She might be battling divorce rumors, an A-Rod scandal and a tell-all book by her brother, but maybe, at heart, Madonna's still a small-town girl after all.
The Material Girl returned to her Michigan roots Saturday for a screening of her acclaimed documentary I Am Because We Are at the Traverse City Film Festival.
"You can take the girl out of Michigan, but you can't take the Michigan out of the girl," she told the crowd of 540 people. "There's something poetic about coming back to the place where I used to come for holidays — camping trips with my dad and stepmother and my very large family. It's great bringing my movie to a place that I feel familiar."
Madonna, who was raised in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, did not address any of her recent controverseys in the Q&A session that followed.
The six-day event honoring independent films was co-founded by fellow Michigan native Michael Moore, who welcomed the 49-year-old Queen of Pop on stage.
"She has such an incredible heart and such a generous spirit," he said. "She does so much out of the glare of the lights to make the world a better place."
Madonna produced, wrote and narrated the documentary, which is about the plight of children orphaned by AIDS in the African nation of Malawi where she and husband Guy Ritchie adopted a son, David, in 2006.
Ritchie did not attend the festival. Madonna was accompanied by her 11-year-old daughter, Lourdes, and the film's director, Nathan Rissman. Her father, Silvio Ciccone, and stepmother, Joan, were also there.