The singer revealed that she had almost cancelled her show, but decided not to
Madonna interrupted her show in Stockholm last night (November 14) to give a six-minute speech about the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday.
Ahead of ‘Like A Prayer’, which the singer performed as a tribute to the victims of the attacks, she discussed her difficulty in resolving to go on stage following the attacks and explained why she had ultimately decided to do so.
“This whole show is about celebrating life and standing up for your rights, fighting for what you believe in,” Madonna began. “It’s been very hard for me to get through this show up to this point and not forget about what happened last night so I need to take this moment to acknowledge the tragic killings, assassinations, and the senseless endings of precious life that occurred last night in Paris.”
“It’s disturbed me all day,” she continued, “and it’s been really hard to get through the show because in many ways I feel torn. Why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones?
She explained that the reason she wanted to come up onstage was to make a statement. “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 of that does occur, there is more goodness in this world. We are here to prove it.”
The star went on, “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?’ 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.”
She also encouraged people to treat one another with respect. “Yes, there are people who have no respect for human life and there are people that do atrocious, degrading and unforgivable things to other human beings. But we will never, ever, ever change this world that we live in if we do not change ourselves – if we do not change the way that we treat one another on a daily basis. Yes, the way we change the world is not to elect another president, not to kill a hundred more people. The way we change the world is that we change the way we treat one another on a daily basis in the simplest ways. We must start treating every human being with dignity and respect and this is the only thing that will change the world. This is the only thing. Only love will change the world. But it’s very hard to love unconditionally and it’s very hard to love that which we do not understand. or that which is different than we are. But we have to. Or this will go on and on forever.”
At this point the singer held a moment of silence, and began her rendition of ‘Like A Prayer’, during which she exclaimed, “No more war!”
See the speech and song below: