With his song "Dieser Weg" (This Way), Naidoo wrote the hit for the World Cup 2006. His albums have sold in the millions. Now he will represent Germany at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
A six-time Echo Award winner, Xavier Naidoo has been chosen by German public broadcaster ARD to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Stockholm. The decision was made in lieu of national finals.
ARD Entertainment Coordinator Thomas Schreiber said he sees in Naidoo an exceptional artist with a solid footing in German music life for almost 20 years. Of Indian and African heritage, the singer from Mannheim was pleased that a dark-skinned artist will represent the country for the first time, saying, "I'm really charged up for the ESC! Bringing the peoples together, this competition is really special to me." Naidoo added that he will give his all to take the prize for Germany. "I want to show what I stand for: love, liberty, tolerance and living together peacefully."
Xavier Naidoo has sometimes generated controversy for his religious song texts and world view. On October 3, the Day of German Unity, he gave a speech at a gathering of the "Reichsbürger," a populist amalgamation of mostly conspiracy theorists who dispute Germany's sovereignty. In a television interview in 2011, he described Germany as an occupied country.
Following in Lena's footsteps
Germany last won the ESC in 2010 in Oslo, Norway, with Lena Meyer-Landrut singing "Satellite." In 2015, after Andreas Kümmert was the televoting favorite at the national finals but turned down the prize, runner-up Ann-Sophie competed in Vienna, winning zero points. ARD then changed its selection procedure - as it has done a number of times in the past -, opting out of a national final this time. Television viewers will, however, choose which song Xavier Naidoo will take to the competition in Stockholm. "We are calling on Germany's best producers and composers to write for Xavier," said Thomas Schreiber.
With Swedish singer Mans Zelmerlow having won the previous competition with his song "Heroes," the coming Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Sweden in May 2016. Xavier Naidoo is currently on a 20-year anniversary tour with his band "Söhne Mannheims."