Madonna pays tribute to people who died of AIDS in opening show of Celebration Tour

Madonna delivered a heartfelt performance of ‘Live to Tell' honouring her friend Martin Burgoyne and others who died during the 1980s AIDS crisis.

Madonna performs AIDS tribute on stage wearing black costume
Image: X @QueenofPopMUSlC

On Saturday, October 14, Madonna opened the first leg of her Celebration Tour, and fans were blown away by her beautiful tribute honouring those lost to AIDS.

Madonna kicked off her 12th tour at the O2 Arena in London, and the show opened with an unforgettable performance by RuPaul’s Drag Race season eight winner Bob the Drag Queen, who also joined Madonna on stage to perform “Vogue”.

The five-act show featured over 40 songs from her legendary pop career alongside impressive choreography, 17 costume changes, and stunning set pieces, including a giant disco ball. She even invited her children to join her on stage for a few surprise performances. 

Most notably, the show included a heartfelt tribute to her friend Martin Burgoyne who died during the 1980s HIV/AIDS pandemic. Madonna delivered an emotional performance of  ‘Live to Tell’ in his memory.

Madonna dedicated the song to people who died during the AIDS 1980s crisis and performed on a floating box that hovered around the stadium while black-and-white photos of Martin Burgoyne, Keith Haring, Freddie Mercury, Christopher Flynn, Cookie Mueller and others who lost their lives were projected on the screens behind her.

Following the performance, LGBTQ+ fans praised Madonna for her allyship and advocacy. “Didn’t bank on myself BAWLING during Live to Tell when Madonna put up pictures of the icons we lost during the AIDS crisis”, wrote a fan on X (formerly Twitter).

In January, Madonna announced a global tour to celebrate her 40-year career. The tour was originally set to begin in July, but had to be postponed when she was hospitalised with a serious bacterial infection in June.

After being rushed to the ICU and intubated, she had a several-day stay in the hospital. The 65-year-old said she survived the terrifying experience with the love and support of her children by her side.

Thankfully, Madonna made a full recovery and will be performing across the UK, Europe, North America and Mexico with dates through April 2024.



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