HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MADONNA!

Celebrating Madonna’s Most Show-Stopping, Jaw-Dropping Live Performances


Larry Marano

Over the past few decades, Madonna has graced just about every stage in the world. Super Bowl? Grammy Awards? VMA’s? Check, check, and check—plus every other major football stadium and concert hall the seven continents have to offer. In that time, the singer has transformed herself time and time again. In her early days, Madonna was best known for her uber ’80s ensembles, complete with teased hair and oversized denim. From there, she experimented with lingerie-as-outerwear, buttoned-up menswear, and just about everything in between. And then there are the on-stage theatrics: larger-than-life crosses, working cars, and the occasional yoga routine. Here, in honor of her 59th birthday, a look back at the singer’s most iconic on-stage moments.

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June 10, 1985: American musician Madonna performs onstage during ‘The Virgin Tour’ at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images.

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May 21, 1985: Madonna performs on the Virgin Tour at the St. Paul Civic Center. Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

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July 13, 1987: Madonna performing on stage during her Who’s That Girl tour. Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns.

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July 29, 1987: Madonna performs on the Who’s That Girl Tour at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

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November 6, 1990: Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour. Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage.

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July 24, 1990: Madonna performs at the Feijenoord Stadium during her Blonde Ambition tour in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns.

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October 14, 1993: Madonna performs during her Girlie Show Tour at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage.

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October 14, 1993: Madonna performs during her Girlie Show Tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Steve Eichner/WireImage.

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September 2,1993: Madonna performs the Girlie Show at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles,California. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.

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July 21, 2001: Madonna performing during the first show in the North American leg of her ‘Drowned World Tour 2001’ at the First Union Center. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

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July 21, 2001: Madonna performs at the kickoff of the U.S. leg of her ‘Drowned World Tour’ at the First Union Center. Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images.

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August 28, 2003: Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera perform the opening act at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage.

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May 26, 2004: Madonna performs onstage during her ‘Re-Invention’ World Tour at The Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The outfit she is wearing is designed by Christian LaCroix. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.

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June 2, 2004: Madonna performs onstage during her ‘Re-Invention’ World Tour 2004 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images.

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September 1, 2004: Madonna performs on stage at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris, during the France opening concert of her ‘Re-Invention’ World tour. Photo by Bertrand Guay/AFP/GettyImages.

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September 20, 2006: Madonna performs during her ‘Confessions’ Tour at th Tokyo Dome. Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage.

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August 1, 2006: Madonna performs onstage at the first London concert of her ‘Confessions’ World Tour at Wembley Arena. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images.

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September 1, 2009: Madonna performs on stage during her ‘Sticky and Sweet’ tour concert in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. Photo by Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.

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November 6, 2008: Britney Spears sings a song with Madonna on stage during the Sticky and Sweet tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage.

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February 5, 2012: Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.

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February 5, 2012: Madonna performs with Nicki Minaj during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

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August 28, 2012: Madonna performs during the MDNA North America tour opener at the Wells Fargo Center. Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.

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November 20, 2012: Madonna performs her final performance of her U.S. ‘MDNA’ tour at American Airlines Arena. Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images.

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September 10, 2015: Madonna performs onstage during her ‘Rebel Heart’ tour at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation.

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January 27, 2016: Madonna performs during the “Rebel Heart Tour” at Coliseo Jose M. Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by GV Cruz/WireImage.

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November 7, 2016: Madonna holds a rally to support Hillary Clinton at Washington Square Park in New York City. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images.