Ireland’s 2023 Eurovision hopefuls revealed including former Sex Pistol John Lydon

In 2005, Lydon spoke out against same-sex parents, saying: "There is a point to male and female - and for a child to develop, it needs both those aspects.”

John Lydon with his arms raised on stage.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The six acts vying to be Ireland’s 2023 Eurovision entry have been revealed, and the shortlist includes former Sex Pistol and apparent Trump supporter John Lydon. The news was announced on Monday, January 9, with the artist confirming that his band Public Image Ltd is in the running after a five-year hiatus from music.

Many Eurovision fans are less than impressed with Lydon’s inclusion, speculating that the musician’s values do not align with the contest’s vision of inclusivity and tolerance.

In 2020, the artist formerly known as Johnny Rotten described Donald Trump as the “only sensible choice” in the US presidential election race, according to The Observer. The paper also claimed that Lydon “started supporting Trump when the president was accused of racism”.

While wearing a Make America Great Again hat, he is reported to have said, “I’ve been accused of the very same thing, so I’m offended for anybody who’s called that”. This comment appears to have been in reference to an accusation made against the singer in 2008, when Bloc Party’s Keke Okereke said she was the victim of a racist attack at the hands of Lydon and his entourage.

In 2005, during an interview on the BBC’s The Heaven and Earth Show, he expressed opposition to LGBTQ+ and other non-traditional families, saying: “I don’t like the idea of one-parent families. It’s very tough on the kids.

“They grow up missing something. I find the same with same-sex marriages; there is something missing. There is a point to male and female – and for a child to develop, it needs both those aspects.”

With their song ‘Hawaii’, Public Image Ltd and John Lydon will compete against five other acts for a chance to represent Ireland at the 67th annual Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this May. The other hopefuls include Donegal singer-songwriter ADGY with his song ‘Too Good for Your Love’, IADT student CONNOLLY with her track ‘Midnight Summer Night’, popular Dublin band Wild Youth with ‘We Are One’, Leila Jane with ‘Wild’ and finally, K Muni & ND with ‘Down in the Rain’.

According to RTÉ, the six finalists were selected from hundreds of entries after a callout for submissions was released last year. The acts will go head to head on The Late Late Eurosong 2023 Special in February, with the successful performer holding the responsibility of being Ireland’s entry for this year.

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