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Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten unveiled as ‘The Masked Singer’ contestant

John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten was unmasked in the US version of the show

By Charlotte Krol

John Lydon is pictured holding a sausage on stage
John Lydon pictured in 2013. (Picture: Wikimedia commons/Σπάρτακος)

John Lydon has been revealed as a contestant on the US version of ‘The Masked Singer’.

The former Sex Pistols frontman was unmasked last night (November 10) after the judges failed to guess who was behind The Jester.

Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, had covered Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out’ and other songs, which led some to think it was indeed Cooper behind the mask. Last night’s episode saw him perform a version of the US folk song ‘Man Of Constant Sorrow’.

Other guesses including The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar (via NME) until Lydon eventually revealed himself.

Rotten has since spoken to Billboard about his unmasking and explained that he appeared on the show for his wife, Nora.

“Someone contacted my manager and we discussed it and I thought it would be really good because it meant my lovely wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, might get a great sense of fun out of it if she managed to guess who it was.

“We’ve lived together for 47 years, Nora and I, so she must have some clues as to who I am and what I can get up to,” he told the publication.

Lydon added: “We’ve only got one life, and you must explore all the possibilities and be limited by no one for no reason.”

Meanwhile, Lydon has remembered the peak of Sex Pistols’ popularity as “mostly hell on Earth”.

The singer told Metro‘s Sixty Seconds column in September that the Pistols’ “soppy little pop songs” amped up their notoriety during the late 1970s.

“I don’t know that there was much glory. It was mostly hell on earth,” Lydon said about the band’s first stint between 1975 and 1978.

“There was constant pressure. But I got to write the songs I wanted to write, got those lyrics out to Joe Public and Joe Public was very nice and appreciated it.”

Lydon continued: “But then I had a media and a police force who did not appreciate it. I was discussed in the Houses of Parliament under the treason act. And you go, ‘Ohh, ha ha’, but that [treason] carried a death penalty! For words!

“A few soppy little pop songs like ‘Anarchy In The UK’ and you can be dead. Off with his head!”