Ovation: Madonna Won’t Sing If You Smoke.
I remember a time when customers were asked “Smoking or Non-Smoking” when entering a restaurant and then being seated in the designated area to enjoy their meal. In 1975, the state of Minnesota was the first to restrict smoking when it enacted the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act. In 1985, the resort town of Aspen, Colorado, became the first U.S. city to totally restrict smoking in restaurants. Today, smoking bans are either in place or heavily debated in practically every community. Certainly, we all agree that smoking is optional while breathing is not and that smoking bans exist to protect non-smokers from the potential dangers of second-hand smoke including heart disease, cancer, emphysema and other diseases.
As a reformed smoker myself, I have grown to appreciate the arguments of those who do not smoke. Personally, having smoked for many years, I find cigarette smoking to be a filthy, dirty and smelly habit. I also understand, however, that it’s a physical, chemical, emotional and behavioral addiction that is very difficult to overcome. I try to be patient and understanding when it comes to the rights of others to enjoy tobacco, but it’s never easy.
Music superstar Madonna is not quite as understanding.
Recently, during a sound check before a concert in Santiago, Chile, the singer scolded her fans for smoking and threatened to cancel the show if they didn’t stop. The incident was caught on video.
She told her fans, who waited in the wind and rain for her brief appearance, in no uncertain terms that she would not tolerate their second-hand smoke.
“If you’re gonna smoke cigarettes I’m not doing a show. If you don’t care about me, I don’t care about you. … I’m not kidding. I can’t sing if you smoke. … If you love me then don’t smoke. … No smoking! … You’re looking right at me while you’re smoking cigarettes like I’m a stupid **** idiot.” – Madonna
I say “good for her”! Many people are terribly sensitive to second-hand smoke and I imagine someone who relies on her lungs and vocal chords to make a living is all the more aware of its effects. Ultimately she did not cancel her performance in Santiago, one of seventy-two sold out concerts on her current tour, the top grossing tour of 2012 earning more than $228.4 million, and her adoring fans appear to be accommodating.
Personally, I think she might have overreacted just a bit since the venue is an open-air stadium and no local laws were being broken. But, heck … she’s Madonna! She can ask her fans to do her a favor any time.
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