Madonna Fell Sick While Pushing Herself To Compete With Younger Acts Like Taylor Swift, Report Claims

Just weeks ahead of the start of her Celebration Tour, Madonna was rushed to a hospital in New York City and placed in its intensive care unit (ICU) on June 24, 2023.

According to her long-time manager Guy Oseary, the Queen of Pop suffered a “serious bacterial infection which lead (sic) to a several day stay in the ICU.” He added while her “health is improving,” she remains “under medical care.”

“A full recovery is expected,” he added.

Oseary did not elaborate on what kind of bacterial infection Madonna was suffering from. According to the Cleveland Clinic, bacterial infections can “affect your skin, lungs, brain, blood and other parts of your body.” The most common bacterial diseases include urinary tract infections, food poisoning, sexually transmitted infections and skin, sinus and ear infections. Such infections are usually treated with antibiotics.

Due to the serious nature of her illness, however, Oseary stated that the start of her tour would be postponed.

“At this time, we will need to pause all commitments, which includes the tour,” he told fans and added that their team would share more details about the amended tour dates and rescheduled shows in due time.

Madonna’s Celebration Tour is set to be a showcase of her greatest hits and had been due to start on July 15, 2023, in Vancouver, Canada. It was to run from then up until January 2024 and stop at 84 venues across Europe and North America, including cities such as Chicago and Dallas in the United States and London, Paris and Berlin in Europe.

According to Page Six, Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes Leon, was by her side during the ordeal. The outlet also claimed that the 64-year-old singer had been found “unresponsive” and needed to be intubated for at least a night until the tube could be removed. It cited a source as saying the singer was already “out of the ICU” and awake and responsive.

Just days before Madonna was rushed to hospital, she had taken to Instagram to give fans a sneak peek into preparations for her first major headlining concert since 2019-2020’s Madame X Tour. As the upcoming Celebration Tour was to revisit all of the pop diva’s greatest hits since the start of her career in the early ’80s, fans had been debating over which of her many chart-toppers would make the setlist. Among some of their best guesses were her older hits “Like A Virgin,” “Vogue,” “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Causing A Commotion,” as well as her more contemporary songs such as “Ray of Light,” “Frozen” and “Music.”

Madonna had pulled out all the stops to ensure her show would be nothing short of spectacular, as shown in the photos she shared on Instagram on June 20, 2023. One photo in the series showed a close-up of Madonna’s face, with her long blond hair cascading down around her. Other snaps showed her hair dyed a strawberry-red shade. With dark roots, the straight red hair looked gorgeous on the music icon, who seemed to have defied the aging process and looked years younger than she really is.

This was also the case for another photo of her, which was a selfie she took with cherry red lipstick on as she had her long blond locks curled. Madonna captioned the post:

“The Calm Before The Storm……….”

Meanwhile, Daily Mail reported that as Madonna was receiving treatment in the hospital, her management team had convened a crisis meeting over Zoom on June 25, 2023. The outlet claimed that many of the group members, including some who had worked with Madonna for many years, decided in the meeting to postpone the Celebration Tour.

In its report, an insider claimed “that nobody knew at this point how it was going to all end. Madonna was very ill and in these situations there are always fears for the worst. … with the tour getting even closer they took the decision to postpone pretty much immediately, so plans were put in motion. Even if she was to recover quickly, she would be very behind in her rehearsing schedule and nobody wanted to put her under any pressure.”

The Daily Mail also reported that Lourdes had been in Paris on a promotional campaign when news of her mother hit, and she rushed to get back stateside. It also claimed her son, Rocco, who was on holiday in Romania, raced back to New York after hearing the news.

The outlet also cited a family insider as claiming Madonna had been pushing herself beyond her limits to prepare for the tour. “She has not been living as healthy a life as she should be for her age, and she has been wearing herself thin over the past couple of months,” the source said and added the star would “put her career and her fame before her health until the day she is dead.”

In May 2023, Madonna shared an intense behind-the-scenes video of tour rehearsals that showed the star working hard alongside her dancers.


Page Six reported that Madonna has now been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at her New York home. It also reported sources as saying the superstar had burnt herself out trying to compete with younger singers, such as Taylor Swift and P!nk, by rehearsing up to 12 hours a day.

“She has to realize that, while she is as good as the people she is working with, many of them are a fraction of her age and without her history of injuries,” the outlet quoted a friend of the star as saying.

“Of course, there are other acts older than her still on the road, but they aren’t dancing and performing like she does,” the insider said while describing the star as a “perfectionist.”

Meanwhile, The Sun also cited Madonna’s friends as saying the star’s need to compete with younger acts had led to her recent hospitalization. One source said:

“Madonna had all her chips on one number, which was this tour. She was working overtime, but she clearly burnt herself out and people around her have been politely reminding her that she is not 45 anymore, let alone 25.”

The friend added if Madonna could “get herself back in shape, the tour will have a whole lot more buzz around it, and she’s already got loads of publicity — even if it’s the wrong kind. … Madonna is in it to win it and working harder than anybody.”

The outlet also reported another insider who said “constant remarks about her age have put pressure on her to compete,” but the recent setback won’t break her spirit.

“She’ll be back, I am 100% sure of it. God bless her. I hope she is still working and still killing it at 100.”


We wish Madonna all the best during her road to recovery. Which of her songs has inspired you the most? Let us know and pass this on to friends and family who are huge fans of the Queen of Pop, too.

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