Madonna to perform at Eurovision
9 April 2019 - 11:00 AM

Madonna to perform at Eurovision

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Madonna is to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The "Material Girl" hitmaker will reportedly take to the stage in Tel Aviv next month to perform two songs, a new track and a classic hit, at this year's event, the European Broadcasting Union - which organises the contest - has confirmed to local news outlet Haaretz.

According to the website, Madonna had rowed with event producers over the song selection, due to the political content of the lyrics to the new track.

The 60-year-old singer is expected to be joined by a huge 160-person entourage, and the £750,000 cost of bringing her to Israel to perform at Eurovision will be picked up by billionaire businessman Sylvan Adams.

The performance will be Madonna's fourth in Israel, having previously staged concerts in 1993, 2009 and 2012.

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This year's contest as been embroiled in controversy as producers previously warned the country's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that he could impede preparations for the event if he did not come to a decision on the cost of security for the event.

As a result, last week the Prime Minister's Office announced it would cover 1.5 million shekels (£320,000) of the security bill for Eurovision.

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And in January, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters led calls urging the BBC not to broadcast Eurovision.

The likes of Dame Vivienne Westwood, Peter Gabriel and Wolf Alice were among those who signed an open letter to the BBC urging the broadcaster to ask organisers to move the contest due to human rights concerns in Israel.

They wrote: "Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations...

"We cannot ignore Israel's systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.

"The BBC is bound by its charter to "champion freedom of expression". It should act on its principles and press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed."

However, in response, the broadcaster insisted it wasn't appropriate "to use the BBC's participation for political reasons".

They said: "Eurovision is not a political event and does not endorse any political message or campaign.

"The competition has always supported the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance and diversity and we do not believe it would be appropriate to use the BBC's participation for political reasons.

"Because of this we will be taking part in this year's event. The host country is determined by the rules of the competition, not the BBC."

The European Broadcasting Union also stressed the "non-political character of the event".

Israel earned the right to host this year's event after their entrant Netta won last year with the song "Toy".

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