Some people ring in New Year’s on the couch, some in Times Square—but last night a lucky few welcomed 2019 in with the Queen of Pop.
Madonna made a surprise appearance at New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn where she gave a rousing speech about the LGBTQ movement that was birthed 50 years ago at the West Village bar.
View this post on Instagram
@madonna was warm and witty at her surprise @thestonewallinn appearance on New Year's Eve! She gave a heartfelt speech about gay rights, saying she "walks in the shadows of giants" before her, and reaffirming her lifelong support of LGBTQ people. She joked about 2018 being a bitch, teased a fan about the prospect of coming home with her (she gave out part of her address before saying, "Just kidding!"), and most of all urged everyone to be kind, to find common ground and to fight for ourselves, each other and "love!" She brought out her teen son David Banda and did LOVELY acoustic versions of "Like a Prayer" and "Can't Help Falling in Love" (that high note was beautiful) and left. Everyone was high from the experience, talking about how her words had moved them. Some of the people there had zero idea she was coming! Such a nice way to kick off a new era. #madonna @madonna #likeaprayer #davidbanda #canthelpfallinginlovewithyou #canthelpfallinginlove #elvispresley #gay #lgbt #lgbtq #gayrights #stonewall #stonewallinn #nyc #boyculture #mlvc60 #encyclopediamadonnica #encyclopediamadonnica20
“I stand here proudly at the place where Pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, on the birth of a new year. We come together tonight to celebrate 50 years of revolution, 50 years of freedom fighting, 50 years of blood, sweat, and tears, can I get an amen,” she told the crowd at Stonewall’s intimate upstairs bar. “50 years of sacrifice, 50 years of standing up to discrimination, hatred, and worst of all indifference. And it all started here, at Stonewall. Let us never forget the Stonewall riots and those who bravely stood up and said: ’Enough!’ Enough brutality, enough violence inflicted of this community. Enough stigmatism, enough oppression, enough pain and suffering.”
As if her heartfelt speech wasn’t enough, Madonna performed acoustic versions of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley, and her classic, “Like A Prayer,” with her son, David, joining her onstage to play guitar.
According to Boy Culture’s Matthew Rettenmund—who was at last night’s event—”In-between songs, Madonna was teasing the audience about not singing along or emoting, so everyone lost their shit and howled for her, which she appreciated.” Then after her two songs, Madonna left Stonewall to continue her New Year’s festivities.
This appearance, and recently being named a Stonewall ambassador, adds fuel to the rumors that the “Hung Up” singer will be playing a major role in this summer’s World Pride, which is being held in New York to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.