Melbourne Cup organisers have finally revealed they weren’t able to secure an international pop star to replace Taylor Swift in time for the pre-race entertainment – instead opting for not one, but two local artists.
Swift pulled out of her highly-publicised performance last month amid a backlash over animal welfare in the racing industry. At the time, the American singer’s representatives said scheduling issues were to blame for her Melbourne Cup no-show.
For weeks the Victoria Racing Club remained tight-lipped about Swift’s replacement. Last Friday, a spokeswoman for the club said there would be no announcement at all and people would need to attend the Melbourne Cup in person or tune-in live to find out who would be headlining its pre-show entertainment.
Shortly before Tuesday’s big race it became apparent that 1970s pop icon John Paul Young had been parachuted in to replace Swift. The ARIA Hall of Fame artist sung his ’78 hit single Love is in the Air. He was joined on stage by Jimmy Barnes’s daughter Mahalia Barnes, who performed John Farnham’s classic Australian song, You’re the Voice.