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Israel’s Netta Barzilai tops Billboard dance chart with Eurovision winning ‘Toy’

Netta Barzilai beat 25 other contestants with her uptempo song "Toy", whose lyrics were inspired by the #MeToo movement
Francisco LEONG (AFP)

Israeli singer Netta Barzilay’s hit single “Toy”, which snagged the country’s win at this year’s Eurovision song competition, topped the Billboard dance club chart this week debuting at number one after nine weeks on the rise.

The song is the first by an Israeli to top the US magazine's record chart, which ranks the most popular music in the United States each week. It has spent nine weeks steadily climbing the Billboard dance chart, this week hitting number one ahead of hit singles by world superstars Christina Aguilera, David Gueta, Cardi B and others.

“This is very exciting for me,” Barzilai said in a statement from New York, where she is on a promotional tour. “I just got off the plane and this is the first message I got when I turned on my phone.”

“I am grateful for everything happening around me,” she said. “This is an amazing year and the experience I’m having is just nuts.”

“Toy” -- with its catchy tune, timely lyrics embraced by the #MeToo movement and eccentric high-pitched trills, clucks, and bucks -- was an instant hit and immediate favorite to win the 2018 Eurovision contest.

Barzilai signed a global distribution deal for "Toy" in May with international record label S-Curve/BMG.

But the producers behind the Eurovision-winning hit have faced accusations of copyright infringement, with US-based Universal Music Studios claiming the bass-heavy tune was copied from The White Stripes’ similarly bassy 2003 hit, ‘Seven Nation Army’.

Israel’s Ynet news site reported last week that the sides are set to settle the dispute by inking a deal which will see Universal gain distribution rights for the song in certain countries.

The Eurovision contest rules state that countries’ song entries must be original, and the dispute had put at risk Israel’s victory and hosting rights for next year’s competition.

See also:

Eurovision 2019 confirmed for Israel after deal reached to end financing row

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