50,000 fans turn out as Madonna wraps up world tour in Tel Aviv
Fans crowd the stadium where Madonna holds gig after 16-year wait since last show in Israel.
Madonna was bringing her mix of provocative music and spirituality to the Holy Land with a concert Tuesday in front of 50,000 fans who have endured a 16-year wait since the pop icon's last gig in Israel.
The pop icon wraps up her worldwide Sticky & Sweet tour with two concerts this week in a country whose place at the heart of the Mideast conflict has made it more of a magnet for diplomats than big-name performers.
The 51-year-old entertainer claims a special bond with Israel. Madonna last performed in the country in 1993 but came on private pilgrimages in 2004 and 2007 along with other Kabbalah devotees. She's been dabbling in Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, for more than a decade and has taken on a Hebrew name, Esther.
Madonna's first performance on Tuesday in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park is taking place in front of more than 50,000 people.
Israeli radio stations played Madonna songs through the day on Tuesday. On Israel's Army Radio, a DJ interrupted a song briefly to quip that tonight, Aunt Esther is playing at Hayarkon Park.
Late Monday, the pop diva dined with Israel's parliamentary opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, at Madonna's request, Livni spokesman Gil Messing said.
Livni was very impressed with Madonna and found her to be a very interesting person, said Messing, adding that the two decided to keep the content of their conversation private. Livni plans to attend one of Madonna's concerts, he said.
Madonna is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem residence on Friday.