It seems that Madonna has a pretty complicated relationship with her whole family. Her second-oldest brother, Martin, is no different. Martin has struggled with addiction for most of his life. Although the two are now on good terms, Martin hasn’t been afraid to call out his little sister for what he views as major offenses.
When Martin was arrested in 1994, she allegedly refused to pay for his bail. We don’t know Madonna’s reasoning behind this decision, but Martin wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion. He released his own rap album under the moniker MC Ciccone in which he spits jabs at Madonna and talks about his time in jail.
No Love Lost
Any Madonna fan knows that she’s never been afraid to voice her distaste for her stepmother, Joan Ciccone. Growing up, she hated Joan for replacing her mother after she passed away, and the animosity continued to grow. Unfortunately, those hard feelings never faded even as Madonna grew into an adult.
As recently as the early 2000s, Joan has taken to the tabloids to bad-mouth Madonna. She accused the pop star of “refusing” to help out her dad even though she knew he was in financial straits. There’s no way to know how true Joan’s accusations are, but it’s pretty obvious that Madonna and Joan have never gotten along.
Madonna isn’t the only savvy business person in her family. Her father, Tony, worked as an engineer for Chrysler for many years, but he’s since pivoted his career path. In 1995, Madonna’s dad opened up his very own winery in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Who knew that Madonna came from a wine family?
Madonna’s dad and stepmother still own Ciccone Vineyard and Winery to this day. In fact, it’s a family business. Madonna’s siblings, Mario and Paula, are heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the winery and continue the family tradition of making wine in Michigan. Mario is the winery’s manager, while Paula is a top winemaker.
She Was Affected by the AIDS Epidemic
Madonna was working as a dancer in New York City when the AIDS epidemic started to gain prominence. Madonna was running in circles full of artists and visionaries, and she felt a deep connection with the queer community throughout the city. Because of her close ties, she inevitably experienced loss during the 1980s.
“Nobody knew what it was. And then suddenly, all these beautiful men around me, people who I loved so dearly, were dying-just one after the next,” Madonna recounted in a 2010 “Interview Magazine” feature. She even lost her longtime ballet mentor, Christopher Flynn, to AIDS in 1990.
Madonna’s Model Sibling
Madonna isn’t the only Ciccone kid to try their luck in the world of show business. Her younger sister Paula also attempted to make it big in New York City when she was younger. During her time in New York, Paula tried to break into the modeling industry, and she found some success.
She posed for magazine covers with “Vogue” and “Rolling Stone,” but she never reached the same height of fame as her older sister. Eventually, Paula decided to move on from her modeling dreams. She moved back to Michigan, where she now works at the family winery as a winemaker.