“Here Today,Gone tomorrow”-a series looking at the fates and fortunes of former Eurovision performers and Presenters

Ever wondered about what happened to our Eurovision performers and presenters from years gone by, after they graced the Eurovision stage? Well, we at Eurovision Ireland have created our series “Here today, Gone Tomorrow to do just that ! Today we turn our attention to a past performer and presenter, Åse Kleveland from Norway !

The Personal side of Åse

She was actually born in Stockholm, Sweden to a Swedish mother and a Norwegian father, who had fled to Sweden because of the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War 2. They moved back to Norway in 1957 to Romerike in North Norway. , Åse is a talented linguist too , being fluent in Norwegian , Swedish, Danish,English , French and Japanese. She also studied law at the University of Oslo .

Music Career

, Åse began playing classical guitar at the age of 8 years old. At the age of 13, she became a Vispop singer ( Vispop is a popular Scandinavian music genre from the mid 1960’s). In 1965, she released her first album . At the age of 17, she went on a major tour of Japan, appearing on several TV shows and releasing four singles. In 1973, she released her final solo album .

Åse at Eurovision

In 1966 Åse represented Norway in the Eurovision Song contest with the song ” Intet er nytt under solen” ( There’s nothing new under the sun). She finished in a very respectable third place. She also broke the tradition which was expected from female performers in those days in not wearing a dress , choosing to wear a trouser suit instead !

Not content with just appearing as a contestant , Åse went on to present the Eurovision Song Contest in Bergen in 1986, the first time Norway were hosting the contest after their first ever win the previous year with Bobby Sox and “La det Swinge”. Who could forget her opening performance where she sang along to her own rendition of Te Deum ?

However , Åse did make an appearance at the 1980 contest, but only to introduce the Norwegian entry on camera .

What happened after Eurovision?

After her appearance as a presenter at Eurovision in 1986, Åse made the move into politics and became Minister of Culture in Norway in 1990 and held the position until 1996 , representing the Labour Party , the Gro Harlem Brundtland administration. She was also the president of the Swedish Film Institute from 1999 to 2006. In June 2007, she became chairman of the board of the Human -Etisk Forbund, the Norwegian Humanist organization , she held that position until 2013.She still continued with her musical career after 2013, here is a performance she gave at Olso Spektrum in 2017, performing a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “First we take Manhatten”

I think we could all agree that Åse has led a very varied and interesting life in all of her 72 years , so far !

Want to know more about what our former Eurovision Performers and presenters have been doing since they graced the Eurovision stage? Keep a look out for more in the next few weeks in the series “Here today, Gone tomorrow”!

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source : Wikipedia, YouTube, NRK

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