Following Australia’s debut in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, some Europeans have called on the EBU to emphasise the euro in Eurovision. These folks are not happy about rumours that suggest more countries want to join the fold, including China (not in Europe), Kosovo (not recognised by Serbia, among other states) and the Faroe Islands (not a country). “Who is next?” they ask. “America?!”
Too late, y’all! At least thirteen singers from the United States have already competed at Eurovision. This includes the latest addition to the crew, Genealogy’s Tamar Kaprelian, who sang for Armenia in 2015. She even won Eurovision’s Next Top Model, solidifying her place in the pantheon of Eurovision greats…
So, in honor of America’s 239th birthday, here are 13 Americans who brought their star-spangled booty to Eurovision.
Katrina Leskanich (UK 1997)
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas
Katrina lived all over America, Germany, and the Netherlands before finally settling in Norfolk in the UK at the age of sixteen. She’s been a UK resident for almost forty years.
Kalomira (Greece 2008)
Birthplace: Hempstead, New York
Despite her extremely Greek first name, Kalomira is a Long Island girl – inside and out. Her parents are immigrants who own a restaurant.
Oscar Loya and Dita von Teese (Germany 2009)
Birthplace: Indio, California
Oscar is a Cali boy who currently lives in Münich. Dita, however, is of German heritage but is American-born lives in America.
Kim Cooper of the Rounder Girls (Austria 2000)
Birthplace: Long Island, New York
Kim isn’t Austrian. However, the trio she was in did have an Austrian member.
Andras Kallay-Saunders (Hungary 2014)
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Born and raised in New York City, he moved to Hungary in his early twenties to join his grandmother and later auditioned for the show Megasztar.
Jeanne Manson (Luxembourg 1979)
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
A former Playboy model, she lived in France throughout the 1970s with her then-husband, a film producer.
Isis Gee (Poland 2008)
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Born Tamara Gee, she is of Polish descent, but lives between Los Angeles and Italy.
Hannah Mancini (Slovenia 2013)
Birthplace: Fresno, California
Originally from a town equidistant from Los Angeles and Las Vegas, she moved to Slovenia to be with her husband.
Annet Artani (Cyprus 2006)
Birthplace: Queens, New York
She actually used to be Britney Spears’ BFF and backing vocalist. Annet has no ethnic connection to Cyprus, as her family came from Greece almost one hundred years ago.
Wess (Italy 1975)
Birthplace: North Carolina
Wess moved from North Carolina to Italy in the 1960s in order to pursue a musical career.
Natalia Kelly (Austria 2013)
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Born to an Austrian father, Natalia moved to Austria from America at the age of six.
Debbie Cameron (Denmark 1981)
Birthplace: Miami, Florida
Debbie moved to Denmark in 1978 to join her mother, a jazz singer who had settled in Copenhagen after losing her passport in East Germany.
Tamar Kaprelian (Armenia 2015)
Birthplace: Scottsdale, Arizona
Her parents are British-born Armenians, but she grew up in Arizona, Georgia, and California. Now in drastically colder New York, she is finishing her studies at Columbia.
Do you think more American singers should compete for their ancestral countries in Eurovision? Who is your favorite singer from America who has competed? Comment below!
“The USA should make it’s own song contest between its 50 states + Washington D.C.”
The showdown between Oregon and West Virginia would be epic! (/s)
this would be a wonderful story but the research is very poor……
Rhonda Heath from Silver Convection ( FR Germany 1977) born 19. July 1955 in New York City. She was backing singer for Austria 1985 and Germany 1994
Andras is the only performer who left any lasting impression with me.
American songwriters are active contributors to Eurovision. Their contributions would make a more interesting blog.
The USA should make it’s own song contest between its 50 states + Washington D.C.
Oh…Since Tamar Kaprelian being American Armenian living in the States..
I was informed now that the greatest majority of Armenians are living outside of Armenia!
Over 7 millions are the diaspora homogeneous Armenians..
Almost 3 millions Armenians are living in Armenia..
The most famous Armenian of all times is definitely CHER! <3
She is huge GAY icon idol 4us! <3
Lady Gaga might has became now the new Gay Idol 4 the young generation of homosexuals but Cher along with Madonna were the first artists that led the way & enjoyed the praise from gay fans <3
What about Stephanie Topalian from Genealogy? She was born in California and lived there for a long time.
So what is the 4th of July holiday?
It’s a chance for all of us Americans to rub the Brits nose in the fact that we won!
Also, if there was an American entry you would suddenly see tremendous interest here in Eurovision. We tend to ignore anything that doesn’t immediately directly affect us. But if we’re participating in a contest, then the entire country is all in.
GAY Marriage is typically officially now legal in whole United States of America! <3
Back in 2004 the first american state out of the 50 legalized gay marriage..<3
Now after 11 years the fight is over! We Won! Gay Love Won! <3
We made it..! <3
On 4th July in 2004 my country Greece won the Euro Championship & we were Champions of 'EuroVision' in football! <3
2004 was the GreAtY year of my country! <3
We made the most GreAtY un4gettable Olympic Games ever! <3
We shined like a GreAtY Diamond back then..! <3
And Maria Menounos is really famous celebrity in America 4 the record.. <3 🙂
Malmo’s Vision was GreAtY! <3
In terms my #1 favorite Vision of all times! <3
The atmosphere…The show…The host Petra Mede…The songs..The effects…Great winner Emmelie De 4rest was.. <3
Just everything were pure magic..! <3
Don’t forget we’ve also had an American host, in 2006 – Maria Menounous!
You’re right. I’m American, and I see that very few people follow Eurovision here. There seems to be a lack of interest in pop composition contests in general; I’ve never heard of something like Melodifestivalen here. If America joined Eurovision, we would have the same problem as the U.K. – lots of famous singers, but no way to engineer a winning song.
I thought that the songs from 2013 were the worst batch (there were about 10 that I loved, 2nd lowest of the semifinal era only to 2007) but that the production was fantastic. Sweden may not have used the most massive budget, but they did make some really great choices, including a hilarious host, one of the best interval acts ever, a very nice stage, and Lynda Woodruff.
“America will probably be the next “guest” country in the next 5 or ten years.” Not. Gonna. Happen. The EBU couldn’t invite the USA to be a guest entry if they wanted to, because there’s nobody to invite. It isn’t shown here, and that’s not likely to change. And the average American has literally (LITERALLY!) never heard of it. It’s safe to assume Britney Spears had never heard of it before her friend entered. American Eurovision fans are very vocal online, which may give you the impression that there are a lot of us. But that’s mainly because there are… Read more »
Fight ya for him 😉 haha
@Rayman – I agree. 2013 was the second best Eurovision and arguably the best stage ever. (I do think the acts this year were slightly better, but barely.)
It’s also my grandmother’s birthday today. (She’s 80). Plus Natalia Kelly was robbed!
I wouldn’t like it if USA would participate, anyway you are forgetting Romina Power who represented Italy twice in 70’s along with Al Bano.
Marina Diamandis (of Marina and the Diamonds fame) for Greece, Lana del Rey for United Kingdom (she is of Scottish decent), Jessica Jane Willis (singer-songwriter for The Willis Family band) for Ireland (she is of Irish decent and the stuff she does for her family’s band have huge references to Irish culture).
I like most of these, but Katrina & The Waves especially was awesome. I also really liked the entry from Luxembourg in 1979, aswell as Slovenia 2013.
And Malmö 2013 was spectacular. How many contests have ye guys even watched, to think that year’s show was so terrible? 😛
Annet Artani was living in NYC back in 2001 & on 9/11 she had a meeting on the WTC twin towers…But thank god she was late to go and then the planes hit the buildings…If she had made it on time she would had been killed! An angel must saved Annet’s life! <3 I loved her visionary song *Why Do The Angels Cry?* <3 One of my favorite ever songs in Vision! <3 Annet was friends with Britney Spears & she wrote the lyrics 4 Britney's 2004 hit ballad *EveryTime* <3 I love that song! <3 Before the Vision of… Read more »
Kallay Saunders Andras is MY baby only! <3
Ok?? 🙂 🙂
He is one of the hottest babes that the light of our Vision has seen! <3
America will probably be the next “guest” country in the next 5 or ten years. Although it would mean points for Ireland, Poland, Italy and the UK…I still wouldn’t like to see them in full-time, as to quote the article, “emphasis on the “euro”” . Kosovo and the Faroe Islands can join…but USA, China and Austrlia can not.
Great list though, loved Kalomira in 2008 and of course, my main babe of 2014, Andras Kallay-Saunders
Loved Kalomira in 2008 and love Tamar. Both just amazing. Fun fact, Annet help co wrote one of my favorite Britney song, “Everytime”. As an American, I’m super happy about this list.
Adrian, totally agree. 2013 was by far one of the worst editions ever. The Stage was just dull and boring.
Watching back those clips of 2013 I was reminded how terrible was that show. I swore never to watch that dull, uninspired, dated production ever again. And I was right – it is still the worst produced show since Copenhagen 2001. God what a torture that year was. Probably more of the same in 2016..
I really loved Isis Gee’s song – too bad she was criminally underrated.
More like Happy heartattack…
I thought (judging by the Thumbnail) that the USA was going to participate.