time.
2015 - Her 13th album, Rebel Heart, is released, featuring collaborations with contemporary stars like Avicii, Diplo and Kanye West. It peaks at No. 2 on American and British charts but goes to the top in several European countries.
2016 - She is set to perform in Singapore for the first time as part of the Rebel Heart Tour, her 10th global tour.