Dabbing her eyes with a tissue, the 57-year-old pop star revealed she had been considering cancelling Saturday night's show.
“In many ways I feel torn. Why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones?”
But then, she said, she thought cancelling the show would be letting the terrorists win: “That is exactly what these people want us to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won't let them.”
“There are people who have no respect for human life, and there are people that do atrocious, degrading and unforgivable things to human beings,” Madonna said during her six-minute speech.
“But we will never, ever, ever change this world that we live in if we do not change ourselves. If we do not change the way we treat one another on a daily basis. The way we change the world is not to elect another president, not to kill a hundred more people.”
“The way we change the world is that we change the way we treat one another on a daily basis, in the simplest ways. We must start treating every human being with dignity and respect, and this is the only thing that will change the world.”
There followed a long moment of silence for those killed in the Paris attacks and then Madonna performed an acoustic version of one of her biggest songs, Like a Prayer.
“So, here's what I know how to do, and I hope you will all join me, and we will all sing this prayer together.”
Madonna's tour continues in Denmark tonight.
The attacks in Paris left more than 120 dead and around one hundred in a critical condition.