Earlier this month he donated the proceeds of his CD sales to the municipality of Pedrógão Grande, which recently endured tragic wildfires that killed more than 60 people and plunged Portugal into a state of national mourning.
And on Tuesday Salvador Sobral continued to aid the embattled region by headlining the “Juntos Por Todos” (Together for Everyone) relief concert inside Lisbon’s MEO Arena.
The noted jazz star had the honour of closing the show, which featured 25 artists and raised more than 1.15 million euros for the people of Pedrógão Grande.
He performed a beautiful rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, showing the fragility and vulnerability that helped him win Eurovision in May.
The touching lyrics honoured those Portugal has lost and suggested their legacy will live on.
As he sang: “I remember that time that you told me, you said, ‘Love is touching souls.’ Surely you touched mine ’cause part of you pours out of me, in these lines from time to time.”
He then turned to “Amar pelos dois”, the track that secured Portugal its first-ever Eurovision win in nearly 50 attempts.
As ever the audience, which included 14,000 live spectators, erupted in applause — to which Salvador gave a rather cheeky response.
“I have the feeling that you will applaud anything I do,” he said. “If I give a fart, I want to see what you do.”
The spur-of-the-moment comment drew plenty of applause from the audience, but also a few whistles of disapproval.
Social media has been particularly divided. Some users see the comment as an extension of Salvador’s quirky and endearing personality, while others have described the remark as “unpleasant and completely unnecessary” during such a solemn event.
NIT.pt joked that “it remains to be seen if Salvador gave the fart as promised” while Twitter user Gonçalo Sousa said, “Music isn’t fireworks. It’s fartworks.”
Twitter user Shadow Moon said “the man that divided Eurovision divided Portugal” with the off-colour comment.
"Music isn't fireworks. It's fartworks."
Salvador Sobral dixit
— Gonçalo Sousa (@goncalosousa) June 28, 2017
Salvador Sobral, the man that divided Eurovision, divided Portugal asking the public, DURING A CHARITY CONCERT, if they'd clap if he farted.
— shoot (@firecrackerroot) June 28, 2017
On Wednesday the bohemian artist publicly apologised for his comments.
Writing on Facebook he said: “I’ve always spoken twice before thinking.”
“This characteristic of mine has its good part and also the bad part. Yesterday, unfortunately, I acknowledge that I was rather inappropriate.
I hope that this sad speech will not make us forget the step we have taken together, from the musicians to you who have helped to help those who are suffering at the moment, which are the most important in the midst of all this.”
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone, honestly. It wasn’t my intention. It never was.”
Regardless of where you stand on the matter, the comment helped drive Salvador Sobral to second on Twitter Portugal’s trending charts — a place he still held as of this morning.
The top trending item remains Juntos Por Todos, which no doubt benefitted from the presence of Portugal’s artist-of-the-moment.
Other artists performing included Agir, Amor Electro, Ana Moura, Aurea, Camané, Carlos do Carmo, Carminho, DAMA, David Fonseca, Diogo Piçarra, Gisela João, Hélder Moutinho, João Gil, Jorge Palma, Luísa Sobral , Luis Represas, Matias Damásio, Miguel Araújo, Paulo Gonzo, Pedro Abrunhosa, Raquel Tavares, Rita Redshoes, Rui Veloso and Sérgio Godinho.
Last night in #Lisbon, #eurovison2017 winner Salvador Sobral headlined the #juntosportodos relief concert, which helped raise 1.15 million euros for the Pedrogão Municiplaity, which recently endured tragic wildfires. This morning the concert remains the top trending item on Twitter Portugal, followed by #SalvadorSobral. ????? #eurovision #eurovisionsongcontest #celebratediversity
What do you make of the controversy? Was the remark appropriate? Given that Salvador helped raise more than a million euros for those in need does it matter? Let us know in the comments box below.