Over a million fans attend free Madonna concert in Rio

Madonna performs during a concert at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 4, 2024. (Photo/REUTERS/Pilar Olivares)

Dressed all in black, pop idol Madonna broke into her hit "Nothing Really Matters" before throngs of joyful fans jammed onto Brazil's famed Copacabana beach in Rio.

Shortly after 10:30 pm (0130 GMT on Sunday), the 65-year-old singer walked down an elevated bridge from the Copacabana Palace Hotel to a massive stage for one of the most important shows of her career.

It marked the final stop on her "Celebration Tour" noting her 40 years atop pop charts, in a free event expected to draw upward of 1.5 million fans from across Brazil.

US electronic dance music master DJ Diplo opened the show as thousands jostled to get a view of the stage.

Huge screens dotted the venue. Offshore, boats bobbed in the water, letting those onboard enjoy the show.

People gather at Copacabana beach to attend Madonna's free concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 4, 2024. (Photo/REUTERS/Lucas Landau)

Hours before the show, fans were already dancing to Madonna's songs blasting from the speakers on stage.

Police patrolled almost every corner to minimise the usual mass robberies.

Economic boost to Rio

After 80 performances across Europe and North America, the Rio concert provided a crowning touch to a tour that took on sudden urgency when the singer in June suffered a life-threatening bacterial infection.

Since the 1984 release of her first album, Madonna has released an album every two or three years.

The concert should provide an economic boost to Rio, which contributed $4 million (20 million reales) toward the $12 million cost of the production.

A drone view prior to Madonna's show at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 4, 2024. (Photo/REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto)

Authorities say the concert should pump a far larger sum — $57 million (293 million reales) — into the local economy.

On every corner in the Copacabana neighbourhood are billboards, souvenirs or T-shirts bearing images of Madonna or of the conical corset designed by Jean Paul Gaultier and made famous by the diva.

"Oi, Rio!" she called out in Portuguese to fans.

The response on Saturday night from more than a million voices: "Oi, Queen Madonna!"


Source: TRT