Legendary singer Madonna recently opened up to Harper’s Bazaar about being raped at knifepoint at the age of 19, when she moved to New York City from Rochester, Michigan to pursue her dreams.
The 55-year-old singer recalls the incident, “New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back.”
The pop star spoke about her three decades in the music industry and her drive to make it in show-business.
The singer said of her first several years in Manhattan, “I was defiant. Hell-bent on surviving. On making it. But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going”.
Madonna said her teenage years were hard, saying, “I didn’t have many friends; I might not have had any friends. But it all turned out good in the end, because when you aren’t popular and you don’t have a social life, it gives you more time to focus on your future. And for me, that was going to New York to become a REAL artist. To be able to express myself in a city of nonconformists. To revel and shimmy and shake in a world and be surrounded by daring people. When you’re 25, it’s a little bit easier to be daring, especially if you are a pop star, because eccentric behavior is expected from you”.
She moved to New York City in 1977 with just $35 in her pocket. She admits, “I was scared s***less and freaked out by the smell of piss and vomit everywhere, especially in the entryway of my third-floor walk-up”.
Madonna wanted to be a professional dancer but paid her rent by posing nude for art classes.
Madonna also touched on the births of two of her children and her controversial adoptions of two more. After the singer turned 35, she “began to search for meaning and a real sense of purpose in life. I wanted to be a mother, but I realized that just because I was a freedom fighter didn’t mean I was qualified to raise a child. I decided I needed to have a spiritual life.”
She went on to find Kabbalah.
Madonna summed up her essay, writing, “One of the many things I learned from all of this: If you aren’t willing to fight for what you believe in, then don’t even enter the ring.”
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Images: Harper’s Bazaar