Dana was born in Israel and grew up in Tel Aviv as a boy named Yaron Cohen. He was a gifted child and an excellent student who sang in the school choirs. In adolescence, he started to feel that something was different about him. That he was not like everyone else. He started to discover the Tel Aviv nightlife, and there, in the dark nightclubs that allow everyone to be who they really are, the transformation started; a transformation that began with a recognition, an understanding, and ended three years later when the shy teenage boy became a beautiful girl, Dana.
At the age of 20, Dana started to perform in Tel Aviv nightclubs and was very popular amongst the crowd. A year later, she released a song from her club performances, Saida Sultana to the radio stations, and the song immediately became a big hit. This success led to the recording of a full dance album, and the second hit released from it was Dana International. Ever since, this name stuck with her, and a couple years later it became reality.
In 1994, Dana released her second album, Yeshnan Banot. The album became a big success, sold platinum records and Dana was chosen as Israel's singer of the year. She participated in the Israeli Pre-Eurovision Song Contest and reached second place. That night, in which she did not win, was one of the saddest in her life: "I cried all night and I felt terrible. If only an angel would have visited me and whispered in my ear that two years from now I'm going to win the real thing, it could have spared me so many tears". Two years later, her third album, Maganuna came out, and Dana set her status as one of the successful singers in Israel.
In 1998, she was chosen to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Diva, written by Yoav Ginai and Tzvika Pick. She took the first place and turned into an international star overnight. Dana's victory had a strong impression on the world, and she became a cultural icon. In Israel, on the night of the victory, thousands of people celebrated on the streets, and Dana completed the cultural revolution she started with her first album; a symbol of liberalism and human rights.