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Madonna's Tumble At Brit Awards Lights Up Twitter, Stirs Ageism Debate

Singer Madonna fell off the steps next to the stage while performing her song "Living for Love" at the Brit Awards in London. The 56-year-old singer picked herself up and continued her performance.

The fall at Wednesday's music awards show was apparently caused by a move that went wrong: A dancer tugged at Madonna's cape, which failed to detach, and the singer fell down a flight of steps. Almost immediately, she rose and continued singing.

The fall lit up Twitter, as such things do these days, with the hashtags #shefellover and #fallenmadonna both trending. The reaction, as you might expect, was mixed. Many found the fall funny:

The negative reaction spawned much conversation on Twitter about ageism and at least one essay defending the singer.

"No wonder Madonna took her Brit awards fall in her stride — she deals with much worse just for being a 56-year-old woman," columnist Bidisha wrote in The Guardian.

But there were messages of support, too:

Later, on Instagram, Madonna said:

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.