Madonna to play Dublin concert in July


Madonna is to play the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in July as part of her upcoming world tour.

Ireland is one of 26 European destinations where the singer will perform as part of a tour that will take in the US, South America, Australia and Canada.

The tour starts on May 29th in Tel Aviv, Israel, and she will perform in Dublin on July 24th. Tickets for the Dublin concert will go on sale on February 17th at 8am. They will be priced from €54.65 to €141.

Live Nation Entertainment, the tour?s international promoter, made the announcement last night, hot on the heels of worldwide praise for her Super Bowl performance in front of an audience of over 110 million.

The singer?s performance at halftime in Sunday's Super Bowl was watched by a record 114 million, more than the 111.3 million US viewers who watched the match.

Her performance drew mixed reviews and controversy over a rude gesture by rapper M.I.A.

Ratings tracker Nielsen said the Super Bowl on the NBC network was the most-watched TV program in US history, eclipsing the 111 million who watched 2011's game.

An extra three million tuned in for Madonna's glitzy, Cleopatra-themed performance, giving the Material Girl the distinction of having the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever.

But NBC and the NFL were forced to publicly apologise for a finger gesture flipped at the audience by British rapper M.I.A, who joined Madonna in the performance that viewers seemed to love and hate in equal measure.

Singer Sean `P.Diddy? Combs tweeted that Madonna ?had the best half-time performance of all time?.

Allison Stewart, pop music blogger with the Washington Post , said Madonna "delivered the most excellent and unexpectedly subversive Super Bowl halftime show in years".

But the Baltimore Sun 's David Zurawik called it a ?joke of a halftime show featuring an embalmed version of Madonna snatched off the undertaker's table?.

Other critics took her to task for blatantly promoting her new album, due out in March, and upcoming tour.

The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot commented that the Super Bowl "has become the biggest stage for shills of all kinds, pop stars included, and halftime has turned into a 12-minute branding opportunity in recent years for artists brandishing new albums".

Much of the day-after reckoning focused on rapper M.I.A.'s offensive finger, which drew comparisons to Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004.

M.I.A. joined Madonna on stage with US hip-hop star Nicki Minaj to sing Give Me All Your Luvin? from Madonna's latest album, when M.I.A. extended her middle finger in a fleeting, obscene gesture while facing the camera.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy blamed a failure in NBC's delay system which is intended to prevent such incidents making their way to national TV screens.

"The gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologise to our fans," he said.

NBC sports spokesman Christopher McCloskey shifted more of the blame back to the NFL, saying: "The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologise to our viewers."

Madonna was the first female Super Bowl halftime headliner since Jackson in 2004. That show caused uproar when Justin Timberlake tugged at her costume, exposing her nipple to millions of TV viewers in what Jackson called a "wardrobe malfunction".

Activist group the Parents Television Council yesterday blamed both the NFL and NBC for M.I.A.'s actions, saying they "chose a line-up full of performers who have based their careers on shock, profanity and titillation".

?The network cannot say it was caught off guard. It has been eight years since the Janet Jackson striptease, and both NBC and the NFL knew full well what might happen,? the PTC said.

The first Super Bowl in 1967 featured college marching bands entertaining the crowds at halftime. But recent performers have included major stars such as Paul McCartney, U2, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and The Black Eyed Peas.

The Federal Communications Commission had no comment on the Super Bowl incident.