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  • Singer Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song ' Rise Like a Phoenix' during a rehearsal for the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark, Wednesday, May 7, 2014.  Conchita Wurst also known by his birth-name Thomas Neuwirth.  Challenging conceptions of masculine and feminine beauty, Wurst seems to have stolen the limelight ahead of the televised extravaganza, with a potential worldwide audience of some 170 million viewers, sporting long and curly raven-dark hair, eyelash extensions, an angelic face, a floor-length golden gown and a well-groomed beard.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Bearded drag queen in Eurovision spotlight

    When Austria's entry takes the stage Thursday at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, the spotlight will slowly reveal a lone figure with wide sensual eyes, glossy painted lips, high cheekbones - and a man's full dark beard.

  • ** FILE ** In this Sept. 24, 2010, file photo, President Obama greets Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev during their bilateral meeting in New York. (Associated Press)

    Song contest raises hope for change in Azerbaijan

    As Azerbaijan prepares to host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest next week, advocates say now is the time to increase pressure on the former Soviet republic for its human rights abuses.

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