Madonna Makes Changes To Concert's AIDS Tribute After Late Singer's Estate Protests

Madonna performing in London last year
Madonna performing in London last year Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Madonna has removed Luther Vandross from a section of her current tour which pays tribute to those who died from AIDS, after pressure from the late singer’s family.

A poignant moment from the Celebration Tour sees Madonna performing her hit single Live To Tell while surrounded by an ever-expanding collage of photos depicting people who died after being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.

Earlier this week, pop culture writer Matthew Rettenmund spotted that Luther had been added to this tribute, despite the singer never having been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.

A statement from Luther Vandross’ estate to Page Six read: “Luther Vandross passed away in 2005 due to complications from a stroke suffered two years earlier.

“While we appreciate Madonna’s recognition of those lives lost to AIDS, Luther was NEVER diagnosed with AIDS or the HIV virus.”

Luther Vandross performing in 1989
Luther Vandross performing in 1989 Paul Natkin via Getty Images

They added: “We’re not sure where she or her production team received false medical information claiming otherwise.”

Madonna’s reps have now confirmed that Luther will no longer be included in the collage.

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and disco singer Sylvester are included in the Live To Tell section of Madonna’s tour, as are many people that the Queen of Pop knew personally, including the artist Keith Haring, photographer Herb Ritts and dancer Christopher Flynn.

The Celebration Tour marks Madonna’s first time touring her greatest hits, and received mostly positive reviews when it kicked off in London last year.

Madonna was supposed to have begun her world jaunt earlier in the year, but these plans were postponed after the Grammy winner was hospitalised with a serious bacterial infection.