I first saw Madonna in June 2001, when the Drowned World Tour came to Paris Bercy. At the time, I was still living in Algiers. I’d been saving my money for months to buy a €120 ticket and, above all, the plane ticket to see her.

I remember spending hours on the phone to Fnac to buy my ticket, and it cost me several thousand dinars (hundreds of euros) in international call charges, but I didn’t care. I was so happy to see her for the first time and I knew I was going to live a unique moment, me, a little Algerian who was told that everything was impossible, I had dreamed and I was going to see an American super star, I was going to see Madonna for real!

That happened over 20 years ago, as you can see, and since then I’ve been to every Madonna tour in Paris and Las Vegas, where I now live, without missing a single one!

I always wondered how a woman who didn’t have the most beautiful voice in the world could be the greatest singer of all time? It took me a few years to understand, and above all, to discover just how powerful this woman could be.

Queen of Pop

Madonna: record after record!

Let’s take a look at Madonna’s achievements over the years:

  • Best-selling album by a female artist: Madonna is the best-selling female artist in the world. Her album sales exceed 400 million copies, reconfirmed in 2023 by the Guinness Book of Records.
  • Solo artist with the most singles sold worldwide: She holds the record for the most singles sold by a solo artist, with over 300 million singles sold worldwide.
  • Female artist with most number-one hits in the U.S.: Madonna holds the record for the most #1 singles on the Billboard Top Dance 100 by a female artist.
  • Most lucrative solo tour ever for a female artist: Her “Sticky & Sweet Tour” in 2008-2009 was the most lucrative solo tour ever for a female artist at the time.
  • Female artist with the most Grammy Award nominations: Madonna has received a large number of Grammy Award nominations over the course of her career, demonstrating her recognition and influence in the music industry.

And all this from the same person – how crazy is that? Unrealistic? Not at all, she’s built this crazy career over the years, facing life head on and holding her head high… but let’s get on with it…

Madonna and me…

Madonna has a very strange role in my life, far beyond her music. I’ve never been religious, and I’ve never really had an example to follow in my life, to sort of guide me and tell me what path to take, or what mistakes I shouldn’t make or at least try to avoid, but that’s also due to my strong character – I’m a Lion like her after all!

One evening in Paris, in 2003, I was lucky enough to find myself right in front of her, during a private concert at the Cantine du Faubourg. I was chanting the home page of a site I was managing, called Madonna Electronica, and this irritated her, so she said to me:

Why are you showing me a picture of myself?

Even though everyone in the room had laughed, I was so happy that she’d said a few words to me, Madonna had just spoken to me, wow, I was the happiest guy in the world that night.

In 2004, despite the relays on Fun Radio and M6, my project to have her place a thousand roses on stage for her 20th anniversary failed, as the fans didn’t all understand that for the roses to arrive on stage, you only had to pass the bouquets in front and so on… but several ended up on a subwoofer, I’ll never know if she saw them by the way, but just having tried, I was very proud of myself.

I often took refuge in her songs and lyrics, but above all in her strength to live, her ability to always bounce back, despite the trials she too had to face, and there were many.

When I had cancer in 2011, I took refuge as never before in her songs, perhaps foolishly, but I needed to tell myself and hold on to something, and that something was: “I’m going to get better”. Even though the doctors told me it would be several months before I was diagnosed with the disease, I remained hopeful thanks to his music.

If I’m lucky enough to be writing this article today, it’s because all is well and I’ve come through one of the most difficult periods of my life.

Like many fans, I’ve continued to follow her career, sometimes loving what she’s done and sometimes not so much, it’s normal you can’t love everything in life. And what was my surprise in 2015 when Madonna reposted one of my photos on her Instagram… unfortunately I can’t share it here as she purged her profile at the end of June.

Queen of Pop

I’ve been hearing for 40 years that Madonna is finished!

Over the past 10 years, I’ve come to understand that she refuses to grow old, but I’ve never judged her. On the other hand, I’ve seen that many in the media and some of her own fans have mocked her, insulted her or considered that she should do what others expected of her, live as others expected of her.

At what point do we have to do what others expect of us, especially with everything she’s taught us?

Time passes, and it’s obvious that radio stations are playing her less, but she continues to fill stadiums and tour the world, breaking records despite a media that no longer really supports her, but she doesn’t care, she keeps going, she’s so strong after all isn’t she?

Over the past few years, like many fans, I’ve attended a few interviews and performances, where she seemed a little lost, or even disorientated, as during her performance with Maluma in Colombia, where she was searching both her steps and sometimes the lyrics of the song Music…

Not wishing to judge her, I said to myself that nothing lasts, and that unfortunately, one day or another, things have to stop or change, that’s the cycle of life after all. Nothing lasts forever, does it? Not even Madonna…

Her tours, her performances and her outbursts have enabled dozens, if not hundreds, of artists to emerge and give us grandiose concerts, as Madonna has done with excellence, opening the ball.

On July 3, 2023, I had a car accident and was badly shaken up. Waiting for the police, I went to see if Madonna had posted anything about the tour, after all it had been several days since she had posted anything, and then I came across her manager’s announcement: Madonna is hospitalized in ICU and the tour has been postponed until further notice.

Second news of the day, after my accident, I said to myself: No, not her, they’ve all left us, Whitney, Michael, Prince… not Madonna, not yet…

Queen of Pop

Madonna is no longer the Queen of Pop, she’s a superhero!

Over 400 million records sold after the September 2023 update of the Guinness Book of Records, an artist known the world over, hundreds of records, and yet she’s no longer the Queen of Pop, something has changed. I came to this realization at her concert at Paris Bercy in November 2023.

Despite having had a difficult year, which I’ll explain in another article, I thought I wouldn’t be able to see her, for various reasons, and yet I decided to get on a plane and take a risk, and go to Paris to see her.

Many of my friends who were there with me wished they hadn’t seen a video before the concert, but being stupidly afraid of thinking it wouldn’t happen, this time I did, and I didn’t understand a word of what I saw.

In intensive care a few months ago, I see a Madonna stronger than ever on a gigantic stage and an impressive super production. Despite a knee injury, she’s still as powerful as ever, even crazier, closer to the audience and smiling more than ever, a real pleasure to see her like this.

No, she’s not the greatest artist of all time, she’s not the best singer in the world and she doesn’t have the most beautiful voice, but she’s undeniably the best. She manages to put a smile back on her fans’ faces, to give them hope and the strength to believe that anything is possible in life. That’s not what a queen does, that’s what a superhero does, and at 65, that’s what I’ll call you, my dear Madonna.

I arrived at Bercy with my friends, and I’d packed my phone and a spare battery, I said to myself, do I watch the concert or do I film it, and I didn’t think about it any more, I decided to both film and watch, I wanted both to immortalize this moment and to see her with my own eyes once again, and to realize how totally wrong I’d been towards her for the first time.

I’m not a fan of drag queens at all, but I have to admit that Bob did an excellent job not only with the introduction, but throughout the whole concert – sorry, the whole celebration!

In the hall, I’m impressed by the technical means in place. It definitely didn’t fool us. It’s probably going to be a great concert, but I want to see it with my own eyes before writing this article, so I’m looking forward to the launch!

The concert starts, the lights go down, and there I see a giant illuminated crown make way for the woman who was once called the Queen of Pop.

She meticulously chooses the title of this introduction: Nothing Really Matter. Well, if anything really matters, and I’ll tell you why.

The introduction to this concert seems so simple, yet it’s visually very complex: it arrives on a revolving platform, as if to say that it’s come full circle, that it’s here and that it will come back again and again. Is this a simple message or just another deduction on my part? I don’t know, but I’ll continue my reasoning.

She’s finally here after saying a few words, and I see a wild crowd of nearly 20,000 people stand up and shout her name, and I think wow, is this an artist who’s finished? The song starts up, and with a regal gesture, she thanks her fans with her left hand, saying that it’s all “because of us or thanks to us” like a goddess. It’s true, after all these years, millions of us still support her, because we don’t love her because she’s fashionable, but because she’s Madonna, and there’s only one like her, isn’t there?

“Does Madonna sing live at her concerts?”, to those who love to repeat this meaningless phrase!

Unfortunately, when you put on such a great production, there are bugs and that’s life, and that evening there were a few, and I could clearly see that she wasn’t singing in playback, but that she was singing live, but that’s just my own deduction, bugs that I noticed on Nothing Really Matter and Ray Of light.

The concert lasted more than 2h30 and Madonna went from one sublime tableau to another, with incredible musical production and, above all, she spoke and tried to communicate with the woman she was 40 years ago. Moments of intense emotion.

I’m not going to recount her career in an article, as I have neither the pretension nor the ability to do so. I came out of there very quiet, it’s his best tour for me. Some of my friends cried, I think I was shocked again, not shocked in a bad way, but shocked to think that this woman is indestructible and that she has put a definitive and final slap in the face of all those detractors, they can forever say what they want, they will never be credible again.

So, I’m sorry I doubted you wouldn’t make it this time in view of the last few years, and yes for me, once again, you’re absolutely no longer the queen of pop. I find that term quite diminutive given what you are: you’re a superhero, and you’re my superhero, I love you forever and ever.

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