- Madonna is a pop icon and international superstar.
- She’s racked up seven Grammy Awards over the years and is a mom to six kids.
- On June 28, 2023, news broke that she had been hospitalized, but she was discharged shortly after.
- Madonna spoke about her hospitalization and “crazy year” at the opening night of her world tour.
After her rise to global fame in the 1980s, Madonna is nothing short 0f a showbiz legend. The “Vogue” singer, now 64, is known as the “Queen of Pop” after unforgettable albums including Madonna, The Immaculate Collection, Like A Virgin, Ray Of Light, and True Blue. She crossed over to the big screen as well with major studio films including Desperately Seeking Susan, A League of Their Own, Shangai Surprise, and Evita, among others.
Along the way, her penchant for controversy propelled her even further into the spotlight. Her book Sex, released with sealed covers in 1992, and video for Justify My Love scandalized the public with its frank exploration of intimacy and nudity. And her high-profile romantic relationships were also the topic of intense interest over the years, including a marriage to then Hollywood bad-boy Sean Penn and a later marriage to director Guy Ritchie, as well as serious relationships with Dennis Rodman and Carlos Leon, among others. The singer eventually began a family, welcoming daughter Lourdes Leon with Carlos, son Rocco Ritchie with Guy, and later adopting son David Banda, daughter Mercy James, and twins Stella & Estere Ciccone from Malawi. Her more recent social media exploits have served to continue to keep fans engaged with regularly sexy posts and updates.
But even Madonna is human, and on June 28, 2023, news broke that she’d be postponing her highly anticipated Celebration tour due to a sudden and unexpected hospitalization. After postponing her concert tour, Madonna kicked off her tour on October 14, 2023. She spoke about her health scare as part of the concert. Here’s everything you need to know about the bacterial infection that landed her in the ICU and forced her to postpone the big tour.
Madonna Hospitalized With Bacterial Infection
“On Saturday, June 24, Madonna developed a serious bacterial infection which led to a several-day stay in the ICU,” wrote Guy Oseary, the manager for the 64-year-old music icon, when announcing that her upcoming Celebration tour has been postponed. “Her health is improving. However, she is still under medical care. A full recovery is expected. At this time, we will need to pause all commitments, which includes the tour. We will share more details with you as soon as we have them, including a new start date for the tour and for rescheduled shows.”
Shortly after the news broke of Madonna pausing her tour, Page Six reported that she was “found unresponsive and rushed to a New York City hospital,” where she was “intubated for at least one night” in the ICU “before having the tube removed — and she is now alert and recovering.” Page Six reports that Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes was “by her side throughout the ordeal.” Despite this, the publication reports that Madonna’s out of the ICU and “still under medical care. [But], a full recovery is expected.”
The postponement of the Celebration tour is a major blow to Madonna’s fans. Initially a 35-city tour, before expanded to 43 stops, Celebration was meant to highlight Madonna’s “unmatched catalog of music from the past 40-plus years,” the press release said when it was first announced. The show would also “pay respect to the city of New York, where her career in music began.”
The tour, Produced by Live Nation, was initially scheduled to kick off in Vancouver on July 15. It would have traveled throughout North America for two months before going overseas to Europe in October. After wrapping the European dates in early December, the tour was scheduled to return to North America for the additional eight cities before wrapping up at the end of January 2024. At this time, there is no word on rescheduling. Ticketholders should likely check their emails for any instructions on what to expect. It’s likely they will hold onto the tickets until the dates are rescheduled, and as Madonna recovers from this infection.
What Is a Bacterial Infection?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a bacterial infection can be any number of illnesses caused by toxins or bacterial growth. A bacterial infection can affect the brain, blood, lungs skin, or other parts of the body and, as Oseary noted, can be quite dangerous. Bacterial diseases can often be treated with antibiotics.
While it’s unknown exactly which bacterial infection Madonna experienced, a physician told NBC what might be serious enough to land the singer in the intensive care unit so quickly.
“Typically, admission to the ICU would happen if the doctors are concerned that somebody either is perhaps becoming septic or may have sepsis, which is a potentially life-threatening emergency that can happen when your immune response overreacts to an infection,” NBC News medical correspondent Dr. Natalie Azar said, per Today.
Dr. Azar added that treatment for such an infection “would include broad spectrum antibiotics, IV fluids, support of her blood pressure heart rate, all of those things.”
How Long Has Madonna Been Sick?
As noted above, Madonna was first discovered unresponsive on June 24, 2023, and rushed to the hospital for treatment. However, a June 29 report claimed she’d been sick for a month before being treated. According to sources for TMZ, she’d been battling a “low grade fever” for a month before becoming unresponsive, and was simply too busy rehearsing to address it.
How Is Madonna Doing Today?
Five days after her hospitalization, on June 29, 2023, she was discharged from the hospital and transported home via ambulance, with a police escort. She’s reportedly recovering now, and her kids, including Rocco and David Banda, have been photographed arriving at her New York City apartment. “She’s in the clear,” a source told CNN.
Though it’s unclear how long it will take the pop star to completely recover, Dr. Azar explained to NBC that despite the seriousness of the situation, she believes Madonna will ultimately have a good outcome. “Recovery can sometimes take weeks to month, but the fact that she is such a healthy woman, and that clearly this was treated and treatment (was) instituted early, I think she’ll have a very, very good outcome,” she told the news outlet.
Shortly after it was revealed, a report published by TMZ on Jun. 29, 2023, claimed that Madonna is bedridden from the illness. The outlet’s sources alleged that Madge is “vomiting uncontrollably” and that, “the infection is still wreaking havoc on her body.” As previously mentioned, M was hospitalized on Jun. 24, however, the sources close to the star told the outlet that she did not want to go. They alleged that she was “metaphorically ‘kicking and streaming [sic]’ … protesting the decision to send her there.” The proud mom reportedly began to “uncontrollably” vomit the day she was taken into the ICU.
Nearly two weeks after she was hospitalized, Madonna released a statement revealing that she was on the mend on July 10, 2023. She thanked her fans for “positive vibes”, prayers, and well-wishes. “I’m on the road to recovery and incredibly grateful for all the blessings in my life,” she said. “My first thought when I woke up in the hospital was my children. My second thought was that I did not want to disappoint anyone who bought tickets for my tour. I also didn’t want to let down the people who worked tirelessly with me over the last few months to create my show. I hate to disappoint anyone.”
At the close of her statement, she said that her health was her focus so she could “be back as soon as I can.” Since being discharged, she has shared quite a few photos and videos, including clips of her dancing and spending time with her kids. She even attended a show on Beyonce’s Renaissance tour. For fans looking to catch the Celebration tour, Madonna announced that the newly re-scheduled dates would be announced soon in a statement on her Instagram Story. “I’m happy to report that the re-routed tour schedule will be coming in the next few days! See you soon for a well-deserved Celebration!” she wrote.
Four months after her hospitalization, Madonna made her return to the stage for her Celebration tour. On opening night, she addressed the health scare, explaining that she knew she had to “pull through” for her kids. “It’s been a crazy year for me. I didn’t think I was going to make it, neither did my doctors,” she said. “I forgot five days of my life – or my death. I don’t really know where I was.”
Despite what was undoubtedly a scary experience, Madonna showed that she had the strength to fight the infection for her kids. She then performed a cover of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.