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Eurovision: Bobby Gillespie calls Madonna a 'total prostitute' over Israel performance

May 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm

British band Prime Scream’s lead singer Bobby Gillespie [Nmartinezr / Wikimedia]

British band Primal Scream’s frontman Bobby Gillespie has called Madonna a “total prostitute” for performing at Eurovision 2019 in Israel.

Gillespie has strongly criticised the US singer for choosing to perform in Tel Aviv, saying her choice helps to “normalise the state of Israel”.

The frontman also said that the state sits on “stolen land”, and Madonna is performing because she is desperate for money and publicity. Gillespie has said he is not anti-Semitic, and that all of his heroes are Jewish.

Speaking to Kirsty Wark on BBC’s Newsnight, Gillespie said:

Madonna would do anything for money, you know, she’s a total prostitute.

And I’ve got nothing against prostitutes.

The whole thing is set up to normalise the state of Israel, and its disgraceful treatment of the Palestinian people.


Madonna made a guest appearance on Saturday during the Eurovision finals in Tel Aviv. The venue has prompted calls for a boycott by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.

MEMO Special: Eurovision 2019

Eurovision features musicians from more than 40 nations and was watched last year by some 189 million viewers in around 50 European countries.

In her first comment on her decision to sing at the event, Madonna said earlier this week that she was a supporter of all human rights. “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 a statement.

In the interview, Gillespie  continued by saying “By going to perform in Israel what you do is you normalise that. Primal Scream would never perform in Israel…I think Madonna is just desperate for publicity, desperate for the money.”

Eurovision Israel 2019 - Learn about the Song ContestGillespie, asked whether he understood his comments being seen as anti-Semitic, said: “I’m not anti-Semitic at all. All my heroes are Jews. Karl Marx, Bob Dylan, The Marx Brothers.”

During the Eurovion finals last night, Icelandic band Hatari held up the Palestinian flag, broadcast briefly to the world during the announcement of results.

Read: Israeli host expecting Eurovision ‘punishment’ for Iceland’s Palestinian flag display