Photo: Larisa KUDRYAVTSEVA/EG
As you know, Eurovision is to some extent a separate musical planet, which is rarely visited by big stars. And if they fly, they are not always successful (recall, for example, how modestly they received Patricia Kaas in 2009, who took only eighth place). However, there were situations in the history of the competition when artists known and loved all over the world won, and one of them was Toto Cutugno.
CONQUEROR OF ZAGREB
In 1990, in the then Yugoslav Zagreb, Toto, by that time already a venerable performer and author, won first place with the composition “Insieme: 1992” (“Together: 1992”). Cutugno was almost 50 years old, he had already won the Sanremo contest, he was well known in Europe, where they sang both their own hits and songs written for other performers. However, the fight was not easy: the Italian maestro was 17 points ahead of Frenchman Joel Ursul. For Italy, this victory was the second after the triumph in 1964 of Gigliola Cinquetti, little known in our country.
Indeed, since then, none of the full-fledged international stars of Eurovision have won (we hope that Dima Bilan will not be offended by these words with us). Thus, Toto became the last winning star of the main European vocal contest. And who were the famous predecessors of him?
FROM ABBA TO CELINE DION
Of course, the Swedish band ABBA comes to mind first. In 1974, in England, the Scandinavian quartet, which was just beginning to gain popularity, became the first with the incendiary composition Waterloo (“Waterloo”). The victory gave an additional impetus to the magnificent four Swedes, although, perhaps, even without Eurovision success, the Scandinavians would have become superstars – the talent of the musicians was too obvious. Interestingly, the second place in that competition was taken by the aforementioned Italian Gigliola Cinquetti.
Another superstar who conquered Eurovision is Celine Dion, who became the first in 1988 in the Irish pageant in Dublin. We all know that Celine is from Canada, but she at Eurovision that year she represented Switzerland, where, as you know, Celine’s native French is also spoken. It was in it that he sang: the composition Ne partez pas sans moi (“Don’t go without me”) scored the most points (137), while the gap to second place was simply microscopic: Englishman Scott Fitzgerald scored only one less point.
The victory meant a lot to 20-year-old Celine, who gradually entered the international market and sang in English. By the way, her winning composition is the last Eurovision winning song, performed in French.
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