Madonna’s biggest-ever concert transforms Rio’s Copacabana beach into a massive dance floor

RIO DE JANEIRO — Madonna put on a free concert on Copacabana beach Saturday night, turning Rio de Janeiro’s vast stretch of sand into an enormous dance floor teeming with a multitude of her fans.

It was the last show of The Celebration Tour, her first retrospective, which kicked off in October in London.

The “Queen of Pop” began the show with her 1998 hit “Nothing Really Matters.” Huge cheers rose from the buzzing, tightly packed crowd, pressed up against the barriers. Others held house parties in brightly lighted apartments and hotels overlooking the beachfront. Helicopters and drones flew overhead, and motorboats and sailboats anchored off the beach filled the bay.

“Here we are in the most beautiful place in the world,” Madonna, 65, told the crowd. Pointing out the ocean view, the mountains and the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking the city, she added: “This place is magic.”

Madonna performed her classic hits, including “Like A Virgin” and “Hung Up.” For the introduction to “Like A Prayer,” her head was completely covered in a black cape, a rosary gripped in her hands.

The star paid an emotional tribute to “all the bright lights” lost to AIDS as she sang “Live to Tell,” with black and white photos of people who died from the illness flashing behind her.

Later, she was joined on stage by Brazilian artists Anitta and Pabllo Vittar.

Rio spent the last few days readying itself for the performance.

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