Johnny Rotten Revealed to Be the Jester on “The Masked Singer”

The punk legend introduced a little anarchy into the singing competition

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, revealing himself to be the Jester on The Masked Singer
Johnny Rotten as The Jester on "The Masked Singer."

The celebrities in elaborate costumes on The Masked Singer are typically D-listers looking to extend their 15 minutes of fame or formerly controversial figures seeking to rehabilitate their reputations. Once in a while, however, a legitimate musical legend actually gets thrown into the mix, and this season that happened to be John Lydon — aka the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten.

Lydon was unmasked after being eliminated on Wednesday night following his performance of the Soggy Bottom Boys’ “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.” In a previous episode, he covered Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” but despite his distinct vocals and obvious clues, the judges weren’t able to guess his identity. (Instead, they guessed The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider.)

But what could have possibly motivated the legendary punk to appear on something so mainstream and commercial? The answer is actually kind of sweet.

“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,” Lydon explained to Billboard. “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.”

“We’ve only got one life, and you must explore all the possibilities and be limited by no one for no reason,” he said on the show, after being asked why he decided to participate. 

You can check out his performances as The Jester as well as the big reveal below.

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