Madonna kicks off "Sticky & Sweet" world tour
By Cindy Martin
CARDIFF (Reuters) - "Queen of pop" Madonna kicked off her "Sticky & Sweet" world tour in the Welsh city of Cardiff on Saturday, entering the stage on a throne before performing "Candy Shop" to around 40,000 screaming fans.
The U.S. singer, who turned 50 a week ago, defied her age with high-energy dance routines. She wore a black leotard-style outfit designed by French fashion house Givenchy and black, knee-length boots.
For her second number, "Beat Goes On," she drove along the stage catwalk in a white car from which she emerged wearing a white top hat.
U.S. rappers Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, who featured on her latest chart-topping album "Hard Candy," appeared in video clips, as did Britney Spears.
Madonna will be hoping to shatter her own record for the highest-grossing tour ever by a female artist and prove that the musical master of reinvention still has what it takes to pull in crowds young and old.
"She's got the physique, the music. To us, at 52, she's an inspiration to go on," said Diane, a fan from Cardiff.
At the other end of the age scale, nine-year-old Milly added: "I think she's really good and I'd like to be like her."
According to tour promoters Live Nation, who recently signed Madonna to a 10-year deal reported to be worth $120 million, Madonna and her band clocked up 653 hours of rehearsal time before launching "Sticky and Sweet." Continued...