In memoriam: German Eurovision legend Joy Fleming has passed away, aged 72

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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.