The German legend Joy Fleming, who represented her country so memorably in 1975, passed away on September 27th at the age of 72.

Born in Mannheim on November 15 in 1944 as Erna Raad, Joy began her singing career as early as age 14, when she won a talent show. She performed “Ciao, ciao bambina”, a song originally performed by Eurovision legend Domenico Modugno in the 1959 contest.

After that, Joy’s career took off like a rocket, and she spent the majority of the ’60s performing jazz and blues for American soldiers who were stationed in Mannheim. She gained nationwide attention, when she and her band Joy Unlimited performed live in Talentschuppen, a television show broadcasted at the tv station SWF (Südwestfunks).

In 1971, Joy went solo and gained even more attention, this time outside of Germany, in countries like China, France, the former Soviet Union and around Scandinavia.

In 1975, she was chosen to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Stockholm. Her song, “Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein” (A song can be a bridge) didn’t go down well with the juries across Europe though, even though it has become a Eurovision evergreen since then. It ended up in 17th place out of 19 songs. An unjust fate, in many people’s opinion.

But Joy’s career was on the high, despite disappointing results in Eurovision. She continued her streak of success, and released album after album. But she wasn’t quite done with Eurovision just yet.

In 1986, she, along with Marc Berry, competed for the ticket to Bergen with the song “Miteinander”. They placed fourth in their national finals, with Ingrid Peters winning. In 2002, Joy competed again in the German national finals with “Joy to the World”, but placed second after Corinna May.

In 2004, Stefan Raab had started with his new selection format SSDSGPS, and asked Joy to be one of his fellow jurors that year. Her guidance led to Maximilian “Max” Mutzke representing Germany in Istanbul and placing eight with his song “Can’t Wait Until Tonight”.

She may not have secured Germany their greatest results, but Joy Fleming will certainly go down in history as one of the most powerful vocalists ever to set foot on the Eurovision stage. Her performance of “Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein” was epic, for Joy didn’t shy away from dancing and it was obvious to all that she was singing from the very core of her soul. A great talent has passed and we at wiwibloggs offer our deepest condolences to Joy’s family and friends.

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FrédéricSMKWomen, football and rock'n'rollGavAnsgar Recent comment authors
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Frédéric
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Frédéric

Indeed one of Germanys best entries ever (and we’ve actually had quite a few way above average imho), also worth remembering for that wonderfully enthusiastic count off (sort of) by the late Rainer Pietsch (composer and conductor – how I miss that orchestra!).
R.I.P.

SMK
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SMK

Flemming & Berry should have gone to Eurovision in 1986. Still love that song. Ein lied kann eine brücke sein have been covered twice in The Netherlands. Once by Donna Lynton (Bridge of Love) and once by Gerard Joling (ESC 1988) as Zing met me mee (Sing with me). He scored a top 40 hit with it in 1995.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
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Women, football and rock'n'roll

A great voice has gone silent. She will join the Heavenly choir of great voices!

I think her 1975-entry was great. I liked the soul / gospel influence.

Gav
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Gav

I absolutely love this entry. One of my favourites ever. Great performance and a singer with lots of charisma

Ansgar
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Ansgar

Why didn’t you ad that Marc Berry was part of Austrias 1980 entry Blue Danube and that Joy placed 2nd also in 2001 german final right after Michelle? In a group together with Jane Bogaerts (Switzerland 2000) sister Lesley Bogaert, by the way.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
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Women, football and rock'n'roll

I didn’t know he was, interesting fact. If you are into big band music, check out his song “Swinging Out” from the Austrian 1994-final. Great song. And of course a lot better than “Für die Frienden der Welt” – not much of a merit though 🙂

beccaboo1212
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Ruhe in Frieden, Joy! 🙁

Matty
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Matty

R. I. P.!

L'oiseau
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I am really sad! I still think it was one of the best German entries and one of the most unfairly treated.

giles
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giles

Tragic was the death of Roger Cicero, at 45.

Colin
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Colin

72 is still young enough. R. I. P. sweet lady. 🙁