Continuing our look at Eurovision stars that have graced the stages over the years, today it has a bit more of an Irish flavour to it! Ever wonder what happened to some of your favourite Eurovision stars? I’m on the case, looking them up and hunting them down to find out what’s happened since their appearance at our beloved song contest.
The last Irish winner of ESC was in 1996 and it was the 23-year old Eimear Quinn who last lifted the trophy for Ireland with her lilting Celtic-style song ‘The Voice’.
20 years on and Eimear, now mother to two girls Joelene, aged 7 and Marlene, aged 4, has remained in and around the world of music. Immediately after her win in Oslo she began her solo tour all over the world and then went on to collaborate on all manner of musical and TV projects with a variety of Irish and international composers and musicians. In 2006 she released her third album ‘Gatherings’ and performed in ‘Ireland’s Finest in Concert’ at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.
In 2007 Eimear fronted a nationwide campaign to promote the study of music and later that year released a Christmas themed album of carols, chants and original compositions. Since then Eimear has continued to tour, compose and appear in concerts and TV performances as well as marrying her husband who is Noel Curran, none other than the current director-general of RTE. Here is Eimear in 2014 singing in ‘Carols from Kilkenny Castle’.
The bouncy duo that is Jedward were last seen on a Eurovision stage in Baku when they performed ‘Waterline’, although they did qualify from their semi final, they finished in 19th place, however the song did earn them number 5 in the charts in Ireland and, following their Eurovision performance, also charted in Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Germany and the UK. Previously we had seen Jedward the year before in Dusseldorf.
Since Eurovision the twins have starred in their own TV series, they ran part of the Olympic torch relay in Dublin, and have undertaken promotional trips to Canada and the USA. More TV shows featuring John & Edward have been commissioned and broadcast and the dynamic duo are now on their 4th studio album, they also had a regular slot on ITV2’s ‘Celebrity Juice’ in the UK. In 2015 they were invited to model in Vienna as part of the Lifeball fashion show and performed at the Lifeball after-party in the Wiener Rathaus, they performed their own song ‘Lipstick’ and joined Conchita, Dana International, Miss Candy and others on stage for a version of Abba’s ‘Waterloo’.
The twins signed to Next Models and continue to model in magazines and there are still many TV appearances on the books too. John & Edward also continue to be ambassadors for a large number of charities including ISPCC and ISPCA as well as being involved with Comic Relief, Sport Relief and Children in Need, they also privately visit children in hospitals in Ireland and the UK.
Where Eimear Quinn was the last Irish singer to lift the Eurovision trophy, Dana was the first. In 1970 at 18 years old, she sang ‘All Kinds of Everything’, simply perched on a stool wearing a sweet white mini dress – 32 points later she was declared the winner and so began Ireland’s record-breaking run of Eurovision wins.
No one was more surprised by this win than Dana herself, who was about to sit her A’ levels and was hoping to become a music teacher. Suddenly she found herself with a number one single that was also riding high in charts around the world. The A’ levels quickly went out the window and Dana’s professional career began. Her album was launched and she remained a popular performer throughout the decade.
In the 1980’s there was a shift towards music with a Catholic flavour. She released two Christian albums and toured to promote these in the USA. In 1987 she met Pope John Paul II in New Orleans, having been invited there to perform her song ‘Totus Tuus’ (Totally Yours) for him. The Pope met her afterwards and thanked her for the song.
Politics now take the lead in Dana’s career. She won a seat in the European Parliament in 1999 as an independent candidate the strength of her campaign being on family values, and her opposing abortion, divorce and contraception.
Dana now holds dual citizenship of Ireland and the USA, she is married to Damien and has four children.
Author: Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland