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Punk rock icon Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols to battle for Eurovision spot representing Ireland

Punk rock icon Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols to battle for Eurovision spot representing Ireland
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Sex Pistols Live In Finsbury Park
English singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon performs live on stage with punk group Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park in London during the band’s Filthy Lucre Tour, June 23, 1996.

Brian Rasic/Getty

Dublin — Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, better known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, is among musicians competing to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, broadcaster RTE announced Monday. The punk frontman’s band Public Image Ltd will be among six acts in the running to represent Ireland at Eurovision in Liverpool in May.

Lyndon’s group, first formed in the aftermath of his split from the Sex Pistols in 1978, will battle it out in a TV special with the acts including Dublin four-piece Wild Youth.

The national competition in February will be decided by a combination of Irish and international experts as well as a public vote.

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten arrives at the Rolls building in central London on July 22, 2021.


Lyndon, 66, was born in London but his parents both hailed from Ireland. His mother was originally from Cork in the country’s southwest and his father from Galway on the west coast.

Eurovision is to be held in Liverpool in 2023 after the U.K. came in second to Ukraine in last year’s competition. Typically, the winner of the competition holds the following year’s event, but organizers decided Ukraine would be unable to host because of Russia’s invasion in February.

Eurovision: Inside the European song contest that draws an audience of more than 180 million


Public Image Ltd have said they will perform an emotional tribute penned by Lyndon to his wife of nearly 50 years, Nora, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

The other acts taking part in the RTE TV special, battling against Public Image Ltd and Wild Youth, are singer-songwriter ADGY, hip-hop and rap duo K Muni & ND, songwriter Connolly and indie pop singer-songwriter Leila Jane.

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