Holiday! Celebrate! Madonna turns 65

Ricardo Gomes

All hail the Queen of Pop, who celebrates her 65th birthday on August 16.

In some ways, it’s been a rough year for Madonna. After being criticized online for her appearance at the Grammy Awards in February, she landed in the hospital after battling a serious bacterial infection and was forced to reschedule the North American leg of her highly anticipated Celebration tour.  However, she’s reportedly back to rehearsing for the new kickoff date in London this October.

There have been some high points, too: She celebrated the 40th anniversary of her debut album, and released two new singles: “Vulgar,” with Sam Smith and “Popular” with The Weeknd. She also got props from Beyoncé, who acknowledged her presence at the New Jersey stop of her Renaissance tour by saying, “Big shout-out to the Queen! Queen Mother, Madonna, we love you!”

In addition, Madonna’s been able to experience the outpouring of affection from fans all over the world during her illness.  “I have felt your love … I couldn’t be more grateful for your care and support,” she wrote to her fans.

Speaking of those fans, Madonna has always been surprised at how deeply her music has affected them. She once told ABC Audio, “I didn’t think about what I could do to help people when I started my career … [but] to know that I have made a difference in people’s lives … a lot of people come up to me and they say, ‘You saved my life.’ ‘You kept my marriage together.’ ‘You kept me from quitting college.’ ‘You helped me too keep going when my mother died’ — like, really deep, serious, life situations — that means a lot to me.”

Madonna appears to be in Portugal, where she celebrated her son Rocco‘s 23rd birthday; she’ll likely celebrate her own there on Wednesday.

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