Madonna says “I didn’t think I would make it” as she kicks off her ‘Celebration Tour’ in London
Madonna kicked off her ‘Celebration Tour’ in London last night (October 14) and said that she “didn’t think I would make it” after she was admitted to intensive care with a serious bacterial infection over the summer.
The Queen of Pop performed over 40 songs from her back catalogue including her most famous hits and a number of deep cuts.
During a rendition of ‘Mother And Father’ – a song about the death of her own mother – midway through the show, the star addressed her recent illness before she covered Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’.
She told the crowd: “I didn’t think I would make it, and neither did my doctors. That’s why I woke up with all of my children sitting around me.”
Madonna continued: “I forgot five days of my life, or my death, I don’t really know where I was. But the angels were protecting me. And my children were there. And my children always save me, every time.
“If you want to know how I pulled through and how I survived, I thought, I have got to be there for my children. I have to survive for them.”
Madonna’s set was also hit by technical problems for 10 minutes early on after she performed ‘Burning Up’.
“This is exactly what you don’t want to happen on your opening night,” she told the crowd before she went on to tell stories about her youth in New York recalling how she lived in her “rehearsal space” with her band and she dated men who had “showers and bathrooms”.
At one point she also addressed the conflict in Israel and Gaza. “It’s so painful to witness. It breaks my heart to see children suffering, teenagers suffering, elderly people suffering. I’m sure you agree,” Madonna said.
Throughout the set, which marked her first time appearing on stage without a band, she performed a host of classic hit singles including ‘Like A Virgin’, ‘Into The Groove’, ‘Like A Prayer’, ‘Vogue’, ‘Ray Of Light’ and ‘Hung Up’.
She wrapped up her set with ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’, ‘Celebration’ and ‘Music’.
Madonna will continue her 40th anniversary tour for the second of six concerts tonight (October 15).
‘Nothing Really Matters’
‘Into The Groove’
‘Open Your Heart’
‘In This Life’
‘Live To Tell’
‘Like A Prayer’
‘Justify My Love’
‘Crazy For You’
‘The Beast Within’
‘Die Another Day’
‘Don’t Tell Me’
‘Mother And Father’
‘I Will Survive’
‘La Isla Bonita’
‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’
‘I Don’t Search I Find’
‘Ray Of Light’
‘Like A Virgin’
‘Bitch I’m Madonna’
Following her show, Emily Eavis also praised Madonna’s performance on her Instagram page.
“She’s back incredible,” she wrote alongside an image of the Queen of Pop performing onstage.
Madonna is currently among the rumoured headliners for Glastonbury 2024. The speculation arose earlier this year, when Eavis said the festival had already booked one of two female bill-toppers for next summer.