August 16, 2008
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie attended a service at a Kabbalah centre in Marylebone last night - the eve of the singer's 50th birthday.
Perhaps the Queen of Pop was giving thanks for her glittering career or maybe she was praying for Mercy, the little girl whom she is hoping to adopt from Malawi.
So far news about how Madonna will celebrate her half century today has been kept under wraps but earlier this week the Mail learned that Ritchie, keen to give his wife the ultimate birthday gift, has given in to her demands to adopt a second Malawian child.
Many of the marital difficulties the couple have experienced over the past year have surrounded the singer's determination to adopt again, and Guy's refusal to give in.
Yet rather than lose his wife for good, the Snatch director has agreed to go ahead with adopting three-year-old Mercy James. Madonna and Ritchie have already adopted Malawian child David Banda and the singer has two other children, a son, Rocco, and a daughter Lourdes.
According to Guinness World Records, Madonna is the most successful female solo artist, selling around 120 million albums and 40 million singles - a combined total of more than any other female.
In the Eighties she was the peroxide punky rebel that sang about virginal sex, materialism and having illegitimate children.
Although she wasn't the most beautiful singer around, she oozed raw sex appeal, a powerful asset that she harnessed throughout her various images in the Nineties from the iconic coned corset on her blonde ambition tour in 1990 to her raunchy Sex book and video.
In the Naughties she continued to court controversy with her 'lesbian' kiss with Britney Spears and more recently with her adoption of David Banda.
And despite turning 50, it doesn't look like she's planning on slowing down anytime soon. The pop star, who is renowned for her super-fit and yoga-toned body, is preparing for her Sticky And Sweet world tour.
To mark her special day, MSN entertainment polled more than 1,200 Madge fans who named Like A Prayer as her best song of all time. The album of the same name also topped the poll as Madonna's best.