It takes a special kind of superstar to steal the spotlight at the Met Gala, but Madonna did just that with a divinely inspired performance during the annual event’s 2018 edition.
The 59-year-old pop legend answered fans’ prayers at the event Monday evening in New York City, taking over the interior of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and turning it into a performative haven (seen above, via Vogue) as she belted a reimagined version of her iconic 1989 song “Like a Prayer”and a haunting cover of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song “Hallelujah.” She also seemingly performed a new mid-tempo tune as part of her set, singing the lyrics, “It’s a beautiful plan, but I’m not concerned / It’s a beautiful game, that I never learned / You have taught me to shut my mouth, so I don’t get burned / Keep your beautiful lies, ‘cause I’m not concerned.”
Representatives for Madonna did not immediately respond to EW’s request for more information about the new song.
Keeping with the 2018 Met Gala’s theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” Madonna took to a staircase inside the museum’s Great Hall dressed in a monastic cloak, accompanied while by a score of backup performers dressed as monks. She first launched into a somber rendition of “Like a Prayer” before sitting atop the steps for her emotional take on “Hallelujah.”
Madonna didn’t just satisfy the evening’s theme in terms of her song selection for the night; earlier, she walked the star-studded benefit’s red carpet dressed in a black Jean Paul Gaultier gown, while a black net veil draped across her face with bejeweled crosses, rosaries, and a bouquet of black roses completing the look.
Madonna’s work with Gaultier — including her signature cone bra — throughout her decades-long career is perhaps as synonymous with the entertainer’s name as her heavy use of religious inspiration in her music and visuals. Notorious amongst the religious community for her often controversial presentation of religious elements, Madonna previously drew criticism from the Vatican (namely Pope John Paul II himself) following the release of her “Like a Prayer” music video and an accompanying Pepsi commercial — both of which saw Madonna toying with Catholic imagery.
Watch more snippets of her performances above. To see all of the heavenly red carpet looks from the evening — from Nicki Minaj and Cardi B to Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna — check out EW’s full gallery of red carpet arrivals here.