Madonna on stage at the Pier 57 Pride Island at World Pride, New York City, 30 June 2019 (Image: @fabriciolongo/Instagram)
Madonna rounded off World Pride celebrations in New York with a performance at the festival’s ‘Pride Island’ on Manhattan’s Pier 57.
The iconic singer’s performance was one of the most anticipated events of the weekend. This year’s New York Pride hosted the World Pride festivities, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969.
Storm conditions nearly cancel set from Madonna
For a short while, Madonna’s actual appearance was thrown into doubt. At around 4pm yesterday afternoon, the Pier was evacuated due to stormy conditions whipping up the wind.
However, it was reopened when safe and her appearance went ahead as planned.
As it turned out, Madonna performed a short set of just four songs. However, the packed pier went ecstatic when she launched her set with her classic hit, Vogue. The song brought ballroom culture and vogue dancing to the mainstream masses back in 1990.
She followed this up with 2003’s American Life, before giving a speech to the crowd.
‘Thank you from the bottom of my heart’
‘It’s weird, I know we’re on a pier and this pier has a lot of history. God knows it has a lot of history. Do you feel like you’re crammed on a parking lot right now?’ she began jokingly.
The piers in this part of Manhattan were notorious cruising grounds for men seeking sex with other men in the 1970s.
‘So, Fifty years people,’ Madonna continued in a more serious vein. ‘Fifty years of revolution, fifty years of freedom fighting, fifty years of putting up with discrimination, hatred and indifference, fifty years of blood, sweat and tears, fifty years of not bowing down to fear. That’s what I’m talking about.
‘We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honored to share this historical evening with you.”
‘You really don’t know. Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider but you made me feel like an insider. You must know how much I love and appreciate everyone here tonight. All members of the LGBTQ community.
‘Thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
‘Short but powerful’
She then launched into God Control, one of the latest tracks from her Madame X album. The song is a call for greater gun control in the US. Madame X, her 14th studio work, hit the top of the Billboard Top 200 last week.
She finished the set with the anthemic I Rise, also from Madame X. At the end, fireworks exploded over the pier.
Among those watching the performance was her friend Donatella Versace, who posted video to her Instagram account.
Also in the crowd was Madonna fan Fabricio Longo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He told Gay Star News Madonna’s set was ‘really short but powerful. Madonna is Madonna and she knows what it means to be who she is and sing to an LGBTQ audience for pride. So the performance was very emotional, since everyone was so excited to be there.’
Madonna’s performance caps off a hugely successful World Pride in New York City. Other performers to take part included Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge. Organizers say the event was enjoyed by up to 4.5million people over the course of the entire weekend.