Pop superstar Madonna was said to have been briefly prevented from entering the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest Thursday morning, where she was to rehearse her planned performance during the weekend final, because she has yet to sign the contract for her appearance.
Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand initially ordered that the singer not be granted access due to the unsigned paperwork, Channel 12 television news reported.
However, an understanding was later reached with the European Broadcasting Union, which runs the contest, and Madonna was granted entry to the Expo Tel Aviv venue, the report said.
The contract has reportedly not been signed due to complications over the broadcast rights for one of the songs she intends to perform, her 1989 hit single “‘Like a prayer.”
On Wednesday, Sand had similarly instructed that Madonna not be granted access to the Eurovision site in Tel Aviv but relented after the singer’s team threatened that she would cancel her performance, the report said. The singer eventually spent two hours rehearsing her act, which is expected to feature three songs.
Madame ❌ is preparing something special for her fans……….. pic.twitter.com/6suNJ5hb6j
— Madonna (@Madonna) May 15, 2019
Madonna landed in Tel Aviv Tuesday night, defying calls by pro-Palestinian activists for her to boycott the international song competition hosted by Israel. In a statement ahead of her trip, Madonna said she was determined to perform at the Eurovision finals despite the boycott calls.
“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,” the singer said in the statement carried by US media.
Madonna’s participation unleashed a storm of protests from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has for years been pushing for investors and artists to shun Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.
Tel Aviv was designated the host city after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won in Portugal last year.
The semifinals of the contest kicked off on Tuesday, with more qualifiers scheduled for Thursday this week and the Grand Finale on Saturday.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.