Way back in 1776, the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain to establish the United States of America. Today — on the 4th of July — the country celebrates its history and, despite ongoing political tensions, its endearing values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
America’s contributions to the world of pop don’t need repeating. But less obvious to many is the nation’s contribution to Eurovision. Here’s a quick look at 17 Eurovision alums from the U S of A who bleed red, white and blue.
Trey Campbell (Bulgaria 2018)
Birthplace: North Carolina
Trey Campbell was born in North Carolina, and is now a Los Angeles-based artist and producer. A member of the Symphonix songwriting collective, he played a significant part in the production of “Bones” — Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2018 song. Trey has also penned songs for major artists in the music industry such as Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha, Adam Lambert and Kehlani. He’s the real deal, y’all!
Johnny Manuel (Bulgaria 2018)
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan
Johnny Manuel captured the hearts of many Americans during his triumphant journey on America’s Got Talent 2017. He has racked up millions of views on Youtube; his rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’ sealed him a golden buzzer.
At the tender age of 14, Johnny got his first taste of stardom and the heated spotlight. He was spotted covering a Run-D.M.C hip-hop song, which eventually led to him singing a record contract with the stage-name Lil’ Johnny. This gave him the chance to tour and open for major artists such as N Sync and Lil’ Bow Wow.
Jimmie Wilson (San Marino 2017)
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan
The handsome crooner teamed up with Valentina Monetta in 2017 to deliver the guilty pleasure “Spirit of the Night” for San Marino.
But long before that he had 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.
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 Depi Evratesil 2018 fan favourite number “Poison”. She 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!