Billboard touring honor

Madonna took home the top touring award for MDNA at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013. The tour was crowned 2012's top-grossing concert attraction worldwide by Billboard, surpassing other highly popular road shows by Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, Coldplay and Lady Gaga. The tour grossed $228.4 million over the course of 72 shows (all sold out), according to the magazine's calculations, which are based on figures reported to Billboard Boxscore from Nov. 9, 2011, to Nov. 13, 2012. Forbes later calculated that the tour grossed than $305 million. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images / May 19, 2013)

Madonna dares to reveal one very personal truth in an essay for "The Daring Issue" of Harper's Bazaar: When she was young and trying to make it in New York City, she was raped at knifepoint. 

The pop diva tosses off the information almost as an aside, as if it's something she has compartmentalized over time.

"New York wasn't everything I thought it would be," she writes. "It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back, and had my apartment broken into three times. I don't know why; I had nothing of value after they took my radio the first time."

The essay itself is a rundown of key "daring" decisions in Madonna's life, as presented by Madonna.

Among them: moving to New York from Michigan, moving to a foreign country, adopting children internationally, studying Kabbalah and deciding as a teen not to shave her legs or under her arms (she changed her mind on that last one, eventually).

Madonna says that after all of her outlandish behavior onstage, she didn't expect to be "punished" by the public for adopting abroad, but took a big lesson from the whole experience.

"One of the many things I learned from all of this: If you aren't willing to fight for what you believe in, then don't even enter the ring."

Now, she says, being daring is her norm.

"I have been blessed with four amazing children. I try to teach them to think outside the box. To be daring. To choose to do things because they are the right thing to do, not because everybody else is doing them," she writes. "I have started making films, which is probably the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Qur'an. I think it is important to study all the holy books. As my friend Yaman always tells me, a good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian, and so forth. I couldn't agree more.

"To some people this is a very daring thought."

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