The night following the attacks in Paris, many cultural events were cancelled, but Madonna performed as scheduled in Stockholm, as her Rebel Heart tour makes its way through Europe. And she took the opportunity to share her feelings on the events that transpired the night before. “It’s been really hard actually to get through the show, because in many ways, I feel torn,” she told the crowd. “Like, why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones? However, that is exactly what these people want us to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won’t let them.”
The speech lasted six minutes, with Madonna tearing up throughout. “There are people who have no respect for human life, and there are people that do atrocious, degrading and unforgivable things to human beings,” she continued. “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 we treat one another on a daily basis. 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.”
After a moment of silence for the victims and their families, Madonna turned tried to heal the crowd--and everyone else watching--the best way she knows how, and launched into an acoustic version of “Like A Prayer.” Watch it above.