List of Eurovision Song Contest Winners

Posted in Music

List of Eurovision Song Contest WinnersThe Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson) is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. Each country participates via one of their national EBU-member television stations, whose task it is to select a singer and a song to represent their country in the international competition.

The Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally. Eurovision has also been broadcast outside Europe to such places as Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Vietnam, and the United States, despite the fact that these countries do not compete. Since the year 2000, the Contest has also been broadcast over the Internet, with more than 74,000 people in almost 140 countries having watched the 2006 edition online.

The Contest is historically known for often showcasing formulaic, orchestrated pop music. However, it has featured a vast, diverse array of songs, including such musical genres as Arab, Armenian, Balkan, Breton, Celtic, Dance, Folk, Greek, Israeli, Latin, Nordic, Pop-rap, Rock and Turkish.  

Winning the Eurovision Song Contest provides a unique opportunity for the winning artist(s) to capitalise on their success and surrounding publicity by launching or furthering their international career. However, throughout the history of the Contest relatively few names have gone on to be huge international stars.

List of Winners (Winning Nations)

Year Country Song Performer Points Margin Second place Date Host city
1956 Switzerland "Refrain" Lys Assia
24 May 1956 Lugano
1957 Netherlands "Net Als Toen" Corry Brokken 31 14 France 3 March 1957 Frankfurt am Main
1958 France "Dors, Mon Amour" Andr? Claveau 27 3 Switzerland 12 March 1958 Hilversum
1959 Netherlands "Een Beetje" Teddy Scholten 21 5 United Kingdom 11 March 1959 Cannes
1960 France "Tom Pillibi" Jacqueline Boyer 32 7 United Kingdom 25 March 1960 London
1961 Luxembourg "Nous les amoureux" Jean-Claude Pascal 31 6 United Kingdom 18 March 1961 Cannes
1962 France "Un premier amour" Isabelle Aubret 26 13 Monaco 18 March 1962 Luxembourg
1963 Denmark "Dansevise" Grethe & J?rgen Ingmann 42 2 Switzerland 23 March 1963 London
1964 Italy "Non ho l'et? (per amarti)" Gigliola Cinquetti 49 32 United Kingdom 21 March 1964 Copenhagen
1965 Luxembourg "Poup?e de cire, poup?e de son" France Gall 32 6 United Kingdom 20 March 1965 Naples
1966 Austria "Merci Ch?rie" Udo J?rgens 31 15 Sweden 5 March 1966 Luxembourg
1967 United Kingdom "Puppet on a String" Sandie Shaw 42 25 Ireland 8 April 1967 Vienna
1968 Spain "La, la, la" Massiel 29 1 United Kingdom 6 April 1968 London
1969 Spain "Vivo Cantando" Salom? 18 N/A N/A 29 March 1969 Madrid
United Kingdom "Boom Bang-a-Bang" Lulu
Netherlands "De Troubadour" Lennie Kuhr
France "Un jour, un enfant" Frida Boccara
1970 Ireland "All Kinds of Everything" Dana 32 6 United Kingdom 21 March 1970 Amsterdam
1971 Monaco "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" S?verine 128 12 Spain 3 April 1971 Dublin
1972 Luxembourg "Apr?s Toi" Vicky Leandros 128 14 United Kingdom 25 March 1972 Edinburgh
1973 Luxembourg "Tu Te Reconna?tras" Anne-Marie David 129 4 Spain 7 April 1973 Luxembourg
1974 Sweden "Waterloo" ABBA 24 6 Italy 6 April 1974 Brighton
1975 Netherlands "Ding-A-Dong" Teach-In 152 14 United Kingdom 22 March 1975 Stockholm
1976 United Kingdom "Save Your Kisses for Me" Brotherhood of Man 164 17 France 3 April 1976 The Hague
1977 France "L'Oiseau Et L'Enfant" Marie Myriam 136 15 United Kingdom 7 May
1978 Israel "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" Izhar Cohen & Alphabeta 157 32 Belgium 22 April 1978 Paris
1979 Israel "Hallelujah" Gali Atari & Milk and Honey 125 9 Spain 31 March 1979 Jerusalem
1980 Ireland "What's Another Year?" Johnny Logan 143 15 Germany 19 April 1980 The Hague
1981 United Kingdom "Making Your Mind Up" Bucks Fizz 136 4 Germany 4 April 1981 Dublin
1982 Germany "Ein Bisschen Frieden" Nicole 161 61 Israel 24 April 1982 Harrogate
1983 Luxembourg "Si la vie est cadeau" Corinne Herm?s 142 6 Israel 23 April 1983 Munich
1984 Sweden "Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" Herreys 145 8 Ireland 5 May
1985 Norway "La det swinge" Bobbysocks 123 18 Germany 4 May
1986 Belgium "J'aime la vie" Sandra Kim 176 31 Luxembourg 3 May
1987 Ireland "Hold Me Now" Johnny Logan 172 31 Germany 9 May
1988 Switzerland "Ne partez pas sans moi" C?line Dion 137 1 United Kingdom 30 April 1988 Dublin
1989 Yugoslavia "Rock Me" Riva 137 7 United Kingdom 6 May
1990 Italy "Insieme: 1992" Toto Cutugno 149 17 Ireland, France  5 May
1991 Sweden "F?ngad av en stormvind" Carola 146 0  France 4 May
1992 Ireland "Why Me" Linda Martin 155 16 United Kingdom 9 May
1993 Ireland "In Your Eyes" Niamh Kavanagh 187 23 United Kingdom 15 May 1993 Millstreet
1994 Ireland "Rock 'n' Roll Kids" Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan 226 60 Poland 30 April 1994 Dublin
1995 Norway "Nocturne" Secret Garden 148 29 Spain 13 May 1995 Dublin
1996 Ireland "The Voice" Eimear Quinn 162 48 Norway 18 May 1996 Oslo
1997 United Kingdom "Love Shine a Light" Katrina and the Waves 227 70 Ireland 3 May
1998 Israel "Diva" Dana International 172 6 United Kingdom 9 May
1999 Sweden "Take Me to Your Heaven" Charlotte Nilsson 163 17 Iceland 29 May 1999 Jerusalem
2000 Denmark "Fly on the Wings of Love" Olsen Brothers 195 40 Russia 13 May 2000 Stockholm
2001 Estonia "Everybody" Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL 198 21 Denmark 12 May 2001 Copenhagen
2002 Latvia "I Wanna" Marie N 176 12 Malta 25 May 2002 Tallinn
2003 Turkey "Everyway That I Can" Sertab Erener 167 2 Belgium 24 May 2003 Riga
2004 Ukraine "Wild Dances" Ruslana 280 17 Serbia & Montenegro 15 May 2004  Istanbul
2005 Greece "My Number One" Helena Paparizou 230 38 Malta 21 May 2005  Kiev
2006 Finland "Hard Rock Hallelujah" Lordi 292 44 Russia 20 May 2006  Athens
2007 Serbia "Molitva" Marija ?erifovic 268 33 Ukraine 12 May 2007  Helsinki
2008 Russia "Believe" Dima Bilan 272 42  Ukraine 24 May 2008 Belgrade
2009 Finland "Fairytale" Alexander Rybak 387 169 Iceland 17 May 2009 Moscow

The Artists

The most notable winning Eurovision artists whose career was directly launched into the spotlight following their win were ABBA, who won the Contest for Sweden in 1974 with their song "Waterloo". ABBA went on to be one of the most successful bands of their time.

Another notable winner who subsequently achieved international fame and success was C?line Dion, who won the Contest for Switzerland in 1988 with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi. Dion's success, however, is not as directly attributed to her winning the Contest, as she achieved international fame some years later.

Other artists who have achieved varying degrees of success after winning the Contest include France Gall (Poup?e De Cire, Poup?e De Son, Luxembourg 1965), Lulu (Boom Bang-a-Bang, United Kingdom 1969), Dana (All Kinds of Everything, Ireland 1970), Vicky Leandros (Apr?s Toi, Luxembourg 1972), Brotherhood of Man (Save Your Kisses for Me, United Kingdom 1976), Johnny Logan (who won twice for Ireland; with What's Another Year? in 1980, and Hold Me Now in 1987), Bucks Fizz (Making Your Mind Up, United Kingdom 1981), and Nicole (Ein Bi?chen Frieden, Germany 1982). Many other winners include well-known artists who won the Contest mid-career, after they had already established themselves as successful.

Some artists, however, have vanished into relative obscurity, making little or no impact on the international music scene since their win.


Semi Finals

A qualification round, known as the semi-final, was introduced for the 2004 Contest. This semi-final was held on the Wednesday during Eurovision Week, and was a programme similar in format to the grand final, whose time slot remained 19:00 UTC on the Saturday. Since then, the semi-final programme has been held on the Thursday of Eurovision Week.

The semi-final includes those countries whose ranking on the scoreboard the previous year was not high enough to ensure direct qualification for the final. Until 2007, it was necessary for a country to attain a place within the top ten of the final scoreboard to be assured of direct qualification for next year's grand final. The Big Four rule remains, so that France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom always automatically bypass the semi-final and are directly included in the grand final.

Since the introduction of the semi-final, it has been possible for countries to vote even though they are not participating in the programme: for example it is possible for one of the Big Four to vote for countries in the semi-final even though they do not participate in the semi-final themselves; and a country in the semi-final, which fails to qualify for the final, may still vote for the other countries in the final on Saturday.

After the votes have been cast in the semi-final, the countries which received the most votes?and will therefore proceed to the final on Saturday?are announced in no particular order. The announcement of the actual number of points these qualifiers received is withheld by the EBU until after the grand final, lest the news influence the result on Saturday through tactical voting or otherwise.

The ten most highly-placed countries in the final are guaranteed a place in next year's final, without the need to participate in next year's semi. These ten positions exclude Big-Four countries; so that if, for example, Germany comes in the top ten, the 11th-placed non-Big-Four country will automatically qualify for next year's final.

On 28 September 2007, at a meeting of the EBU reference group, it was decided that from the 2008 Contest onwards there will be held two semi-finals. Only the host country and the Big Four * will automatically qualify for the grand final, and they will be joined by ten countries from each semi?to make a total of 25 entries in the final.

* From 2000 onwards, four particular countries would always qualify for the Eurovision final, regardless of their positions on the scoreboard in previous Contests. They earned this special status by being the four biggest financial contributors to the EBU (without which the production of the Eurovision Song Contest would not be possible). These countries are Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Due to their "untouchable" status in the Contest, these countries became known as the "Big Four".


Other Facts & Information

  • In the first Contest in 1956, there was no time limit on songs. In 1957, a limit of 3? minutes was recommended. In 1962, this was revised to 3 minutes precisely.
  • There is no restriction imposed by the EBU on the nationality of the performers or songwriters. Individual broadcasters are, however, permitted to impose their own restrictions at their discretion.
  • From 1957 to 1970 (in 1956 there was no restriction at all), only soloists and duos were allowed on stage. From 1963, a chorus of up to three people was permitted. Since 1971, a maximum of six performers have been permitted on the stage.
  • The performance and/or lyrics of a song "must not bring the Contest into disrepute".
  • Since 1990, all people on stage must be at least 16 years of age.
  • All vocals must be sung live: no voices are permitted on backing tracks. In 1999, the Croatian song featured sounds on their backing track which sounded suspiciously like human voices. The Croatian delegation stated that there were no human voices, but only digitally-synthesised sounds which replicated vocals. The EBU nevertheless decided that they had broken the spirit of the rules, and docked them 33% of their points total that year as used for calculating their five-year points average for future qualification


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