Only People on Madonna’s Payroll Would Sit Through Her 50th-Birthday Party

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Madonna
Photo: Getty Images

Remember when Madonna made a documentary about herself, called Truth or Dare, and it mostly consisted of her lolling around in skimpy clothes with her dancers and talking about how she only ever loved Sean Penn even though her boyfriend Warren Beatty was totally sitting right there when she said it? Anyway, it was a kind of fun video because she really seemed like she was friends with her tour crew, like any normal performing musician. Since then we've heard over the years how she's haughty with her tourmates, and won't turn the air-conditioning on during performances, and is basically tough to work for. So we were happy to learn that at Her Madgesty's 50th-birthday party in London over the weekend, more than half of the 90 guests at the Volstead Club were dancers from her upcoming Sticky & Sweet tour, and the rest were mostly employees.

Of course, Madonna was reportedly pissed that A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney, and Sting didn't show up. But according to People, the party was low-key and sweet, with Guy making a touching toast to his beautiful wife, and Lourdes performing a tear-jerking rendition of "Never Alone" from Fame on the piano. (Despite reports of marital strife, Guy Ritchie paid the tab for everything, which added up to 100,000 British pounds — in U.S. currency, that's $1.2 billion!) David Blaine did card tricks, and the dancers showed off their moves to Madonna's music until 3 a.m. The only sour note came, apparently, when the Material Mom herself took over the mike and gave a 30-minute speech, which the London Sun described as "mouth-drying."

Everybody listened politely, of course. They were at a company function, after all.

Inside Madonna's 50th Birthday Bash [People]