Madonna set for Eurovision Song Contest as she vows not to let ‘political agenda’ get in the way of her performance
FROM banned videos to snogging Britney Spears on stage, Madonna has had no shortage of controversies during her 35-year career.
And she is taking a stand when it comes to her current politically sensitive move — performing at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Pro-Palestinian activists have slammed her decision to sing at the event on Saturday as the superstar special guest while the Israeli-Palestinian crisis rumbling on.
Madonna, expected to arrive in the city today, has hit back by insisting she won’t be silenced by the politics in the region.
Defending her decision, she insisted: “I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda, nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights, wherever in the world they may be.
“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict.
“I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.”
Madonna’s world tours took in Israel in 2009 and 2012 and she supports several Palestinian projects with her Ray Of Light foundation, which aims to empower women worldwide.
Madge is set to perform two songs at Eurovision — one classic from her back catalogue and a track from her new album Madame X.
It will be a good way to promote her upcoming intimate tour, which will come to the London Palladium for six nights from January 26, with tickets on sale this Friday.
Michael Rice will represent the UK at the contest with his song Bigger Than Us. But following our dismal run in the competition he has worrying odds of 4/1 to finish last.
At least Madonna should provide some joy, even if the result doesn’t.
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Selena drop dead gorgeous
SELENA Gomez looks every inch the movie star at Cannes Film Festival.
The singer had looked a plain Jane with little make-up and round sunglasses at Nice airport but swapped into the glamorous white gown with a thigh-high split for her film The Dead Don’t Die’s premiere.
[boxout headline=”bizbit”]JENNIFER Lawrence wore a £1,780 designer bridal dress at a private dinner in New York to celebrate her engagement to art gallery director Cooke Maroney.
I hope her outfit didn’t make her seem over-keen.
YOU’VE got to hand it to Gemma Collins – as long as whatever you’re handing her isn’t more fake tan.
She touched down in Los Angeles on Monday and her fingers were a completely different shade of orange to her face. But the reality star was all smiles ahead of filming for a new show.
Gemma knows how to make a scene.
Back in UK as NY was Ell
ELLIE Goulding’s fiance is relocating from New York to London for the sake of their relationship because she hated the Big Apple so much.
The singer moved to the US to spend more time with art dealer Caspar Jopling but recently returned to the UK ahead of their wedding later this year.
She explained: “My partner works there. Yes, I did it for love, but he’s moving back. I just had to pack everything up and just move there, otherwise we just wouldn’t see each other ever, which is rubbish.”
But on returning, she explained on Kiss Breakfast with Tom Green and Daisy Maskell: “I was like, good riddance, because New York is insane and really not for the faint hearted.
“For a while I was glad to be home but now I’m kind of missing the madness a bit. But I am glad to be back home with my cat.”
[boxout headline=”bizbit”]ADAM Lambert is back with the single New Eyes, from his fourth album, Velvet, which is due this year.
He premieres the song along with a video online, four years after the release of his third album The Original High.
Best Friend’s Ass
IN what must be one of the most ludicrous ideas for a song ever, Paris Hilton has written a tune about Kim Kardashian’s backside.
Proving she really has hit rock bottom in terms of what she will do for publicity, the socialite is releasing Best Friend’s Ass. She was also seen shooting the video with Kim this week.
It revolves around a night out with a voluptuous pal.
Paris said: “I needed someone who would represent the song in the best way possible and Kim was the perfect person. She’s just so beautiful and the title fits her perfectly.”
A few bum notes will fit right in.
Rob loved kidding with Olly as Kylie
OLLY Murs knew Robbie Williams was fond of his Kids collaboration with Kylie Minogue – so he dressed up as the Aussie singer for a joke backstage. Olly had been invited to support Robbie on his European tour in 2013, and got the idea to fool around with a fancy dress box to recreate the duet. I’ve mocked up how they might have looked on the right.
In an exclusive interview to mark the tenth anniversary of his X Factor audition, Olly said: “He invited me to sing Kids with him every night in his set – and I dressed up as Kylie backstage as a joke for him.”
Since the ITV series in 2009, Olly has gone on to play five huge headline tours, including his current You Know I Know jaunt, which ends in Gloucester on June 7.
But while he has worked hard at his success, racking up four No 1 singles and albums, he credits One Direction for helping him to go global.
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Olly said: “I supported One Direction on their Up All Night Tour when they blew up in America. It was a crazy experience. It was like touring with The Beatles.
“Fans ran after the cars, crowds waited outside the hotels in their hundreds. To support them there gave me a real leg-up in America and helped me to launch my music there.”
Not bad for a recruitment consultant from Essex.
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- CAMILA Cabello as splashed out £2.62million on a four-bed, four-bathroom home in California’s Hollywood Hills. The posh pad features a saltwater plunge pool and has a gated courtyard. The Havana singer will be living in the same neighbourhood as Queen drummer Roger Taylor.
- GEORGE Clooney advised Ben Affleck to turn down the role of Batman before he took it on in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which was panned by critics. George, who starred 1997’s Batman & Robin flop, explained: “I did talk to him about it. I said, ‘Don’t do it.’ It was only from my experience.”
- FRESH from stripping on ITV’s All New Monty last week, Lisa Maffia is reuniting with her So Solid Crew bandmate Romeo in Spain. The rap duo will perform together for a party at Marbella beach club La Sala By The Sea on Monday, May 27. Hopefully that should be enough to inspire some dates over here.
- THAT Don’t Impress Me Much singer Shania Twain is taking a break from music to play the mother of Christian singer Jeremy Camp in a new biopic. I Still Believe will follow his rise to stardom in the early 2000s. It is set to begin filming in Alabama, USA, this month, ahead of a planned release next March.
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