x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Two decades on the road with Madonna

A look at Madonna's most memorable tours.

The Virgin Tour (1985) Madonna's debut tour was an all-American affair stretched over 40 show dates. Strong ticket sales saw the tour move to gradually bigger venues. A concert video, Live - The Virgin Tour, was soon released.

Who's That Girl World Tour (1987) Madonna's first world tour stopped in North America, Asia and Europe, in support of her third album True Blue and the film soundtrack of Who's That Girl. The tour caused a stir after an image of the Pope was broadcast at one performance.

Blond Ambition World Tour (1990) Highlighting her fourth album, Like a Prayer, the tour was inspired in part by art deco and Fritz Lang. It was acclaimed for its technical design and won the Most Creative Stage Production award at the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The 1991 documentary Truth or Dare (also known as In Bed with Madonna) chronicled the tour.

The Girlie Show World Tour (1993) Inspired by Edward Hopper's painting Girlie Show, the tour included elements of a rock concert, fashion show, cabaret and circus. It was a resounding success, with her Rio de Janeiro performance attracting 120,000 fans. Tour videos include Live in Japan 1993 - The Girlie Show and Madonna: The Girlie Show - Live Down Under.

Drowned World Tour (2001) Eight years since her last tour - the Material Girl had married Guy Ritchie, become a mother and dabbled in more film acting - and critics noted her ability to reinterpret her old hits. The tour was declared the fourth highest-grossing of the year, despite it being limited to Europe and North America.

Re-Invention World Tour (2004) Supporting her ninth album American Life, the tour was inspired by Madonna's involvement in the X-STaTIC PRo=CESS art installation by the photographer Steven Klein. Images from the installation were incorporated in the 24-song performances.

Confessions Tour (2006) This set the record for the highest-earning tour for a female artist - US$193.7 million (Dh711.5 million) - with an audience of more than 1.2 million. However, the tour didn't escape controversy, as her performance of Live to Tell hanging on a cross and wearing a crown of thorns was slammed by religious groups.

Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008 - 2009) This extravaganza broke the record as history's highest-grossing tour by a solo artist after its first leg. The 85-date tour went on to play to 3.5 million fans in 32 countries, grossing US$408 million (Dh1.5 billion).