LIST: Hold me! 5 artists who hugged, held and embraced in celebration of National Hugging Day

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The tight squeeze. The back stroke. The straddle. The extra-long hold. There’s nothing like a big, warm hug on a cold winter’s day.

January 21 marks National Hugging Day, which gives you a good excuse to hug your nearest and dearest and spread the love. The Eurovision Song Contest has celebrated hugging on many occasions, including the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 which celebrated “Embrace” as its theme. And back in Eurovision 2015, Wiwiblogger William scored a hug from the group Free Hugs Vienna.

To celebrate Hugging Day, we’ve created a list of the five most huggable, embracing songs at Eurovision. And remember — a hug is just a handshake from the heart!

5. Farid Mammadov – “Hold Me” (Azerbaijan 2013)

Farid Mammadov’s “Hold Me” told a story about lost love – two people who have parted ways, but where one still longed for the other. Farid sings that all can be fixed, and their relationship can be rekindled, if they just hug. If only love was that simple!

With one of the most intense staging ever witnessed at Eurovision, the super suave Farid and his boxed dancer mimicked each other’s movements symbiotically. With a blast of rose petals to top off the performance, the whole package was beautifully executed – catapulting Farid to second place behind Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest.

Hold me, just unfold me
Unchain my soul, give me love, make me whole
Hold me if it’s only
For this moment in time, now I’m yours and you’re mine
So hold me

4. Brendan Murray – “Dying to Try” (Ireland 2017)

The HomeTown boyband member went solo at Eurovision last year in Kyiv, with a sweeping love song packed with a message of hope and the all-important key change. The on-stage performance was rounded out with a wind machine and a hot air balloon.

On ground in Kyiv last year, Murray told Wiwibloggs that “for me, the hot air balloon is a sign of love. “Dying to Try” is about taking a leap of faith. Putting your trust in someone else. Love can take you anywhere in the world.”

Sadly, this leap of faith didn’t pay off for Ireland, with the country failing to make it out of the semi-final for the fourth year in a row.

I’m dying to try, I’m dying to try
I’ll keep you safe in my arms
Build a bridge to your heart every day

I’ll give you it all, but I’m not gonna lie
Oh, ’cause no one can promise
That love will ever learn how to fly

3. Afro-Dite – “Never Let It Go” (Sweden 2002)

A song that was turned down by Alcazar, “Never Let It Go” was an uptempo number about a woman dancing the night away with the man she loves. Dressed in silver glitter boots and skintight dresses, Afro-Dite brought the house down in Tallin, sashaying their way to eighth place at the grand final.

So never let it go, never stop ’til you know
We’ll be reaching for the top tonight
Surrender to the beat, up and down in the heat
We’ll be shaking, shaking
So never let it go, never stop ’til you know
We’ll be reaching for the top tonight
And when the night is over, I’ll take you in my arms now

2. Niamh Kavanagh – “In Your Eyes” (Ireland 1993)

The Eurovision dubbed by the BBC as being held “in a cowshed in Ireland”, Niamh Kavanagh brought the equestrian centre down in Millstreet, Ireland. A town of only 1500 people, it was the smallest city that a Eurovision has ever been held in. But Niamh made Millstreet the centre of Europe that night with a soft ballad about finding love after loneliness, describing being in her lover’s arms as heaven and changing her outlook on life.

“In Your Eyes” was the second of three wins in a row for Ireland, cementing the nation as the most successful winner of Eurovision to date. All because of the power of a hug.

In your eyes (your eyes)
I see the light leading me home again
It’s heaven in your arms, my love
My heart is in your hands
(Heaven in your arms, your eyes)
In your eyes, seems so right
I see forever in your smile
This woman is a child again
(In your eyes)

1. Helena Paparizou – “My Number One” (Greece 2005)

A song that had everything – a bouzouki, a man being played as a Cretan lyra, an upbeat dance tempo and four dancers making the shape of a number one on the stage floor. The song’s lyrics describe Helena Paparizou‘s appreciation for her lover, calling him “my number one” and “the only treasure I’ll ever have”.

“My Number One” was, in fact, the number one song of the night, taking Greece’s first win at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in 2005. Helena had reportedly been approached by Cyprus to represent the island nation at next year’s contest in Lisbon, but it appears that the Eurovision winner has turned down the offer. Watch this space.

Say you love me and you’ll have me
In your arms forever and I won’t forget it
Say you miss me, come and kiss me
Take me up to heaven and you won’t regret it

You are the one, you’re my number one
The only treasure I’ll ever have
You are the one, you’re my number one
Anything for you ’cause you’re the one I love

Which Eurovision hits do you embrace? Which songs would you have added to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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