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Sex Pistols’ John Lydon bidding to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023

Lydon, also known by his former stage name Johnny Rotten, is the lead singer of punk band Public Image Ltd, aka PIL

John Lydon of Public Image Ltd. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Seoirse MulgrewIndependent.ie

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon is among contenders hoping to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision.

Ireland's bid for glory at Eurovision 2023 launched today with the unveiling of the six acts who will battle it out to represent Ireland in Liverpool this May at the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

The act that goes forward to represent Ireland will be chosen by a combination of Irish and international experts and a public vote on a Late Late Show Special on RTÉ One on Friday February 3.

English musician Lydon, also known by his former stage name Johnny Rotten, is the lead singer of punk band Public Image Ltd, aka PIL.

Liverpool will host the contest on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine, and the grand final will take place in the Liverpool Arena next to the River Mersey on Saturday, May 13, with semi-finals on Tuesday, 9 and Thursday 11.

PIL celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2018 and their music has earned its members five UK top 20 singles and five UK top 20 albums.

Their entry to the Eurovision is a song titled Hawaii, which is described as a love letter to Lydon's wife of nearly five decades, Nora, who is living with Alzheimer’s.

Described as "a pensive, personal yet universal love song that will resonate with many", the song sees John reflecting on one of their happiest moments together in Hawaii.

According to the band, the emotional ballad is as close as John, whose mother was from Co Cork and father came from Galway, will ever come to bearing his soul.

Lydon said: “It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most.

“It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all."

Lydon made it to the final ten in 2018 with his song Pleased To Meet You but missed out on the chance to represent Ireland.

Irish singer-songwriter ADGY, Andrew Carr, is one of the five other acts bidding for a chance to represent his country with his song Too Good For You.

The song was written as a piano ballad during lockdown and is a collaboration with producer Boksay.

The two artists worked together remotely in creating the final version of this song, which is described as "an upbeat high tempo dance track".

ADGY is a singer-songwriter from Co Donegal, whose music career took off in 2020 when he signed a record deal for his release Like You Do with Universal Music Group.

Since then, ADGY has released music that has accumulated over 10 million streams globally across streaming platforms and radio.

“I’ve been a songwriter for as long as I can remember, and I’ve written for lots of artists, as well as myself,” he said.

“But it’s my dream to perform live on stage in front of a large audience and I hope to do more of that this year.”

The third contender is performer Connolly with her song Midnight Summer Night.

Connolly, whose first name is Jennifer, is from Leitir Meailláin in Connemara, Co Galway.

Her song is a track written one night during the pandemic when she was just 17.

She is currently in her first year of a creative music production course at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dublin.

Connolly has had a passion for music since she was a young child, and said this song plays with themes of nostalgia and the passing of time through her vocals.

"The song conveys confusion and overwhelming detachment, but overall, the song implies that nothing bad lasts forever, delivering a sense of hope,” she said.

“To be in with a chance to share my song on such a legendary platform as Eurovision is amazing. It would be nothing less than a dream come true to bring Eurovision back home for Ireland once again."

Also in contention are band Wild Youth with their song We Are One.

The four-piece from Dublin have a string of top hits in Ireland, and have toured with names including Niall Horan, Lewis Capaldi and Westlife.

On top of their own sold-out tours of the UK and Ireland, Conor O'Donohoe from the band has also written a string of top hits for other artists, and co-written with Moncrief and The Script.

We are One was written with Grammy-nominated songwriter Jörgen Elofsson.

"We are so delighted to be here. Eurovision is something we have always loved and would love to represent our country. We hope that everyone loves the song that we’ve written and believe we can be the band to represent Ireland this year,” Wild Youth said.

Also hoping to represent Ireland this year is Leila Jane with her song Wild.

She is an Indie Pop singer-songwriter based in Dublin who was described as “one to watch’’ by Late Date’s Cathal Murray.

Imelda May selected her to be the recipient of the ‘Imelda May Scholarship’ at BIMM Institute Dublin, where she graduated with a first-class honours music degree.

"All Eurovision songs need a strong message and Wild is an empowering song about the strength of a woman’s spirit," Leila Jane said.

"Wild represents my love of the creative freedom I have here in Ireland. It would be an absolute honour to show Eurovision what Ireland’s got."

For the track, she teamed up with Liis Hainla, an Estonian songwriter, Finnish producer Arto Ruotsala, and British songwriter Aaron Sibley.

Also up are Longford duo K Muni & ND with their song Down in the Rain.

The pair, made up of Kofi Appiah and Nevlonne Dampare, said it would mean “the world to us” to represent Ireland.

"We remember watching Eurovision as kids with our families, so to think we could have the people of Ireland, our people, tuned in to cheer us and our country on is incredible,” they said.

The song is described by the artists as a testament to their determination. It chronicles a difficu;lt period in their careers when their music wasn't getting the attention they believed it deserved.

Down in the Rain, encourages listeners to never give up on their aspirations no matter how tough the road may seem.


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