Everything to know – Aumag
Madonna loves her six children!
The pop icon welcomed her first child, Lourdes, in 1996 and grew her brood with the additions of Rocco, David, Mercy and twins Stella and Estere.
In 2017, Madonna appeared on the cover of PEOPLE and opened up about her life at home with her children and her emotional adoption journey.
Sometimes I just closed my eyes and thought, ‘Why isn’t my kitchen full of dancing children?’ There are so many kids who need a home,” she said. “I thought, ‘What am I waiting for? Just do it.’ ”
Madonna described the instant connection she felt to her children when she met them. “It’s inexplicable,” she said. “It’s like saying, ‘Why do you fall in love with the people you fall in love with?’ You look into someone’s eyes, you feel their soul, you feel touched by them – that’s it.”
The “Like a Virgin” singer honored all six of her children by getting her first tattoo in December 2020 — each of their initials on her wrist. Most recently, Madonna celebrated her 64th birthday in August 2022 surrounded by her children during a trip to Italy. “Tanti auguri (happy birthday),” she captioned a photo of her and her children posing during the festivities.
Keep scrolling to get to know all of Madonna’s beloved children.
Madonna and her then-husband, fitness trainer Carlos Leon, welcomed Lourdes Leon on October 14, 1996 in Los Angeles. From the beginning, Madonna’s elders were the light of her life. Madonna wrote “Little Star,” a song on her 1998 Grammy-winning album Beamfor her first born.
Now a successful model in her own right, Lourdes has worked for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty line, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Swarovski and Mugler, and has featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair.
While she admits her famous mother was “a control freak” when she was a child, she has since come to admire “how empowering to other women and ahead of her time she always was.”
“I didn’t fully understand it until I realized the importance of empowerment and what it means to be a woman,” she shared Interview Magasinet in 2021. “She’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit that. I inherited her control issues, but not her work ethic!”
In August 2022, Lourdes followed in her mother’s footsteps with the release of her debut single “Lock&Key”.
After divorcing Carlos Leon in May 1997, Madonna began dating director Guy Ritchie in 1998. Their son Rocco Ritchie was born in LA on 11 August 2000 and was baptized in Scotland at Dornoch Cathedral in December 2000. Madonna and Ritchie tied the knot the next day at Skibo Castle, although the couple later divorced in 2008.
“She’s a good mother … She’s very strict, but in a good way,” Rocco told Ellen DeGeneres of his mother in 2012. At the time, he was on tour with Madonna and completing his school work with a tutor, but he later decided to live with his father in London to attend a traditional school. Although it caused some tension between Rocco and his mother – and a custody battle between Madonna and Guy – the two were back on good terms in June 2016.
“We’ve been on many journeys together around the world, but the greatest journey I’ve taken with you is the one inside mine ♥️,” Madonna wrote for her son’s 21st birthday. “Love you to the moon and back. Forever and ever.”
Now Rocco is a model and actor, after posing with his mother for a spread in Love magazine and appeared in her “Bitch I’m Madonna” music video. In honor of her son’s 22nd birthday in August 2022, Madonna Rocco threw a family-filled party where he celebrated with his siblings and cut into a realistic briefcase-shaped cake.
David Banda was born in Malawi on September 24, 2005.
Madonna founded her charity Raising Malawi in 2006, and in October of that year she went on a humanitarian trip to the country. During the visit, she and Ritchie decided to adopt 1-year-old David from Home of Hope, an orphanage in the capital Lilongwe.
The couple faced legal consequences because Malawi requires adoptive parents to live in the country for at least 18 months to become residents, and residency is a prerequisite for legal adoption. The resolution was finally approved on 28 May 2008.
In 2019, Madonna explained her special connection with David to British Vogue. “He’s the one I have the most in common with,” she said. “I feel like he gets me; he has more of my DNA than any of my kids so far.”
As he has grown, David has often been included in Madonna’s performances, such as when he joined her on stage at her New York City Pride variety show in June 2022, showing off some dance moves and comedy.
“I can’t believe you’ve grown into this young man! This artist. This athlete. This articulate and charismatic human being,” she wrote on his 16th birthday. “Who knew when I met you at the Home of Hope Orphanage in Malawi, drinking Coke out of a baby bottle and not wearing a diaper, that you would become this force of nature? Happy sweet sixteen! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤 I ‘ I’m so proud of you!”
Madonna also praised her son’s fashion prowess during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in August 2022.
“He can put on any outfit and look swag like you know what,” she told Fallon of David. “It’s really annoying. He wears my clothes and looks better in them. He can even wear a dress and look butch.”
Chifundo “Mercy” James was born in Malawi on January 22, 2006. In 2008, Madonna finalized her divorce from Ritchie, and in May 2009, she applied to adopt Mercy as a single mother from an orphanage in Blantyre, Malawi. The High Court initially rejected her application, but she was later approved to adopt Mercy on 12 June 2009.
In July 2017, Madonna opened the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the first pediatric surgery and intensive care center in Malawi.
Mercy celebrated her 16th birthday in January 2022 at Six Flags Magic Mountain and a Tupac Shakur exhibit. “Happy birthday Chifundo Mercy James,” Madonna wrote on Instagram. “The kindest, most thoughtful, most magical girl on the planet! There is no one like you!”
Stella and Esther10
Twins Stella and Estere were born in Malawi on August 24, 2012. Madonna adopted her youngest daughters when they were 5 in February 2017.
“It’s like they’ve always been here,” the Swept away star told PEOPLE. “It didn’t take long for them to get used to it.”
“And they’ve learned over time that I’m their mother and nothing is going to change that,” she added.
As the girls have grown, they have discovered their passions and talents. Madonna has shown Stella’s piano skills; both girls are talented dancers just like their older brother.
When the twins turned 10 in August 2022, the “Material Girl” singer celebrated them with a sweet slideshow of photos and videos on Instagram. “Happy Birthday Estere and Stella Mwale! 💖💖 You both bring so much Love- Laughter and Light ✨✨ into all of our lives!! 💕💕,” she captioned the post.
Madonna also threw an epic wig party for the girls to mark the occasion. The proud mum shared snaps from the event on Instagram, including a photo of the twins posing with their siblings Mercy and David while wearing festive wigs.