The 54-year-old pop star, now on the American leg of her MDNA tour, earned her latest round of headlines Friday after singing a duet with Shaun Sperling, the 33-year-old American Jew who briefly became an Internet sensation last month after a video from his bar mitzvah party went viral on YouTube. The clip, which showed the 13-year-old Sperling performing the singer’s “Vogue” at his 1992 bar mitzvah party, quickly became an online hit, leading the Huffington Post’s Gay Voices section to track him down for an interview.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the MDNA tour hit Chicago, where Madonna let Sperling commandeer the microphone for a few lines of ’80s hit “Like a Prayer.”
Liz Rosenberg, the singer’s publicist, claimed that Sperling’s selection was purely coincidental, and that the pop star wasn’t even aware of her fan’s long-ago bar mitzvah tribute. “Madonna never goes to that area of the stage to get people to sing along with her, but clearly she was being spiritually guided to the one person out of 20,000 who deserved to sing along,” Rosenberg said.
The Huffington Post described the encounter as bashert, which it defined as “Yiddish for ‘meant to be.’ ”
Whatever role divine intervention played in the moment, it clearly meant a lot to Sperling, who wrote on his Facebook page, “I feel incredibly grateful that my 13-year-old dreams are coming true.”