Madonna has urged the LGBTQ community to ''never give up hope''.

The 'Medellín' singer is proud to be an ''advocate for change'' and admitted it ''meant a lot'' for her to be recognised at the GLAAD Media Awards earlier this month.

She told the 'Today': ''A big part of my history is intertwined with being an advocate for change.

''It meant a lot to me, cause it's not superficial ... I had to try and stop crying a few times.

''I have a lot of memories over the last 30 years and fighting for change and being in the trenches.''

Asked what she wanted people to take away from her speech at the ceremony, she said: ''Never give up hope. Never give up...no matter what.''

The 60-year-old pop star recalled living through ''lots of painful moments'' and losing a number of friends during the HIV and AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

She said: ''I lived through a lot of painful moments and lost a lot of friends. It was not an easy journey, when you look back and remember that, those things, and also the people that you loved that you lost and wish they were there with you - that sort of thing.

''I felt compelled to come to the rescue of the LGBTQ community back in the very beginning because they were always there for me.''

When she accepted the Advocate for Change Award at the ceremony, Madonna vowed to always fight for ''marginalised people''.

She said: ''Fighting for all marginalised people is a duty and an honor I could not turn my back on nor will I ever.''

She also spoke emotionally of how the ''plague'' of AIDS ''took out'' her friends and recalled her own efforts to help.

She said: ''I remember the pandemonium and the fear, and people trying all kinds of drugs that didn't work.

''And doing my own drug runs to Mexico for my friends to buy experimental medicines that were supposed help cure, but ended up only killing them faster.''

The 'Beautiful Stranger' hitmaker recalled visiting sick friends in New York's St. Vincent's Hospital.

She said: ''It felt like I had entered a concentration camp.

''Emaciated bodies in every bed, and all these people who had been abandoned by their families and their friends and their loved ones. I decided to defy the universe and get into every bed and put my arms around as many humans as I could and make them feel loved -- and human.''