Paris 2024: Aya Nakamura has presidential backing for opening ceremonyParis 2024: Aya Nakamura has presidential backing for opening ceremony. GETTY IMAGES

French President Emmanuel Macron has defended Franco-Malian singer Aya Nakamura against criticism from the far-right who oppose her performance at the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Macron on Thursday backed the idea of Franco-Malian singer Aya Nakamura performing at the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics, urging his compatriots to have "confidence" ahead of the Games.

Nakamura has been at the centre of a political storm since March, when media reports emerged that Macron had suggested the superstar singer of the hit song "Djadja" could perform at the opening ceremony, scheduled for Friday 26 July 2024.

Born in 1995 in the capital of Mali (a former French colony) to a family of traditional musicians, the 28-year-old superstar moved to the Paris region as a child and became a French citizen in 2021.

With a unique style that blends pop with urban and Afrobeat music, the Franco-Malian singer has conquered the global RnB scene with her songs Pookie, Copine and Djadja. The latter has over 1 million views on YouTube. Her latest album, DNK, released three months ago, has already gone platinum.

Responding to influential far-right politicians and other conservatives who have accused the singer of "vulgarity" and disrespect for the French language, as well as racist online abuse that has prompted a police investigation in recent days, President Macron said: "I think she is certainly suitable for the opening or closing ceremony of the Games."

"If she is part of the ceremony with other artists, I think it's a good thing," he added, saying that "the games and the ceremonies should resemble us. She is part of French culture and French music," the president  told reporters at the inauguration of the Olympic aquatic centre in northern Paris.

However, the centre-right leader of state noted that it was up to the artistic director of the ceremonies, Thomas Jolly, to decide on the participation of the most listened to French artist in the world and the only woman in the country's top 20 best-selling albums in 2023.

The recent controversy over Nakamura and the debate over the official Games poster, which omitted a Christian cross from a Paris monument, show how difficult it will be to please everyone in a country as cosmopolitan as France.