Madonna hasn't been to Australia in almost 20 years, and the "Girl Gone Wild" star again skipped the country when scheduling her "MDNA" tour, which kicked off in Israel on May 31. On Sunday, Madge issued an audio message to fans in Australia, apologizing for once again leaving their country off her tour schedule.
"I just want to say to all of my Australian fans that I am really and truly sorry to have disappointed you," she said. "I know the last time I was on tour, I missed Australia as well, and I can promise you in my heart of hearts that it was my intention to come again, but like the last time, my children are my first priority."
Although it was announced in February that Madonna would be performing in Australia, Live Nation confirmed in July that the "MDNA" tour would wrap in South America in December after traveling through Asia, Europe and North America. Madonna was last in Australia for the "Girlie Show World Tour," with a final performance on Dec. 4, 1993 in Sydney.
The Queen of Pop continued her explanation to fans, saying that it was "a really hard decision" to make. "Because my children are older, I can't take them on the road with me everywhere," she said. "I have to spend more time away from them and at the end of the year I really feel that I would be an irresponsible parent if I didn't stop my tour and spend time with them."
Madonna concluded her message by asking fans to "please forgive" her and promising that when she does visit Australia, she will have made the wait worth their while and will "put on the greatest show on earth." Listen to the full apology below.
The "MDNA" tour has already spurred multiple controversies -- with Madonna flashing audiences, offending the Front National party in France, and speaking in support of jailed Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot -- yet it has been a financial success.
Ticket sales revenue from the first 11 venues on the tour schedule totaled $49.5 million from 417,448 sold tickets. The tour opened in Israel on May 31 with a crowd of 33,457 in attendance. She wrapped a European leg on Aug. 21 in Nice, France and kicks off her North American run on Tuesday (Aug. 28) in Philadelphia. After a pair of shows in Miami on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, the tour moves into Mexico and South America, wrapping on Dec. 22 in Argentina.