On July 29 2012, Madonna issued this statement about the controversy surround her mini-MDNA Tour performance at the L’Olympia in Paris on July 26:
“Playing the Olympia was a magical moment for me and it was real treat to do this special show for my fans and be so close to them. Unfortunately at the end of the show – after I left the stage – a few thugs who were not my fans rushed the stage and started throwing plastic bottles pretending to be angry fans. The press reports have focused on this and not the joyous aspect of the evening. But nothing can take away or ruin this very special evening for me and my fans. When I looked out in the audience, everyone I saw had a smile on their face. I look forward to having this wonderful experience again.”
Watch this exclusive Olympia performance of Beautiful Killer (mixed with Die Another Day):
On July 13 1985, Bette Midler introduced Madonna at Live Aid’s charity concert in Philadelphia:
“I want you to know I have no idea why I was asked to introduce this next act — because you all know, I am the soul of good taste and decorum. However we are thrilled to be able to introduce to you today a woman whose name has been on everyone’s lips for the last six months. A woman who pulled herself up by her bra straps and has been known to let them down occasionally.”
Madonna was happy to tell the global audience of 1.9 billion viewers: “I ain’t taking off shit today.”
On April 6 2017, CNN published an article explaining why Madonna understands a little something about pulled Pepsi commercials:
In 1989, she starred in a Pepsi commercial that was pulled because of controversy over the music video for Like A Prayer, which featured burning crosses and showed Madonna kissing a black actor portraying a saint.
On March 16 2001, MTV and VH1 networks announced that Madonna’s new video for What It Feels Like For A Girl would be broadcast only once on March 20 at 11:30 pm because of the controversy over its violent content.
Madonna later released What It Feels Like For A Girl as a DVD single.
Madonna biographer Andrew Morton had this to say about the video:
“The video is entirely consistent with the themes that she has been exploring for the last twenty years, namely the relationship between the sexes, the ambiguity of gender, and the unresolved conflict, for women in a patriarchal society of being fully female and sexual while exercising control over their lives.”
On January 21 2017, Madonna participated in the Women’s March on Washington. In addition to delivering a powerful speech (watch the full video below), Madonna also performed Express Yourself and Human Nature.
Here is the full transcript of the speech Madonna delivered to over 500,000 people:
“Are you still awake out there?
“Are you sure about that?
“Can you hear me?
“Are you ready to shake up up the world?
“Welcome to the revolution of love. To the rebellion. To our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny. Where not just women are in danger but all marginalized people. Where people uniquely different might be considered a crime. It took us this darkness to wake us the fuck up.
“It seems as though we had all slipped into a false sense of comfort. That justice would prevail and that good would win in the end. Well, good did not win this election but good will win in the end. So what today means is that we are far from the end. Today marks the beginning, the beginning of our story. The revolution starts here. The fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness and with each step. Know that we are not afraid. That we are not alone, that we will not back down. That there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.
“And to our detractors that insist that this March will never add up to anything, fuck you. Fuck you. It is the beginning of much needed change. Change that will require sacrifice, people. Change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives, but this is the hallmark of revolution. So my question to you today is are you ready? I said, are you ready? Say yes, we are ready. Say, yes we are ready. One more time: you’re ready.
“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die.
“I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.”