Madonna to play at Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv
Pop star Madonna is expected to perform two songs at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel in May.
Concert promoters Live Nation Israel, which first broke the news, said in a Facebook post that the performance on May 18 will be “both historical and hysterical” and include a classic track and a new song.
Madonna’s press team also confirmed the icon’s appearance in a statement to CNN.
However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the 40-nation strong competition, said the singer’s participation in Eurovision was still unconfirmed.
“The EBU can confirm that no final decisions have been made, or agreements signed, regarding the interval acts and potential guest performers for Eurovision Song Contest 2019,” the EBU press office said in a statement to CNN. “Official news and updates will come directly from the Eurovision channels in due course.”
Israel-based Bluestone Entertainment, which is co-owned by Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary, also confirmed her performance on a Facebook post.
Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, reported that Madonna is expected to bring in a 160-person entourage and her performance will cost about $1 million.
Madonna has played in Israel before — in 2009 and 2012 — as part of her world tours. She’s also been a follower of Kabbalah, an ancient, mystical form of Judaism.
But her decision to play in Israel for Eurovision may spark new controversy after a group of other artists, including Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, electronic pioneer Brian Eno, and movie directors such as Ken Loach and Mike Leigh called for a boycott of the May event.
In a letter to the Guardian published in September 2018, the group of artists said: “We, the undersigned artists from Europe and beyond, support the heartfelt appeal from Palestinian artists to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 hosted by Israel.
“Until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights, there should be no business-as-usual with the state that is denying them their basic rights.”