New York City is roaring back to life after lockdown, and the latest evidence came Thursday night when Madonna herself popped up at a special LGBTQ Pride Month celebration at the Boom Boom Room at The Standard, High Line hotel.
Following a full evening of music provided by Kaytranada, Honey Dijon, Misshapes and Eli Escobar, the Material Girl emerged at around 1:30 a.m., and sang two tunes: "Hung Up" and "I Don't Search I Find."
The legendary singer, 62, was dressed in a combo of her classic mesh fabric look (including a fairly see-through top), long pink fingerless gloves and icy blue air, stunning the entire room.
But what was even more stunning was how she auctioned off three new, original Polaroids shot by her and Ricardo Gomes at her home earlier this month, inspired by New York City art. Each was individually framed and personally signed, and "Star Trek" actor Zachary Quinto helped out with the auction, which raised over $100,000 for The Ali Forney Center and Haus of Us in a matter of minutes, according to a news release.
One lucky person in the crowd also got a selfie with the pop icon for $10,000.
Three more original Polaroids shot by Madonna and Gomes are now part of a silent auction that will benefit the Hetrick Martin Inn and can be found here.
Madonna also addressed the crowd with a heartfelt speech, where she talked about quarantine and why it was so important for her to party in person this year to celebrate LGBTQ pride.
"I just wanna say also, that to not celebrate pride in a way that I am connected to people would have been a tragedy to me," she said. "Many people said don't do it... you might.. you might.... you might have fun!"
"Listen, when I came here there's only two entities, two energy forces, that I need to thank, that I really need to thank: this f*cking city, New York City, and the gay community. Because both of you gave me life and for that, I shall be forever grateful."
Though her appearance was a surprise to some, those in the know would have found out about it on her Instagram, where she posted on Thursday that she'd be rocking out at the event:
"Lets POP the cherry on Pride With a Bang!" she wrote in part in the caption.
The room was so packed that even VIP attendees were left outside on the street, but several who did make it in include Emily Ratajkowski, Indya Moore, Leyna Bloom, Christian Siriano, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Adam Lambert, Lance Bass, Bowen Yang, Ziwe, "Real Housewives" star Leah McSweeney and Jon Batiste, to name a few. Madonna's daughter Lourdes Leon was also there, as well as a bevy of "RuPaul's Drag Race" queens including Gottmik, Symone, Gigi Goode, Aquaria and Violet Chachkie.
The evening also included an original multimedia art installation, which was projected in Times Square and will be shown at The Standard, High Line for the remainder of Pride Month; Madonna's "Vogue" classic got an updated remix called "Vogue Ballroom Function," and played before her entrance.
But a highlight of the night was around 3:30 a.m., when Madonna surprised the crowd and took to the dance floor herself to strike a pose with her fans. Her security detail didn't seem too pleased with her decision, but she stayed on the floor for at least 30 minutes working the crowd and grinding with her boyfriend.
Clearly, it is still Madonna's world — and we're all just living in it!
During LGBTQ Pride Month, TODAY is sharing the community’s history, pain, joy and what’s next for the movement. We will be publishing personal essays, stories, videos and specials throughout the entire month of June. For more, head here.