Madonna received an early present for her 50th: fans in her home state of Michigan sang “Happy Birthday.”
Hundreds of people flocked to the Fourth Annual Traverse City Film Festival where the Material Girl – with daughter Lourdes – introduced her documentary I Am Because We Are, about orphans in Malawi.
“You can take the girl out of Michigan but you can’t take Michigan out of the girl,” she told the crowd of more than 500 inside a theater and hundreds more watching via simulcast.
Her father, Silvio Ciccone, and stepmother, Joan, sat with Lourdes in the back of the theater as she talked of coming home.
“I don’t get here enough,” said Madonna, who was accompanied by the festival’s founder, filmmaker Michael Moore. “It’s great to be bringing my movie to a place that feels familiar.”
After the screening, fans sang “Happy Birthday” to the star, who turns 50 on Aug. 16.
Meanwhile, Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie told an interviewer that raising three children has changed his life.
“Fatherhood is unbelievable,” Ritchie, 39, tells Live magazine in Britain’s Mail on Sunday. “It has taken over my life.”
Ritchie wed Madonna in Dec. 2000, four months after their son Rocco was born. They have since adopted Malawian orphan David Banda. Madonna’s daughter Lourdes, 11, is from her relationship with Carlos Leon.
“But something else surprised me – how much you can love an adopted child, the same as you can love a biological child. I didn’t anticipate that,” says Ritchie in the interview ostensibly to promote his new film, RocknRolla.
• Reporting by ELLEN PILIGIAN and PETE NORMAN