Madonna Brings Massive Free Concert to Rio, Capping Celebration Tour

When Madonna stepped out onto the mammoth stage constructed on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach on Saturday night in a gleaming halo headpiece and black kimono, she was greeted by the largest live crowd of her four-decade career.

The free show, announced in late March, was a grand finale to the pop superstar’s latest world tour, which has delivered 80 performances since last October. Without ticket data, concert crowd sizes can be difficult to gauge; Riotur, the municipality’s tourism department, estimated that 1.6 million people flooded onto the 2.4-mile stretch of sand on Saturday that had been turned into a roughly $12 million playground surrounding the 8,700-square-foot stage.

It was the culmination of days of Madonna-mania in the city, where talk of the singer, 65, was inescapable. Her songs spilled out of stores and car stereos. Fans assembled outside her hotel and shouted her name. Updates about the concert, which was broadcast on the network Globo TV, dominated local media reports.

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