Madonna cancels Lisbon show: 'I must listen to my body'

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMadonna's Madame X tour is due to come to the UK next month

Madonna has cancelled another show on her Madame X world tour, as she battles an ongoing, but unspecified, injury.

The star gave fans in Lisbon just 45 minutes' notice that her show on Sunday night was being called off.

"We regret to inform you that Madonna is unable to perform this evening," an email informed ticketholders at 19:45. She had been due on stage at 20:30.

"Sorry I had to cancel tonight," the star wrote on Instagram, "but I must listen to my body and rest!"

It is the eighth time Madonna has had to cancel a show on her current world tour, which sees her playing smaller, intimate theatre venues.

She has not revealed the nature her injury, but told one audience in San Francisco she was suffering from a "torn ligament" and "a bad knee" in November.

In a video posted to social media last week, she was shown wearing knee supports while rehearsing for an earlier show in Lisbon.

"How an injured Madame X warms up for a show," she wrote in the caption. "Very carefully."

The star has also shared videos of her taking post-show ice baths to help her cope with "multiple injuries" that are causing "overwhelming pain".

Madonna began the current stage of her Madame X tour in Portugal's Coliseu Dis Recreios theatre on 12 January, and had seemed to be in good spirits, interacting with the crowd and drinking port on stage.

The star said it was her first drink "in a month" and that it had "got her through" the strenuous show.

She also joked about her "25 injuries" and told the audience "don't pay attention to what goes on from the waist down", reported Lisbon-based music magazine Blitz.

The star also traded high heels for flat shoes during last Thursday's concert.

"They are very ugly but it was either wear these boots or cancel the show," the star was quoted as saying by the Portuguese website Sapo.

Madonna said she hoped the tour would resume this week, writing on Instagram: "See you on Tuesday, fingers crossed."

The show is due to come to the UK on 27 January, with 15 dates planned at the London Palladium.

At the scene - John Hand, BBC News

Anger and recrimination might well have been expected among the Madonna fans who crowded outside the historic Coliseu Dos Recreios in the heart of Lisbon to hear the news they dreaded.

Many had flown in from around the world to see their "queen" grace the intimate venue, just a few miles from her new Portuguese home.

But as they took photos of the cancellation notices posted on the door, less than an hour before the official start time, there was plenty of understanding and concern for the injured star.

After all, fans are fully aware that this is an all-out performer, battling against injury, who offers no compromise on stage. Madonna started out as a dancer and, even at 61, this is a show where her on-stage movement is as much a part of the act as her singing.

One fan who summed up his own frustration by posting a single-finger message to Madonna was quickly joined online by others speculating that she may need to postpone the rest of her tour, including 15 dates at the London Palladium next month.

But as a Coliseu staff member, standing at the door that remained resolutely shut, told me: "She did a great show here last night so you and the other fans here tonight are really unlucky."

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