Madonna has spoken out in defence of her controversial and politically-charged performance at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv.
The singer delivered a theatrical performance of her classic single ‘Like A Prayer’ and new track ‘Future‘, featuring Quavo from Migos. The stage show featured dancers wearing gas masks, as well as two of her dancers embracing while wearing Palestinian and Israeli flags before she yelled the message “Wake up”.
At one point during a spoken word segment, she said: “They are so naive – they think we are not aware of their crimes. We know, but we’re just not ready to act. The storm isn’t in the air, it’s inside of us. I want to tell you about love and loneliness. But it’s getting late now. Can’t you hear outside of your Supreme hoodie, the wind that’s beginning to howl?”
Sharing footage of her performance on Twitter, Madonna then declared that her appearance was intended to “spread the message of peace”.
“Madame X is a freedom fighter,” wrote Madonna. “I am grateful. For the opportunity to spread the message of peace and unity with the world.”
— Madonna (@Madonna) May 19, 2019
Organisers for the event later responded to the performance’s political edge via a statement. It read: “In the live broadcast… two of Madonna’s dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits. This element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals which had been cleared.
“…The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this.”
Last week, the singer addressed calls from protesters who have put pressure on her to pull out of the show. “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,” she said.
“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.”
She’ll release her new album ‘Madame X’ on June 14.