Madonna to Perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv

Superstar expected to debut new song in performance, which is expected to cost $1 million

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File photo: Madonna performs 'Living for Love' at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.
File photo: Madonna performs 'Living for Love' at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Madonna will perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May, the European Broadcasting Union has confirmed. 

The singer will likely perform two songs – a popular hit and a new song. The pop superstar and the contest's producers have previously butted heads, apparently because the new song she plans to debut contains political messages.

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Madonna is expected to be accompanied by a 160-person entourage. Bringing her to perform at the contest is expected to cost about $1 million, which is to be provided by billionaire businessman Sylvan Adams.

File photo: U.S. singer Madonna, third left, and then-Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni, fourth left, are seen outside a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Aug. 31, 2009. Credit: AP Photo/Moti Milrod

The performance will be her fourth in Israel. The first came in 1993, and was followed by shows in 2009 and 2012. She has also visited Israel on other occasions in the context of her interest in Kabbalah.

Planning for the contest, which Israel is hosting thank to its victory in last year's, has seen hiccups over international calls for a boycott and funding issues. 

Last week, he Prime Minister’s Office announced it would cover 1.5 million shekels (about $410,000) of the security costs for the contest.

The announcement came after the song contest's executive supervisor sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a stern letter in which he warned him that Israel's foot-dragging on the matter could impede preparations for the entire event.

In January, former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters called on the BBC to refrain from broadcasting the contest. An open letter signed by over 50 leading U.K. artists urged the BBC to push for the locale of this year's song contest to be changed because of "Israel's systematic violation of Palestinian human rights."

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