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Madonna powers through mammoth Rio concert with knee support brace as final tour stop draws historic crowd

The Celebration Tour came to an end in Rio's Copacabana Beach

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
5 May 2024
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Madonna's Celebration Tour ended with a huge bang on Saturday with a finale performance at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, marketed as a free concert to thank all the fans for their support.

The singer, 65, took to the stage with supporting acts Diplo and Barata, and received special support from Brazilian stars Anitta and Pabllo Vittar.

The show was held in front of the Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel, with free entry available on a first come-first serve basis, and ended up drawing a historic crowd of over 1.6 million.

The final concert of the tour became Madonna's largest ever, and the largest ever for a standalone concert by any artist, beating a record held by the Rolling Stones.

Through her several outfit changes, plus a green ski mask and a leotard in the colors of the Brazilian flag (with her surname "Ciccone" on the back), Madonna also wore a black knee support brace and at times sported a white wrist support brace as well, particularly during photographed rehearsals.

Still, she was as energetic and dynamite as ever, delighting the hundreds of thousands who'd come to see her final show for the tour, which is a celebration of her illustrious and ground-breaking four decade-long career.

A general view of the crowd ahead of Madonna's performance at Copacabana beach on May 04, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.© Getty Images
A view of the crowd ahead of Madonna's performance

A press release announcing the concert in March reads branded it "an unforgettable concert in one of the world's most beautiful settings," celebrating the conclusion of  "the epic global run of the tour." 

"It will also mark the best-selling female recording artist of all time's first show in Brazil since 2012," it continued, adding: "This unforgettable, one time event and world's biggest dancefloor will be broadcast live on TV Globo."

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Madonna shared a video recapping some of the concert and captioned it: "Blame it on Rio! Thank You Brazil!!" and her fans were full of praise for her energy and legacy.

Singer Madonna wears a mask during a rehearsal with Brazilian singer Pabllo Vittar on stage at Copacabana Beach on May 3, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.© Getty Images
The singer and Pabllo captured during rehearsals ahead of the big show

"Say what you want about Madonna but she is the queen of pop," one gushed, with another adding: "Madonna can release an album today and it will be number one by the end of the day," and a third saying: "Much more than a show!!!!! Lots of real Love!!"

MORE: Paris Jackson is radiant as she watches emotional tribute to dad Michael at Madonna tour

The Celebration Tour officially kicked off on October 14 in London after it had been postponed for months when the singer came down with a serious bacterial infection and was bedridden for days.

Madonna and Brazilian singer Pabllo Vittar show Brazilian flags on stage during a massive free show to close "The Celebration Tour" at Copacabana Beach on May 04, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.© Getty Images
The big finale ended up becoming the largest Madonna concert ever, and one of the biggest in history

It played a total of 81 sold-out shows across three continents and 14 countries, grossing over $70 million and becoming especially recognizable for her expansive setlist and many celebrity cameos, with stars like Kelly Ripa, Kylie Minogue, Salma Hayek, and more joining her for a breakdown during the performance of "Vogue."

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The tour concluded with 80 standard concerts in Mexico City on April 26, with Salma as the special guest dressed like Frida Kahlo, before heading to Brazil for the free show.

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Her kids have also been involved with the tour, specifically her 18-year-olds David Banda and Mercy James as instrumentalists, and her 11-year-old daughter Estelle as one of the ballroom dancers.

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