Madonna honours 'the shocking' in surprise Grammys 2023 appearance

She also thanked the 'rebels' and the troublemakers before introducing Sam Smith and Kim Petras

Powered by automated translation

Madonna, known as the Queen of Pop, has made a career out of shock value and a continuous reinvention of all aspects of her appearance — even her regional accents.

So it comes as no surprise that her appearance at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday sent tongues wagging.

“I had no idea it was her,” read one tweet — and it was all downhill from there.

The photo breaking the internet shows a woman in her 60s who has obviously taken advantage of modern methods promising the Fountain of Youth.

For Madge, though, the evening was not about her. The legendary performer made a surprise appearance at the show to introduce Sam Smith and Kim Petras's performance of Unholy.

"So here's what I've learnt after four decades in music — if they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you're definitely on to something,” she said.

“You guys need to know, all you troublemakers out there you need to know that your fearlessness does not go unnoticed.”

“You are seen, you are heard, and most of all, you are appreciated.”

The Bay City, Michigan native started her career as a dancer at the University of Michigan but soon lost interest in school and moved to New York City with $35 in her pocket, “the bravest thing I’d ever done”.

Madonna quickly adopted her own style and her own rules with an almost unprecedented drive to make it in a world dominated by men.

She embraced the music and arts scene and even embarked on a romance with a street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Both would shock the world and eventually rocket themselves into fame.

Her 1983 debut album Madonna, of which she ultimately took control, yielded several hit singles, including Lucky Star, Borderline, and Holiday.

Her now famous look saw teens scooping up fishnet stockings, black rubber bracelets and boxes of bottle blonde hair colour. It also made her a household name.

Madonna continued to crank out hit after hit, started her own record label, opened a chain of fitness centres, married two of the most famous men in movies, won a Golden Globe and is the highest-grossing female act of all time.

She also created a blueprint for acts to follow in her footsteps, including Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Beyonce. And she will soon embark on yet another multi-city tour.

“Madonna: The Celebration Tour” was first teased in a video featuring friends Jack Black, Lil Wayne, Diplo Meg Stalter, Eric Andre, Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer.

In it, Schumer dares Madonna to go on tour and perform her four decades of mega hits, which Madonna accepts.

The shows are already selling out and will no doubt solidify the Material Girl's status as one of the biggest entertainment trailblazers in modern history.

While the internet trolls make their jokes, Madonna will continue to laugh herself all the way to the bank and back again.

Updated: February 07, 2023, 6:29 AM