Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

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Thousands of Oprah Show Ultimate Viewers packed the seats at the United Center and one hardworking mother of four flew in from New York City just to take part in the celebration: Madonna.

"It's no secret that millions of people are inspired by Oprah. I am one of those people," Madonna says. "She's a self-made woman who has been at the top of her game for 25 years—and she is still kicking ass! ... She has balls and a wealth of compassion. I have learned so much from her."

Like Oprah, Madonna also has a passion for educating girls in Africa, girls for whom a college education is usually unthinkable. "Oprah's commitment toward building her girls' academy in South Africa ... and having it be such a success against all odds has helped me to understand that it is possible and, in spite of the challenges I've encountered trying to build a girls school in Malawi, that I should stay the course and keep going—no matter how much resistance I encounter," Madonna says.

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