LONDON – Punk icon John Lydon has failed in his attempt to become Ireland’s entry for the pop music competition the Eurovision Song Contest.
The former Sex Pistols frontman entered the song “Hawaii” with his post-punk band Public Image Ltd. in the national runoff for May’s continent-wide contest.
Jurors and viewers of a televised final on Friday chose the song “We Are One” by the band Wild Youth to represent Ireland at the contest in May. “Hawaii” came fourth of six finalists.
The ex-punk firebrand once known as Johnny Rotten was born in London to Irish parents. He said “Hawaii” was a tribute to his wife, Nora, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Founded in 1956 to help unite a continent scarred by World War II, Eurovision sees more than 40 countries compete for the continent’s pop music crown.
The 2023 contest will be staged in the English city of Liverpool after Britain was asked to hold the event on behalf of Ukraine.
Ukraine won the right to host the pop extravaganza when its entry, folk-rap ensemble Kalush Orchestra, won the 2022 contest. Britain’s Sam Ryder came second.
British organizers say the event will be a celebration of Ukrainian culture and creativity as well as Liverpool’s musical heritage.