Madonna has revealed she was raped at the age of 20, shortly after she first moved to New York in 1978.

The Queen of pop recounted a horrifying story from when she was attacked at knifepoint, in an essay for Harper's Bazaar's November issue.

She wrote: "New York wasn't everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back, and had my apartment broken into three times. I don't know why; I had nothing of value after they took my radio the first time."

Though she admits nothing in her Rochester, Michigan, upbringing had prepared her for her experiences at the time, Madonna says that in New York she "felt like I had plugged into another universe. I felt like a warrior plunging my way through the crowds to survive. Blood pumping through my veins, I was poised for survival. I felt alive."

This isn't the first time Madonna has chosen to remember her ordeal. In a 1995 interview with New Musical Express, Madonna revealed for the first time that she was raped at the beginning of her music career, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Although it was devastating at the time, I know that it made me a much stronger person in retrospect. It forced me to be a survivor," she said.

To read Madonna's essay in Harper's Bazaar in its entirety, head over to HarpersBazaar.com.

madonna

Loading Slideshow...
  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    Madonna as a child at a party

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1975</strong> Rock star Madonna performs at Anaheim Stadium

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1982</strong> Madonna photographed at the Roseland Ballroom

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1984</strong> Madonna performing

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1985</strong> Madonna at the 12th Annual American Music Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1985</strong> Madonna during the opening night performance at New York's Radio City Music Hall

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1986</strong>. Madonna in London forher new movie <em>Shanghai Surprise</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1986</strong> Sean Penn and Madonna at the premiere of <em>At Close Range</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1987</strong> Madonna holding her award at the American Music Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1987</strong> Madonna takes the microphone on a stage at New York's Times Square to kick off the gala world premiere of her new movie

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1987</strong> Madonna takes a run in London's Green Park

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1987</strong> Madonna out shopping in London

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1987</strong> Madonna performing during her<em> Who's That Girl </em>world tour

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1987</strong> Madonna and husband Sean Penn

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1990</strong> Madonna Performing

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1990</strong> Madonna in London

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1991</strong> Madonna at the 44th Cannes Film Festival in France

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1991</strong> Madonna's street style

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1992</strong> Madonna on Malibu Beech during the video shoot for her single <em>This Used To Be My Playground</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1992</strong> Madonna at Heathrow Airport

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1993</strong> Madonna in London for the UK leg of her <em>The Girlie Show Tour</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1994</strong> Madonna arrives for the film premiere of <em>With Honors</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1994</strong> Madonna seen in Soho

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1995</strong> Elton John and Madonna backstage at the Brit Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1995</strong> Madonna takes an award for Best Female Video, <em>Take a Bow</em> at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1996</strong> Madonna at the<em> Evita</em> Press Conference

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1996</strong> Madonna leaving the Carlton Tower Hotel in London

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1998</strong> Madonna arrives at the 55th Golden Globes in Beverly Hills

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1998</strong> Madonna holds the award for Best Female during the MTV Europe music awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>1999</strong> Madonna at the VH-1 Fashion Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2000</strong> Madonna and boyfriend Guy Ritchie arrive at the Tate Gallery

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2000</strong> Madonna arrives alongside Guy Ritchie for the launch party for her latest album <em>Music</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2000</strong> Madonna with the Best Female award at the MTV Europe Music Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2001</strong> Madonna returns home to New York after completing her show in Boston

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    2002 Madonna arrives with her husband Guy Ritchie for the after-show party for her new play, <em>Up for Grabs</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2002</strong> Madonna pictured leaving Incognico restaurant in London

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2004</strong> Madonna arrives at the final of <em>UK Music Hall Of Fame</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2002</strong> Madonna meets Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the World Premiere of the James Bond film <em>Die Another Day </em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2005</strong> Madonna attends the MTV Europe Music Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2006</strong> Madonna in the press room at The 2006 Brit Awards

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2007</strong> Madonna arrives at a special screening of <em>Arthur and The Invisibles</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2008</strong> Madonna arriving at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2009</strong> Madonna attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2010</strong> Madonna directing her new movie <em>W.E</em>

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2011</strong> Lourdes Leon and Madonna arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2012</strong> Madonna arriving for the UK premiere of W.E

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2012</strong> Director Madonna poses at the UK photo call of W.E

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2012</strong> Madonna launches <em>Truth or Dare</em> fragrance at Macy's

  • Style Evolution: Madonna

    <strong>2012</strong> Madonna performs at Turk Telekom Arena Stadium in Istanbul

Also on HuffPost: