Lady Gaga helps open European Games in Azerbaijan

Lady Gaga helps open European Games in Azerbaijan

The games in the oil-rich nation’s capital Baku have become a focal point for criticism Azerbaijan’s human rights record.



By (AP)

Published: Sun 14 Jun 2015, 8:25 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:08 PM

The first European Games opened in Azerbaijan on Friday with an extravagant opening ceremony featuring Lady Gaga, although even her star power failed to dispel some of the concerns hanging over the event.

The games in the oil-rich nation’s capital Baku have become a focal point for criticism Azerbaijan’s human rights record, and worries over the competition’s sporting credibility.

Lady Gaga’s performance was kept a secret until part-way through the ceremony, with the American singer performing John Lennon’s song Imagine while playing a piano covered in flowers. The singer, who wore a simple white smock as opposed to one of her signature eccentric outfits, was given a rapturous reception for her performance, which included an unusually full-throated rendition of the final verse of Lennon’s low-key classic.

“I’m extremely honored to be playing at the opening ceremony in Baku, and to be celebrating all of the amazing athletes who will compete in the European Games in this beautiful city,” she said in comments released by organisers. AP


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