Madonna raises $7.5M for Malawi, slams Trump in Miami show
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Madonna kissed Ariana Grande, repeatedly criticized President elect Donald Trump and said she was ashamed to be an American in a magnetic performance in Miami on Friday night where she raised more than $7.5 million for the African nation of Malawi.
The Material Girl dug deep into her personal treasures, auctioning off pieces from her own art collection, a costume from her tour modeled by Grande and black and white photos from her 1985 wedding to ex-husband Sean Penn shot by the late photographer Herb Ritts. The trio of wedding photos sold for $230,000.
Penn, who attended the fundraiser and bid on several pricey items when the auction stalled, handcuffed Madonna and crawled through her legs at one point as the two tried to coerce the audience to bid higher.
“For once, he’s not the one being arrested,” she joked.
The party lasted until early Saturday morning when Madonna took the stage for an hour-long performance before a star studded crowd that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, James Corden, ex-boyfriend A-Rod and Courtney Love. The fundraiser was just one of the many parties during Art Basel Miami Beach, a contemporary art fair.
Madonna, who performed in a pink sequined clown top and fishnet stockings, seemed to hold nothing back, especially her opinions on the election, joking with the audience that she had promised to perform sexual favors for those who voted for Hillary.
She coyly said she’d been in Donald Trump’s bed, but later revealed it was for a magazine photo shoot and that Trump wasn’t even there — and she criticized his cheap sheets.
“They won’t be Egyptian cotton because we all know how he feels about Muslims don’t we,” she said as some audience members gasped.
She gyrated to a slowed-down version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and seductively sang, “You know that you’re toxic,” as images of Trump appeared on a large screen behind her.
At one point, she walked into the audience, climbing on tables and giving one man a lap dance. She abruptly stood up at another point, grabbed the chair on which she had performed and said she also wanted to auction it, noting $600 could send a girl in Malawi to secondary school and $2,000 would cover her university expenses. The chair sold for $10,000.
Other notable items included a Damien Hirst painting, a private performance by magician David Blaine, who was also at the event, and a weeklong stay at DiCaprio’s home in Palm Springs, which fetched $140,000. A print by artist Tracey Emin from Madonna’s personal art collection, sold for $550,000.
Madonna adopted her 11-year-old son David from an orphanage in Malawi more than a decade ago. At the time, she said, “I didn’t know where Malawi was” on the map. David had pneumonia and malaria. His mother died in childbirth and his siblings were also dead.
He was on hand to introduce his mother, telling audience members who paid at least $5,000 per plate, “I realize I’m one of the lucky ones.”
The pop star showed videos of Malawi, asking for help to build a pediatric surgery and intensive care unit at a hospital there. Fifty percent of the population there is under the age of 15, according to her foundation Raising Malawi.
The night was punctuated by her sardonic humor, corny clown jokes, controversial political statements and heartfelt moments about how much the hospital project means to her. She divulged a few personal details, lamenting that she was very single and hadn’t had sex in a long time and saying she’d always had a fascination with clowns which she said are “profoundly misunderstood.”
She spoke passionately about the plight of Native Americans and asked why their land was being destroyed.
“It just really makes me feel ashamed, ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a human being really,” she said before launching into “American Life.”