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Josianne Zwart
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The Unforgettables, part 5: Conchita Wurst

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This summer, in 'The Unforgettables', we highlight memorable artists who performed at Eurovision after the turn of the millennium. Today, we turn to Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest and had an important message to everyone in the world: "We are unstoppable!"

Born on the 6th of November in 1988, the Austrian Tom Neuwirth sang all his life. But in 2011 things take a turn, when he performs for the first time as his alter ego Conchita Wurst. Since then, Conchita has become a symbol for tolerance and artistic freedom in her home country and beyond. Her motto: "Be the best version of yourself rather than a bad copy of someone else!"

In september 2013 Austrian broadcaster ORF picks Conchita to represent Austria in the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Conchita wins the contest with the song Rise Like A Phoenix and spreads love throughout the world with her mantra "We are unstoppable!"

Back in 2014, we spoke with Conchita about her entry: "For me the most special and honouring thing is that Austria shows tolerance and acceptance and I’m so happy to be this statement. I’m allowed to be the voice of their beliefs during this time and this really makes me very proud. We, and not at least myself, want to stand for a society without hate and discrimination. And if I’m honest, I think everyone of the contestants should stand for the same, cause we are joining a very opend-minded project, so they should be open-minded too."

Life after Eurovision

One year after her win the contest takes place in Vienna Austria, where Conchita is present to host the green room. Conchita discusses this in the video below and talks about the things that happened in the previous year thanks to winning the Eurovision Song Contest and if she feels a role model for a whole generation of Austrians.

In 2017, Conchita hosts and performs for Life Ball, Europe’s biggest charity event supporting people with HIV or Aids. She becomes ambassador for EuroPride Amsterdam in 2016 and is a guest star at World Pride Madrid 2017.

On the 15th of April of this year, Conchita reveals that she has been HIV-positive for several years. Since an ex-boyfriend threatened to out her, she did not want her life to be ruled by fear. Conchita tells us that she in medical treatment, and is unable to transmit the virus. She did not only reveal her status, rose like a phoenix again when she decided to speak up for the cause; at the end of July she gave a keynote at AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam, the 22nd edition of the prominent International AIDS Conference. Other famous speakers at the conference: Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Elton John, Charlize Theron and Bill Clinton.

Next year more great things are to come for Conchita, as she is the main ambassador for the upcoming EuroPride Vienna in June 2019.

tags Austria 2014 Conchita Wurst Eurovision legends Legends