• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Eurovision pick is famed for anti-gay song

Tom Barfield · 19 Nov 2015, 13:00

Published: 19 Nov 2015 11:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Nov 2015 13:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"I'm really keen for the ESC. This contest that binds nations together is something really special for me, and of course I'll show up to bring the thing home," Naidoo was quoted as saying on Eurovision.de on Wednesday evening.

"I promise to sing more beautifully and better than I ever have in my life. I'll show in my three minutes on the stage that we make music with passion in Germany, too."

Naidoo is an "exceptional artist" who has had a place in the German music scene for 20 years, ARD entertainment co-ordinator Thomas Schreiber said on Eurovision.

Homophobia accusations

But Naidoo hasn't escaped controversy in his career, having faced allegations of homophobia and conspiracy theories in the past.

The German Gay and Lesbian Federation (LSVD) demanded an investigation into Naidoo and fellow singer Kool Savas after a hidden track on their 2012 joint album Gespaltene Persönlichkeit (Split personality) equated homosexuality with paedophilia, child abuse and Satanistic rituals.

"Why don't you like pussy when every person came out of one," the two sang, in a song filled with fantasies of taking violent, sexualized revenge against child abusers.

The Left Party called him a "Christian homophobic glorifier of violence" at the time, although state prosecutors later dropped the investigation.

"We're astonsished about this choice," Tobias Zimmermann, a member of the LSVD's federal board, told The Local, citing Naidoo's "agressive and inciting" song lyrics.

"ARD is a publicly-owned broadcaster and he isn't someone who should be representing the pluralistic society we have in Germany abroad."

Zimmermann said that the LSVD had not yet decided whether to oppose ARD's choice and how it might go about it.

Naidoo appeared to address concerns about his views head on in accepting the Eurovision nomination, saying that he wanted to "show what I stand for – for love, freedom, tolerance and togetherness."

But that moment from Naidoo's past will do anything but endear him to fans of the famously camp song contest, which has a massive gay following across Europe and the world.

Conspiracy theories

Naidoo has also been linked to the libertarian or far-right "Reichsbürger" movement (citizens of the Reich) which argues that the modern Federal Republic of Germany has no legal basis and that Germany should be restored to its pre-war borders of 1914 or 1937.

"Are we in Germany free? No, we are not free. Germany remains an occupied country," he told broadcaster ZDF during one 2011 appearance, saying that there was "no peace treaty" to end the Second World War.

He has also expressed doubts about the "official narrative" of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on New York.

In 2014 Naidoo was awarded the "Golden Board in Front of the Face" (Goldenes Brett vorm Kopf) by the Society for the Scientific Examination of Para-sciences (GWUP) for his conspiracy theories.

"Naidoo has spoken in favour of [the Reichsbürger movement's ideas] many times in public... by his engagement he's becoming a 'gateway drug' into a whole network of absurd conspiracy theories that could become very dangerous," the GWUP wrote at the time.

"I don't reject Germany, I don't reject the state," Naidoo said in an interview video posted with the Eurovision release which aimed to directly address these concerns.

"For me it's just important to exchange with people. Exactly then, when people say "you can't talk to him," then I want to know why I shouldn't.

"But I've always emphasized that I don't see things like these people," he said.

No public involvement

ARD's naming Naidoo directly without any public involvement is a totally new step - perhaps out of fear of a repeat of last year's fiasco when the public's choice Andreas Kümmert rejected the nomination on live TV.

His stand-in Anne-Sophie failed to make an impact at 2015's contest in Vienna.

This time around, ARD have called on composers and producers to write songs.

A jury will pick six of those before the end of the year, and the public will be able to vote on "Our song for Xavier" as part of a TV programme in February 2016.

Students studying the arts at university will also be invited to help create Xavier's stage show for Stockholm.

A German star

Naidoo is a founding member of the Söhne Mannheims (Sons of Mannheim), whose concert in Hannover on Tuesday evening went ahead despite the Germany-Netherlands friendly game in the same city being cancelled over a terrorist bomb threat.

He has had four of his five solo albums reach number one in Germany since 1999, and his first album Nicht von dieser Welt (Not of this world) has sold over a million copies.

The song "Dieser Weg" (This Way) was the "soundtrack" to Germany's 2006 World Cup "Summer Fairy Tale" (Sommermärchen), Eurovision.de declared.

And he has a string of awards to his name, including "Best German Act" at the 1999 and 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards.

See his full nomination interview below (in German):

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tom Barfield (tom.barfield@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Nazi POW leaves estate to 'kind' Scottish village
The former German soldier stayed on to work in the Perthshire village for a time after the war. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP file picture

A former Nazi prisoner of war has left his entire estate in his will to a small village in Scotland to show his appreciation for the kindness he received there during his captivity.

US tries to block Chinese purchase of Aixtron
Photo: Oliver Berg / DPA / AFP

US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal.

Merkel to chart 2017 election battle at party congress
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

After Donald Trump's shock victory, Francois Hollande's decision not to seek re-election and populism on the rise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is next up on the campaign podium to set out her strategy for winning in 2017 polls.

Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,591
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd