Controversy ignites: Aya Nakamura's alleged Olympics performance sparks far-right backlash

Controversy ignites: Aya Nakamura’s alleged Olympics performance sparks far-right backlash

PAIRS-Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Rally, claims that selecting Aya Nakamura to sing Edith Piaf songs at the 2024 Olympics is tantamount to humiliating the French. An intense debate about identity and language has broken out in France in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s rumored suggestion that the 28-year-old Franco-Malian singer play at the opening ceremony in July.

Speculation Surrounding Nakamura’s performance

Some far-right followers are outraged by the prospect that the French-Malian pop diva may play songs from the repertoire of national treasure Edith Piaf. In addition to being the only female artist to be in the top 20 sold albums of 2023 in France, Nakamura is the most popular French musician worldwide. 

Her admirers, who contend that there is no better way to highlight the vibrant nature of contemporary Francophone culture and a society that embraces its diversity are divided. The critics, on the other hand, contend that her use of the French language simply debases the language and that her music owes more to America and Africa than to France. Arguments about an invitation that is still purely hypothetical erupted on social media when her name was jeered at a far-right Reconquest party election event. 

Responses to Nakamura’s potential role

Les Natifs, or Natives, is a tiny far-right organization who uploaded a photo of themselves online with the caption, “No way, Aya. This is not the Bamako market; this is Paris.” The singer responded to this on Twitter/X, saying, “You may be deaf, but you’re not racist. It is what causes you pain. Though I’m the most talked about topic in state discussions, etc., what do you owe? Nothing. Ministers, singers, and Olympic organizers have hurried to support Nakamura, alleging that her opponents have shunned her because of her foreign heritage. 

However, she is now the focus of what the Paris Games organizing body has called a “shockingly racist” campaign because of the Olympic suspicions. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right in France, described her attendance as not a beautiful symbol and another provocation from Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen said to France Inter that Macron must get up every morning and come up with one idea a day to humiliate and outrage the French. She also declared that Nakamura did not represent France and criticized her for not singing in French. “I won’t even discuss the entourage with you. I will discuss with you her attire, her impoliteness, and the fact that she is not a French singer. Nor does she sing in another language. “We don’t know what,” she sings.

Nakamura’s representation and diversity

Nakamura was born in a family of griots, or traditional musicians and storytellers, in Bamako in 1995 under the name Aya Danioko. A few years later, they arrived in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a very immigrant neighborhood of Paris, where she attended school. After renaming herself Nakamura in honor of a character from the television series Heroes, she began her professional career in 2014. Having released four albums and several singles, she is frequently acknowledged as a key player in the French music industry. 

Above all, Nakamura is an international seller. Over the years, a lot of French singers have had to settle for performing for audiences who speak French alone. However, Aya Nakamura has achieved the extraordinary achievement of being well-known all over the world. This is President Macron’s best justification for sending her an invitation to the Olympics. Unverified rumors claim that she would perform a chanson by the late Édith Piaf, modernizing a French classic and showcasing it to a diverse, global audience.

Controversy flares over Aya Nakamura’s potential performance at the 2024 Olympics, sparking a debate on French identity. Far-right figures criticize her selection, citing language and cultural concerns. Nakamura’s international acclaim clashes with nationalist sentiments. Calls for boycotting the Paris Olympics arise, citing racism and security issues, igniting a broader discourse on France’s societal challenges.


In conclusion, Strangely enough, most French people seem to think otherwise. Even though 80% of respondents to an Odoxa survey conducted after the scandal broke recognized Nakamura, just 30% thought favorably of her. Approximately 73% of people who were familiar with her music expressed distaste for it, and a resounding 63% believed she shouldn’t perform at the Olympics’ opening ceremony.



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