Coldplay musical guest booed for performing controversial manele music during Romania concert

The folk music is often considered controversial due to its vulgar and misogynistic lyrics

Inga Parkel
New York
Friday 14 June 2024 20:35 BST
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The musical guest at Coldplay’s recent concert in Bucharest, Romania, was booed by fans for singing manele, a genre of Romanian pop-folk.

The four-piece rock band was performing at the city’s Arena Națională on Wednesday (June 12) as part of their 2024 world tour when they brought out manele singer Babasha to join frontman Chris Martin.

In videos of the moment posted on X, Babasha can be seen walking around the stage singing while a chorus of loud boos can be heard coming from the crowd. In other clips, several fans can be seen walking up the stadium stairs to exit the venue.

Manele is a controversial genre in the country due to its often vulgar and misogynistic lyrics.

According to Digi24, before welcoming Babasha to the stage, Martin told the audience: “When I landed yesterday, well, two days ago, I wandered the streets and heard this man singing so beautifully on the street. Then I looked at the music charts in Romania and was impressed because there are so many wonderful artists. Maybe you don’t understand what kind of people you have in Romania, it’s incredible.”

Even amid the boos, Martin reportedly continued to encourage and sing along with Babasha.

Following his performance, Babasha posted a video message on Instagram, saying: “I don’t want people to think I’m taking advantage of this, and I’m not in a position to talk about such things, I leave it to people to judge the situation as they see fit.

“But what I must say is that Coldplay wanted to have a moment with a Romanian artist for their concert […], and they looked at the music charts and saw me,” he added. “They personally contacted my agents, I suddenly found myself in this situation, and I don’t know how many of you would have refused such an opportunity. Because we’re talking about a completely different level, and regardless of all the boos in the world, I still would have accepted because something like this is once in a lifetime.”

During their second Bucharest gig on Thursday (June 13), Coldplay brought out Babasha again; however, he apparently received a warmer reception.

“The Romanian manele singer Babasha received a great reception performing on the C-stage for #ColdplayBucharest night 2, a stark contrast to the booing last night,” one person tweeted, alongside a video showing the crowd clapping along to Babasha and Martin.

The Independent has contacted Coldplay’s representative for comment.

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