Eurovision winners’ post-contest life

Eurovision winners’ post-contest life
# 27 April 2012 11:18 (UTC +04:00)
Lys Assia is a Swiss singer who won the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. When Lys Assia was a young girl she was a dancer. In 1940, however, she stood in for a female singer. People who heard her singing liked it, so she changed from dancing to singing. In 1956 she was the winner of the very first Eurovision Song Contest, in which she sang for Switzerland. She had also been in the German national final of that year and returned to the contest again for Switzerland in 1957 and 1958. In September 2011, Assia entered her song "C’était ma vie" written by Ralph Siegel and Jean Paul Cara into the Swiss national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The song, however, only came eighth in a closely fought national selection.

Gigliola Cinquetti is an Italian singer, TV presenter and journalist. At the age of 16 she won the Sanremo Music Festival in 1964 singing "Non ho l’età" ("I’m Not Old Enough"), with music composed by Nicola Salerno and lyrics by Mario Panzeri. Her victory enabled her to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 with the same song, and she went on to claim her country’s first ever victory in the event. This became an international success, even entering UK Singles Chart, traditionally unusual for Italian material. It sold over three million copies, and was awarded a platinum disc in August 1964. In 1966, she recorded "Dio, come ti amo" ("God, How I Love You"), which became another worldwide hit. In 1974 Gigliola Cinquetti entered the Eurovision Song Contest again, which was held in Brighton, Sussex, England. The song was called "Go [Before You Break My Heart]", which came 2nd, only to Swedish foursome Abba with their song "Waterloo". Gigliola Cinquetti scored an even bigger UK hit single than she had ten years earlier, with "Go" peaking at #8.

Dana Rosemary Scallon, known in her singing career simply as Dana, is an Irish singer and former Member of the European Parliament (MEP). She achieved fame when she won Eurovision Song Contest 1970 with "All Kinds of Everything", a subsequent worldwide million-seller. She has released over thirty singles and thirty albums as a songwriter and performer of Christian music. She entered politics in 1997, running in the Irish presidential election and subsequently being elected as the MEP for Connacht–Ulster. Scallon was an independent candidate in the Irish 2011 presidential election but was eliminated on the first count having received 51,220 votes (2.9%) which placed her sixth, above the other female candidate Mary Davis.

ABBA won their national heats on Swedish television on 9 February 1974, and with this third attempt were far more experienced and better prepared for the Eurovision Song Contest. Winning the 1974 Contest on 6 April 1974 gave ABBA the chance to tour Europe and perform on major television shows; thus the band saw the "Waterloo" single chart in many European countries. After ABBA broke up in early 1983, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued individual solo careers with mixed success. ABBA’s music declined in popularity until several films, notably Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group, spawning several tribute bands. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name released in 2008 became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010.

Canadian singer Celine Dion had first gained international recognition in the 1980s by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest as the representative of Switzerland. Following a series of French albums in the early 1980s, she signed on to CBS Records Canada in 1986. During the 1990s, she achieved worldwide fame after signing with Epic Records and releasing several English albums along with additional French albums, becoming one of the most successful artists in pop music history. However, in 1999 at the height of her success, Dion announced a hiatus from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer. She returned to the top of pop music in 2002 and signed a three-year (later extended to almost five years) contract to perform nightly in a five-star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada.

Dion’s music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals.
Dion is the best-selling Canadian artist of all time, is the second best-selling female artist in the US during the Nielsen SoundScan era, and is the only female artist to have two singles sell more than a million copies in the UK. In addition, her 1995 album D’eux, is the best-selling French-language album of all time. In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best-selling female artist of all time. According to Sony Music Entertainment, Dion has sold over 200 million albums worldwide.

Eurovision changed the life of Ukrainian singer Ruslana, who joined the politics after winning on the European stage. She was elected to the Ukrainian parliament in 2006-2007. She is UNICEF Good Will Ambassador.

Eurovision 2011 winners Eldar and Nigar (Azerbaijan) returned home as the stars. Eldar Gasimov is attending the Master’s Program in International Relations at the Baku Slavic University. Nigar jamal is working on her new album. Eldar will be one of the presenters at the Eurovision 2012 Song Contest in Baku.