ISRAEL – Omer Adam, the most popular current recording artist in Israel, said that he turned down an offer to appear at the Eurovision this year since it would involve working on Shabbat.
Adam’s PR manager told The Jerusalem Post in a statement on Thursday that he was unable to accept the offer from KAN, Israel’s public broadcaster, which is organizing the event.
“Omer Adam received an offer to appear in a performance at the 2019 Eurovision,” the statement read. “After a meeting between the sides, because rehearsals for the finale would be held on Shabbat, Omer decided – despite the great honor – not to take part in the event. He thanks them from [the bottom of] his heart for approaching him.”
Adam, 25, was born in the United States but grew up in Israel. He has quickly become a singing sensation, and his songs repeatedly soar to the top of the charts while his concerts sell out in minutes. His biggest hit of last year, “Shnei Meshugaim,” (Two Crazy People) was the most viewed music video in the country last year with more than 48 million hits.
While Adam is not traditionally observant, he has made a point in his career of refusing to work on Shabbat. The finale of the Eurovision 2019 is slated to take place in Tel Aviv on Saturday, May 18. Rehearsals will take place throughout the weekend.
KAN told the Post on Thursday that “currently we are formulating the artistic program for the 2019 Eurovision. When the time comes we will publish a list of the artists who are taking part.”
While she hasn’t been officially announced it, Dana International – who won the 1998 Eurovision competition with her song, “Diva” – is booked to take part in the show. Last year’s winner, Netta Barzilai, is also expected to perform during one of the events, and singer Idan Raichel has also been rumored to be among the options.