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Madonna Pays Tearful Tribute To Pulse Nightclub Victims In Powerful Speech At Miami Tour Stop

The singer gave an emotional speech during her Celebration Tour concert in Miami on Tuesday about the deadly Orlando gay nightclub mass shooting in 2016 that killed 49 people..

Madonna; Pulse Nightclub sign
Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Live Nation; Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Madonna was widely praised after she gave an emotional speech during her Celebration Tour concert in Miami on Tuesday about the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, paying tribute to the many LGBTQ+ victims who were killed in an act of terror.

In June 2016, the nationwide community was devastated by a mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in which 49 people—many of whom were Hispanic people of color who had gathered for a "Latin Night" of music and dancing—were senselessly murdered.

The shooting was the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in the United States until it was surpassed the following year by the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which resulted in 58 deaths. It was also the bloodiest incident of violence against the LGBTQ+ community since the UpStairs Lounge arson attack of 1973.

Pride Month festivities that year were noticeably more somber though nonetheless more needed than ever, galvanizing a new generation of LGBTQ+ activists into action, a development that has proven indispensable in years since, particularly as Republican legislators have launched a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation nationwide.

You can hear what Madonna said in the video below.

Madonna honors Pulse victims, survivors at Miami

The Queen of Pop addressed this act of hate with the following remarks:

"I want to draw attention to that moment because nightclubs and music and dance are what bring us together. They shouldn’t be places or things that we do that bring us sadness and tragedy and murder and death and pain and suffering and trauma. But unfortunately human beings are still stuck in some kind of a rut."
"I will always stand for the gays, always, because the gays have always stood for me ... [the shooting was] the worst terror attack since 9/11."

Addressing survivors and their families whom she invited, Madonna admitted to feeling "emotional," adding:

"I make dance music. My job is to bring people together, to make people dance, to make people happy, to not judge. This s**t is not supposed to happen. Don’t forget about it."
"When are we gonna learn? That's a rhetorical question, but I'm telling you we all take part in this — you know why? Because we all judge each other."
"We think we’re so elevated, we think we’ve seen it all, we've done it all, but even I speak evil to other people. Even I judge."
"We’re all guilty of discrimination in one way or another, therefore we are, on a global level, contributing to these crimes of hate. Therefore, I ask you all to remember your responsibility, and I ask you all to remember you have the ability to shine light in the world and to make a difference."

The singer began to cry as someone handed her a guitar and concluded:

"Light up this room, so we are all reminded that their lives were not taken in vain, and that we are reminded that every one of us has the ability to shine our own light on each other and share it with the world, share it with our friends, share it with our families, share it with our loved ones, share it with the people we don’t understand, share it with the people we think are our enemies because at the end of the day, we don’t have any f**king enemies!"
"We are our own enemies. Please remember that."

Madonna's moving tribute went viral and many applauded her continued allyship.

Madonna has long been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community

The singer received an Advocate for Change Award from GLAAD in 2019 recognizing her history of activism from the days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic to the present day.

At the time, she said that advocating "for all marginalized people is a duty and an honor I could not turn my back on nor will I ever." She spoke about losing many friends at the height of the pandemic during the 1980s and later concluded:

“As soon as you really understand what it means to love, you understand what it takes to become a human being, and that it is every human’s duty to fight, to advocate, to do whatever we can and whatever it takes.”