Celebs & Events

Robbie Williams To Open World Cup

Robbie Williams To Open World Cup

hollywoodreporter.com: British singer Robbie Williams will perform at the opening ceremony of the soccer World Cup in Moscow on Thursday, organizers have announced.

Williams will perform at the World Cup's main stadium, Moscow's Luzhniki, before the opening match in which Russia will take on Saudi Arabia. Local opera diva Aida Garifullina is also scheduled to perform.

It's not yet known, what song Williams will perform. According to some media reports, it will be his 1997 hit Let Me Entertain You.

William's has been chosen despite his Russian-themed song Party Like a Russian, causing controversy in the country two years ago.

Released in September 2016 and accompanied by a risqué video of scantily clad Russian dancers, the song was criticized by some commentators in Russia who accused Williams of pandering to "crude stereotypes of Russians" in the song.

The song - set to a soundtrack that samples Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights - best known to British TV viewers at the theme tune to lyrics The Apprentice - opens with the lines "It takes a certain kind of man with a certain reputation/To alleviate the cash from a whole nation".

Williams has denied the lyrics refer to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, or specifically to one of Russia's super-wealthy oligarchs. Writing on his website at the time, "It's about hedonism and the spirit of partying," he wrote.

"It's not about being Russian, but it's about partying like a Russian. The person singing is a bit me, and a bit of a character," he added.