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Madonna’s billionaire Eurovision backer revealed, as protests against performance grow

By | Published on Friday 12 April 2019


Madonna’s appearance at Eurovision is being funded by an Israel-based billionaire, it has emerged. However, despite his hope that it will boost the country’s image, protests are underway and no US broadcaster has as yet committed to air the contest.

Canadian born Sylvan Adams agreed to fund Madonna’s reported $1 million fee to perform two songs during the interval at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. He has previously funded other initiatives aimed at promoting Israel on a global stage, including bringing the Giro D’Italia cycling race to the country.

According to Ynet News, he was approached several months ago by the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, which is running this year’s Eurovision, about funding a high profile mid-show performance.

As well as being a big payday for the singer, her performance will also serve as promotion for her upcoming new album. She is set to premiere a new track from said album, the content of which is said to have delayed the signing of her contract – organisers apparently concerned about political lyrics.

Since the announcement of Madonna’s involvement in the show, the Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel has launched a campaign calling on her to reconsider.

In a statement to PinkNews, Alia Malak of PACBI says: “Thousands of artists now publicly support the call from Palestinian artists and cultural organisations for the cultural boycott of Israel. Madonna’s announcement that she will cross Palestinians’ long-established picket line comes at a time when fewer and fewer major international artists are willing to perform to an effectively segregated audience under apartheid”.

“We hope Madonna stands on the right side of history by refusing to let her music and image be exploited by a regime that desperately craves the whitewash Eurovision is offering”, she adds, while also drawing attention to a 2014 Instagram post in which Madonna said “I love Palestinians” and “wanted peace” in the region.

Elsewhere, the Times Of Israel reports that no US broadcasters have picked up this year’s Eurovision. In recent years it has been screened to an albeit relatively small US TV audience – last year on Viacom’s Logo channel. Seemingly the late in the day addition of Madonna has not attracted any takers.

The Eurovision Song Contest final will take place on 18 May.