Why Madonna’s Father Tried to Stop Her From Going to a David Bowie Concert

During a speech, Madonna said David Bowie changed her life. She recalled an incident where she wanted to go to a Bowie concert as a teenager. Her father tried to prevent her from attending the show. She discussed what happened next.

David Bowie standing near a microphone
David Bowie | Sherry Rayn Barnett/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Why Madonna’s father didn’t want her to go to the show

Madonna gave a speech at Bowie’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1996. In the speech, she revealed she wanted to go to a Bowie concert when she was 15. Her father tried to prevent her from doing so because he believed “horrible people” would hang out there.

Madonna sneaked out of the house with her best friend when everyone was asleep so they could get to the concert. The future Queen of Pop was wearing large platform shoes and a long silk cape at the time. “I don’t know who was scarier — the drivers that picked us up or us in our outfits,” she recalled. “Anyways, we arrived at [Cobo Arena] and the place was packed and we fought our way to our seats.”

Madonna lying on a couch
Madonna | Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images

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What the future Queen of Pop thought of the David Bowie concert

Madonna had positive memories of the concert. “I don’t think that I breathed for two hours. It was the most amazing show that I’d ever seen,” she remembered. “Not just because the music was great but because it was great theater. And here’s this beautiful androgynous man just being so perverse … Anyways, I came home a changed woman, as you can see.”

The “Like a Virgin” singer faced the consequences of disobeying her father. “And my father was not sleeping, and he knew exactly where I went,” Madonna added. “And he grounded me for the rest of the summer. But it was worth every minute that I sat and suffered in my house that summer. So, I would just like to thank you, David Bowie … for inspiring me.”

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The ways Madonna paid tribute to David Bowie after his death

That wasn’t the last time Madonna paid tribute to Bowie. Bowie died in 2016. The Queen of Pop performed a cover of “Rebel Rebel” in honor of Bowie and the footage is available on her YouTube channel.

Before and after singing the classic track, the Queen of Pop discussed the “Space Oddity” singer’s impact. She said Bowie helped make it acceptable for people to be different. She alluded to the lyrics of “Rebel Rebel” by saying that it doesn’t matter if you dress masculine or feminine, what matters is what’s on the inside.

That same year, Rolling Stone reports Madonna penned a tribute to Bowie. She praised his lyrics for their wisdom and air of mystery. The Queen of Pop revealed she had pictures of Bowie hanging all over her house. Bowie had a massive impact on music — and Madonna wouldn’t be the same if she didn’t attend one of his concerts.

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