Madonna honored her creative hero, the late David Bowie, with a fierce cover of his 1974 anthem “Rebel Rebel” during her Tuesday concert in Houston, Idolator reports. “I want to pay tribute to a man who inspired my career,” she says in the fan-shot clip. “If you haven’t heard about David Bowie, then look him up, motherfuckers.
“He was one of the geniuses in the music industry, one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century, and he changed my life when I went to see him in concert in Detroit,” she continues. “He showed me that it was OK to be different. And he’s the first Rebel Heart that I laid eyes on.”
Madonna hyped the crowd, head-banging and thrusting across the stage, as her guitarist cranks out the track’s signature distorted riff. Meanwhile, glammy Seventies images of Bowie flashed behind on a screen.
“I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan,” she continued. “Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit,” Madonna wrote, adding that Bowie was her first concert. “I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion. Was both masculine and feminine. Funny and serious. Clever and wise. His lyrics were witty ironic and mysterious.”
Madonna has a deep history with the Thin White Duke, having inducted Bowie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Her speech included memories of hitchhiking to that Detroit concert – her first rock show – and how she “came home a changed woman.”