Madonna will go on tour from May for the first time in three years, starting in Israel before moving on to Europe, with legs in South America and Australia, where she has not performed for 20 years, tour promotion company Live Nation said on Tuesday.
The 2012 World Tour will be the first for the Grammy Award-winning 53-year-old Material Girl since her “Sticky & Sweet Tour” in 2008 and 2009 and will stop in more than 20 European and Middle Eastern cities including London, Edinburgh, Paris, Milan, Abu Dhabi and Berlin. According to Billboard magazine, Madonna’s “Sticky & Sweet Tour” grossed $408 million.
The tour starts on May 29 in Tel Aviv and then visits Abu Dhabi and Istanbul in early June before moving on to Europe. The European leg concludes on Aug. 21 in Nice, France, and the North American leg will end in Miami, with the date yet to be confirmed, the company said in a statement. The tour announcement follows her soon to be released album, titled “MDNA.”
Dates for the South American and Australian legs and locations were not yet set and additional cities and venues are still to be announced, they added.
The announcement came just days after Madonna’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, with a record 114 million people tuning in to watch the glitzy, Cleopatra-themed show, which was lauded by critics but resulted in an apology from television network NBC and the NFL for a rude gesture made by British hip-hop star M.I.A. during the show.
Madonna brought her mix of provocative music and spirituality to Israel with a Tel Aviv concert in Sept. 2009, a stop that marked the final stop in her “Sticky & Sweet Tour.” Then she performed in front of 50,000 fans who had waited 16 years to see pop icon perform again in Israel.“I shouldn’t have stayed so long away,” she told the adoring crowd gathered at Hayarkon Park, as she broke away from the script to express her affection for the country.
“Every time I come here, I get so supercharged with energy,” she said at the 2009 concert. “I truly believe that Israel is the energy centre of the world. And I also believe that if we can all live together in harmony in this place, then we can live in peace all over the world.”
Madonna has been dabbling in kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) for more than a decade and has taken on the Hebrew name, Esther. She’s come on private pilgrimages in recent years. During the concert the singer wrapped an Israeli flag around herself and paraded around the stage saying, "Israelis appreciate the fact that someone appreciates them and approaches them and is willing to look into things such as kabbalah.”