CARDIFF, Wales — The queen of pop kicked off her world tour Saturday, armed with three racks of clothing, a small mountain of diamonds, and a retinue large enough to fill a passenger jet.
Madonna's fans had been lining up outside Cardiff's Millennium Stadium since Friday to see the "Sticky and Sweet" tour's four-act opening show. Promoters promised a "rock-driven danstastic journey" supported by a crew of 250.
The two-hour concert includes eight costume changes, 16 dancers, and $1.85-million worth of Swarovski crystals. Madonna employed 36 designers to help whip up about 3,500 items of clothing. The show itself is billed as a musical mishmash of "gangsta pimp," Romanian folk, rave, and a nod to the blonde material-girl's roots in the '80s.
Those roots go back to when the aspiring singer reportedly showed up in New York with just $35 in her pocket. At 50, the world's top-selling female recording artist is still writhing, shaking and shimmying in the limelight — taking her place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.
Madonna's tour is eagerly anticipated in Britain, where the pop superstar — known here as "Madge" — has made her home.
After the opening concert, Madonna's tour moves across Europe, hitting London's Wembley Stadium on Sept. 11 and Paris on Sept. 20. It goes to North America in October before wrapping it up Dec. 18 in Brazil.