Madonna Reflects on Hospitalization for Bacterial Infection: ‘People Were Thinking, Predicting That I Might Not Make It’

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Madonna got emotional on stage as she shared with the crowd that she wasn’t feeling well Saturday night (Oct. 21) in Belgium.

In June, Madonna — who recently kicked off her career-spanning Celebration Tour — returned home after spending several days in the hospital due to a bacterial infection. Manager Guy Oseary at the time revealed that Madonna spent a few days in the ICU. “Her health is improving, however she is still under medical care,” Oseary wrote on June 24. “A full recovery is expected.”

After the health scare forced Madonna to postpone the start of her tour by three months, the Queen of Pop finally kicked off her highly anticipated global trek on Oct. 14, at London’s O2 Arena. (See Billboard‘s recap of the show here.)

In Belgium Saturday night, a week into her tour, Madonna reflected on that experience.

“Less than four months ago, I was in a hospital and I was unconscious, and people were thinking, predicting that I might not make it,” she said to the audience at Sportpaleis in Merksem. “It’s a f—ing miracle that I’m here right now. My mother, god bless her, she must be watching over me — she said, ‘Girl, it’s not your time to go.’”

Madonna added: “I had this strange thought. I suddenly had sympathy for my mother, not about the dying part, but how lonely she must have felt being in hospital, knowing that she wasn’t going to live.”


Madonna’s mother died from breast cancer when the future Queen of Pop was just five years old.

“I was given another chance,” said Madonna, 65, “so I’m very grateful for that.”

“I must tell you I don’t feel very well right now, but I can’t complain, because I’m alive. Thank god for my children and all of your love and support,” she told the crowd.

See clips of Madonna’s speech filmed by a fan at the concert below.

Madonna put on an incredible show last night. She said she wasn’t feeling well. It’s hard not to wonder if she’s really not well though, pushing through with the tour so soon after her illness. I hope she and her business people are taking good care of her. pic.twitter.com/FtboL4oqwD

— andie dyer (@dyerAndie) October 22, 2023

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