On December 9 2001, Madonna presented the Turner Prize to artist Martin Creed at London’s Tate Britain gallery.
Madonna half-seriously plugged her greatest hits album, GHV2, before explaining her feelings of ambivalence towards the merit of awards in relation to the artistic process.
“Art is always at its best when there is no money, because art has nothing to do with money and everything to do with love. Like love, it can be inspiring, inexplicable, provocative and sometimes infuriating. Nevertheless, we can not live without it, so that is why I’m here – not because I think one artist is better than another, but because I want to support any artist who not only has something to say, but has the balls to say it. In a time when political correctness is valued over honesty, I would also like to say – right on motherfuckers! – everyone is a winner.”
Channel 4 unsuccessfully attempted to censor the speech during the live broadcast, and later issued an apology for Madonna’s choice of words, which aired prior to the 9pm watershed. Madonna later explained that she had not intended to use profanity until the producers asked to review the content of her speech prior to the broadcast, sparking her defiance.
On September 8 1994, Madonna presented the award for Video of the Year at the MTV VMA’s. She was escorted onstage by David Letterman, poking fun at their supposed feud following Madonna’s infamous profanity propelled appearance on Letterman earlier that year.
The appearance was intended to generate buzz for her soon-to-be-released single, Secret and its accompanying album, Bedtime Stories.
On November 5 2014, Madonna was a presenter at the Wall Street Journal’s 2014 Innovator Awards, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
According to The Cut, Madonna stole the show at the WSJ Innovator Awards:
Highlights of the night included Madonna’s delightfully unhinged, meandering speech in honor of dancer Lil Buck. Equal parts irritated mom and supportive mentor, the queen of pop complained, “Buck shows up uninvited at my house for dinner all the time,” but went on to praise his tenacity, grace, and talent. Midway through her speech, she scolded a man in the audience for taking a photo of her at the podium. None of that mattered once Lil Buck took the stage and performed his now-famous “Swan” dance. He received both the Performing Arts Innovation award and a standing ovation from the crowd.