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A decade of song: Eurovision winners through the years (1980 - 1989)

13 October 2017 at 17:00 CEST
Nicole, winner of the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest. Unknown
In this series 'A decade of song' we look back at all Eurovision winners from the past. From 2017 to 1956, we take a trip down memory lane and today we revisit the 1980s.

The 1980's marked a big change for Europe's favourite TV show. More countries took part and a new wave of music had entered the popular music scene. This decade also produced one of the world's biggest selling artists, Céline Dion.

1980 - Johnny Logan (Ireland)

Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, but declined the opportunity to host the contest for the second year in a row. After much discussion, it was decided that The Netherlands would host the contest. In the end, Israel didn't take part in the 1980 contest, as it was the Holocaust Memorial Day on 19th of April, the date the show took place. This marked the only time when the winner of one Eurovision Song Contest did not participate in the next.

It was Johnny Logan from Ireland who won the 25th Eurovision Song Contest with What's Another Year? He left Germany's Katja Ebstein and the United Kingdom's Prima Donna behind in second and third place. What's Another Year? was a big hit all over Europe, reaching the top five in the charts of nine European countries. 

1981 - Bucks Fizz (United Kingdom)

With Johnny Logan winning the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, the contest travelled to Ireland and to Dublin. Morocco withdrew after their first participation, and Italy decided to stay at home as well. Israel returned to the contest, as did Yugoslavia. 

The United Kingdom's Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest with Making Your Mind Up. Germany's Lena Valaitis finished in second place. Bucks Fizz were are group specially formed for the contest and created one of the most memorable moments in Eurovision history when the two guys in the group ripped off the skirts of the two girls, revealing a shorter skirt underneath. This type of gimmick has been repeated over the years but with varying success. 

1982 - Nicole (Germany)

The Eurovision Song Contest is usually hosted in a well-known city, but the BBC, the 1982 Host Broadcaster surprised everyone when they chose Harrogate. The opening sequence of the show included the question "Where is Harrogate?" in the languages of the participating countries. 

Germany's Nicole won the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest with her song Ein bißchen Frieden. It was their first victory. During the reprise Nicola sang her entry in German, English, French and Dutch. The song topped the charts all over Europe, sold over three million copies and was recorded in several languages. 

1983 - Corinne Hermès (Luxembourg)

From Harrogate, United Kingdom, to Munich, Germany. The contest travelled all over Europe and landed in Germany in 1983 after their win the year before. Marlene Charell presented the show in three languages: French, German and English, making the show last over three hours for the first time. 

Luxembourg's representative Corinne Hermes took the prize home with her song Si La Vie Est Cadeau. 1983 is the last time Luxembourg won the Eurovision Song Contest. Unlike the previous winner, Si La Vie Est Cadeau did not set the European charts alight. Carola Häggkvist, who represented Sweden in 1983, did better in the European charts. Her song Främling, became very popular in Sweden, perhaps even more than her winning song from 1991. 

1984 - The Herreys (Sweden)

After Corinne's win of the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest, the contest travelled to Luxembourg in 1984. Israel and Greece did not participate in the contest, Ireland returned after their absence and finished in second place with Terminal 3, written by previous winner Johnny Logan. 

Before the contest, bookmakers gave Italy's I Treni Di Tozeur and Ireland's Terminal 3 strong odds to win but it was Sweden's Herrey's who took the title with Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley, exactly ten years after ABBA's victory.

1985 - Bobbysocks (Norway)

The 30th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Gothenburg, Sweden and was attended by Lys Assia, the winner of the first ever Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. 

Norwegian duo Bobbysocks won the contest in 1985 with their song La Det Swinge. Hanna Krogh and Elisabeth Andreasson, both participated in the contest before. Hanne came seventeenth in 1971 with her song Lykken Er whilst Elisabeth came in eighth place with Dag Efter Dag in 1982, when she participated in Harrogate. 

1986 - Sandra Kim (Belgium)

The contest travelled from Sweden to Norway, where the 31st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted. Host broadcaster NRK chose the city of Bergen to host, where 20 countries participated. 

1986 saw the 500th song performed on the Eurovision stage; Luxembourg's entry L'Amour De Ma Vie. Belgium's Sandra Kim won the contest in 1986 with J'Aime La Vie. Sandra was only 13 years old at the time and after a minimum age was set in 1990, she still retains the record for being the youngest ever winner.

1987 - Johnny Logan (Ireland)

Belgium had the honour of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in the country's history. The highest number of participants ever, 22 up to that point, entered the contest in 1987. Greece and Italy returned to the competition after a year of absence as well as all the participants from 1986. 

The 1987 contest was a historical milestone: Johnny Logan became the first performer to win the Eurovision Song contest for the second time. The Irish singer took the trophy for his song Hold Me Now, leaving Germany's Laß Die Sonne In Dein Herz behind in second place. 

1988 - Céline Dion (Switzerland)

The contest travelled back to Dublin in 1988 and was memorable for two reasons: the cliffhanger voting moment it was the contest launched a legend; Céline Dion. 

The difference between Switzerland's Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi and the United Kingdom's Go was only one point. Before the last vote, the UK entry was leading with 136 points to Switzerland's 131. Yugoslavia, the last country to vote, gave six points to Switzerland whilst failing to award any points to the UK entry.

Céline Dion, who represented Switzerland in 1988, became a legend in the music industry. She went on to launch a global international career and to date has sold over 225 million albums making her one of the biggest selling female artists in the world.

1989 - Riva (Yugoslavia)

The Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Lausanne in 1989, the second time the contest was hosted in Switzerland since the very first edition in 1956. Céline Dion opened the show with a shortened reprise of her winning song from 1988, Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi and also performed her new English language single, Where Does My Heart Beat Now. 

It was Yugoslavia who took the trophy home in 1989, which came as a surprise to many. It didn't make much impact on the European charts though and the group split a few years later in 1991. 

Riva closes this edition of A Decade Of Songs. Next week we look back on the winners between 1970 and 1979. 

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