The first ever Eurovision Song Contest took place 60 years ago in Lugano, Switzerland. Lys Assia became the first winner of the competition, representing Switzerland with her song Refrain. Lys is the only Swiss contestant to have ever won the Eurovision Song Contest as Switzerland's other winner from 1988, Céline Dion, was a Canadian citizen at the time. Lys is one of the most eminent ambassadors for the Eurovision Song Contest and continues to attend the show today!
Born in Switzerland in 1924, Lys grew up with dreams of working in the entertainment industry. After winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, Lys went on to participate for Switzerland twice more in both 1957 and 1958. Lys has had four entries in the contest in total, as in 1956 each country entered two songs.
Lys remains active in the music scene and more recently took part in the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in Switzerland in both 2012 and 2013 with the songs C'était ma vie and All In Your Head respectively.
Lys continues to travel to the Eurovision Song Contest and attends fan events. She took part in a special meet and greet event earlier this year in Stockholm where she answered questions from both press and fans. Lys says that the Eurovision Song Contest is unrecognisable from the small competition that she first participated in back in 1956. "We did not know what would become of this contest in those days", she said. "It was after the war, that's where the idea to get together comes from, for people to get to know each other, that was the idea. The idea still exists today".
Lys is a passionate supporter of the Eurovision Song Contest. "It is incredible, I am so happy to be here. I am so sorry for the people sitting at home to miss out on the atmosphere, it is fabulous!"
In Stockholm she partied at the Euro Club after the show and met with several of the participants from 2016 including Donny Montell from Lithuania and Ira Losco from Malta:
At 92, Lys has not ruled out a return to the Eurovision Song Contest in the future showing that age is simply a number. In the words of Johnny Logan, winner of the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, "What's Another Year?"