The 2018 Asian Games include thousands of athletes, 500 events and nearly 50 countries. But amid all those numbers our eyes turn to another: the fact there is just one Anggun Cipta Sasmi.

On Saturday evening the “Snow on the Sahara” hitmaker had the honour of singing at the Opening Ceremony of the massive sporting event. The invitation underscores just how much the nation values the Jakarta-born star. Indonesia is using the event to showcase itself as a modern nation that’s on the rise and the ceremony is a jewel in that campaign.

Dressed like a mythical queen of the rainforest, Anggun slipped into a body-con gold dress and crowned herself with a metallic headpiece. She sang before a 26 metre-high mountain — replete with waterfall and an endless array of Indonesian plants and flowers.

Among those in attendance was the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and several North Korean ministers. Together they watched as the North and South Korean delegates marched into the stadium under the unified flag of Korea. It marked the first time the two countries had done so at the Asian games in a dozen years.

Anggun sang “Pemuda”, an Indonesian song originally performed by the group Chaseiro in 2001. Its message about togetherness and our common humanity resonated strongly with the spirit of the games and the Korean efforts at peace. She sang: “Unite all like before / Look at the future / Noble desires are affordable to all.”

Afterwards France’s Eurovision 2012 singer took to Instagram to express her gratitude for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“The message on this song is appropriate in describing the situation in Indonesia lately,” she wrote. “A real thank you to the #AsianGames2018 committee supported by the government that has chosen me to sing the song ‘Pemuda’, which is so meaningful. I am deeply moved by your great trust”.

Tulus opened the Opening Ceremony with the song “Indonesia Raya”. Among the other artists performing at the party to open the largest sporting event in Asia were: Raisa Andriana, Fatin Shidqia, Rossa, Wizzy, GAC, Kamasean, Rinni Wulandari, Edi Kondolongit, Putri Ayu and Joey Alexander.

Are you loving Anggun against this purple backdrop as much as we are? Are you Indonesian and do you have a message for the Queen? Let us know down below!

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CyxCy
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CyxCy

Angunn is fabulous, natural, friendly and many of her albums are in my collection. In France the public has a certain affection for her since “La neige au Sahara”. On the other hand if we ended up winning I’m really not sure that the staff would ask Angunn to be host. Angunn is not as famous in France as she is in Asia, people know her, know who she is and what she sings, but she’s not a superstar. Angunn has never presented a show in France, moreover her participation in Eurovision goes back a few years already and I… Read more »

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

You and I should have done better than it did – an undervalued entry.

FanESC
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FanESC

If we win, I’d love to see her and Alma hosting the contest.

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

I have recently found out about Anggun’s part in the Eurovision bubble and I’m addicted to Echo (You and I)!
I first heard of her as a judge of Asia’s Got Talent (while being targeted by The Sacred Riana xD)
She is super talented and I simply adore her <3
Will be an amazing host when France win!

Roland
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Roland

If France wins Eurovision, she NEEDS to host!!!

Indonesian Eurovision Fan
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Indonesian Eurovision Fan

For the opening ceremony here in indonesia, including the stage, the huge stage, they spent €41 million. € 3 million less than Eurovision 2014 in Copenhagen. We’re so proud our people have made this huge stage inside the largest football stadium in the country with the capacity of 80,000. Took a month of preparation as well. Hearing about spending, I hope Eurovision in Israel and in years to come would not be overbudget, especially it’s a contest, more like a indoor concert with 10,000 spectators inside the arena. Not so large. But it’s important to remember. Because the opening ceremony… Read more »