×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Madonna Gives Surprise New Year’s Eve Performance at Stonewall Inn (Watch)

People expected something a week ago when Stonewall Inn — the bar in New York’s Greenwich Village where the riots that kicked off the modern LGBTQ movement took place in 1969 — announced that Madonna had been named an ambassador for the 50th anniversary celebrations. However, they may not have expected it quite so soon. On New Year’s Eve, word leaked out that Madonna would be making an appearance, and not long after midnight, she did, giving a speech and then performing two songs accompanied by David Banda (her adopted 13-year-old son) on acoustic guitar.

Wearing black jeans, a black shirt, a black leather jacket with glittering chains and a shiny bow in her hair, Madonna took the tiny stage saying, “I just wanna say I’ve never performed on a stage this small!” The enraptured crowd cheered wildly, obscuring some of her words.

“You survived 2018? Are you happy to say ‘Goodbye bitch’?,” she laughed before saying, “I do have some serious things to say.” She donned a pair of horn-rimmed glasses — “2019 is the year I start wearing glasses,” she joked — and read from cards emblazoned with rainbow colors on the back.

“I stand here proudly at the place where pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, on the birth of a new year. We come together tonight to celebrate 50 years of revolution.”

She then spoke of the community’s efforts against “hatred, discrimination and most of all indifference. Let’s never forget the Stonewall Riots and those who stood up and said, ‘Enough.’ Half a century later, Stonewall has become a defining moment and a critical point in history.

“If you can’t imagine how happy I am to return home to New York City, where dreams are born and forged out of fire and brought to life, where I am proud to say that my journey as an artist began, and my commitment to equality for all people took root,” she continued.

“If we truly took the time to get to know one another we would find that we all bleed the same color and we all need to love and be loved,” she concluded. “Let’s remember who and what we are fighting for — ourselves, for each other, but truly and most importantly, what are we fighting for?” she asked rhetorically. “Let’s take a minute to reflect on how we can bring more love and peace into 2019, let’s look at how we can bring random acts of kindness. Maybe we can find an opening to bring the light in. Are you ready to do that?”

The crowd roared.

She continued to speak and joke and laugh with the crowd before leading them in a singalong of her own “Like a Prayer” — accompanied by an acoustic guitarist, her own voice was completely drowned out by the crowd — and then after more joking, she led them into another singalong, this one of Elvis Presley’s 1961 hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Watch most of the performance on MadonnasTattoos Instagram video.

Additional reporting by Marc Malkin.

More Music

  • Ludwig Goransson Composer

    Composer Takes Music for the 'Star Wars' Series 'The Mandalorian' to a New Universe

    Ludwig Göransson, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer of “Black Panther,” faced a tricky assignment when he took on “The Mandalorian,” the new “Star Wars” series launching this week on the Disney Plus streaming service. “It’s a new medium, a new set of characters — and it has a certain tech-y grittiness, because you’re dealing with [...]

  • Tina Turner The Musical

    How 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' Tells the Icon's Traumatic Story

    It wasn’t the response Tali Pelman had hoped to receive. The group creative managing director of Stage Entertainment had traveled to Küsnacht, Switzerland, with one goal in mind: Convince Tina Turner that her life could be the stuff of a successful stage musical. “We walked in the door,” Pelman remembers. “Tina was already there, and she greeted [...]

  • sirius xm app on phone

    SiriusXM Starts Publishing Daily Videos From Dozens of Shows

    SiriusXM is doubling down on video: The satellite radio service officially announced a new initiative called SiriusXM Video Wednesday, with plans to publish daily videos from dozens of shows to paying subscribers. Some of the SiriusXM hosts you’ll be able to see more from include Kevin Hart, Jenny McCarthy, Joel Osteen, Karen Hunter and Jason [...]

  • Sir Elton John performs at Paramount

    Elton John Reveals Final 2020 Dates for ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ Tour

    Elton John today announced the announced another 24 new concert dates to his sold out “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.” These new dates complete the second year of the North American leg of Elton’s three-year worldwide tour, counting 43 dates in 2020. The tour will conclude in 2021 and is promoted by AEG Presents. The [...]

  • Camila Cabello Says Shawn Mendes Duet

    Camila Cabello Reveals Album Release Date, Tour, Appears on Cover of Time

    Camila Cabello made a strong play to dominate headlines on Tuesday morning, revealing the December 6 release date for her sophomore album “Romance,” announcing a brace of tour dates and appearing on the cover of Time magazine for its “Next 100” list of the next 100 most influential people in the world. The Time cover, [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Actors on Actors

    Jennifer Lopez Wants Super Bowl Halftime Show to Be a Unifying Moment for America

    When Jennifer Lopez takes the stage at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira next February, she hopes that the performance will be a unifying moment, particularly for Latinos in America. Lopez spoke about what she hopes to achieve at the Super Bowl in a conversation with Robert Pattinson for Variety‘s Actors on Actors [...]

  • Larry Meistrich Saigon

    Rapper Saigon, Film Producer Larry Meistrich Team to Help Underserved Students

    Brooklyn rapper Saigon, best known for “The Greatest Story Never Told” mixtape series and singles such as “C’Mon” and “Nunya,” has teamed with film producer Larry Meistrich (a founding member of The Shooting Gallery and NEHST Studios whose credits include the Oscar-winning “Sling Blade” and the seminal hip-hop flick “Belly”) to launch The 13thMan for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content