While artists like Foo Fighters and U2 were forced to cancel or postpone their European shows in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, Madonna decided to soldier on with her own trek with a Saturday night concert in Stockholm, Sweden, where the singer delivered a moving, heartfelt and tearful speech about the massacre in the French capital.
“It’s been really hard actually to get through the show, because in many ways, I feel torn. 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,” Madonna told the crowd after revealing why she decided to continue on with her Rebel Heart trek through Europe.
“There are people who have no respect for human life, and there are people that do atrocious, degrading and unforgivable things to human beings,” Madonna said during her six-minute speech. “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.”
Following a long moment of silence for those killed in the Paris attacks, Madonna then delivered an acoustic version of “Like a Prayer.” “So, here’s what I know how to do, and I hope you will all join me, and we will all sing this prayer together,” she told the crowd, dabbing tears from her eyes with a tissue given to her by a concertgoer.