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Madonna thrills Brazilians on Copacabana beach

Her biggest hits, outfits as suggestive as they are erotic, symbolic religious symbols galore, spectacular stage costumes, changing, learned and precise choreography, Madonna made the 1.

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Madonna thrills Brazilians on Copacabana beach

Her biggest hits, outfits as suggestive as they are erotic, symbolic religious symbols galore, spectacular stage costumes, changing, learned and precise choreography, Madonna made the 1.6 million fans who came on Saturday sing and dance May 4 at the start of the night, on the legendary Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

A human tide gathered to celebrate the Madonna, how many were there really, for the biggest show of the star's career? Hundreds of thousands of fans, a million? Or a million and a half, the figure mentioned in advance? Impossible to say. But the immense beach was packed with people and the crowds were fervent. And dozens of boats had approached to enjoy a breathtaking view. Shortly before 11 p.m., the “queen of pop”, dressed all in black, appeared on stage performing Nothing Really Matters, an anthem to resilience. “Here we are, Rio, the most beautiful place in the world!”: the diva delighted the Brazilian public for more than two hours.

With this concert announced for days as "historic", the American popstar, now 65 years old, finished in style The Celebration Tour, a tour dedicated to the glory of his 40 years of career, inventions, and hits. brilliance and scandals. On a gigantic stage of more than 800 m2, she reviewed her heyday and the bewildering series of her musical and sartorial metamorphoses, from pop to electronic music including moments of cabaret inspiration. Flanked by several of her children, accompanying her for music or dance, Madonna was also honored by distinguished guests, against a backdrop of the Brazilian flag.

When she performed her hit Vogue, she was joined on stage by Brazilian singer Anitta, the woman who introduced carioca funk - the soundtrack of Rio's favelas - to the rest of the world. Drag queen Pabllo Vittar, a Brazilian pop star, and a troupe of children playing percussion in the city's famous samba schools were also there.

In the audience, fans from different generations talked about Madonna's place in their lives. Alba and Roxy Rueda, two Argentine sisters aged 48 and 46, bought their plane tickets as soon as word of the concert emerged a few months ago. “When I was nine years old, my older sister, who died last year, gave me my first Walkman with the cassette of Like a Virgin,” the hit that launched Madonna. “We haven’t stopped listening to him since then. For this reason, coming here is linked for us to our relationship as sisters,” says Alba. To build up the pressure before the concert, several DJs, including Diplo, an American turntable ace, took turns at nightfall to bring joy to “the biggest dance floor in the world”. Then the time came for the queen to leave her palace, or rather her palace: the legendary Copacabana Palace, a haven of peace and luxury for Hollywood and pop stars for decades, where she has established her family quarters since the beginning of the week. Madonna walked along a catwalk installed for the occasion, which took her directly to the stage. For the event, the police were present in force, almost in every street in a neighborhood accustomed to delinquency, but also in the air with helicopters and drones. After 80 concerts in Europe, North America and Mexico, the Rio show serves as a finale, but also as a snub to destiny, while a serious bacterial infection had landed the singer in intensive care in June 2023. and panicked fans around the world.

Opposite the Copacabana Palace and along the beach where souvenir sellers have set up on Madonna time and increased their stocks and prices, the atmosphere has been festive in recent days and recalled the lightness of the Rio carnival, yet completed almost three months ago. Three planes and 270 tons of equipment landed in the “Wonderful City” with the American star, experienced in high-precision pyrotechnic shows. This show was a major event for the city of Rio. The concert will generate 293 million reais (53 million euros) for the local economy, calculated the town hall, which contributed 20 million reais to a production cost estimated at 60 million.

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