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Coldplay made an interesting choice for an opening act in Bucharest–and it did not go well.

The history of concerts features many stories of weird pairings of an opening act for a headliner with the most notorious being the time Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees. This isn’t quite on that level, but it’s still strange.

Coldplay performed in Bucharest, Romania, on June 13 and 14 and invited a local singer named Babasha to be a part of the gigs. Babasha is a massive YouTube star in Romania and Chris Martin became quite taken with him when he saw Babasha singing on the street. Two days later, he was onstage with Coldplay.

Lovely story, right? The problem is that Babasha is part of a genre known as manele, which, from what I gather, is a marginalized yet (paradoxically popular) form of music in Romania. But Coldplay is all about inclusion, so…

Manele is big with the Roma population along with those of Asian/Mediterranean, and Arabic people; however, the music is banned from FM radio in Romania and large swaths of the media. Having Babasha show up during a Coldplay gig is the equivalent of having Justin Timberlake open for Rammstein.

The crowd would have none of it. Imagine 50,000 people booing Coldplay. (Thanks to George of the tip!)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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