Madonna wraps up Celebration Tour with record-smashing Rio de Janeiro show!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Madonna gave it all in Rio de Janeiro as the pop star looked back on her four-decade career in a historic show before throngs of joyful fans jammed onto Brazil's famed Copacabana beach on Saturday night.

Madonna staged a historic show on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach on Saturday night, drawing hundreds of thousands of fans.
Madonna staged a historic show on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach on Saturday night, drawing hundreds of thousands of fans.  © Collage: MAURO PIMENTEL & Pablo PORCIUNCULA / AFP

The 65-year-old singer walked down an elevated bridge from the Copacabana Palace hotel shortly after 10:30 PM local time to a massive stage for one of the most important shows of her career.

Dressed all in black, Madonna broke into her hit Nothing Really Matters at the start of a burst of brute energy.

"Rio, here we are in the most beautiful place in the world," she said at the start of a performance that brought the giddy Brazilian audience to its feet.

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The show marked the final stop on her Celebration Tour, marking her 40 years atop pop charts in a free event that was estimated to draw upward of 1.5 million fans from across Brazil, which would be a record.

Madonna crowns Celebration Tour with stunning show

Madonna's Celebration Tour, which took her across North America and Europe, marked four decades on top of the pop charts.
Madonna's Celebration Tour, which took her across North America and Europe, marked four decades on top of the pop charts.  © Pablo PORCIUNCULA / AFP

Billed as a "historic" event, the night blended music and dance with cabaret.

Madonna showcased her versatility with dozens of set and costume changes, spectacular lights and many giant screens along the beach.

She went from being dressed as a schoolgirl in a miniskirt to an irreverent Christian in a black cape while luminous crosses circled around her during Like a Prayer, a song that cost her excommunication from the Catholic Church.

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Madonna was joined on stage during the performance of her hit Vogue by Brazilian singer Anitta, who is known for taking Carioca funk – the soundtrack of Rio's favelas – to the rest of the world.

With Live To Tell, she paid tribute to AIDS victims, including Freddie Mercury and the legendary Brazilian musician Cazuza.

DJ Diplo opened the show as thousands jostled to get a view of the stage. Boats bobbed in the water offshore, letting those onboard enjoy the show.

After 80 performances across Europe and North America, the Rio concert provided a crowning touch to a tour that took on sudden urgency when the singer suffered a life-threatening bacterial infection in June last year.

Cover photo: Collage: MAURO PIMENTEL & Pablo PORCIUNCULA / AFP

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