Madonna is now the most instantly recognisable performers in the world, with a multi-decade career that has remained strong since the mid-1980's. Getting to where she is now took much more than a few talent show auditions and chance meetings however, as the singer has revealed in a moving interview with Harper's Bazaar, in which she remembered when she first moved to New York to try and make it as a dancer.

Madonna Sound of Change
Madonna has overcome all the obstacles in her life to get to where she is now

In the November edition of the magazine, known as the 'Daring Issue,' the singer recalled how her move to the Big Apple from her native Bay City in Michigan wasn't a walk in the park. In fact, her first few years in the city were more like a nightmare, where the prospect of finding fame couldn't have been further away, as she wrote about how she was robbed on numerous occasions, held at gunpoint and was even raped whilst being held at knifepoint.

She wrote in the her revealing, personal essay: "New York wasn't everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back, and had my apartment broken into three times. I don't know why; I had nothing of value after they took my radio the first time."

Despite being subjected to such life-threatening crimes, the singer managed to recover and as she first began flirting with fame it was here where she claims that she decided to begin challenging boundaries, not just in her music but in every aspects in her professional life. She wrote, "If I can't be daring in my work or the way I live my life, then I don't really see the point of being on this planet."

Madonna live
The singer is no stranger to a bit of controversy

The pop icon went on to discuss her humble origins back in Michigan, and how she always felt like an outcast during her teenage years. It was her desire to be different that led to her desire to push boundaries and want to make a name for herself in New York, continuing even when faced with potential failure and various threats to her wellbeing. She remembered, "Trying to be a professional dancer, paying my rent by posing nude for art classes, staring at people staring at me naked. Daring them to think of me as anything but a form they were trying to capture with their pencils and charcoal. I was defiant. Hell-bent on surviving. On making it. But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going."

Through it all though she has taken the controversy that has often blighted her career on the chin, and it has helped her get to a point in her life where she is happy at last. Still, she doesn't understand why certain aspects of her life arouse controversy, such as the time she adopted her son, David, from the African nation on Malawi. But even though the unwarranted backlash she received brought her to a "real low point in my life," the singer managed to survive and is still going strong today. Even at the age of 55, we doubt she'll stop pushing boundaries and slowing down any time soon.

Even at 55, we still have much more Madonna to come