Eurovision winners now: From working in Tesco during pandemic to political activism
Eurovision has served as a launching pad for acts to achieve global stardom by providing them with a massive international audience.
Throughout the years, several contestants who have become legends of the competition have transcended its boundaries to become bona fide pop stars, selling millions of records and dominating the charts.
And Eurovision itself has regained its credibility after a period of being considered more of a novelty show.
But despite achieving victory in the competition, some stars have returned to their regular lives, taking on jobs like working at Tesco or engaging in political activism.
Others have pursued careers in the media industry, including television judging, hosting competitions, or building singing careers that have garnered international recognition.
Let's take a nostalgic look back at some of Eurovision's favorites and see where they are today.
In 1967, Sandie achieved a remarkable feat for the UK by securing its first Eurovision victory with her unforgettable barefoot performance of Puppet On A String.
At that time, the now 75 year old star had already made a mark with several hit songs, showcasing her talent by recording music in various languages such as French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
Despite being one of the most accomplished British artists of the 1960s, she took a hiatus until the 1970s, when she returned to the music scene with a cover of The Smiths' Hand In Glove.
Sandie then chose to step away from the spotlight to focus on raising her daughter, Gracie. In 2013, she announced her retirement from music, deciding to channel her efforts into political activism.
She joined Amnesty International in 2012 and later became involved in campaigning against Brexit in 2016. Her contributions and dedication were acknowledged in 2018 when she received an MBE at Buckingham Palace. And Sandie's local council in Dagenham honored her with a prestigious award, recognizing her achievements.
Lulu, the Scottish pop singer and TV personality, achieved global recognition by lending her voice to the theme song of the American blockbuster To Sir, With Love in 1967.
Her television career took off when she became the host of the BBC show Gadzooks! It's The In-Crowd and also appeared in the comedy series Three of a Kind.
In 1969, Lulu reached new heights by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with her song Boom Bang-a-Bang, sharing the victory in a four-way tie with Spain, France, and the Netherlands.
This accomplishment propelled her career forward. She further contributed to the world of music by singing the theme song for the Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974, and continued to release several UK top ten hits over the years.
To this day, the beloved star continues to captivate audiences with her performances and has remained dedicated to her fans worldwide. In 2019, she embarked on a tour alongside Take That for their Greatest Hits tour.
In October 2021, Lulu appeared as a guest judge on the third series of the BBC drag competition series, RuPaul's Drag Race UK.
ABBA, the Swedish pop group, soared to international fame in 1974 with their winning song Waterloo and went on to become one of the biggest music acts in the world, selling a staggering 380 million records.
Formed in 1972, the band derived its name from the initials of its members: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
While ABBA enjoyed immense success, Agnetha pursued a solo career after parting ways with the group. Unfortunately, tragedy struck her life, leading her to step away from the public eye. She lived as a recluse on a farm outside Stockholm until 2004, when she made a return to the stage for the Children in Need charity event in 2013.
Anni-Frid married Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen, who passed away in 1999, leaving her with a substantial inheritance of £75 million. Currently, she resides in Switzerland with her British partner, Henry Smith, 5th Viscount Hambleden.
Benny and Björn continued their collaborative work following ABBA's disbandment. They co-wrote the highly successful musical Mamma Mia! which debuted on the West End in 1999. Björn resides in Sweden and is believed to possess a fortune of at least £90 million, while Benny, considered the wealthiest member of the group, reportedly has a net worth exceeding £100 million.
After a hiatus of four decades, ABBA surprised fans by reuniting on November 5, 2021, and releasing their ninth studio album, Voyage. In 2022, the group launched a London-based show where they perform using holographic avatars of their younger selves
Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta
In 1978, Izhar Cohen achieved a significant milestone by leading Israel to their first-ever Eurovision victory with the popular Hebrew song A-Ba-Ni-Bi.
Although his participation in the contest propelled him to fame, he returned to compete again in 1985, where he secured fifth place despite the defeat, demonstrating his unwavering determination.
Izhar made subsequent attempts to represent Israel in Eurovision in 1982 and 1996, but when he didn't succeed in qualifying for the show, he made the decision to step away from music for good.
Seeking a fresh direction in life, Cohen ventured into the world of entrepreneurship and now owns a jewelry store located on Tel Aviv's renowned Dizengoff Street. He proudly offers his own line of costume jewelry, embracing this new creative endeavor.
However, in 2020, he made a surprising return to the spotlight by participating in the Israeli version of The Masked Singer. Despite wearing a disguise as the Bull, Izhar Cohen's identity was eventually revealed, showcasing his enduring talent and captivating audiences once again.
Bucks Fizz not only claimed victory at Eurovision in 1981 with their memorable song Making Your Mind Up, but they also achieved an impressive milestone of selling 15 million records.
The band comprised singers Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan, and Jay Aston, who was later replaced by Shelley Preston. Their discography boasted chart-topping hits such as The Land of Make Believe and My Camera Never Lies.
In 1984, tragedy struck the band when a bus crash resulted in Cheryl sustaining a broken spine, while Mike endured a three-day coma that caused life-altering injuries. The incident left a profound impact on their lives.
The band's journey took a tumultuous turn in 1985 when Jay announced her departure after engaging in an affair with Andy Hill, the husband of the group's creator, Nichola Martin.
Although Shelley joined as a replacement, she departed in 1989, effectively signaling the end of Bucks Fizz. The aftermath involved a court case discussing the rights to use the band's name among the remaining members.
In 2009, Baker, Nolan, and Aston reunited as The Fizz and embarked on a successful UK-wide tour. They further released their third studio album, marking a notable comeback for the group under their new name
Celine, originally from Canada, achieved a thrilling victory in the 1988 Eurovision song contest, securing a single point with her captivating performance of Partez Pas Sans Moi on behalf of Switzerland.
In the early 1990s, Celine took a hiatus to spend valuable time with her manager and husband, René Angélil. However, she made a triumphant comeback in 1997 with the recording of the iconic Titanic theme, My Heart Will Go On.
In 2004, Celine's remarkable achievements were recognised as she was honoured with the prestigious Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards, solidifying her status as the best-selling female artist of all time.
With over 200 million albums sold worldwide and a string of accolades, including 12 World Music Awards, five Grammys, and seven Billboard Music Awards, Celine's musical legacy is unparalleled.
This year marks the anticipated kickoff of her Courage World Tour, which was postponed due to the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, on January 15, 2022, a statement released on Celine's website and social media accounts announced the cancellation of the U.S. and Canadian concert dates for March-April, citing "severe and persistent muscle spasms" that she was experiencing at the time.
Shortly after her triumph in 1993 with the captivating song In Your Eyes, Niamh swiftly secured a million-dollar deal with Arista Records under the guidance of music mogul Simon Cowell.
Venturing to Nashville, Tennessee, she embarked on recording an album that received rave reviews, although she remains relatively unknown within the American music scene.
Undeterred, Niamh continued her musical journey by joining the esteemed band The Illegals and made a return to Eurovision in 2010 for the second time. Although her entry, It's For You, earned her a place in the final, she fell short of securing a prominent position and finished 23rd overall, unable to replicate her earlier success.
During the global pandemic, the star decided to step away from the spotlight and took up a position at a Tesco supermarket. In a lighthearted manner, she joked about her colleagues' lack of awareness regarding her Eurovision fame. However, she remains resolute in her passion for music beyond her job.
In 2006, after four decades of participating in the contest, Finland won the Eurovision with rock band Lordi's Hard Rock Hallelujah, featuring their signature monster masks.
The group's victory made them the sole hard rock act to have won the competition. Despite hiding their faces behind eerie monster masks, Lordi has toured extensively worldwide, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and has released ten studio albums and 19 singles.
During the pandemic, Lordi continued to create music, releasing their tenth studio album Collection in January 2020 and announcing their European tour.
However, on May 5, 2022, the band announced that Amen had left the band due to mounting tensions.
Norwegian participant Alexander made history with his performance of Fairytale by achieving the highest ever point total of 387 at the time.
The victorious song in the 2009 contest not only topped the charts in over six countries, including Germany and the United States for three consecutive weeks.
At the age of 23, Rybak became the youngest solo male winner in the history of the competition, and he returned to Eurovision in 2018 for a second time.
Since then, Alexander has been actively involved in the selection process of Norway's recent Eurovision entries, aiming to secure another victory for the country.
He also took part in the Swedish edition of the TV competition Let's Dance, reaching the final four, and served as a commentator during Eurovision in 2011.
In a candid manner, Alexander has openly shared his struggles with depression, an undisclosed illness, and addiction to sleep medication and antidepressants. In 2020, he sought rehab to address these challenges.
In the fall of 2020, he began attending Columbia College Chicago virtually from his home in Norway. However, as of August 2021, he made the decision to relocate to Chicago and continue his studies in person.
Loreen achieved a resounding victory in the Eurovision Song Contest of 2012 with her captivating song Euphoria, which swiftly climbed to the top of the charts in 15 countries.
As one of the most accomplished winners in recent years, Loreen remains a prominent figure in Sweden's pop music scene, consistently delivering chart-topping hits.
Beyond her musical pursuits, Loreen actively engages as a devoted human rights advocate, using her platform to connect with local activists worldwide during her performances.
In 2014, Austrian singer Thomas Neuwirth graced the Eurovision stage as Conchita Wurst, captivating audiences and ultimately claiming the victory with the powerful anthem Rise Like A Phoenix.
Following this momentous performance, Conchita's career skyrocketed, earning her an invitation to perform at the United Nations Office in Vienna later that same year.
Conchita, portrayed by Thomas Neuwirth, became a cultural icon and a prominent advocate for LGBTQ rights, leaving an indelible impact across the globe.
In 2020, Conchita made a cameo appearance as her iconic character in the Netflix film, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
In 2017, Salvador emerged victorious in the Eurovision competition with his song Amar Pelos Dois, bringing Portugal's 53-year winless streak to a triumphant end. His performance earned him an unprecedented and record-breaking 758 points, the highest ever achieved by any act in the history of the contest.
However, shortly after this momentous achievement, Salvador made the difficult decision to take a temporary break from music due to a persistent heart condition.
In the same year, he underwent a life-saving heart transplant, which proved successful. In recognition of his contributions, Salvador was honored with the Order of Merit by Portugal's President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in 2018.
Click here for today's top showbiz news
Inside Prince Harry and the Tindalls' bond as Zara makes ‘gesture’ to him at Coronation
All of Kate Middleton's looks from Coronation weekend: From McQueen gown to cargo pants
Katie Price shows off surgically-enhanced figure in pink bikini by pool in Spain
Molly-Mae goes for the chop and debuts a new fringe after debating the big hair change
Source: Read Full Article