Singapore: Madonna banned from performing sensitive song

9 March 2016

The Media Development Authority (MDA), Singapore’s governmental media regulatory board, banned Madonna from performing her song ‘Holy Water’ in her 28 February 2016 show at the country’s National Stadium, reported The Straits Times on 7 January 2016.

The MDA rated the concert R18, meaning only those 18 years of age or older can attend, for its “sexually suggested content”.

“In determining the rating, MDA had carefully reviewed the proposed setlist and consulted the Arts Consultative Panel. Religiously sensitive content which breach our guidelines, such as the song Holy Water, will thus not be performed in Singapore,” the board said in a statement.

The performance for the song in question involves scantily clad dancers dressed as nuns dancing on cross-shaped stripper poles.

Singapore’s Archbishop William Goh said in a statement that people should not “support those who denigrate and insult religions, including anti-Christian and immoral values promoted by the secular world”, reported Sky News on 23 February 2016.

This isn’t the first time Madonna has been banned in Singapore, a conservative country with strict moral and religious rules. In 1993, the singer was completely banned from performing there on her ‘Girlie Show World Tour’ as police deemed her act “obscene”.


» Sky News – 23 February 2016:
Archbishop warns against ‘immoral’ Madonna

» The Independent – 19 February 2016:
Madonna banned from performing ‘religiously sensitive’ song ‘Holy Water’ in Singapore

» The Straits Times – 7 January 2016:
Madonna not allowed to perform religiously sensitive songs such as Holy Water at her show here

Related information

» – 30 November 2015:
Singapore: Petition launched to ban singer from performing

» – 27 May 2015:
Singapore: Music video banned for its pro-LGBT content

» – 26 June 2014:
Singapore: Censorship of pop star A-mei condemned by fans

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