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Edyta Gorniak                                                                September

Poland debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest 20 years ago. Although it was their first time at the competition they didn't shy away and the country almost won the competition through Edyta Górniak. Since then Edyta has become the finest Polish Pop export with a couple of international releases. "Your High" is the brand new English single and September is dedicated to her.

 

 

Part I: at the Eurovision

We cannot say that Edyta Górniak came from nowhere to become an instant star. At 14 years of age Edyta formed a band and at 16 took singing lessons. Then came a Polish TV Talent Show followed by Music Theatres to great massive success. In 1993 came the first international competition, the Baltic Song Contest, where she came third.

One year later Poland debuted at the ESC and Edyta Górniak was the right young star in ascension and she made her country proud...

The Eurovision Song Contest 1994 took place at the Point Theatre Dublin, Ireland, on 30 April, 1994. Edyta performed 24th in the draw, receiving in the end 166 points, placing 2nd among 25 songs being overtaken just by Ireland. 20 years later this result remains the best Polish output in the history of the contest.

In the big night and regarding the voting “To nie ja” entered the top 10 at the 8th position with 8 points given by Finland (the second jury to announce the votes).

When the Swiss votes were cast (9th jury) Poland reached the second place staying there until the very end of the show just behind the host country.

In total 5 countries would like to see Edyta Górniak winning: Austria, Estonia, France, Lithuania and United Kingdom. All countries but 3 (Sweden, Greece and Spain) voted for Poland resulting as we said in the beginning in a superb 2nd place.

Edyta's performance was so remarkable that some interesting facts happened after the contest:

            1) She became the most famous Polish singer at the time and 20 years later her status remains untouchable;

            2) In 2001, in Spain, she was awarded the best international voice at the ESC of the 90's;

            3) Her performance in Dublin was included in the official CD/DVD that celebrates the 50 years of Eurovision. The album/DVD was released in 2005 and Edyta's song is the only Polish entry among the 100 selected entries.

In the booklet it is possible to read:

“She was the debutante for her country in Eurovision affairs, and she did them proud. Th eMariah Carey sound-a-like from Warsaw sang the highest notes of th enight in the shortest dress of the night, and landed a second place. No other Polish Eurovision entry has since matched her success, and she remains one of the country’s most acclaimed stars”.

As a way to end up this first part of the Artist of the Month dedicated to Eurovision we put the link of the English version os Edyta's entry, here title "Once in a Lifetime".

 

Part II: international sucess                             

In 1995 Edyta Górniak released her 1st album "Dotyk", a tremendous sucess in her homeland selling over 1 million. It includes the Eurovision entry and a couple of new singles including the title track.

 

 

Edyta's talent called Christopher Neil' attention (Céline Dion, Cher, Rod Stewart, Paul Young..) and the first international release came out in the fall of 1997, simply called Edyta Gorniak.

Here is Edyta on her international breakthrough.

The biggest hit was "When you Come Back to me" pushing the album to moderate success in several European territories. In Portugal it reached silver certification (over 10 000 copies sold) and #24 in the Portuguese charts.

As a personal opinion and although this album was released 17 years ago we still highly recommend it. The main reason for that are the numerous great ballads on it that were not released as singles. "I don't know what's on your mind" is just one of them.

In 1999 Edyta released her first live album "Live' 99" and the new studio album came in 2002. "Perla" was released in Poland as a bilingual and double album.  "Nie proszę o więcej" was one of the singles receiving massive international exposure through "MTV Chart Express" on MTV Europe.

Internationally Edyta released "Invisible".

The first single in most territories was "Impossible". However in Portugal and due to the massive success of Edyta's ballads the first (and only) single was "Whatever it takes".

 

 

Until 2014 "Invisible" remains Edyta's latest international effort.

 

Part III: 2002-2007, the down moments and 'E.K.G.'

The album "Invisible" didn't live up to expectations and didn't consolidate Edyta as major international star.

Thus with no attachment to any big record company Edyta re-released herself as an independent artists but actually not that far from the sound of her latest album "Invisible" although the clubbing sound was took to another level adding elements of electronic chill out music.

Supported by the Polish production team Mathplanete, Edyta released the French single "Lunatique" (in 2005) and  a year later "Sexuality" (2006).

Both singles were a complete commercial flop and Edyta abandoned the club project and tried to come back to her original sound. But things didn't come easy and the following two singles ('Cygańskie serce' and  'Lovin' You) also flopped. Neverthless a new album was completed. 'E.K.G.' was released in 2007, after a 5 years hiatus, and the video 'List' was also her first after 'Impossible' (2002).

Although 'E.K.G.' didn't receive any promotion, mainly due to the fact that it didn't have any big record label in the background, it is reported that 'E.K.G.' managed to sell 30.000 copies.

Things went better in 2008 when the single  'To nie tak jak myślisz' took part in the soundtrack of a Polish movie comedy. 'To nie tak jak myślisz' took Edyta back to the Polish radio stations.

Thus 'To nie tak jak myślisz' marked the end of this down period of Edyta's career. A new decade was about to start and also... a reborn success.

Part IV: back to the limelight 

4 years after "E.K.G." the album "My" is released on February 14, 2012. The bilingual album was reviewed by Eurovision on Top and ranked as the strongest offering by the Polish star so far. It was stated that:

(...) This new record is a perfect marriage between the outstanding Edyta's vocal habilities and a luxury pop production based on  strong melodic lines with a contemporary sound assisted with a touch of class. There are few adjectives to describe this pop perfection. (...)

https://www.eurovisionontop.com/albumreviewsarchive.htm 

The album produced 4 singles in the standard version and 5 in the digital edition. It is also with "My" that Edyta has presented some of her best videos ever. "On the Run" (#3 on our weekly chart back in 2011 and #41 in the annual chart 2011) is our choice.

Alongside the music, Edyta has been making some tv appearances with important roles. She participated in the 12th season of Polish "Dancing With the Starts" and currently she is a coach in the 5th edition of "The Voice of Poland".

Regarding music "Your High" is her brand new single which marks Edyta's return to big record labels. The single, which has two versions (day and night) has been a smash hit on the EOT TOP 20 and it is the first teaser for Edyta's new album.

Carlos Carvalho
A section in review                                                           August

In July 2013 Eurovision on Top began a new section called “Artist of the Month”. As it’s name may suggest, the EOT’s team decided to dedicate each month to a certain artist. The criterion for the choice is not inflexible, but a new record, a career anniversary or a special event are strong reasons for our tribute.

In August 2014 we take a little break so we thought it would be appropriate to look back on what we did in 2014 so far in order to set new horizons for the future.

Proudly we paid tribute to six artists from five different countries (Malta, Norway, Luxembourg, Greece and Sweden).

One of the main goals is try to present the stories in a new perspective, avoiding a simple “copy-paste” from traditional sources such as wikipedia and official websites.

Although it is a tribute we wanted and we still want to reveal the artists in the most objective form, averting, as much as possible, subjective sentences.

Below you can have a quick recap of Artist of the Month 2013.

January 2014: It was time to look back on what we did in 2013

February 2014: Ira Losco “The fire keeps on burning”

The Malta Music Awards 2014 (the Maltese grammys) took place on 9 February 2014 at the MFCC in Ta’Qali. Ira Losco, who made Malta proud by reaching the 2nd at the Eurovision Song Contest 2002, was the big winner, receiving the awards for Best Solo Artist, Best Video with her song “Me Luv U Long Time” and Best Album with “The Fire”. More than ever it seems that the Maltese 7th wonder is ready to be the next big international superstar and we dedicate the “Artist of the Month, February” to her.

 

March 2014: Secret Garden “Just the two of them”

A simple melody inspired by traditional moods was the beginning of a Secret Garden, a garden which was unraveled to the world thanks to the Eurovision Song Contest. A sole entry by a distinctive duo that almost two decades after the big victory remain one the biggest worldwide names in the Neo-classical and New Age Music.

“Just the Two of Us” is their brand new album and it was a great opportunity to pay a visit to this enchanted garden during the course of March through the section “Artist of the Month”.

April 2014: Jimmy Martin “Wild at Heart”

The last time we’ve seen Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1993 when the

Grand Duchy was represented by Modern Times, fronted by Simone Weis and  Jimmy Martin. At the time Jimmy Martin was already a big rock star with several achievements to his credits. 21 years later he’s still riding high with a brand new album “Wild at Heart” receiving great coverage a bit all over the planet.

 

May 2014: Eurovision month, things were heating up in Denmark so we took a break.

June 2014: Helena Paparizou “The eternal number 1”

 In 2005 the title “My number 1” may have seemed a bit ambitious but Helena Paparizou became the personification of her own song for Greece and it was just the ultimate beginning for one of the most successful careers ever seen in the Philosophy’s land.

In 2014 Helena Paparizou is back to the international market with the brand new album “One Life” and Eurovision On Top dedicated June to the Greek Goddess.

July 2014: Sanna Nielsen “Good things come to those who wait”

Sanna Nielsen seems to a firm believer of the old saying ‘Good things come to those who wait’. After trying to represent Sweden at the ESC 2001, she had patiently to wait 13 years until her dream came true. Those 13 years were filled with continuous hard work, endless attempts to hit the big European stage, resulting in an ever-growing success. ‘7’ is her brand new album and it’s a great reason to dedicate the ‘Artist of the Month, July’ to Sanna Nielsen.

 

August 2014: a section in review.

Sanna Nielsen                                                                  July

Sanna Nielsen seems to a firm believer of the old saying ‘Good things come to those who wait’. After trying to represent Sweden at the ESC 2001, she had patiently to wait 13 years until her dream came true.

Those 13 years were filled with continuous hard work, endless attempts to hit the big European stage, resulting in an ever-growing success. ‘7’ is her brand new album and it’s a great reason to dedicate the ‘Artist of the Month, July’ to Sanna Nielsen.

 

 

Part I: A Young Hopeful

In a time where Pop Music is synonymous with disposable artists whose careers rise and fall in the speed of light, finding a young girl who before turning 30 has a career which almost hit 2 decades it is undoubtedly a rare feat.

Sanna Nielsen is certainly one of those cases. A career built step by step without selling her body out in exchange for instant fame.

The chart success didn’t come easy, happening the same with Gold and platinum sales, nor even the Eurovision was an easy task to reach.

So far Sanna Nielsen’s career is the victory of persistence, humility and determination.

Her determination was shown at a really young age, in some kids contest. Sanna’s talent was immediately recognized and her first single came out when she was about just to turn 12 years old (in 1996), ‘Till en fågel’.

‘Till en fågel’ was a smash radio hit peaking at number 1 on the Svensktoppen, a weekly record chart airing at Sveriges Radio. When it comes to sales, the single had a minor impact reaching number 46.

However this was a considerable success for a young girl and a debut album quickly came out. ‘Silvertoner’ landed at number 55 on the Swedish albums chart.

After the full-lenght debut a couple of singles were released but things were relatively calm in the stardom field.

The big step was taken at the Swedish Selection for Eurovision 2001, Melodifestivalen 2001.

13 years ago The Melodifestivalen was a far crying of the magnificente show that it is nowadays. No semi-finals, no second chances, just a show, just one night.

However in her first Melodifestivalen experience Sanna had already to face some big names, standing out Jan Johansen (Sweden, 1995) who eventually came 4th.

Among the 10 participants Sanna came 3rd with ‘I går, i dag’, translated as ‘Still too Young’ (#32 on the Swedish singles chart).

Maybe she was too young for Eurovision, so she waited two years to compete again.

In 2003 Melodifestivalen was a completely different world. 32 artists, including some big names of the Swedish Music Industry, divided in 4 semi-finals (plus a second-chance).

‘Hela världen för mig’ competed in the second semi-final, the same as the big favorites Alcazar and Fame. Against all bettings Alcazar didn’t directly pass through and Sanna made it along with Fame. At the final Sanna came 5th among 10 participants and the single took her to number 35 on the Swedish Singles Charts.

 

Her third attempt came as a duet in 2005. ‘Du och jag mot världen’ with Fredrik Kempe ended up 8th and peaked the #20 on the Swedish Charts.

Part II - Insist but do not give up

After 3 attempts to represent Sweden in a space of 5 years and after some shy chart success, it was time to make a little break in Melodifestivalen and release an album without the Swedish Competition’s help.

Thus 10 years after her debut album (wich was released when she was 12) Sanna Nielsen was back in the long-awaited full-length format.

 

The big surprise, unlike the majority of the Melodi participants, ‘Nära mej, nära dej’ doesn’t include any of her Eurovision bids. But of course that is has an Eurovision connection. The first single of the album was ‘Rör vid min själ’ which is nothing less than her own version of the worldwide famous track by Secret Garden, ‘You raise me up’.

‘Nära mej, nära dej’ gave Sanna Nielsen her first top 20 album, peaking at #12 on February 2006.

One year later Sanna Nielsen came back to Melodifestivalen starting to use the competition as a showcase for an album release.

In 2007 the hopeful was ‘Vågar du, vågar jag’. This entry is not her strongest attempt and it is not considered a fan favorite, being the only time that Sanna didn’t reach the final directly but through the second chance. However the single reached top 10 in the national charts, being at the time her best-selling single.

Among the 2007 participants there were as usual big names of the Swedish music business, including former Eurovision participants: Tommy Nilsson (Sweden, 89); Nanne (Sweden, 96 as part of One More Time); Jessica Andersson (Sweden, 03, as part of Fame); and Andreas Lundstedt (Switzerland, 06, as part of Six 4 One).

At the final Sanna came 7th and a first compilation – ‘Sanna 11-22’-  was released, debuting and peaking at number 19 on the Swedish charts.

One more year and one more try. The Melodifestivalen 2008 is unique because beside the endless list of famous competitors it included two former winners of Eurovision, more precisely Carola and Charlotte Perrelli. Those two names ended up overshadowing the other names until Carola (together with Andread Johnson) finished their journey at the ‘Andra Chansen’.

Regarding Sanna Nielsen ‘Empty Room’ can be seen as the ultimate breakthrough. The song came second (it won the televote) and it reached number 2 on the singles chart. Until today ‘Empty Room’ remains (alongside ‘Undo’) her signature song.

By the end of April 2008 the smash hit led the album ‘Stronger’ straight to number 1, her first number one ever as a solo artist, 12 years after her debut.

In 2011 Sanna decided to give another try with ‘I’m in Love’.  This time and since the initial stages of the competition Sanna is already in the gallery of the big names and therefore considered one of the big favorites.

 

Once again the scenario is repeated, big names, former Eurovision participants (including winners) and…. a future winner, Loreen (making in 2011 her debut with ‘My heart is refusing me’).

At the Melodifestivalen 2011 ‘I’m in Love’  4th, the single peaked a mere #32 while the album has done much better reaching #3.

 

Part III: Christmas Time

In the North European countries the Christmas releases are a very strong tradition. Several Eurovision artists that come from the North remain faithful to this ritual.  So it comes as no surprise that year after year we witness a bunch of releases related to Christmas, most of them belonging to North Eurovision artists. In this field probably Sweden takes some advantage in the number of releases. For example, last year Charlotte Perrelli and Malena Ernman had new Christmas offerings and for both singers it was not their seasonal debut.

Now Sanna Nielsen comes to increase the Eurovision Christmas Collection since she has a considerable number of seasonal efforts under her belt, justifying a special attention about it in the ‘Artist of the Month Report’.

‘Min önskejul’ came out when Sanna was just 15. The 1997 original version is out of print. It is still possible to buy it but through the 2001 edition, including three new recordings.

‘Our Christmas’ was released in 2008 and is a joint record by Sanna Nielsen, Shirley Clamp & Sonja Aldén. The record was a tremendous success peaking at number 1, selling Platinum.

Although is a joint record the first single was a solo performance, more precisely Sanna’s rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is You‘.

 

The success of ‘Our Christmas’ left the audience wanting more and in 2010 is released ‘Vår Jul’, this time in Swedish, #6 on the charts and gold certification.

 

 

 

 

In 2012 Sanna Nielsen released her second solo Christmas album, ‘Vinternatten’ reaching the top 5 in Sweden.

‘Vinternatten’ includes very well known Christmas carols but also some pop tunes, just was the case of Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding love’, presented with an acoustic arrangement, just like the entire album.

 

 

‘Min Jul’ is her 3rd solo Christmas record, the 5th overall, and it was released in 2013 achieving Platinum.

As a way to end up this special part of the ‘Artist of the Month’, you can watch below an entire 2012 Christmas show by Sanna Nielsen.

 

 

 

Part IV: Eurovision and “7”

Three years after the last attempt, Sanna Nielsen decides to go for another try and enters for the the 7th time in 13 years the Melodifestivalen.

Undo was Sanna’s 7th hope written by Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger, Hamed "K-One" Pirouzpanah.

In the early stages of the competition Sanna was not the strongest name in the event but Yohio. After the first semi-final things changed quickly and became a bit unclear without a big favorite with a lot of names standing out, among them Yohio, Helena Paparizou, Sanna Nielsen, Alcazar, Anton Ewald and the wild horse Ace Wilder.

Undo competed in the second semi-final beating all the 7 rivals and therefore Sanna reaches the Melodifestivalen for the 7th time.

At the final Sanna came second with the jury and eventually won the completion after receiving 25,8% of the votes that came from the televote/sms.

Between Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Sanna didn’t embark on any European tour. Instead the focus was the recording of new album, the video shoot and some promotional videos. In the meantime Undo reaches the #2 on the Swedish charts selling platinum.

Three videos were released under the title My way to Eurovision. The first one was called Physical preparation, the second one covers promotional work and the third one Behind the scenes music video shoot.

At the Eurovision Undo competed in the first semi-final coming second after The Netherlands.

At the final the 13 years waiting proved to be worthwhile and Europe applauded Sanna giving her a 3rd place just behind The Netherlands and Austria.

Being aware that Undo was the ultimate European breakthrough for Sanna it is released the compilation 16 bästa.

This compilation is just a special release by Lionheart in order to present her to the new Sanna’s audience that was gained by Undo. It features all her greatest hits including of course Empty Room and I’m in Love. It doesn’t contain Undo.

 

 

On July 2 it was released her new studio album 7 entering at the top spot of the Swedish albums chart.

 

 Carlos Carvalho

Helena Paparizou                                                             June

In 2005 the title “My number 1” may have seemed a bit ambitious but Helena Paparizou became the personification of her own song for Greece and it was just the ultimate beginning for one of the most successful careers ever seen in the Philosophy’s land. 

In 2014 Helena Paparizou is back to the international market with the brand new album “One Life” and Eurovision On Top dedicates June to the Greek Goddess.

Part 1: Antique

Maybe it all began with a strike of luck, with the right people at the right time but then... like everything that is meant to last, a lot of continuous hard work throughout the years justifies the current Helena Paparizou’ status.

In the late 90’s, in Sweden, a team producers was looking a for manufactured duo in order to release well known traditional Greek hits focused on a very specific audience: the big Greek diaspora of Sweden. The X factor of the band would be the mix between Greek sounds and in (the then) current dance beats that would allow the group to have an international appeal. To help the duo there was a fresh record label eager to take off, the former Bonnier Amigo Music Group (nowadays known as Cosmos Music Group) and Sweden was ready to be conquered by Elena Paparizou and Nikos Panagiotidis’s Greek souls under the name Antique.

“Opa Opa” was the first adventure (July, 1999) and it shot them to fame reaching Platinum sales in Sweden and Gold in Denmark.

“Dinata” trailed the recipe of the first single and the success was repeated. The debut album was released (named “Mera Me Ti Mera” in Greece and “Opa Opa” in the Scandinavian territory) to solid commercial success. However Antique’s biggest exposure came in anticipation of the sophomore album through the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 and their smash hit “Die for You”.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2001 took place in the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on 12 May. Antique performed 22nd in the draw, receiving in the end 147 points, placing 3rd among 23 songs being overtaken just by Estonia and Denmark.

In the big night and during the whole voting “Die for you” was a huge success setting some records:

1)     It was the only song of 2001 that was voted by all the participating countries;

2)     It was the first Greek entry that managed to get points from all the countries (Sakis Rouvas, in 2004, managed to equal that feat);

3)     It was the first time that Greece received the 12 points from Sweden (Helena Paparizou, in 2005, repeated  this (her) achievement);

4)     “Die for You” was the biggest Eurovision hit of 2001.

After Eurovision a couple of more albums and singles were released to commercial success both in Greece, Sweden and also in Cyprus, Denmark and Romania. Their last big hit was the first single of their last album (“Blue Love” 2003), “Moro Mou”.

After “Blue Love” and despite of it’s success it was time for higher flights…

 

Part 2: the Greek victory at the ESC

Antique split up in 2003. In the pop world there is no time to waste so it was just a question of months to see the first solo effort by Helena.

“Anapandites Kliseis” was her debut single as a solo artist (end of 2003), becoming a smash both in Greece and Cyprus peaking at #1.

 

This led to a successive single releases and a first solo full-length, originally released on June 27, 2004, “Protereotita”.

As of May 2014, the album has been certified double platinum in Greece and platinum in Cyprus. However the first real international big boost for Helena solo career came with the decision by ERT to have her as their representative at the ESC 2005.

Originally 4 songs were presented to the Greek public: “My number one”; “Ok”; “Let’s get wild” and “The Light in our soul”, being the big winner “My number one”.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2005 final took place at the Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine, on 21 May.

Somehow in 2005 Helena maintained (and finish) the trend of the 3 previous winners (Marie N, Sertab Erener and Ruslana) delivering a performance where the dance elements were too sturdy.

Helena Paparizou performed 19th in the draw, receiving in the end 230 points, including 10 sets of 12 points and eventually placing 1st among 25 countries, giving Greece their first Eurovision victory ever.

Following the steps of “Everyway that I can” and “Wild Dances”, “My number” was a smash hit in some European territories, helping to increase the impact of the Eurovision entries at the international charts.

At “Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest”, “My number one” came as the 4th most popular entrant of its fifty years.

Her debut solo album was released internationally under the name “My number one”, including the 3 other songs initially presented as bids to represent Greece at the ESC 2005.

Actually “The light in our soul” was released as her second international solo single, reaching the top 10 in some countries including Greece, Turkey and Sweden.

 

Part 3: Gold, Platinum and endless awards

After Eurovision, Helena has been trying to build a solid career with big international ambitions. Things started in style and everything seemed to be set up in order to witness Helena conquering the world. The single “Mambo” was the right choice since it was released all over Europe, charting well in some European territories. All was thought in detail and the cd single was released through several editions trying to meet the local taste of the destination country.

Below you can watch one the video versions.

After “Mambo!” things were still riding high for Helena, since her song “Heroes” was the official anthem for the 2006 European Athletics Championships, in Sweden, resulting in her second solo number one single in Sweden.

“Gigolo” was the follow-up single and it came out to moderate success in several countries. Due to success of “Mambo!”, “Heroes” and “Gigolo”, it seemed that Europe was ready to be conquered by Helena first solo full-length especially conceived to the international market but the first big disappointment was about to come.

“The Game of Love”, released in October, 2006, didn’t live up to expectations just peaking a disappointing number #18 in Sweden.

However things in Greece and Cyprus were completely different. Her second Greek album “Iparhi Logos”, released some months prior to “The Game of Love”, was a smash both in Greece and Cyprus, peaking at number 1 with platinum status, happening the same with “The Game of Love”.

Nevertheless this was just the beginning for an incredible string of number one singles and albums that led Helena to become one of the most famous Greek artists ever with several Gold and platinum records and a huge list of awards received between 2003 and 2014.

When it comes to releases “Vrisko To Logo Na Zo” (2008) and “Giro Apo T' Oneiro” (2010) both were #1 in Greece and Cyprus and the two albums together produced 7 top 10 hit singles in Greece and 6 in Cyprus.

As the number of hits and videos is huge, below is our very own choice of what we consider to be one of the best Helena’s offerings, “An Isouna Agapi”, the second single taken from the 2010 release “Giro Apo T' Oneiro”.

In 2011 and as a way to formalize the departure of Helena from Sony Music Greece, “Greatest Hits & More” a super 3cd collection featuring hits, bonus, covers, duets and a couple of new songs, being one of them her biggest commercial success to date in Greece, “Baby It’s over”.

 

Part 4: One Life, several awards

After ““Greatest Hits & More”, Helena took a little break from the music scene, appearing instead as a judge in ANT1's “Dancing on Ice”, in Greece, from the end of 2011 to late January 2012 and then as the contestant in “Dancing with the stars” in Sweden.

In the meantime she released what would be her only single in almost 3 years. “Mr. Perfect” which followed the heavy dance orientation of “Baby it’s over”. Moreover it would be a preliminary taste of the sound for the new album that she had in mind.

However we had to wait until June 2013 to witness the release of “Ti Ora Tha Vgoume?”, her first studio album in 3 years and the first under the stamp of EMI Greece. The album peaked (as all the previous studio albums) the #1 in Greece but in Cyprus it became the first one to miss the top spot, peaking at #3.

The album was reviewed by Eurovision on Top, in which we stated:

Helena Paparizou manages again her natural propensity to present a strong set of pop songs bathed in an always welcome relative heterogeneity and served by an interpreter who despite a certain "prima-dona mode" shown in her live performances has the key element to continue to be a major Greek Star: voice and attitude.

 

Read the full review here (please, you have to scroll down)

https://eurovisiontop.webs.com/

 Four singles were taken from “Ti Ora Tha Vgoume?”. In the review we highlighted one of them, “Ena Lepto”, stating that

(…) the highlight is, with no doubt, the composition of Giorgos Papadopoulos, released as the second single, "Ena Lepto", one of the perfect moments of the album (…)

In 2014 Helena Paparizou decided to (re)conquer Sweden through the release of “One Life”. Basically “One Life” is the English version of “Ti Ora Tha Vgoume?”, adding some new songs, including her bid to represent Sweden at the ESC 2014, Survivor.

As of June 2014 the commercial success of both single and album are far from what was expected to be her big comeback in Sweden. The single peaked at #6 (her first top 10 hit in Sweden in 8 years, though) and the album #11. It did however much better in Greece and Cyprus (#3 and #4 respectively).

As of 2014 the list of awards and nominations achieved by Helena Paparizou is huge, standing out the recognitions at the MAD Video Music Awards, the only mainstream music award in Greece. So far Helena has won 19 awards from 42 nominations, more than any other artist to date. She is also the only one to have won an award every year (since 2003 until 2013).

On June 23, 2014, her record became even bigger since she had two nominations for MAD Video Music Awards 2014, the nominations for “Best Female Artist” and “Best Pop Video” with the latest single taken from “Ti Ora Tha Vgoume?”, "De Thelo Allon Iroa".

The story goes on…

Carlos Carvalho

Jimmy Martin                                                         April 2014

 

The last time we’ve seen Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1993 when the Grand Duchy was represented by Modern Times, fronted by Simone Weis and  Jimmy Martin. At the time Jimmy Martin was already a big rock star with several achievements to his credits. 21 years later he’s still riding high with a brand new album “Wild at Heart” receiving great coverage a bit all over the planet.

This success justifies our choice to dedicate April to the latest representative from the Grand Duchy, Jimmy Martin, through the section “Artist of the Month”.

 

 

Part I: Music makes the world go round

If nowadays the word “globalization” is an ordinary term, Jimmy Martin discovered it’s true meaning long time ago when he decided at a really young age (19) to move from Luxembourg to Los Angeles in order to follow his dream, the dream of becoming a professional musician.

To make his dream come true, Martin quickly got involved with local rock bands and rapidly got the attention from the crowds and from people related to the music industry who noticed his talent.

One of the main helps came from Michael Shapiro who introduced Jimmy to several keystones of the business such as the Grammy Award winner Clif Magnes. From Shapiro’s support to the first release was just a snap and the single “Leaving it all behind” was released in 1985 to great reception being voted "newcomer song of the week" by RTL.

But definitely music makes the world go round and it was time for another big move. In the late 80’s the big French hard rock band, Fisc, was searching for a new vocalist. Jimmy Martin was at the right time at the right place.

Fisc were the biggest French rock export with a similar sound to big worldwide bands of that time such as Def Leppard, Europe or even Motley Crue.

Jimmy Martin replaced the former vocalist and stayed with the band until they disbanded, recording the two final albums, “Too hot for love” in 1987 and “Handle with care” in 1988.

Below you can hear “Won’t let you go”, a power rock ballad taken from their last full-lenght offering.

After the split of Fisc, Martin’ solo career was back on track.

“The Rhythm of Life” was released in 1989 to huge commercial success. The album peaked at number 1 on the national charts and Jimmy was voted best male vocalist and “The Rhythm of Life” best national album.

“I can’t fight love” was the first single taken from it and peaked #2 on the charts.

After the massive success of both album and single more achievements were on the horizon and in the early 90’s Jimmy managed two #1 singles, both in 1992,  "All Kanner op der Welt" and  "Kreschtdag steet vrun eiser Dir".

All that recognition led RTL to invite Jimmy Martin to represent Luxembourg at the biggest musical competition in the world, the Eurovision Song Contest.

 

Part II: at the Eurovision – The rock stigma

The 38th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Millstreet, County Cork, Ireland on 15 May 1993.

Modern Times (Simone Weiss and Jimmy Martin) performed 15th in the draw, receiving in the end 11 points, placing 20th among 25 songs.

According to Martin, in an exclusive interview to Eurovision on Top, October 2013, he asserted the following:

“To tell you the truth, I didn`t wanna sing at the Eurovision at that time! I was a rock singer and the Eurovision at that time was really pop. I wanted to write the song, as the Grand Prix is first of all a song writer`s contest. So my music colleague at that time was working with Simone and we decided to give it a go with her. I wrote the song with Patrick Hippert and we presented it to RTL. They really liked the song but didn`t wanna risk sending Simone as she was not experienced at all for a huge show like the Eurovision. So I came up with the idea of doing it as a duet to comfort her and that`s how it came together! I called it Modern Times, our duet!”

In the big night and despite a convincing performance during the whole voting “Donne-moi une chance” was ignored by the majority of the juries. When the 25th and last jury (the Maltese one) started to announce the votes Modern Times were at the very last place with just 1 point given by Slovenia. Then Malta gave 10 points to “Donne-moi une chance” and Jimmy Martin and Simone Weiss climbed 5 places placing 20th in a field of 25. (See the video below at 1m18s)

Besides Luxembourg, also Italy and Germany presented rock songs in 1993 and all of them failed to make the top 10 which allows us to say that Modern Times suffered from the contest’s rock stigma. We used that expression because often the rock entries have to struggle harder than others to be recognized by the juries.

After Modern Times Luxembourg withdrew from the contest and never came back.

Regarding Modern Times and once more according to Jimmy Martin in our 2013 interview, he declared the following:

“I don`t know what happened to Simone and where she is nowadays, we never had that much contact. We only did like 3 shows as Modern Times after the Eurovision and that was it!”

But Jimmy already had a solid solo career prior to the contest so the 20th didn’t harm Martin’s artistic path.

 

Part III: new records and a biography

Eurovision 1993 was over so were Modern Times. In 1994 Jimmy came back in full speed with another single, “Driving Through the Pouring Rain”. The single met commercial success giving Martin another #1 hit in Luxembourg.

“Driving Through the Pouring Rain” was the first glimpse of his second solo studio album which saw the day of light in the following year, in 1995.

The album comprised 12 brand new songs and it was credited with renewed names such as John Edwards (Status Quo), Jeff Rich (Status Quo), Laurie Wisefield (Tina Turner), Don Snow (Simply Red) and Desmond Child who wrote the first single.

But Jimmy’s creative process was on high and in the meantime three more non album singles were released, "Martina your in our hearts" (94); "Ech wart dech niimools vergiessen" (96); and "Gef net op" (98).

Jimmy Martin began the new decade, the new century and new millennium with reinforced success continuing to accumulate his string of number 1 singles and albums.

“I’m not in love” was #1, happening the same to the album “Flames”, both released in 2000.

In 2002 came out his first collection of ballads – “From the Heart” – peaking at #4 in Luxembourg.

One year later, in 2003, Jimmy was back to number one with the “Angels”, the official song for RTL Germany.

 

In 2006  "Love Somebody", a duet with American superstar and Grammy winner Rick Springfield, was released and another number was in the waiting line (being so far the last time Jimmy Martin reached the #1 on the national charts).

Jimmy's biography, written by author Frederick Reischl, was released in the end of 2011 and is available in most of the European countries but only in German language! 

About the biography Jimmy said to us last October,

It was published by Luxembourg's biggest Publisher. The only other biographies they have published are the one of our Grand Duke and the one of our Bishop! Isn`t that crazy? The reaction was great! The first time that a Luxemburgish artist has a biography published!

 

 

Part IV: Wild at Heart

2012 started in a big way for Jimmy Martin. In April he was honored for his outstanding musical achievements by the Mayor of Bertrange in Luxembourg.

Also in April 2012 and seizing the ride of this public recognition  it was revealed that the first taste for his long awaited new album would be out in the summer, the iTunes download single "Break Free".

However we’ve had to wait a little bit more to hear the first official single from the upcoming album. “Love don’t live here anymore” was the chosen track, a killer mid-tempo ballad, written by Jimmy and his producer and writing partners Tommy Remm and René Schostak from the Berlin Valicon team!

 

The video for “Love don’t live here anymore” was premiered on September 13th" and hit the playlists of some music video channels such as: Streetclip tv,Putpot tv,Tape tv...

On Eurovision on Top the video was a smash hit, peaking at #2 on the weekly chart and #14 on the annual chart 2013.

“Wild at heart” was released in Europe/USA/Canada on September 27th (and a few days earlier in Japan).

According to some press release, the album includes

" Live your dream" which seems to be a favourite with the Japanese press!

" I wish you here tonight" is a heart melting duet ballad with American singer " Robin Beck", famous for her number one world hit " First Time" with her passionate vocals! She has recently been voted, together with Heart 's Anne Wilson as " best voice in rock music"!

" Love Somebody feat. Rick Springfield" has been remastered for the album, as it was only released as a single before!

The video for the upcoming single " Love don't live here anymore", shot in Berlin is also included on the album!

 

The album received great attention a bit all over the planet being reviewed by important rock magazines such as "Burrn", Japan's biggest rock magazine, or in the German magazine “Rock it!”.

After 30 years since the first steps in the professional music world Jimmy Martin remains one of the biggest Luxembourger stars ever and new projects are on a near horizon: a new digital version of “Wild at Heart” and a new single - “Superhero” - are just around the corner.

Carlos Carvalho

Secret Garden                                                        March 2014

A simple melody inspired by traditional moods was the beginning of a Secret Garden, a garden which was unraveled to the world thanks to the Eurovision Song Contest. A sole entry by a distinctive duo that almost two decades after the big victory remain one the biggest worldwide names in the Neo-classical and New Age Music. “Just the Two of Us” is their brand new album and a great opportunity to pay a visit to this enchanted garden during the course of March through the section “Artist of the Month”. by Carlos Carvalho

Part I: At the Eurovision, a victory with no neighbours help

In 1995 Rolf Løvland and Fionnuala Sherry were no strangers to the Eurovision world. Løvland was most known for being the composer of the first (and until 1995 only) Norwegian winning song “La det swinge” performed by Bobbysocks. Sherry was a violin player in the RTÉ Concert Orchestra which played for the Eurovision Song Contest on several occasions.

However what Rolf Løvland and Fionnuala Sherry had to present to the Norwegian national final 1995 was a completely new world, a secret world, a secret garden that was about to be unraveled.

On February 1995 they won the passport to raise the Norwegian banner in Dublin with the predominantly instrumental piece "Nocturne".

The 40th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place in the Point Theatrer Arena in Dublin, Ireland, on 13 May 1995.

“Nocturne” was performed fifth on the night, receiving in the end 148 points, placing placing 1st in a field of 23.

In the big night and during the whole voting “Nocturne” was a great success being in the top five throughout the entire process. It started in the 1st place with 12 points given by Poland entering in the following voting in a true Nordic battle along with Sweden and Denmark (although Spain ended up being the runner-up).

When the Turkish votes were cast (10th out of the 23 juries) Norway recovered the number 1 staying there until the voting close.

In total 6 countries (out of the 22 eligible to vote for Malta) gave Secret Garden the famous 12 points: Poland, Russia, Iceland, Turkey, Portugal and Greece making Norway the country with the largest sets of 12 points in 1995.

All countries but 3 (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Sweden) voted for Sweden.

Notably the Norwegian triumph is what can be called a victory with no neighbours help. Apart from the 12 points from Iceland, Secret Garden had no points from Sweden and just 2 from Denmark (Finland didn’t take part in the ESC 95).

After Eurovision the single was released in Europe and considering that it’s not a type of song that storms into the charts it did quite well reaching #26 in Sweden, #6 in Belgium (Flanders), #24 in Belgium (Wallonia) and #20 in the Netherlands.

But that was just a glimpse of the upcoming debut album and a hint of much bigger sales that were just around the corner.

 

Part II: “we listen with our ears – we understand with our hearts.”

The victory of “Nocturne” broke all the untrue theories that Eurovision is a source of suspicious quality songs and also ruined the stereotype that the Eurovision winners have no life after the Contest. Actually “Nocturne” and Secret Garden managed a life on their own far the (unfair) Eurovision stigma.

The beginning of their new life came with the debut album, “Songs from a Secret Garden”, released in 1995.

Although being an unconventional project “Songs from a Secret Garden” flew high to massive commercial success even in territories where Eurovision has no sign of life such as Korea.

Probably this unexpected success is explained by Rolf Løvland himself

The idea of Secret Garden is one that everyone can relate to. We all have landscapes inside us, secret rooms where feelings and impressions grow as a little garden.

The album peaked at number 1 in Norway selling platinum and reaching the gold status in Ireland. More impressively it sold double platinum in Korea and in Hong Kong and it spent two years in the Billboard New Age charts in 1996 and 1997.

It also peaked at charted well in The Netherlands, Belgium (Vl) and New Zealand, reaching 1 million copies sold.

Some curiosities about the tracklist include “Atantia”, composed in 1976 by Rolf Løvland making it the oldest composition on the record, and “Heartstrings” which besides being used by Barbra Streisand in her wedding to James Brolin it was also recorded by the singer and released as the first single from the album "A Love Like Ours".

On April 15, 1997 Secret Garden released the awaited second album “White Stones”.

The fairy tale of “Hansel and Gretel” was the main inspiration for the new collections of compositions, which comprises just instrumental pieces with no voices at all, being the white stones a symbol for what illuminate us into our own Secret Garden.

This comparison is well illustrated through the piece “Illumination” which can be heard and felt through the link below.

Just like “Songs from a Secret Garden”, “White Stones”  was released to great commercial success peaking inside the top 10 of Norway (#6) and even more remarkable two years at the Billboard charts (New Age).

The massive success of the two first albums led Secret Garden into a world tour. In Europe the tour covered many places from Portugal (with a show at the World’s Fair in Lisbon, 1998) to Turkey and many points in between.

By the end of 1998 Secret Garden was one of the best-selling international artists in China, being invited to record a TV show that was broadcasted on December 24 (Christmas Eve) to 190 million viewers!

We finish this second part of the “Artist of the Month” with one of the highlights taken from “White Stones”, “Poéme”…. “we listen with our ears – we understand with our hearts.”

 

Part III: “You raise me up”, one of the most famous songs from the new millennium

1999 has started in the busiest mood for Secret Garden, putting the final touches on the new album that took them from Norway, to Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and USA and then a long schedule of promo and concert tours that started in February 99 visiting Shangai, and then HongKong, Taiwan and China.

In April 1999 the third album was released with the appropriate title “Dawn of a New Century”, quickly followed by their first US Concert tour (40 concerts). Some European countries and a lot of Asian and South American territories witnessed live the music of Secret Garden during the last year of the 90’s.

One of the highlights of the year was undoubtedly the performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert which took place in Oslo on the 11th of December, where they performed "Elan" and "Dawn of a new century" from their 3rd record.

The year 2000 was spent around the world with special concerts, some of them with big orchestras.

In April it was released the compilation "Dreamcatcher" for the British market where both “White Stones” and “Dawn of a New Century” were not released. Despite being a special launch for the UK, in 2001 “Dreamcatcher” hit #1 in Korea.

In the meantime “Dawn of a New Century” peaked at #10 on the Norwegian Albums chart and in 2000 they released their first DVD “A Night with Secret Garden”.

Below you can have a little taste of it. 

The most of 2001 was spent in the studio with some punctual concerts especially in Asia.

In the beginning of 2002 “Once in a Red Moon” was released in Norway, followed by Asian in mid February and the US are in March and the duo departed once more in a very intensive promotion of the CD all around the world.

By clicking trough  you can have a comprehensive view on the making of the album.

“Once in a Red Moon” was a huge success, so far their most successful worldwide. One of the main reasons was the song “You raise me up” featuring the voices of Tracey Campbel-Nation and Brian Kennedy (who represented Ireland at the ESC in 2006).

Since it’s original release, the song has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists including Josh Groban (#76 in US); Westlife (#1 in UK); Wesley Klein (#4 in the Netherlands); Daniel O'Donnell (#22 in UK); Selah (#1 on the Billboard's Christian charts) and a solo version by Bryan Kennedy (#4 in UK).

Cover versions by other Eurovision artists include Michael Ball, a catalan version by Sergio Dalma and a Swedish version by Sanna Nielsen – “Rör vid min själ” - which originally appears in her album “Nära Mej Nära Dej” (2006) also appearing in her compilation “Sanna 11-22” (2007) and it will also be featured in her upcoming compilation “16 Bästa” (April, 2014).

12 years since the original release the list of cover versions is still growing all over the world, including the interpretations of Paul Potts, Il Divo among many many others.

Regarding future releases of the song we highlight the version of the Filipina singer Jolina Magdangal, which is scheduled to be released this month.

In this perspective “You raise me up” is one the most famous songs worldwide from this new millennium. Unfortunately and though being a song well known all over the world, most people don’t associated it with the original artists, Secret Garden.

Below you can watch a video of the original recording of “You raise me up”, composed by Rolf Løvland and written by Brendan Graham with original vocals by Brian Kennedy and Tracey Campbell-Nation.

 

Part IV: from Eurovision to million-selling albums

Besides the massive success of the 4th album “Once in a Red Moon”, 2002 proved to be a great year for the secret duo. In April of that year they received an award for 500,000 sales in HK and China.

2003 continued the promotion of the new album along with a very hectic tour schedule, not forgetting the recording with the Chinese Er-Hu artist Ding Fei Fei in the very beginning of the year.

The Irish Tour began in March with sold out concerts ending up with a huge concert with the Irish RTE Philharmonic Choir and the RTE Concert Orchestra. In the meantime “Once in a Red Moon” sells Gold in that country.

In April they travelled to New York, Washington, Chicago and LA and Universal Japan released their compilation CD “Dreamcatcher” (which originally was just set to be a UK release), followed by a Japanese tour and their 6th in South Korea.

By September 2003 the duo flew back to Norway and began their six-week tour in with top marks in the reviews.

The long awaited new album, “Earthsongs” came out in 2005 (#9 in Norway). “Earthsongs” features guest vocals by Russel Watson, Saoirse, Chamber Choir of Ireland and Jan Werner Danielsen (Norway, 1994).

Click trough to listen to the song performed by Jan Werner Danielsen, “Half a World Away”.

 

 At the end of 2005 Rolf received an ASCAP award (American Copyright organization) recognizing the success of You Raise Me Up. The 6th album was released two years later, in 2007.  “Inside I’m Singing” is quite different from the previous efforts since it includes 11 well known singers: Barbra Streisand, Elaine Paige, Brian Kennedy (ESC, Ireland 06), Niamh Kavanagh (ESC, Ireland 93 and 10), Peter Corry, Tracey Campbell, Tommy Körberg, Peter Jöback, Anne Takle, Espen Grjotheim and Steinar Albrigtsen, singing some of the melodies originally composed and released by Secret Garden on their 5 previous albums, adding some new compositions “Thank You”, “Theme from the Mermaid Chair” (written to the Kim Basinger film), “Song for a Stormy Night”, “Did I Not Love You”, “My Land” and “Sortie”.

“Simply You” (originally released as “Ode to Simplicity” on “Songs from a Secret Garden”, 95) is the piece performed by Niamh Kavanagh (ESC 93 winner).

 

The album was a tremendous hit, peaking at #1 on the Norwegian charts, reaching 5x platinum, selling more than 150 000 in Norway alone.

In 2011 “Winter Poem” was released being reviewed by Michael Williams from our site, stating that “All in all a solid mood album to unwind to” (https://www.eurovisionontop.com/albumreviewsarchive.htm, you’ll need to scroll down a bit to find the review).

The video below shows you a comprehensive view on the record that reached the #5 on the Norwegian charts.

By the end of 2013 The winners of the Eurovision 1995 were back with a new album called “Just the Two of Us”.

This is definitely a special release for the duo and for the fans because for the first we can hear Rolf Løvland and Fionnuala Sherry without any invited artists. Like they say, “For years we’ve talked about doing an album of our duets. Our music always starts with just the two ofus - Rolf & Fionnuala; even when we’re performing with a full production onstage. So it feels natural and good to perform some of our music in the most intimate and stripped-down version - that musical place where Secret Garden wasborn. This is the theme of our new album.”

Following the trend of their seven previous albums “Just the Two of Us” also reached the top 10 of the Norwegian charts, peaking at #6.

Below you can have a little taste of it through the video «Secret Garden - "Just The Two of Us" - performance & interview».

Almost 20 years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest, Secret Garden became one of the most famous Eurovision winners ever, selling over 4 million records so far, becoming one of the strongest names in the New Age / New Classical Music worldwide. Their story promises to be continued….

Carlos Carvalho for EOT                                                                              

Ira Losco                                                                 February 2014

The Malta Music Awards 2014 (the Maltese grammys) took place on 9 February 2014 at the MFCC in Ta’Qali. Ira Losco, who made Malta proud by reaching the 2nd place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2002, was the big winner, receiving the awards for Best Solo Artist, Best Video with her song “Me Luv U Long Time” and Best Album with “The Fire”. More than ever it seems that the Maltese 7th wonder is ready to be the next big international superstar and we dedicate the “Artist of the Month, February” to her. by Carlos Carvalho

 

Part I: Tiara, Spellbound and 7th wonder

“Ira Losco is the kind of artist who gets noticed the minute she walks into a room.” This is how Ira’s website presents the biography of the major Maltese Star. Although big part of us met Ira Losco thanks to her Eurovision performance in 2002, there is always a past that helps and makes us understand how a certain artist reached the actual status.

Ira Losco is no exception and prior to “7th wonder” we can witness a lot of previous attempts to reach Eurovision as well as the work developed in band called Tiara.

One of the oldest memories we can find on Ira’s professional path is from the distant year 1999, where a young 18 year old girl tried to impress the local audience through national tv performances.

However that was just the commencement and now it was time to dream about stages beyond the borders of Malta and the Eurovision Song Contest was the next big goal and it seems that Ira was so determined to grace the Eurovision stage. That explains the fact that in just 3 years (00, 01 and 02) Ira Losco presented 9 songs to the Maltese National Selection.

The first Eurovision taste came in 2000 with “Shine” and “Falling in Love”.

But probably it was not the right time for Ira Losco to shine in Europe and the Maltese audience decided that the “Desire” of Claudette Pace would fly to Sweden.

Perhaps the secret is never give up, so in 2001 Ira was back to the Maltese selection and it seems that the willpower was stronger than the one in the year before.

Among the 16 hopefuls to represent Malta in Copenhagen, 4 songs belonged to Ira Losco, more precisely “We’ll ride the wind” (11th), “Spellbound” (2nd), “Deep Inside my Heart” (9th) and “Don’t Give up” (4th). 

Below you can recall the most successful attempt of 2001, “Spellbound” which lost the European ticket to “Another Summer Night” by Fabrizio Faniello.

Ira Losco seems to be the proof for the popular saying “Third Time Lucky”, and 2002 would be her year.

However it is important to point out that at time Ira was the front woman of a band called Tiara. Besides being an important school for her as a performer the band did actually release an album in 2001 - "Hi-Infidelity" – and "Basketball" would be their calling card.

Nonetheless the future of the band would be compromised by the success of the following year.

Ira Losco took part in the Malta Song for Europe contest presenting “One Step Away” and “7th wonder”. The latter would be the big winner. Below you can recall her big triumph, including the final voting part and the emotions around it.

Now it was time to think about Eurovision and perhaps little did she know that “7th Wonder” was about to change her career and the Maltese Eurovision history.

Part II: At the Eurovision Song Contest

The 47th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Saku Suurhall Arena in Tallinn, Estonia, on 25 May 2002.

Ira Losco performed 20th in the draw, receiving in the end 164 points, placing 2nd among 24 songs being overtaken just by Latvia.

Judging by interview below, which was made by Eurovision Live, before Ira’s 1st rehearsal, we can state that the outstanding result came as a surprise although it was claimed the wish to overcome the 3rd place achieved by Malta in 1992 & 1998.

In the big night and during the whole voting “7th Wonder” was a tremendous success being in the two first places throughout the entire process. It started at the 2nd position with 10 points given by Cyprus but then it climbed to the top spot, being the number 1 until Israel has announced the votes (10th voting country).

When the Swiss votes were cast Malta dropped to number 2 being the runner-up until the voting close.

In total 10 countries (out of the 23 eligible to vote for Malta) would like to see Ira Losco in the top 3: Austria awarded Malta8 points; Cyprus, Spain, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Israel, Germany and Slovenia gave Ira Losco 10 points and Uk, Croatia and Denmark announced the famous 12 points to Malta.

All countries but 1 (Romania) voted for Malta resulting as we said in the beginning in a superb 2nd place.

After Ira Losco and at least until 2013 Malta has reached the top 5 just once. That happened through Chiara in 2005 who managed to equal the best Maltese result achieved by “7th Wonder”.

As it is widely known, Latvia was not supposed to take part at the Eurovision Song Contest 2002. Portugal would be the 24th participating country at the 47th edition of the contest but the Spanish neighbor ended up giving up and as Latvia was the 1st country in the waiting line, the Latvians took the place turned down by Portugal.

What if Latvia had been left out of the competition in 2002? Well we will never know the answer.

 

Part III: After Eurovision - albuns, local sucess and international performances 

“7th Wonder” was a smash at Eurovision and it was the first big European door opened for Ira. However the Maltese young singer didn’t rush on recording a debut solo album trying to grab the Eurovision ride and making several songs that would sound “7th wonder” wannabes. Instead she has waited 2 years and only in 2004 it was released “Someone Else”, her debut album.

Somehow the title reflected really well this new Ira’s phase. Far from the pretty pop of “7th wonder”, “Someone Else” was closer to the sound of big pop rock stars of 10 years ago, such as the Swedish Anna Johnson or even the Scottish rock band Texas.

“I’m in Love again” is a good example for that comparison.

The album proved to be so successful that in early 2005 it was released “Blends & Remixes of Someone Else". As the name might suggest, an album based on remixes for “Someone Else’s” tracks.

Ira Losco didn’t stop and while enjoying the success of her debut she was at the same preparing the sophomore album.

 

“Accident Prone” came out in late 2005 featuring a stronger presence of guitars than her previous effort as well as well more remarkable riffs.

The album proved to be even more successful than it’s predecessor allowing the release of 7 singles out of the 11 tracks.

Below you can watch “Uh-Oh”, one of the singles.

Actually “Accident Prone” was the big responsible for becoming Ira Losco not only in the biggest Maltese star but also in the nicest export from Malta.

In the local field it reached the number 1 on the albums chart and a string of nominations and winnings at the Bay Music Awards.

In the international level it allowed Ira to tour abroad towards audiences of 80 000 attendees, performing as a support act for international names such as Elton John, Simple Minds and Katie Melua, just to name a few.

In 2006 Ira Losco experienced another new way of recording, the acoustic live recording, resulting in her first unplugged album, “Unmasked”.

The long life of “Accident Prone” explains the 3 years waiting for a new album of original material.

“Fortune Teller” was released in June 2008.

Once more a string of hit singles saw the light of the day, including "What's The Matter With You?"

“Fortune Teller” also produced a long series of nominations and prizes both at the Malta Music Awards (including Best Album) and Bay Music Awards (including Best Song with “Idle Motion).

Part IV: The Fire

After 3 studio albums with massive local success and after challenging international performers, it was time to take a small break.

A new studio would just appear in the beginning of 2013. Due the 5 years gap between “Fortune Teller” and “The Fire”, the local press saw the new offering as a comeback album.

However the first glimpse of the album came out several months before, more precisely in the summer of 2012, with the reggae inspired sound “What I'd Give” accompanied with a hilarious video.

In March 2013 “The Fire” was released and with it a new single and video, “The Person I am”. “The Person I am” was the first song by Ira to make a big impact in our weekly chart. It reached #3 back in April 2013 and #52 in the annual chart 2013.

Seizing the success of “The Person I am”, Eurovision on Top caught up with Ira for a long and deep interview which can be recalled by the link below (please, you have to scroll down a bit).

https://www.eurovisionontop.com/specials.htm

Eurovision on Top reviewed “The Fire” awarding it 5 stars (out of 5) stating “The Fire promises to continue Ira's ascendant journey through authentic pop gems.” (check it out here https://eurovisiontop.webs.com/ )

The 3rd single, “Me Luv U Long Time”, was released in September 2013 becoming the first #1 for Ira at the EOT TOP 20 (#54 in the annual chart 2013).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o9sgAHsTN4

2014 has begun as one of the best years for Ira Losco. The Malta Music Awards 2014 (the Maltese grammys) took place on 9 February 2014 at the MFCC in Ta’Qali. Ira Losco was the big winner, receiving the awards for Best Solo Artist, Best Video with her song “Me Luv U Long Time” and Best Album with “The Fire”.

On February 19, 2014, “The Fire” was at No.1 on the Itunes album charts making it the 20th week at the NO.1 position on I tunes.

But the fire of this success seems to have no end in sight. At the time of writing this 4th and last part of the “Artist of the Month” (February 27, 2014), “The Fire” is spending another week at #1 on the Itunes album charts and the 4th and brand new single taken from it is number 1 at Bay’s Hot 30 and it is also number 1 at the weekly EOT TOP 20.

A section in review                                                  January 2014

In July 2013 Eurovision on Top began a new section called “Artist of the Month”. As it’s name may suggest, the EOT’s team decided to dedicate each month to a certain artist. The criterion for the choice is not inflexible, but a new record, a career anniversary or a special event are strong reasons for our tribute.

Before kicking off the 2014 season, we thought it would be appropriate to look back on what we did in order to set new horizons for the future.

Proudly we paid tribute to six artists from six different countries (Norway, Italy, Ireland, Ukraine, Portugal and Sweden).

One of the main goals is try to present the stories in a new perspective, avoiding a simple “copy-paste” from traditional sources such as wikipedia and official websites.

Although it is a tribute we wanted and we still want to reveal the artists in the most objective form, averting, as much as possible, subjective sentences.

Out of the 6 artists of the month 2013, we managed to present exclusive interviews with 4 of them.

Below you can have a quick recap of Artist of the Month 2013.

July 2013: Didrik Solli-Tangen, “It would be nice to be called a favorite”

The 1st single in anticipation of his sophomore album was the reason for Didrik debut our new section. In his interview, and joking with the title of his 1st album, he said “It would be nice to be called a favorite”.

 

August 2013: Jalisse, “We would like to go back to Eurovision

The Italian duo was invited to headline one of the biggest Eurovision Events, “The Eurovision Live Concert” in Portugal and we dedicated August to them. In the interview the said what a lot wanted to hear “We would like to go back to Eurovision”.

 

 

September 2013: Marc Roberts, “Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton John and I have something in common”.

Probably the majority of the Eurovision Community is not aware of the success of the runner-up of 1997. His new album, “Now & Then”, released in August 2013 was an instant success. In our interview, enigmatically he claimed “Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton John and I have something in common”.

 

October 2013: Ruslana, “I do not recognize limitations”

Ruslana’s third international album “My Boo (Together)” set the motto for the Artist of the month in October. Right before her active involvement in the latest protests in Kiev, Ruslana gave us a long and deep interview where she stated “I do not recognize limitations.”

 

 

November 2013: Carlos do Carmo “50 years of Songs, 50 years of Fado”.

Throughout 5 decades Carlos do Carmo helped to write the history of Fado. Immensely recognized and praised by the Portuguese audience, his latest album “Fado é Amor” entered the Portuguese charts at number 1 (Nov. 13). In November and December he sold out the important Concert Hall, CCB.

 

 

December 2013: Charlotte Perrelli and a Childhood Christmas

In the Christmas month, the latest Swedish winner of the XX Century released her second seasonal album “Min BarndomsJul” translated as “My Childhood Christmas” This was a great opportunity to take a comprehensive journey throughout her career.

January 2014: a section in review.

February 2014: we will fly for the first time to… Malta! Stay tuned!

Carlso Carvalho