Madonna closed out WorldPride with a moving speech for the LGBTQ community.
The Queen of Pop sang four songs Sunday on Manhattan's Pier 57, also known as Pride Island. Inclimate weather put her performance into doubt earlier in the day -- but Madonna did her set as planned with some moving words for queer fans.
Madonna kicked off her address acknowledging that "this pier has a lot of history" -- a reference to the location's past as a cruising grounds for men. She then segued into a more serious tone that recognized the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which are seen as the spark that ignited the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
"So, 50 years, people," Madonna said. "Fifty years of revolution, 50 years of freedom fighting, 50 years of putting up with discrimination, hatred, and indifference, 50 years of blood, sweat, and tears, 50 years of not bowing down to fear. That's what I'm talking about."
"We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honored to share this historical evening with you," the singer went on. "You really don't know. Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider, but you made me feel like an insider. You must know how much I love and appreciate everyone here tonight -- all members of the LGBTQ community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
\u201ci\u2019m beyond grateful right now. world pride was everything i could have asked for... i performed in amazing shows for amazing charities, danced my ass off in the #pride parade, celebrated at pride island with @Madonna... all w/ my loving boyfriend at my side... & completely SOBER!\u201d
— Frankie James Grande (@Frankie James Grande)
Madonna, who is preparing to embark on her Madame X tour this fall, sang "Vogue" -- her 1990 song referencing New York City ball culture -- the gay anthem "I Rise," and "God Control," her new track addressing gun violence in the U.S.
Gay Star News reports that 4.5 million people attended WorldPride last weekend, which also featured a speech from Laga Gaga,Melissa Etheridge, and an appearance from the cast of The L Word at the parade.
\u201cLove was all around at the #WorldPride Parade. \u2764\ufe0f Huge thanks to #TheLWord talent, fans and #Showtime employees who came out and celebrated with us yesterday!\u201d
— The L Word on Showtime (@The L Word on Showtime)