This year Turkish performer Serhat is representing San Marino, Canadian singer Rykka is a hot favourite to win the Swiss national final, and Finnish singer Krista Siegfrids will be competing at Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. But using talent from abroad is is as old as Eurovision itself – in the very first song contest in 1956, French singer Michèle Arnaud represented Luxembourg and Austrian singer Freddy Quinn represented Germany. Let’s take a look at some of the best known artists who sang for other countries.

1. France Gall (Luxembourg, 1965, 1st)

The French pop star sang for Luxembourg with the Serge Gainsbourg-written song “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”. Her infectious pop beats brought Luxembourg its second victory.

And France Gall isn’t the only foreigner to bring victory to Luxembourg. All five of the country’s wins were performed by singers from outside the Grand Duchy: French performers Jean-Claude Pascal, France Gall, Anne-Marie David and Corinne Hermès, as well as Greek singer Vicky Leandros. Also of note is Belgian/Canadian singer Lara Fabian who placed fourth in 1988.

2. Betty Missiego (Spain, 1979, 2nd)

Peruvian singer Betty Missiego was internally selected by the Spanish broadcaster. She took her song “Su canción” to second place.

https://youtu.be/rvwvM23M_Eg

3. Céline Dion (Switzerland, 1988, 1st)

The Canadian singer was not yet the world famous diva when she represented Switzerland with “Ne partez pas sans moi”, which went on to secure Switzerland its second Eurovision victory.

https://youtu.be/kLPlhvgE9qA

4. Fionnuala Sherry (Norway, 1995, 1st)

Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry was one half of Secret Garden which represented Norway. She performed on the largely instrumental “Nocturne” which gave Norway its second Eurovision win.

https://youtu.be/ol5YMjU37QI

5. Gina G (United Kingdom, 1996, 8th)

Hailing from down under, the Australian singer represented the UK in 1996. While “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” came in eighth place at Eurovision, the song went on to become an international hit, the last ESC song to reach No.1 in the UK.

https://youtu.be/AMOgwaaQofI

6. Natasha St-Pier (France, 2001, 4th)

At the age of 20, Canadian singer Natasha St-Pier represented France at Eurovision with the power ballad “Je n’ai que mon âme”. The song placed fourth – which France has not managed to top in the years since.

https://youtu.be/TosviW8OLaU

7. Vanilla Ninja (Switzerland, 2005, 8th)

The Estonian girl band had come close to representing their home country in 2003, but it was Switzerland who gave them the chance to perform at Eurovision. Their song “Cool Vibes” placed eighth, and remains Switzerland’s best result since 1993.

8. Arash (Azerbaijan, 2009, 3rd)

Born in Iran, raised in Sweden, Arash represented Azerbaijan along with Azeri pop star Aysel Teymurzadeh. Their duet “Always” continued Azerbaijan’s streak of top-10 finishes.

9. Hadise (Turkey, 2009, 4th)

Belgian-born singer Hadise represented Turkey, the country of her parents, with “Düm Tek Tek”. She now has an established music career in both Belgium and Turkey.

10. Eduard Romanyuta (Moldova, 2015, NQ)

Using an artist from another country isn’t always a formula for success. Last year Ukrainian singer Eduard Romanyuta won the Moldovan national final. However, his R&B song “I Want Your Love” was not a hit in Vienna, failing to qualify for the final.

11. Every San Marino act who isn’t Valentina Monetta (San Marino, 2008, 2011, 2015, NQ)

The microstate often looks abroad for its entries. It debuted in 2008 with Miodio, a band made up of three Italian and two Sammarinese members. In 2009 Eritrean-Italian singer Senhit represented her neighbouring country. In 2015 Sammarinese singer Anita Simoncini was joined by Italian singer Michele Perniola.

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Lala
Lala
4 years ago

Stop there! Hadise is turkish. The place of birth doesn’t mean anything. She represented her own country. And Arash-he’s an iranian azeri( like Sami Yusuf)…Yeah, if you didn’t know, there are about 30 million of azeris in Iran living mostly in North-West. These are people, who represented their homeland, but not other countries.

fikri
fikri
4 years ago

lol at no. 11. i miss queen valentina. D;

esc1234
esc1234
4 years ago

11. EVERY SAN MARINO ACT WHO ISN’T VALENTINA MONETTA

hahahahahahahahahaha im crying #valentinawhereareyou

Calum Macleod
Calum Macleod
4 years ago

Robyn,

Even if we do have international input in the Swiss final this year, a point I’m making is if artists who have (very) good songs but have no Swiss connection are going to end up not making it to the expert check, (ie, Ramona Nerra) we shouldn’t keep hoping that those types of artists will get through for Switzerland (even if we did have a Spanish artist and a Canadian living in Spain in the expert check this year).

Laburnum
Laburnum
4 years ago

I absolutely love “Every San Marino Act Who Isn’t Valentina”!

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

Lara Fabian is Belgian and represented Luxembourg in 1988.

Seb38
4 years ago

Nana MOUSKOURI (greece) for Luxembourg 1963 :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXZw8jEhSZY

Calum Macleod
Calum Macleod
4 years ago

For Switzerland next year, they should make a rule that international artists must have a Swiss citizenship, (which Rykka has) but they can still be in a duo or group so long as 50% of it is Swiss.

dragvision
dragvision
4 years ago

San Marino in 2008 has debut in eurovision and they make the open door for the Italy’s partecipation, I think San marino make a new miracle with a turkish singer they can make the return of Turkey on eurovision in 2017.

PP
PP
4 years ago

Canadian female singers at Eurovision, Luxembourg 1986, Switzerland 1988 and 1993 , France 2001.
Singer from USA at Eurovision , Italy 1975 male singer of duo, Germany one members of Silver Convetion was born in USA, one singer of trio was born in Germany and father was soldier who fork in FR Germany and he is from USA, Luxembourg 1979,1989, Denmark 1981 female singer of duo., UK 1997 , Austria 2000 one sigers of trio, Cyprus 2006, Poland 2008,Greece 2008, Germany 2009,Austria 2013,Slovenia 2013, Hungary 2014, Armenia 2015 one of female singers from group.

PP
PP
4 years ago

Luxembourg participated 37 times at Eurovision. Only few singers was from Luxembourg. From Luxembourg 1956-1958, 1960 to 1993, there are singers who are born in Luxembourg and represent their country. 1960 and 1962 same male singer. 1968 male singer from duo, 1971, 1984, 1992, 1993.

Huh
Huh
4 years ago

This makes San Marino even more special. If only Europe could continually help and support them to reach a deserving place in the grand finals. But I commend them for being classy pre and post Valentina Monetta entries that are well similar to past Eurovision songs before the 2000s.