Going global: 10 Eurovision songs that went worldwide02 November 2023 at 10:15 CET
It's November 2023 and our Eurovision Song Contest winner from May is still making waves across the world.
At the time of writing, Tattoo by Loreen is spending a 175th day on the Spotify Global Top 200 daily chart. It remains in the Top 50, still, in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. And outside of Europe it's recently started to chart in places such as Indonesia, Malaysia and also the country that Loreen's parents hail from, Morocco.
As the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest winner continues to forge its own path around the world, we take a look back at some of the biggest global hits that the Contest has exported to the rest of the world since its inception in 1956.
From going viral on TikTok in 2022, to picking up two prizes at the first ever Grammy Awards in 1959, some of our Eurovision Song Contest favourites have gone on to achieve global recognition far beyond the viewers who tuned in to their big performance on that Saturday night.
We take a closer to look at 10 of the Eurovision Song Contest's greatest global hits:
Gina G - Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit
(United Kingdom 1996)
It’s a top-tier banger that finished in 8th place at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996, but which managed to achieve 'Ooh Aah… Considerably More' on the European charts throughout the months that followed its Oslo debut.
With it representing the United Kingdom at the Contest, the rightfully proud Brits awarded it with number 1 hit status - a UK official singles chart feat that no other Eurovision song has managed to hit in the 27 years since.
Gina G’s native Australia also responded well to her summer smash, with it going Top 5 down under (and picking up an ARIA Awards nomination, too). And even the United States was not immune to the song's Europop charms, with a chart peak of number 12 placing Ooh Aah… Just A Little amongst a highly elite club of Eurovision songs that have hit the Billboard Hot 100.
The song eventually joined an even more elite club - of those which have earned a Grammy Award nomination!
France Gall - Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son
The Serge Gainsbourg-penned pop song is today widely regarded as one of the true classics of the Eurovision Song Contest’s early decades.
After its win for Luxembourg in 1965, the song continued to “Voir la vie en rose bonbon” by ascending into its own journey outside the Contest.
As well as charting in its own right across Europe and as far beyond as places like Canada, Japan and Argentina, the song has also been translated into no less than 20 other languages for versions released by other artists. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the ensuing royalties can't be bad for the ego, either!
Its story continues into the 21st century, too, with the beloved French original having been covered by the likes of Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian and Dubstar.
Sergio Dalma - Bailar Pegados
Earning Spain a 4th-place finish at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rome in 1991, Bailar Pegados ended up kick-starting the career of one of the most successful artists in Spain across the past three decades - Sergio Dalma.
32 years later, and despite multiple albums, millions of sales, many hits and plenty of platinum certifications, Bailar Pegados is still considered to be the signature hit of the suave singer from Sabadell - by both the artist himself and his loyal fanbase.
The song also launched Sergio’s career in Latin America, where it became a hit in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela. It became his first Top 10 hit in the United States, too, where it peaked at number 6 on Billboard’s Latin Tracks chart.
Duncan Laurence - Arcade
The Dutch Eurovision winner went on to chart in 26 countries across Europe following its Contest win in Tel Aviv in 2019; but that was by no means to be the end of this song’s journey.
In late 2020, Arcade started to have its viral moment on the social media platform TikTok, which is when things really started to take off for the beautiful ballad.
By the spring of 2021, Arcade had become the first Eurovision song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 in the 21st century, where it would eventually peak at number 30. And in August 2023, it became the first Eurovision song to surpass the 1 billion streams milestone on Spotify - where it currently remains the most streamed Eurovision Song Contest entry of all time.
Brotherhood of Man - Save Your Kisses For Me
(United Kingdom 1976)
British pop group Brotherhood of Man had already enjoyed a trinity of chart hits in the UK, the US and Canada before they were selected to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 1976. And it was their Eurovision winner Save Your Kisses For Me that really put the band on the map.
Following the song’s victory in The Hague, the song rocketed to number 1 in 7 countries across Europe, charting in the upper echelons of many more, too. The single eventually climbed to number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The Brits responded well to the foursome giving their country its third Eurovision Song Contest win; Save Your Kisses For Me ended 1976 as the biggest selling song of the year in the UK, where it has gone on to shift over a million physical copies.
Vicky Leandros - L’amour Est Bleu
5 years before winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Luxembourg with Après Toi, Vicky Leandros had attempted victory in 1967, representing the Grand Duchy with L’amour Est Bleu. Despite that song’s more modest result of 4th place, however, it went on to become much more famous across the world.
Recognising the Eurovision Song Contest for the unique platform it is to showcase your song, Greek-born Vicky Leandros had recorded L’amour Est Blue in multiple languages for release across Europe and beyond.
A year later, an instrumental recording of the song by conductor Paul Mauriat would be released in the United States as Love Is Blue. The single went on to spend 5 weeks at number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and its imprint on pop culture is such that it has been used in television shows ranging from Mad Men to The Simpsons, decades on.
A number of vocal versions of Love Is Blue hit the Billboard Hot 100 throughout 1968, too. Hits were born by Al Martino (number 57), Claudine Longet (number 72) and Manny Kellem (number 96).
And not many Eurovision songs can boast that they were interpolated by German techno act Scooter. Which is actually a bit of a shame, really... This totally slaps:
Rosa Linn - Snap
Snap’s 20th-place finish in Turin was already seen as something of a triumph for Rosa Linn, with it being the first time Armenia had qualified for a Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final since 2017. But that was nothing compared to what the song was about to achieve outside of the Contest.
Following a viral moment on TikTok, Snap entered what was pretty much a viral age; spending over a year on the Spotify Global weekly Top 200 chart.
In the end, Snap impacted the Spotify charts of 65 countries, and at the time of writing it remains inside the weekly Top 200 charts of 6 of those countries.
Snap was the second Eurovision song of the 21st century (after Arcade) to enter the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at 67. And also behind Arcade, it is currently the second-most streamed Eurovision Song Contest entry of all time on Spotify.
Mocedades - Eres Tú
5 decades before the likes of Bad Bunny, Karol G and Kali Uchis made it more commonplace, a Spanish-language song hitting the US Billboard Hot 100 was quite the rarity; even more so for it to grace the Top 10. But Eurovision Song Contest 1973 runner-up Eres Tú by Mocedades managed to peak at number 9 when it got its US release - and this despite the group recording an English–language version for the market, too (with radio stations at the time preferring to play the Spanish original).
Over time, it has been covered by the likes of Il Divo, Camila Mendez, Thalía, Bing Crosby, Petula Clark and Charo. And the song’s legacy lives on in the 21st century; it got inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013.
The song’s Eurovision Song Contest points tally of 125 held the record as being Spain’s highest at the Contest for a whopping 49 years… Until Chanel’s SloMo hit Turin in 2022, amassing a score of 459.
ABBA - Waterloo
Sweden’s first Eurovision winner famously went on to launch the career of one of the biggest music acts of all time, ABBA. Waterloo’s performance from the Brighton Dome in 1974 catapulted the song into the charts across Europe, where it reached number 1 in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Ireland, plus Top 5 in Spain, the Netherlands, France and Austria.
But it was the song’s success outside of Europe, and out of the context of its Eurovision performance, that really hinted at the prospect of something big that lay ahead for the Swedish foursome.
The song hit the Top 10 in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the United States - where it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
And after all those ABBA hits that followed, Waterloo remains their third-highest charting hit in the US, after Dancing Queen (number 1) and Take A Chance On Me (number 3).
Domenico Modugno - Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu
This Sanremo winner managed a third-place finish at the third Eurovision Song Contest in 1958. But despite the fact that 64 more Contests have followed since, Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu remains arguably the most famous Eurovision song of them all!
Known more widely these days as Volare, the song has been covered by Dean Martin, Bobby Rydell, David Bowie and Gipsy Kings, amongst many others. And even though some of these covers also did remarkably well on the charts across the globe, it’s Domenico Modugno’s original which remains the most successful in the US - where it spent 5 weeks at number 1.
Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu holds a permanent place in the American music history books. Not only was it included in the first ever Billboard Hot 100 chart in August 1958, it was also the very first winner of both the Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories at the inaugural Grammy Awards in 1959.
The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.
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