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Ovation: Madonna Won’t Sing If You Smoke.


MadonnaTourI 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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Copyright © 2012

From → Ovations

  1. While I have never smoked, and I hate the smell of smoke, Madonna is doing this, like all that she does, for attention. She knows there’s cameras on her and what she fails to realize is that, as concert goers, who shelled out a lot of money to see her, SHE WORKS FOR THEM.
    If she doesn’t wanna smell smoke, go home and sit in a dark room and don’t smell smoke


  2. I don’t smoke because I sat behind my dad in the car and his smoke drifted back to me. So, I can relate to it bothering someone. Yet, I have one question, if she is performing in CO or WA is it OK for someone to light up a legal marijuana cig? Just asking? Have a great one. BTG


    • I guess it might be OK by STATE law but not by MADONNA law! She used to be a big-time smoker herself!


    • Barneysday permalink

      One of the best live shows I ever saw was Sammy Davis Jr. over 30 years ago. He would not perform in any air conditioned auditorium. It bothered his throat he said, and told the audience to go ahead and remove jackets and ties and get comfortable and to just imagine how hot it was for him under the lights. Nobody walked out or left, and we were treated to a multiple-encore show by one of the best show persons ever. Was he strictly correct in his demands? I assure you not a one did that night.

      A little idiosyncracy by a star performer is worth it.

      And yes, I’m a long ago ex-smoker


      • Barneysday permalink

        I meant to write that “not a one cared that night.”


  3. Rick permalink

    Yes she used to be a big time smoker. I think it’s insane for people to pay the HUGE amount for her tickets & then have to deal with her attitude.


  4. A week from today I will have quit smoking for one full year which is very surprising for me because quite frankly I never thought I was going to quit. I agree, Madonna has no right to enforce her beliefs on someone else, but at the same time, if it was just a question of second hand smoke bothering her, then she certainly could have been a bit more diplomatic about it.


    • Congratulations! I hope you treat yourself to something special to commemorate your non-smoking anniversary. I’m smoke-free for about 15 years now. It gets easier every day.


      • Hubby & I were talking about this just the other day & what surprised me are the dreams I sometimes have where I’m dreaming about something & I see myself take a puff off a smoke. I am aware in my dream I am having a drag on a cigarette & I am very adamnant that I am not smoking full time anymore, I just seem to want a drag on the cigarette. When I’m awake I very rarely even think about smoking, but it seems to be rearing its ugly head while I sleep.


  5. That’s a tough one. As a non-smoker, I’d say she should note ahead of time that her shows are to be smoke-free, so that the buyers have the option of spending their money with the knowledge that they may have to go hours without smoking.


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