Jimmie Wilson Americans Eurovision San Marino

Last year San Marino imported Turkish television personality Serhat to sing at Eurovision, and the year before they drafted in Italian Michele Perniola.

And on Sunday Eurovision’s smallest country revealed that it has looked abroad again, announcing that its biggest jazz star Valentina Monetta will partner with the American singer Jimmie Wilson at Eurovision 2017.

Information is still emerging about the handsome crooner, but so far we know that he honed his voice in gospel choirs as a child, before studying acting in Hollywood. Born in Detroit, he had his first major lead role in the musical “Sisterella” — produced by Michael Jackson. He’s also performed with the likes of DJ BoBo, The Weather Girls and Lionel Ritchie. That’s what we call A-list!

Jimmie, who currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany, has also competed on the Polish singing show Must Be The Music. During the third season in 2012 he performed songs including “SexyBack” and “Sex Bomb” — suggesting a strong affinity for songs that mention sex.

But muscular Jimmie isn’t the first American to grace the Eurovision stage. In honour of his imminent participation, we take a look at 14 Americans who came before him.

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 continues to release music — including the recent “Sareri Hovin Mernem” — and also runs a summer program for Armenian young people through her Nvak Foundation. In 2015 she competed as part of Armenia’s Genealogy’s. Most importantly, she won Eurovision’s Next Top Model, solidifying her place in the pantheon of Eurovision greats. We weren’t surprised at all when Vogue decided to cover her recent wedding…

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 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 Munich. Dita, however, is of German heritage but is American-born and 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.

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!

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Ken
Guest
Ken

Wait, wasn’t Romina Power, who represented Italy twice (1976 and 1985), was half American?

st-w23
Guest
st-w23

Luxembourg 1989, you missed

Richard
Guest
Richard

See? Americans don’t always ruin Eurovision. At least that’s the complaint I always hear on various Facebook pages. I,for one,would love to see us compete on a one time only guest basis. And if we get invited to compete again after that,why not. We could use the fall edition of The Voice as our national final.

Jo
Guest
Jo

I think Eurovision would turn into something very political between Russia, US and China, like with the Olympics.

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

Jimmy was probably the best vocalist at Eurovision this year. Look forwards to hearing his album.

Mara
Guest
Mara

Andras is probably my favorite from the list, but I am also super excited to see what Jimmie brings to the table this year! (From a proud fellow Michigander).

jimmie wilson
Guest
jimmie wilson

Hi Mara, just now reading these comments. A fellow Michigander! How cool is that 🙂 Well, I guess you know the results by now. We didn’t make it to the finals. But What an AMAZING experience! Actually, this all happened by coinsidecne. I met the producer at an event and some days later I was in the studi recording Spirit Of the Night with Valentina. Right place, right time 🙂 I had just finished recording my solo album ‘So Damn Beautiful’ a few weeks prior to being asked to particiapte. Here is a link for the cd. Hope you like… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Romina Power, born in Los Angeles, restarting resented Italy twice, in 1976 and 1985, along either her then husband Al Bano

Jo
Guest
Jo

Yep, Romina!

nauportus
Guest
nauportus

“Big teeth, blonde hair, tanned skin, yes this is US.”

You forgot the fake boobs.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

Great article. Thanks!

Aline van Rossem
Member

And only one of them could ever win it, my queen Katrina!!!?

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Fits nicely with this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate Diversity’. Hope Jimmie will give San Marino that extra push they need to return to the grand finals again

jimmie wilson
Guest
jimmie wilson

Hey Charli, we did a great job but, didn’t make the finals unfortunately :/
But, it was so awesome. Great experience! I also wanted to share my new cd with you. Thanks for your interest!
https://www.igroove.eu/de/album/218730/so-damn-beautiful-jimmie-wilson.html

maybe next year 😉

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Delivering a bit of Purple philosophy here.
We are one species, on one planet (and a couple of space stations).
Countries and identities are of our own making. They wouldn’t actually exist without humanity. (But then neither would the ESC itself.)
“We are one.” 🙂

Yellowman
Guest

We Americans have produced the best Eurovision Songs ever! Believe me!

Lol Interesting article. We should get the US to join the party!!!

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

That was such an interesting article!
I didn’t know there were so many people from America who have participated in Eurovision over the years!

I know about Jimmie Wilson, Tamar, Hanna from Slovenia, and Andras Kallay Saunders.
I actually thought Katrina was English! I didn’t know she was american. I also couldn’t imagine Isis Gee was from the States.

Of course I knew about Kalomira! Our girl! She’s amazing!

My favourite act: Honestly, Kalomira’s performance was the one I enjoyed the most!

St-w
Guest
St-w

What about Park Cafe ? Luxembourg 1989?

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest
Mark Beckenbreur

‘Oscar is a Cali boy who currently lives in Munich. Dita, however, is of German heritage but is American-born and lives in America.’

Hmm, Dita is also of English and Armenian heritage.

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

I thought the Jest Set guy was English?

There’s some of the Common Linnets who come from Nashville way, but maybe that’s too minor. Occasionally we get an American writer, Desmond Child (UK 2013) is the first that springs to mind

Music is the key
Guest
Music is the key

Interesting list

Wojtek
Guest

There was one more american entry from Poland. Male part of The Jet Set duo was American 🙂

Stian F
Guest
Stian F

Paris Hilton for NORWAY!!!!! Would have been AWESOME…. said no Norwegian ever.

fikri
Guest
fikri

out of all the american pop stars they could’ve imported and they chose [i]him[/i]

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

US represent ayy

Ron
Guest
Ron

I’m American of Armenian heritage. So, this is great. Thanks for covering 🙂

mmiv
Guest
mmiv

Polegend Godgarina – : ”Isis Gee is probably the most American-looking person on this planet”

Big teeth, blonde hair, tanned skin, yes this is US.
Do you think that all those Americans came to Europe as for a second best?

I still don’t understand the story of Kallay Saunders Andras, he speaks hungarian, he has both parents last names, when did he moved in Hungary? early 20’s, for his grandmother? I just think his father does not love him.

ANDRAS KALLAY-SAUNDERS

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Isis Gee is probably the most American-looking person on this planet.

PP
Guest
PP

Rhonda Heath born in USA and sand in group Silver Convention for Germany 1977.After that she was backing vocalist for Austria 1985 and Germany 1994.
Maggie Parke born in USA sang for Luxembourg 1989.

escDisney Calling
Guest
escDisney Calling

If you didn’t know, I’m actually american and get super happy when a fellow American joins the Eurovision line up!!

Christian
Guest
Christian

Either it’s called München (German) or Munich (English), but “Münich” doesn’t exist.