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Conchita Wurst a star act at Life Ball

Staff reporter · 28 May 2014, 09:58

Published: 28 May 2014 09:58 GMT+02:00

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For the past eight years, Conchita's alias, Thomas Neuwirth, has been involved with Vienna's flamboyant Life Ball, an annual event dedicated to spreading awareness of HIV and AIDS. 

This year's much anticipated party, taking place on Saturday, will be Neuwirth's biggest yet. 

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"It's a very special emotion for me," the singer told APA. "I am extremely happy. This will be a highlight for me."

Conchita had already been preparing to sing at this year's 22nd Life Ball, before her song contest win in Copenhagen earlier this month.

Following the hype surrounding her sensational victory, Conchita's song will now take pride of place as the Grand Finale of the Fashion Show.

Wurst is still unsure of what she'll wear to the glittering occasion, which this year is inspired by the theme The Garden of Earthly Delights. Although she recently attended a gala in Cannes with Life Ball organizer, Gery Keszler, apparently they didn't find time to discuss the matter.

In addition to her performance, Wurst will also be appearing in a more serious capacity, presenting an 18-minute speech entitled The Unstoppable Future of Love, Respect and Tolerance as part of the TEDxAmRing Conference at the Hofburg on Friday.

The overarching theme of the conference is AIDS and sustainability. Other speakers fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood, the inventor of the 'origami condom' Danny Resnic, and Bill Roedy, Chairman of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will also speak, along with Regan Hoffman, an HIV/AIDS activist and journalist.

As a reward for her participation, Wurst will have lunch with former US president Bill Clinton, a long time Life Ball supporter and founder of the Ball's partner organization, CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative).

Wurst doesn't necessarily believe her personal triumph will immediately help the Life Ball's message of tolerance.

"We'll need to hold our breath for a long time. Gery has already been fighting for years," she said.

On Sunday the singer will visit Austria's most famous flower festival, the Daffodil Festival in Ausseerland, in Salzkammergut.  

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

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