Singer Madonna gave a surprise New Year’s Eve performance at Stonewall Inn — the bar in New Yorks Greenwich Village where the riots that kicked off the modern LGBTQ movement took place in 1969.
Last month, the bar had announced that Madonna had been named an ambassador for the 50th anniversary celebrations.
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, reports variety.com.
Madonna took the stage saying: “I just wanna say I’ve never performed on a stage this small.”
The crowd cheered wildly.
“You survived 2018? Are you happy to say ‘Goodbye b***h’?,” 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 colours 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 artiste 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 colour and we all need to love and be loved.