Pop icon Madonna paid tribute to those who died from AIDS during her new Celebration World Tour.
Back in January, the queen of pop announced that she would be going on a multi-city global tour to celebrate her iconic 40-year career.
“I am excited to explore as many songs as possible in hopes to give my fans the show they have been waiting for,” she said in a statement.
While the Celebration tour was set to start on 15 July, Madonna was forced to postpone after being hospitalised with a serious bacterial infection in June.
Fortunately, after months of recovery, the beloved talent kicked off the highly anticipated event on 14 October at the O2 Arena in London.
Splitting the show into five acts, Madonna delivered a dazzling performance that featured sickening choreography, larger-than-life set pieces, a Beyoncé shout-out, Bob the Drag Queen and over 40 songs from her legendary catalogue.
“I’m really surprised I made it this far. And I mean that on so many levels,” she exclaimed to the crowd, per Reuters.
In addition to the high-energy numbers, Madonna’s show featured stripped-down moments, like her heartfelt rendition of ‘Live to Tell’ – which was a tribute to her friend, Martin Burgoyne, and the countless LGBTQIA+ individuals who lost their lives during the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis.
After completing an exciting rendition of ‘Holiday’ – which featured a giant disco ball and a bevvy of dancers – Madonna ditched the stage for a floating box to sing the hauntingly beautiful lyrics of ‘Live to Tell.’
While gliding around the stadium, black-and-white photos of Martin, Freddie Mercury, Cookie Mueller and other individuals who passed away flashed across floating screens.
Following Madonna’s emotional performance, fans took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to praise the ‘Vogue’ singer for her allyship and advocacy.
Madonna’s Celebration Tour version of Live to Tell dedicated to lives lost lives to AIDS, including her best friend Martin Burgoyne pictured behind her here, was beautiful and incredibly moving. pic.twitter.com/vKr4ibon9H
— Nick Levine (@mrnicklevine) October 15, 2023
One fan wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “One of the greatest things about Madonna is her unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community. Dedicating ‘Live To Tell’ to victims of the AIDS crisis proved her allyship tenfold once again.”
Another fan commented: “Didn’t bank on myself BAWLING during Live to Tell when Madonna put up pictures of the icons we lost during the AIDS crisis.”
Madonna’s tribute was also celebrated by the non-profit organisation AIDS Memorial, whose work was featured in the singer’s performance.
“A huge thank you to @Madonna for recognising the work of @theaidsmemorial & allowing us to be part of the #madonnacelebrationtour. The greatest honor & cannot thank you enough. #whatisrememberedlives,” they wrote on Instagram.
Madonna’s recent tribute isn’t the first time the ‘Hung Up’ singer has advocated for the LGBTQIA+ community and the victims of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
In the songbook for her hit 1989 album Like A Prayer, Madge included an info card titled “The Facts About AIDS,” which debunked anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric and featured important information about the virus, per Plus.
In addition to using her voice and music, the ‘4 Minutes’ singer has also continuously raised money for HIV/AIDS research and non-profit organisations supporting survivors and victims.