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Pop Superstar Madonna, 64, Speaks Out After ICU Hospitalization, Tour Postponement: ‘I Hate to Disappoint Anyone’

Singer says she’s ‘on the road to recovery and incredibly grateful’

spinner image Madonna performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Madonna performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Music icon Madonna says she’s recovering from a serious health issue that forced her to postpone the start of her world tour.

“Thank you for your positive energy, prayers and words of healing and encouragement. I have felt your love,” the singer announced on Instagram Monday. “I’m on the road to recovery and incredibly grateful for all the blessings in my life.”

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On June 28, Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, announced that the singer had developed a “serious bacterial infection” that required a “several day stay in the ICU.” In a statement on Instagram, Oseary said: “At this time we will need to pause all commitments, which includes the tour.”

Madonna announced Monday that her “current plan is to reschedule the North American leg of the tour and to begin in October in Europe.”  The European portion of the tour was already scheduled to begin in October. “My focus now is on my health and getting stronger and I assure you, I’ll be back with you as soon as I can!”

The star also recalled her initial reaction to being hospitalized. “My first thought when I woke up in the hospital was my children. My second thought was that I did not want to disappoint anyone who bought tickets for my tour. I also didn’t want to let down the people who worked tirelessly with me over the last few months to create my show. I hate to disappoint anyone.”

Tickets went on sale in January for Madonna’s “Celebration” tour, a series of greatest hits concerts that would have taken her to three dozen cities in North America and Europe from July through December.

In anticipation of the tour, AARP previously selected some songs we hoped Madonna would perform.

spinner image American singer Madonna in New York, 1984
Madonna in 1984.
Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Material Girl Era

Madonna’s self-titled debut album, released in 1983, went to No. 8 on the pop chart and spawned three hit singles that were catchy and cute more than provocative. The accompanying music videos established the “Madonna look.” Her follow-up album, Like a Virgin, hit the next year and established her as a bold and dynamic artist, willing to take on more mature topics (the title track) and also express a wry sense of humor about the world that women are expected to inhabit (“Material Girl”).

Songs we want to hear:

“Lucky Star”


“Like a Virgin”

spinner image Madonna performing during her Blond Ambition World Tour at Wembley Stadium in London, England on July 21, 1990. This was Madonna's third concert tour and promoted her fourth studio album, Like a Prayer (1989). It was attended by an estimated 800,000 people throughout Japan, North America and Europe. The costumes were designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, and included the iconic cone brassiere corset.
Madonna performing during her Blond Ambition World Tour at Wembley Stadium in London, England on July 21, 1990.
Duncan Raban/Popperfoto via Getty Images

The Queen of Pop Era

Through the mid- to late ’80s, Madonna produced hit after hit after hit, and used her cachet to comment on unwed pregnancy in “Papa Don’t Preach” and religion in “Like a Prayer.” The sexual boundary-pushing continued with a somewhat controversial peep show-themed video for “Open Your Heart,” but a mellower artistic side emerged too in “La Isla Bonita.” By the end of the decade, Madonna cemented her status as the Queen of Pop with the tour-de-force dance number “Express Yourself.”

Songs we want to hear:

“La Isla Bonita”

“Like a Prayer”

“Express Yourself”

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spinner image American musician Madonna performs in concert, New York, New York, circa 1993.
Madonna singing in concert in New York in 1993.
Larry Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images

The Starlet Era

Pushing boundaries wasn’t enough for Madonna in the ’90s; she wanted to obliterate them with her Sex book and Erotica album. But above it all, she became a true music icon with “Vogue,” a trend-setting song that is impossible to disconnect from the singer. It’s no coincidence that this was the era in which Madonna did some of her most impressive big-screen acting work.

Songs we want to hear:


“Justify My Love”

“Take a Bow”

spinner image Madonna performs at the 41st Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Madonna onstage at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 25, 1999.
Ke.Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

The New Dance Era

Madonna got her start with singles that made people dance in sweaty clubs. She returned to her roots with renewed enthusiasm in the late ’90s and 2000s. But her new hits didn’t sound dated; she worked with hot producers to create a new sound that felt like the promise of a new millennium.

Songs we want to hear:

“Ray of Light”


“Hung Up”

spinner image Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Madonna performing during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

The Legend Era

Madonna hasn’t been a regular on the pop chart in the past decade and a half, but she has remained a sought-after collaborator, working with stars she influences, such as Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott. One song, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” a collaboration with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, even features a cheerleader-type chant celebrating the now-legendary Madonna. She also commanded the Super Bowl halftime stage in 2012, with a couple of those friends and other artists joining in.

Songs we want to hear:

“4 Minutes”

“Give Me All Your Luvin’ ”

“Bitch I’m Madonna”

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