Madonna let the tears flow during her concert in Sweden on Saturday as she gave an emotional speech, honoring the victims of Friday night’s terrorist attacks on Paris, France. The 57-year-old singer addressed her fans, who were packed into the Tele 2 Arena in Stockholm as part of her “Rebel Heart” tour, and asked them to observe a moment of silence for those who lost their lives and loved ones.
In a video, posted to YouTube by her manager, Madonna can be heard speaking about the attack. She said she was having a hard time getting through her show without acknowledging what had happened the night before. During her 10-minute speech, Madonna admitted that she felt conflicted about even performing that night, questioning how it was okay for her to be dancing and having fun while others were mourning the loss of their family members and friends.
“It’s been really hard, actually, to get through the show, because in many ways, I feel torn. Like, why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones,” she said, according to Entertainment Tonight. “However, that is exactly what these people want to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won’t let them. We will never let them, because there is power in unity, and I do believe that as much chaos and pain and senseless violence and terrorism that occurs around this world, not just in Paris, as much as that that does occur, there is more goodness in this world. We are here to prove it.”
— People magazine (@people) November 15, 2015
Madonna pledged to continue her performance, despite almost cancelling it altogether, because she wanted to show the terrorists that they weren’t taking anything from her, and would not silence her.
“I was gonna cancel my show tonight but then I thought to myself, ‘Why should I give that to them? Why should I allow them to stop me and to stop us from enjoying freedom?” she told the audience. “All of the places where people were killed were places where people were having fun, people were enjoying themselves, eating in restaurants, dancing, singing, watching a soccer match.”
“These are freedoms that we take for granted of course and we must not but they’re freedoms that we deserve. We work hard, and we deserve to have fun, and there is no one in this world that should have the right to stop us from doing what we love!”
The audience, clearly moved by her speech, cheered and joined in a round of applause for the singer. At one point, Madonna reached out into the crowd to grab a tissue from a member of the audience to dry her tears. Madonna then asked her fans to join her in a moment of silence before she performed “Like a Prayer,” asking the crowd to sing with her. Thousands of cell phones were illuminated during the performance, and were waving in unison as she sang the emotional song.
— Access Hollywood (@accesshollywood) November 15, 2015
“The way we change the world is that we change the way we treat one another on a daily basis,” she said. “We must start treating every human being with dignity and respect.”
Check out Madonna’s touching speech in the video below:
Since the deadly terrorist attacks, France has closed its borders, and declared a state of emergency for the first time since World War II. The death toll from Friday night’s attacks was reported as being 129, with hundreds more injured.
[Photo by Axel Schmidt / Associated Press]