By Paul Sandle – LONDON (Reuters) – Madonna kicked off her “Celebration” tour in London on Saturday, with a performance that proved her energy, charisma and appetite for controversy were little dimmed after four decades of pop super-stardom and a brush with death earlier this year

The 65-year-old’s greatest hits show was pushed back from its original July start date after she was hospitalized in intensive care for a serious bacterial infection.

“I’m really damn surprised I made it this far. And I mean that on so many levels,” she told fans at the O2 arena.

Wearing the corset and chains that defined her breakthrough, she sang “Into The Groove” before a sound problem forced her to ad-lib about her early struggles in New York.

With the backing track restored, 1983’s “Holiday” recreated the hedonistic joy of a New York club before the onslaught of AIDS, marked by a tribute to those who had died.

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