US singer Madonna celebrated her 58th birthday on Tuesday in Havana, dancing to Cuban beats. She was spotted all over the city during the night and drew crowds as she toured Havana. The Material Girl’s visit got a write-up in the Cuban Communist party’s official newspaper, Granma, which reported that she “toured different city squares to start the first day of her visit, which will last until Wednesday.”
It said the US pop superstar was in Cuba with her eldest daughter, Lourdes, a 19-year-old model whose father is Cuban dancer and fitness trainer Carlos Leon. American photographer Steven Klein and stylists B Akerlund and Andy Lecompte are traveling with them, it said.
Watch: Madonna celebrates 58th birthday in style
Madonna posted a picture of herself to her Twitter account with the caption Cuba Libre. It shows her wearing a revealing black dress with yellow flowers and smiling as she tips a black hat. Videos posted online by fans show her dressed in the same outfit strolling through the streets of Old Havana and dancing to Cuban beats at a restaurant in the historic city centre as onlookers cheer. The news site Cubadebate said Madonna was planning a ‘big party’ Tuesday with the ‘rhythms and flavors’ of Cuba.
Madonna is the latest in a string of US celebrities to visit Cuba since its historic rapprochement with long-time enemy the United States was announced in December 2014. Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Usher, Paris Hilton, and Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have all toured the Caribbean island recently.
US citizens are still officially banned from traveling to Cuba as tourists under the embargo Washington has maintained on Havana since the 1960s.
Family Mambo Cuban Style! 💃🏻🎉🎉🎉🎉🍾🎈🎈🎂🎂🎂💝🍾🍾🇨🇺🇨🇺🇨🇺 pic.twitter.com/t2OiBR9gcD— Madonna (@Madonna) August 17, 2016
But President Barack Obama’s administration has loosened travel restrictions, enabling more Americans to make the trip under permitted categories such as “cultural exchanges”.
The singer, who started out in the early ‘80s, said elsewhere that pop stars are able to become famous quicker nowadays because of social media.
Walking in the HOT 🔥🔥🔥Streets of Havana! 🇨🇺🇨🇺🇨🇺 pic.twitter.com/WWmwj1v1RN— Madonna (@Madonna) August 17, 2016
“I was already famous before social media, so for me fame isn’t the burden. Fame is the manifestation or the by-product of my work, and that was two decades before social media,” she said.
“Now to me, the burden is people are more focused on fame than actually doing the work or being an artist. Now it’s easy to become famous. What isn’t easy is to develop and grow as an artist without being distracted or consumed with fame.”
The 58-year-old singer said she considers herself more of an artiste than a “pop act” because she is dedicated to making sure her work is “revolutionary” for her fans, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
“I don’t consider myself a pop act, I consider myself an artiste. And it’s an artiste’s responsibility to be revolutionary in our work. It’s our responsibility, our duty and our privilege,” Madonna told Love magazine.