DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that one of the iconic pop bands in the world got their start in Eurovision? In 1973, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid’s single “Ring Ring” single topped the charts in Sweden, Australia, Holland, Belgium and even South Africa. The success of the Swedish pop group prompted them to enter the Eurovision Song Contest as ABBA. Their success, however, would not come easy. The ceremony was plagued with setbacks. The first being that Luxembourg decided not to host the contest as it was beyond the state’s modest budget. Luckily, Brighton, England was available to host. Second, Italy announced that they would not broadcast the event over their concerns over the song ‘Si’ and its effect on their already politically divisive election. Third, there was a conflict of schedule between the funeral of the French president and the competition. Thus, France also had to pull out from the competition.
ABBA did not let these distractions get the best of them. The Swedish quartet had a great deal of interest in the competition, especially since they only finished third at the semi-finals in the previous year. By 1974, the group knew the competition could be their big break in Europe. True enough, they delivered one of the greatest Eurovision performances of all time. Choosing to perform their frothy, upbeat single “Waterloo” not only vindicated the band but also landed them on both American and European billboard charts.The contest has since become a European phenomenon that it even has apps for Eurovision Festival fans. In May 2019, the international competition will broadcast another iconic moment. The 64th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel. It would be the first time Israel has hosted in twenty years, even at a time when Tel Aviv faces violent political protests.