English singer/songwriter Robbie Williams on Thursday night struck an emotional chord during his concert at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, when he told the audience: “You have something special in this country. I don’t feel it in Los Angeles or London. I know who you are, and it’s special to come here.”
And then he said, to enormous cheers: “My wife is Jewish and my children are Jewish. When I leave you tonight you will know that I am full of gratitude to you as an audience. God bless you.”
God bless you right back, Mr. Williams!
— LFCRocks (@rocks_lfc) June 1, 2023
Williams arrived in Israel at a time when several A-list entertainers have postponed their appearances for security reasons. At a press conference ahead of his Yarkon Park concert, he said: “I didn’t for a moment think twice about whether or not to come here. There is nothing that bothers me. I’m afraid of being part of a narrative, I’m afraid of being used as part of a narrative. You can’t say anything – there are two sides and two narratives. My answer is that I’m here to perform, in my body and soul, and I’m very happy to be here.”
The tweet below was posted by someone who didn’t appreciate Williams’ honest sentiments, but you know, she included the video of his press conference and we’re in gratitude mode:
Multimillionaire Robbie Williams has decided that his experience at the airport, in the bus and at his hotel has given him enough of an idea of what #ApartheidIsrael is really like.
— Lisa Betenzos (@LisaBetenzos) May 31, 2023
During the concert, Williams shared with his audience: “25 years ago I didn’t even know what I was going to do in the near future or even that evening, and now, a year before I turn 50, I feel very blessed and lucky to still be here. It’s very exciting that people come to watch me perform. When I was in Porto earlier this week, it was amazing and addictive. When you’re young you can miss it, or take it for granted. I feel the warmth from the audience. It gives me a lot of strength, being a fragile person, and it strengthens me a lot.”
According to the BBC, Williams has sold more albums in the UK than any other British solo artist in history and has won more BRIT Awards than any other artist to date. The Shields Gazette said his records sales are more than 77 million worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.
Williams entered The Guinness Book of World Records in 2006 when he sold 1.6 million tickets on the day he announced his World Tour.