Sweden's Eurovision winners: Where are they now?01 September 2023 at 18:00 CEST
It’s been well documented just how booked, busy and blessed Loreen has found herself in the months following her second win for Sweden in Liverpool back in May.
But how did the artists responsible for Sweden's 5 other wins at the Eurovision Song Contest fare following their victories? And what are they up to nowadays, as Sweden prepares to host its 7th Contest in 2024 in Malmö?
The 'where are they now' question is answered comparatively easily in Sweden when it comes to Eurovision winners, with the Scandinavian nation routinely sending some of their biggest acts to represent them on the international stage. As a result, all winners have returned home as national treasures, with each of them going on to enjoy even more success in their pop careers post-victory.
Regardless of whether it's been 8 years since their win, or indeed an anniversary-ready 50 years, all of Sweden's cherished Eurovision Song Contest winners are still involved in music in some way or another.
At Vienna in 2015, Måns Zelmerlöw brought Sweden its 6th victory at the Eurovision Song Contest with his song Heroes. The artist was able to use the international platform to elevate his existing career in music and television further, and Måns and the Contest have remained in close cooperation ever since.
When Sweden hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016, Måns presented the live shows alongside Petra Mede - a pairing which ended up gifting us with the unforgettable Love Love Peace Peace. Måns was also part of the Grand Final interval act in 2019, performing the 2018 Contest runner-up Fuego.
Now residing in Surrey in the United Kingdom, Måns Zelmerlöw’s Eurovision allyship has brought him presenting work in Britain, too. In both 2018 and 2019, he co-hosted the BBC's Eurovision: You Decide with Mel Giedroyc, a TV show which selected the United Kingdom’s Contest entries those two years.
At the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, Måns once again acted as commentator for Swedish viewers alongside Edward af Sillén, which the pair had previously done together in 2017. And in the run up to the Grand Final in Liverpool, Måns co-hosted the BBC’s Contest-themed podcast, Eurovisioncast.
Later in 2023, after 6 studio albums of solo material, Måns will release an EP with the band The Agreement. He’s also a judge on Sweden’s The Masked Singer, and has carved out a successful career for himself as a vintner, under his MZ brand.
Sweden’s 4th Contest win came in 1999, courtesy of Charlotte Nilsson (known as Charlotte Perrelli from 2003 onwards) and her song Take Me To Your Heaven.
In the months after her Eurovision win in Jerusalem, Charlotte got to release her very first solo album. She’s since followed this up with 6 more albums and two festive LPs, with plenty of hit singles in between.
One of these hits, Hero, ended up winning Melodifestivalen ( a song contest which also acts as Sweden’s Eurovision pre-selection) in 2008, with Charlotte going on to represent Sweden once more at the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 18th at the Grand Final in Belgrade.
Charlotte has competed in Melodifestivalen three more times since then, has hosted it, and is regularly called upon when Swedish broadcaster SVT needs a particularly fabulous interval act for the Nordic country's national final.
The versatile artist has also written a biography and a series of fitness books, starred as Eva Peron in a Swedish production of Evita, and will later in 2023 release an album of covers of her favourite songs, recorded with a full orchestra.
In 2023, Swedish pop icon Carola is enjoying what is arguably one of the most prolific years of her superstardom. And it’s all in the name of celebrating the 40th anniversary of her debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983.
Back then, a teenage Carola competed with her debut single Främling, giving Sweden a respectable 3rd-place finish in Munich. This launched one of the biggest pop careers in the history of Swedish music, domestically; a career encompassing over a dozen studio albums, and almost as many Christmas LPs and Greatest Hits packages!
Carola went on to represent Sweden twice more at the Eurovision Song Contest, bringing her country its 3rd win in 1991, with Fångad Av En Stormvind.
In 2023, Carola is currently undertaking her most ambitious tour yet. 4 Faces celebrates her 4 decades in music, and is divided into shows themed around the 4 genres she’s managed to become synonymous with: pop, rock, gospel and musical theatre. Each of the 4 shows is being toured, with Carola spending a total of 6 months singing her hits around Sweden this year.
Also in 2023, Carola has released a 40th anniversary remix of her Eurovision hit Främling, plus a new summer single, Händer Upp.
Sweden’s 2nd Eurovision Song Contest win came in 1984, when Herreys triumphed in Luxembourg with their song Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley.
The three brothers - Per, Richard and Louis - went on to release several albums throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s, but since then the band has largely ceased activity on the recording front.
The trio do, however, sometimes say yes to reuniting and performing their Eurovision winning song when the occasion is right. Most notably, the band was one of the star performers at the BBC’s TV production Eurovision Song Contest’s Greatest Hits in 2015. And in 2023, the boys are taking part in an ‘80s pop nostalgia tour that is making its way around Sweden.
The gents’ solo endeavours have certainly been noteworthy too: Louis Herrey currently works as a fitness coach, two decades on from becoming a bishop within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Per Herrey has authored several novels and popular children’s books; and Richard Herrey, taking some time out from being the boss of Stockholm’s most happening karaoke bar, Golden Hits, recently became the first Eurovision winner to serve as a member of Swedish parliament.
Much has been written about the international pop career that ABBA enjoyed in the 10 years following their Eurovision Song Contest win in 1974 with Waterloo, as well as the phenomenal legacy that their music left on pop culture in the decades since. But their ‘where are they now’ position still manages to be more impressive than most music acts.
In September 2021, during a globally screened press conference, ABBA announced that they would be releasing their first music in 39 years; the Voyage album, made up of newly composed and recorded music by the foursome.
The album topped the charts in 15 countries, became their highest charting album in the US and was nominated for two Grammy awards.
The September 2021 press conference also introduced the world to ABBA Voyage, a virtual concert residency coming from the purpose-built ABBA Arena in London. The trailblazing concerts commenced in May 2022, featuring virtual avatars taking the form of the group as they looked in 1979, performing the songs' originally-recorded vocals and accompanied by a live band on stage.
The concert dates are extended every so often, with the current extension taking the residency up to May 2024.
In the coming months, ABBA: The Movie returns to cinemas, Agnetha prepares for the release of her A+ album (including the single Where Do We Go From Here, released this week), and filming gets underway for British broadcaster ITV’s new show Mamma Mia!: I Have A Dream - a TV talent show to find a new star for the West End production of ABBA’s jukebox musical Mamma Mia!.
Oh, and there’s also the upcoming 50th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision Song Contest win to factor in to plans as well…
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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