List of Eurovision Song Contest winners
Sixty-three songs have won the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual competition organised by member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. The contest, which has been broadcast every year since its debut in 1956, is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. The contest's winner has been determined using numerous voting techniques throughout its history; centre to these have been the awarding of points to countries by juries or televoters. The country awarded the most points is declared the winner. The first Eurovision Song Contest was not won on points, but by votes (two per country), and only the winner was announced.
There have been 60 contests, with one winner each year except the tied 1969 contest, which had four. Twenty-six different countries have won the contest. Switzerland won the first contest in 1956. The country with the highest number of wins is Ireland, with seven. Portugal is the country with the longest history in the contest without a win; it made its forty-eighth appearance at the 2015 contest. The only person to have won more than once as performer is Ireland's Johnny Logan, who performed "What's Another Year" in 1980 and "Hold Me Now" in 1987. Logan is also one of only five songwriters to have written more than one winning entry ("Hold Me Now" 1987 and "Why Me?" 1992, performed by Linda Martin). This unique distinction makes Logan the only person to have three Eurovision victories to his/her credit, as either singer, songwriter or both. The other four songwriters with more than one winning entry to their credit are, Willy van Hemert (Netherlands, 1957 and 1959), Yves Dessca (Monaco, 1971 and Luxembourg, 1972), Rolf Løvland (Norway, 1985 and 1995) and Brendan Graham (Ireland, 1994 and 1996).
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 of these artists have gone on to be huge international stars. The most notable winning Eurovision artists whose career was directly launched into the spotlight following their win were the members of ABBA, who won the 1974 contest for Sweden with their song "Waterloo." ABBA went on to be one of the most successful bands of its time. Another notable winner who subsequently achieved international fame and success was Céline Dion, who won the 1988 contest for Switzerland with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi."
Eleven Eurovision winners (alongside three non-winners) featured at the Congratulations concert in 2005, in which ABBA's "Waterloo" was voted the most popular song of the contest's first fifty years.
Ireland has finished first seven times, more than any other country, Ireland also won the contest for three consecutive years (1992, 1993, 1994), more consecutive years than any other country. Three countries have won twice in a row, Spain (1968 and 1969), Luxembourg (1972 and 1973) and Israel (1978 and 1979). Along with Switzerland's win in the first contest, Serbia is the only other country to win with its debut entry (in 2007). Since the introduction of the current voting system in 1975, the winner of the contest has been decided by the final voting nation on eleven occasions.[N 3]
Changes to the voting system, including a steady growth in the number of countries participating/voting, means that the points earned are not comparable across the decades. Norway's Alexander Rybak holds the record of the highest number of points in the contest's history, earning 387 when winning Eurovision 2009. Norway/Rybak also hold the largest margin of victory in absolute points, a 169-point cushion over second place in 2009. Norway/Rybak also hold the record for the largest margin of victory by percentage, which is somewhat comparable over the entire history of Eurovision, having earned 78% more points (387 points versus 218 points) over the second place song of 2009. Under the current voting system, the lowest winning score was Norway's/Bobbysocks! 123 points earned (of the 1102 available from 19 countries) when winning Eurovision 1985, while the lowest winning total ever is the 18 points (of the 160 total votes cast by 16 countries) scored by each of the four winning countries in 1969.
Under the current voting system, where each country gives maximum points to its first place choice, Sweden's Loreen won Eurovision 2012 with the most ever first place votes earned, receiving first place votes from 18 of 41 countries (excluding themselves). The 1976 United Kingdom entrant, Brotherhood of Man with the song "Save Your Kisses For Me" holds the record of the highest average score per participating country, with an average of 9.65 points received per country. Under the current voting system, 2011 winner Azerbaijan/Eldar & Nigar, hold the lowest average score for a winning song, receiving 5.14 points per country.
The United Kingdom has finished second fifteen times at Eurovision (most recently in 1998), more than any other country. The most successful country never to have won the Contest is Malta, having finished second in 2002 and 2005 and third in 1992 and 1998.
There is no official runner-up for two of the contests – 1956 and 1969. In 1956 only the winner, Switzerland, was announced, whilst there were speculative reports that Germany ended up in second place in 1956 with "Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück" by Walter Andreas Schwarz, on account that Germany was chosen to host the 1957 contest. In 1969 four songs shared first place by achieving the same number of points, and the second best result was achieved by Switzerland, who is not considered an official runner-up, because of the draw for first place.
|7||Ireland||1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996|
|6||Sweden||1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015|
|5||France||1958, 1960, 1962, 1969, 1977|
|Luxembourg||1961, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1983|
|United Kingdom||1967, 1969, 1976, 1981, 1997|
|4||Netherlands||1957, 1959, 1969, 1975|
|3||Israel||1978, 1979, 1998|
|Norway||1985, 1995, 2009|
|Denmark||1963, 2000, 2013|
|Germany[N 5]||1982, 2010|
Year 1969 is in italics to indicate joint (4-way) win.
Between 1966 and 1973, and again between 1977 and 1998, countries were only permitted to perform in their own language; see the main Eurovision Song Contest article. In 2007 Marija Šerifović's "Molitva" became the first Serbian-language song to win the contest, the first winner since 1989 to be in a language that had never produced a winning song before and the first winner since 1998 to be entirely in a language other than English.
|30||English||1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,[N 6] 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine,[N 6] Greece, Finland, Russia, Norway, Germany, Azerbaijan, Austria|
|14||French||1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1988||Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium|
|3||Dutch||1957, 1959, 1969||Netherlands|
|Hebrew||1978, 1979, 1998||Israel|
|2||German||1966, 1982||Austria, Germany|
|Ukrainian||2004[N 6]||Ukraine[N 6]|
Notes and references
- Since 2004, the contest has included a televised semi-final::— In 2004 held on the Wednesday before the final:— Between 2005 and 2007 held on the Thursday of "Eurovision Week"
- Since 2008 the contest has included two semi-finals, held on the Tuesday and Thursday before the final.
- 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2003.
- the Federal Republic of Germany has two wins, one before, one after German reunification. The map depicts the outline of Germany during both of their wins.
- the Federal Republic of Germany has two wins, one before, one after German reunification
- This song was partially sung in Ukrainian.
- Extract from the rules for the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 22 August 2007.
- Eurovision 1956. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 24 May 2008.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- BBC News (6 December 2005). ABBA's Bjorn says no to reunion. Retrieved on 15 March 2008.
- ABBA win 'Eurovision 50th' vote. BBC News (23 October 2005). Retrieved on 22 August 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eurovision Song Contest winners.|
- Eurovision Song Contest history. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 19 August 2007.
- History. ESCtoday.com. Retrieved on 19 August 2007.
- John Kennedy O'Connor (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.