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Madonna pays tribute to Paris terror attack victims

Madonna gets emotional during her

Madonna gets emotional during her "Rebel Heart" tour concert in Stockholm on Saturday, Nov. 14, one day after the terror attacks in Paris left dozens dead and many more injured. Photo Credit: YouTube

To exuberant applause in Stockholm Saturday, a shaken and emotional Madonna paused her concert there to deliver a statement about the terror attack by the Islamic State on Paris the night before.

"It's been very hard for me to get through this show up to this point," the singer, 57, told the crowd, adding: "It's disturbed me all day and it's been really hard, actually, to get through the show, because in many ways, I feel torn. Like, why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones? However," she said, her voice cracking, "that is exactly what these people [the terrorists] want to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won't let them."

In a roughly six-minute speech, interrupted several times by sustained applause, Madonna said: "I was going to cancel my show tonight. But then I thought to myself, 'Why should I give that to them?' Why should I allow them to stop me -- and to stop us -- from enjoying freedom?' "

Saying that, "Yes, there are people who have no respect for human life, and there are people that do atrocious, degrading and unforgivable things to other human beings," she exhorted the crowd to enact change by "treating every human being with dignity and respect, and this is the only thing that will change the world. This is the only thing."

She conceded: "It's very hard to love unconditionally. And it's very hard to love that which we do not understand. Or that which is different than we are. But we have to, or this will go on and on forever."

With that she asked for a minute of silence for the victims and their families. Afterward, dabbing at her nose and eyes with a tissue, tears on her cheeks, she asked the crowd to "sing this prayer together" and launched into an acoustic version of "Like a Prayer."

In related news, the band U2 postponed its concerts at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on Saturday and Sunday. HBO had planned to broadcast the Saturday concert live. Dave Grohl's band Foo Fighters canceled the last four concerts on their European tour, including a Parisian show that had been scheduled for Monday night. Eagles of Death Metal, the California band playing at Paris' besieged Bataclan theater Friday, canceled their own tour's remaining 21 shows.

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" forwent its cold opening, with cast member Cecily Strong instead delivering a short monologue. "Paris is the City of Light. And here in New York City, we know that light will never go out," she said, adding, "Our love and support is with everyone there tonight. We stand with you" -- and then repeated the sentiments in French.

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