Olivia Newton-John, ABBA, Céline Dion, and Other Artists Launched Their Careers on ‘Eurovision’

The Eurovision Song Contest has hosted countless musicians from several countries around the world since its inception in 1956. Some of the artists who have competed on Eurovision have gone on to become world-renowned artists, even without winning the title; some even competed after achieving international fame.

Olivia Newton-John, who once said she didn't fear of death, performing her song Physical on stage before leading the inaugural Wellness Walk
Olivia Newton-John performing her song “Physical” on stage before leading the inaugural Wellness Walk | Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Julio Iglesias competed in 1970

Spanish singer and father to Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias competed in Eurovision for Spain in 1970. At the time, he was an unknown singer on the world stage, and he ended up placing fourth on the show with his song “Gwendolyne.” He went on to have a wildly successful career, selling over 100 million records worldwide.

Olivia Newton-John was on ‘Eurovision’ in 1974

Grease star and singer Olivia Newton-John competed in the 1974 edition of Eurovision for the UK, her country of birth. She also ended up placing fourth with her song “Long Live Love.”

ABBA won Eurovision in 1974

Olivia Newton-John lost out on the Eurovision trophy in 1974 to Swedish band ABBA. Prior to their Eurovision appearance, they were an up-and-coming group out of Sweden who had released their debut album just a year prior. They won Eurovision with their breakout single “Waterloo” from their sophomore album of the same name.

ABBA, of course, went on to become a beloved group with countless timeless hit songs.

Céline Dion won Eurovision in 1988

Céline Dion competed for Switzerland in the 1988 Eurovision contest. She ultimately took home the grand prize with her winning song, “Ne partez pas sans moi.”

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Katrina and the Waves won in 1997

British band Katrina and the Waves first burst onto the international scene with their breakout 1985 single “Walking on Sunshine.” They continued to record music over the following decade, but slowly began to fade from the public eye.

In 1997, they competed for the UK at Eurovision. They won with “Love Shine a Light,” the lead single from their 1997 album Walk on Water.

t.a.T.u. competed in 2003

Russian duo t.a.T.u. first achieved international recognition with their 2002 debut English album 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, fronted by the hit singles “All the Things She Said” and “Not Gonna Get Us.”

The following year, t.a.T.u. competed for Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest. The group ultimately placed third in the competition.

Bonnie Tyler competed in 2013

Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler first achieved international recognition in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, she achieved greater recognition with her smash singles “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Holding Out for a Hero.”

By the turn of the century, Tyler was a respected music icon with an unshakeable place in the industry. In 2013, she decided to build on her legacy and enter the Eurovision Song Contest as the official representative for the UK. Tyler ultimately ended up placing 19th out of 26 finalists.

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