It's easy to forget why so many consider Madonna a pioneer for LGBT rights. During the 1980s and early 1990s, at the height of the AIDS crisis, Madonna promoted tolerance in her songs, videos, and concerts. She was widely condemned for doing so and, to a certain extent, it hurt her career. Towleroad recently listed why Madonna is the biggest pro-gay pop ally of all time.
This week, Madonna continued showing her respect for her gay fans. The Huffington Post has the news.
"A YouTube video of Madonna's Oct. 11 concert in Edmonton, Alberta captured the Madge-ical moment for posterity. After performing 'Material Girl,' the Queen of Pop paused her Rebel Heart show to instruct a fan named Jan, who was seated in the front row, to pop the question to his boyfriend, Chad, before a sold out crowd of nearly 17,000 spectators. "Madonna has always spoken out about gay rights. She has been booed at several of her concerts in the 1990s and 2000s when talking about gay people having the right to marry and the right to equal treatment. The Advocate quotes Madonna talking about not performing in Russia anymore because of their stance against the LGBT community.
"I won't appear in Moscow or St. Petersburg anymore, because I don't want to perform in places where being homosexual is tantamount to a crime."Madonna was fined after she gave a compassionate speech about gay rights at a concert in Russia on August 7, 2012. Her words earned mostly cheers in the audience.
"I travel around the world and I feel people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different...But, we can change this. We have the power."Madonna then goes on to say that we can achieve equal rights with love instead of violence. She then condemns religious hypocrisy and bigotry. Speeches like this have been made by Madonna since the mid-1980s, at a time when the LGBT community was treated like a criminal element in American society.
"As strong and supple as her voice was — ranging from girlish (Like A Virgin) to deep and dangerous (Burning Up, HeartBreakCity) — Madonna's dance moves were just as stunning," wrote author Sandra Sperounes.
The Edmonton Sun agreed that Madonna's show was strong. Author Mike Ross first condemns the double standard between Madonna and aging male rock star Mick Jagger. Like other reviewers, Ross likes the fact that Madonna seems a lot more warm on this tour and the fact that she is fully engaged with the audience. He noted that Madonna may have been singing along to taped background vocals on some of the (faster) songs, but that she definitely sang a lot of show completely live, especially the slower numbers.
As expected, Madonna's tour has been a huge success at the box office. According to Billboard, Madonna had made about $20 million dollars for ten shows reported throughout the month of September. Multiple sell-out shows in cities like Toronto and Edmonton as well as single sell-outs in Detroit, Atlantic City, and Vancouver could put Madonna over the $40 million mark when the shows are reported. Madonna's last tour under her contract with Live Nation will definitely end up being one of her career highlights.
[Feature photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images Entertainment]