Madonna tour gets underway in London after singer's intensive care stay

Madonna's Celebration tour is supposed to pay homage to the city of New York where her career in music began. Credit: PA

Madonna’s latest tour is underway in London, after it was postponed in June when the singer was admitted to intensive care.

The Celebration Tour – which is set to cover her greatest hits over the so-called Queen of Pop’s more than four decade-strong career – got underway at the O2 in London on Saturday evening (14 October), where she will play four sold-out dates.

Speaking to the thousands in the crowd, she said: “Am I imagining this? Oh my God, it is so good to be back London.”

“I’m pretty damned surprised that I made it this far and I mean that on so many levels… How did I make it this far? Because of you. I’m going to take a bit of credit too.”, she added.

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The show is billed as a “one-of-a-kind experience” which staff say has “no band on stage” and a setlist featuring “about 45 songs”.

Ahead of her first gig of this tour, the 65-year-old shared photos on her Instagram stories on Friday enjoying an evening with her son David Banda, Stella McCartney and talent manager Guy Oseary as well as visiting her son Rocco Ritchie’s art exhibition.

In June, Madonna postponed the original start date of her latest tour in Canada due to what her manager called a "serious bacterial infection", which led to the music artist having a several-day stay in intensive care.

The singer posted on Instagram in July, saying she was focusing on “health and getting stronger” and mentioned that the plan was to “reschedule the North American leg of the tour and to begin in October in Europe”.

Her tour is supposed to pay homage to the city of New York where her career in music began.

“I am excited to explore as many songs as possible in hopes to give my fans the show they have been waiting for,” Madonna said in a statement before the tour.

Special guest RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob The Drag Queen, real name Caldwell Tidicue, is set to perform across all dates.

Madonna - who is the most successful female solo artist in UK chart history - kicked off her Celebration tour in London tonight. Credit: PA

Madonna – the most successful female artist in UK chart history with 13 chart-toppers – has an huge back catalogue which includes her early successes 1985’s Into The Groove and 1986’s Papa Don’t Preach along with her latest hits 2008’s 4 Minutes featuring Justin Timberlake and 2006’s Sorry.

She has also had more number two peaks – such as 2003’s American Life and 1999’s Beautiful Stranger – on the British charts than any other artist, with 12 according to Official Charts Company.

Her performances have also featured shocking moments including her 1990 Blond Ambition tour, which included risque onstage antics, sexual and religious themes, and eye-catching costumes (including her famous conical bra) sparked outrage from global authorities.

Pope John Paul II declared her concert “one of the most satanic shows in the history of humanity”, causing several Italian shows to be cancelled.

Following her London show, the singer moves onto her European leg which includes venues in Denmark, Belgium and Spain – ending back in the UK for two more concerts in London in December.

Madonna will start the North American leg of her tour on December 13 in Brooklyn, New York, before she travels to cities including Boston, Toronto and Miami.

She is expected to finish at Mexico City in Mexico which she is set to be in across four dates from April 20 to April 24 2024.

This is Madonna’s first tour since her Madame X shows, which ended in 2020.

Some of these performances were called off due to knee and hip injuries.