Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and his band Public Image Ltd (PiL) have announced they will compete to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The post-punk group, formed in 1978, have entered the song Hawaii, described as a “love letter” to Lydon’s wife of nearly 50 years, Nora, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
The “pensive, personal yet universal love song” features lyrics about one of their happiest moments together during a trip to the US state.
Irish broadcaster RTE announced PiL are among the six entries vying to represent the country in Liverpool in May.
1/2 PiL will be competing to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023 with their new single Hawaii – which is available on all digital platforms from today, Monday, January 9th. Download or Stream Hawaii now! A PiL song like no other. https://t.co/hSdJYEiaoz pic.twitter.com/6Q8jRGag1g
— John Lydon Official (@lydonofficial) January 9, 2023
They will compete against Wild Youth, Adgy, Connolly, Leila Jane and K Muni & ND during a televised contest on The Late Late Show on Friday February 3.
Lydon, 66, also known as Johnny Rotten, said of the song: “It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most.
“It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.”
The singer, who was born in London to Irish parents, formed PiL following the break-up of the Sex Pistols in 1978, alongside guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble and drummer Jim Walker.
Their debut album, First Issue, was released in December that year and showcased a post-punk sound combining prog rock, dub and dance music.
After a 17-year hiatus Lydon reformed the group in 2009 with a new line-up, touring worldwide and releasing two albums.
The group currently consists of Lydon plus guitarist Lu Edmonds, drummer Bruce Smith and bassist Scott Firth.
Eurovision will be held in May at the ACC Liverpool after the UK was named runner-up at the 2022 event with Sam Ryder.
The EBU concluded Ukraine could not host the event due to the Russian invasion, despite its entrant, Kalush Orchestra, coming first.
Original PiL guitarist Levene, who was also a founding member of The Clash, died of liver cancer in November at the age of 65.