Eurovision winners: Where are they now?

The winner of the first Eurovision
Song contest was Lys Assia
There have been 57 Eurovision
winners to date but what has
become of those acts that hit
the dizzy heights of Euro fame?
The Eurovision song contest has
been running since 1956 and in
that time, acts from around
Europe have been singing their
hearts out in the hope of winning
the trophy.
Some have gone on to be
international stars, while others
have faded into obscurity.
Here we take a look at some of
the winners over the years and
what they have been up to since.
1950 - 1959
1956 - Lys Assia (Switzerland)
Lys was the very first Eurovision
winner when it was held in
Lugano, Switzerland. She won with
her song Refrain and went on to
compete in the contest for the
next two years, finishing eighth
and second respectively. She
entered a song into the Swiss
national selection for the 2012
contest, but didn't qualify.
She continued with her singing
career and released her last album
in 2008. She is considered
Eurovision royalty and regularly
appears at the contest as a guest
of honour.
1959 - Teddy Scholten (The
Teddy won the contest for the
Netherlands for the second time
in four years with the song Een
She had a career in both television
and music and released dozens of
records through to the 1960s. But
she gave up showbiz to work as a
public relations officer for the
Dutch Red Cross. She died last
year aged 83.
1960 - 1969
Jacqueline Boyer gave France its
second Eurovision win
1960 - Jacqueline Boyer (France)
Jacqueline gave France its second
Eurovision win with her song, Tom
Pillibi. As well as being a singer,
she also became an actress and
appeared in several films and TV
series, enjoying a career in
Germany as well as France. She
continues to record music today.
1964 - Gigliola Cinquetti (Italy)
Italy scored its first win with
Gigliola's Non Ho L'eta (I'm Not
Old Enough) aged 16. The song
became a European hit and
charted in the UK at number 17.
She competed again in 1974 with
her song, Go (Before You Break
My Heart), and finished second,
losing out to Abba's Waterloo. She
went on to co-host the contest in
1991 when it was staged in Rome.
In the 1990s
she quit the
music industry
and became a
journalist. She
hosts the
current affairs
Italia Rai.
1967 - Sandie
Shaw (United
Sandie Shaw gave the UK its first
Eurovision victory with her famous
barefoot rendition of Puppet On A
String. With a number of hits to
her name before the contest, she
was an ideal choice having
recorded many of her songs in
French, Spanish, German and
As one of the most successful
British singers of the 1960s, she
was absent from the music scene
in the 1970s and returned to the
spotlight with a cover of The
Smiths' song Hand In Glove.
She disappeared again until 2010,
when she announced she had
started recording music again.
However last month in an
interview with The Telegraph she
announced she was retiring for
good .
1970 - 1979
1970 - Dana (Ireland)
Dana's All Kinds of Everything was
a hit around the world after
becoming Ireland's first winner.
She went on to release more than
30 albums, many with a strong
Christian focus.
She also
pursued a
coming third
in the Irish
election in
1997. In 1999
she was
elected to the
Parliament but
lost her seat
in 2004.
Showbusiness came calling again
however, and in recent years she
has appeared on celebrity dance
show Celebrity Jigs 'n' Reels and
been a judge on The All Ireland
Talent Show.
1972 - Vicky Leandros
Greek singer Vicky won for
Luxembourg with Apres Toi after
coming fourth for the country in
1967. The song gave her success
in Europe, North America and
More recently, she was elected a
councillor in Piraeus in Greece
and subsequently became the
deputy mayor. She resigned in
2008 and has continued with her
music career performing all over
Europe. Her career as a singer has
also continued, releasing her own
material and taking part in the
2006 German final with the song,
Don't Break My Heart. She
continues to record and tour
1974 - ABBA (Sweden)
Abba were joined by a man
dressed as Napoleon for their hit
Probably Eurovision's most famous
and successful winners, Abba have
sold millions of records thanks to
their hit Waterloo.
They topped the charts until the
early 1980s when they split up,
with hits including Mamma Mia,
Dancing Queen and Money Money
Members Benny Andersson and
Bjorn Ulvaeus continued to work
and record together, including
writing the musical Chess. Anni-
Frid Lyngstad embarked on a solo
career and Agnetha Faltskog' shied
away from the spotlight, although
she has recently returned to the
music scene with a new album .
A musical based on their hits, a
successful box office film version
and a museum dedicated to the
group have cemented them firmly
in Eurovision history.
1980 - 1989
1981 - Bucks Fizz (United
Bucks Fizz hit Making Your Mind
Up topped a BBC 2 poll for the
nation's favourite UK Eurovision
Possibly the UK's most popular
Eurovision entry, Bucks Fizz beat
Germany by four points with
Making Your Mind Up. Famous for
its dance routine which included
ripping the skirts off Cheryl Baker
and Jay Aston, the song was a hit
around Europe, Australia and New
They scored several more chart
hits following the contest, but
tragedy struck the band in 1984
when their coach crashed while on
tour, badly injuring them.
After several line-up changes and
legal disputes over ownership of
the group's name, there are now
two versions of the group - one
which features Bobby G, and the
other with Mike Nolan, Cheryl and
Jay - both of which are currently
still performing and touring.
1988 - Celine Dion (Switzerland)
Celine Dion has gone on to
become one of the most
successful female singers in the
world since winning Eurovision for
Switzerland with the song Ne
Partez Pas Sans Moi.
Celine Dion won for Switzerland
singing a song in French
It wasn't until 1991 that she
found more international fame
with the theme to Disney film
Beauty and the Beast and then
power ballads The Power Of Love,
Think Twice and the mega-selling
theme to Titanic, My Heart Will Go
On followed.
She took a short career break to
start a family and came back with
a five-year residency in Las Vegas.
She has sold in excess of 200
million albums worldwide.
1990 - 1999
1995 - Secret Garden (Norway)
Rolf from Secret Garden went on
to write the hit song You Raise Me
Irish-Norwegian duo Rolf Lovland
and violinist Fionnuala Sherry
scored a win for Norway after a
period of being the butt of "nul
points" jokes. Originally planned
as an instrumental, a few lines of
lyrics were later added.
The group has had global success
with their first album, spending
two years in the US Billboard New
Age chart from 1996-1997.
Rolf is most famous for
composing one of the world's
most covered songs - You Raise
Me Up - made famous by the likes
of Josh Groban, Westlife and Il
1998 - Dana International
Dana International went on to
compose Israel's 2008 entry
Dana International caused
controversy as Israel's Eurovision
entry. As a transsexual,
conservatives tried to block her
involvement, but she beat the
UK's Imaani by six points to win
with her song, Diva.
Already a success in her native
country with three albums to her
name, Eurovision propelled her to
international stardom. The
following year's contest, she
famously fell over on stage after
the Swedish entry stepped on the
back of her dress.
She released more albums and
even composed Israel's Eurovision
entry in 2008 which finished
After disappearing from
showbusiness for a few years, she
came back in 2009 as a judge on
the Israeli version of Pop Idol. She
released a new single last month.
2000 - 2009
2003 - Sertab Erener (Turkey)
Sertab Erner was already one of
Turkey's most successful female
singers before the contest
It was third time lucky for Sertab
Erener, who had previously tried
out twice to represent her country
in 1989 and 1990. Everyway That I
Can was Turkey's first entry sung
entirely in English and gave the
nation its first victory after 25
The song topped the charts in
Turkey, Greece and Sweden as well
as charting in nearly 10 other
European countries.
Sertab was already one of Turkey's
most successful female singers
before the contest and had
released five albums.
She has since released another
five records in both Turkish and
2006 - Lordi (Finland)
Eurovision helped boost Lordi's
success across the world
Finland finally won the Eurovision
Song Contest thanks to monster
act Lordi. Hard Rock, Hallelujah
stormed to the top with a huge
292 points - the highest score ever
at the time - and won by almost a
30 point margin.
Led by Tomi Putaansuu (otherwise
known as Mr Lordi) and inspired
by the rock group Kiss, the group
never take off their masks and
Eurovision helped boost their
success and their song charted
over most of western Europe,
while their album charted over in
the USA and Japan too.
They tour extensively and have
performed at numerous festivals,
including on the mainstage at
Ozzfest in 2007.
They released their seventh studio
album, To Beast or Not To Beast,
in March.