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French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura being suggested to perform at the Paris Summer Olympics opening ceremony sparked what many consider a racist campaign against her.

She planned on singing something from French icon Édith Piaf.

Aya is France’s biggest contemporary singer and the only woman to land on the country’s 2023 top 20 best-selling albums list. Yet, when she was suggested to perform at the capital’s Olympic Games opening ceremony this summer, she received unnecessary backlash from government officials and a small extremist group who claimed she wasn’t French.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen spoke about Aya representing France at the Olympics, claiming she didn’t like the idea or her music. She said the 28-year-old singer wasn’t “a beautiful symbol” and was an “additional provocation from Emmanuel Macron (the President of France).”

“Honestly, I’m not going to tell you about the entourage,” Le Pen said., according to Euro News. “I’m going to talk to you about her outfit, her vulgarity, the fact that she doesn’t sing French. She doesn’t sing foreign, either. She sings…I don’t know what.”

The French extremist group called Les Natifs (the “natives”) protested the singer performing and representing France at the Olympics by holding up a banner on the banks of the Seine that read, “There’s no way, Aya, this is Paris, not the Bamako market.”

Many French people have noted how French people flip when it comes to declaring people of African descent are French.

“When [the French] claims French players of African descent on its national football team are French b/c they are darn good, and then claim a great French singer of African descent is not French b/c she can’t be the face of the Paris Olympic games.”

“But when they won the World Cup, and we said the players were Africans, they were telling us they were French.”

“Yet, they were offended when Trevor Noah said the French team that won the cup was Africa’s team.”

Amid the hoopla, Aya responded to the backlash against her via X.

“You can be racist but not deaf. That’s what hurts you! I’m becoming a number 1 state subject in debates, etc. But what do I really owe you?” Aya tweeted on March 10.

She also thanked those who supported and defended her on March 12.

“Thanks for the support, especially to my community,” Aya said. “I have the impression that I introduced you to Édith Piaf and that she was reincarnated in me. The rest, whether they like us or not, is their back.”

Aya released a new track, “Doggy,” addressing her haters in the lyrics.

“I have no enemies myself, they’re the ones hating on me / Lots of enemies but I don’t even know them,” Aya sang in the verse before diving to the song’s chorus: “You want it doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy style.


The Olympics occur on July 26, 2024, and ends on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2024.

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