Celebs you never knew took part in Eurovision – from Olivia Newton-John to Lulu

Since its start back in 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest, has had some incredible stars grace the stage in the hopes of winning glory for their country.

Some acts were relatively unknown before taking part, but have gone on to become famous worldwide afterwards. Meanwhile some were already familiar faces in certain countries.

While it's easy to remember ABBA and Bucks Fizz, there are several stars you may have forgotten – or didn't even know – took part in Eurovision.

As we wait for the Eurovision Song Contest to take place this week, we take a look at 10 celebs you never knew took part.

Celine Dion

Year: 1988

Finished: 1st

Celine Dion doesn't need an introduction. She became such a massive star after taking part in Eurovision, many may have forgotten this is where she got her big break.

Despite being French-Canadian, Celine represented Switzerland in 1988 with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Mois.

Celine went on to win the competition, shooting her into fame that has lasted more than 30 years.

Her first UK No 1 came in 1994 with the song Think Twice. But it was her second No 1 single, My Heart Will Go On, that would go on to become the biggest-selling single of her career.

Olivia Newton-John

Year: 1974

Finished: 4th

You may best know Olivia Newton John as Sandy in Grease, but before that she was a successful recording artist.

She had reached No 1 in Australia and No 6 in the UK with her version of Banks Of The Ohio in 1971.

In 1974 the Australian star represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest.

This was the same year ABBA won with Waterloo, and Olivia finished fourth with the song Long Live Love.

Julio Iglesias

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Year: 1970

Finished: 4th

Spanish singing sensation Enrique Iglesias' dad was a huge international star in his own right.

Throughout his four-decade career, he released over 80 albums, sold over 300 million albums, and sang duets with people like Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton.

Before he became a household name, he performed his own song Gwendolyne at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest for Spain.


Year: 1969

Finished: 1st

Lulu had already had some hits before taking part in Eurovision in 1960 for the UK.

She went on to win the contest with the song Boom Bang-a-Bang – but she wasn't the only one.

This was a very interesting year for Eurovision, because she got the same amount of points as Spain, Netherlands and France.

There was no tie-breaker rule in place, so it was decided all four singers would share the prize.

Samantha Womack

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Year: 1991

Finished: 10th

Then known as Samantha Janus, the now-actress was best known as a singer.

Samantha Womack was chosen to represent the UK in 1991, and finished 10th place with the song A Message To Your Heart.

Samantha went on to find fame on TV shows like Game On and EastEnders.

Michael Ball

Year: 1992

Finished: 2nd

Michael Ball received an OBE for his services to musical theatre in 2015, and made his West End debut in 1985 in Les Misérables.

He later went on to star in The Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray and Sweeney Todd – before representing the UK in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest.

He finished second place with the song One Step Out Of Time, which appeared on his self-titled album that same year.


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Year: 2003

Finished: 3rd

Few outside Russia knew of the singing duo t.A.tu before 2003, but by the time they represented their homeland at Eurovision, they had become one of the most talked about musical acts in the world.

They finished in fourth place with the song Ne Ver', Ne Boysia.

Their most famous song was All The Things She Said, which was the lead single off their debut English album in 2002.

Lena Katina and Tyla Volkova have since gone their separate ways, last performing together at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics Sochi.


Year: 2013

Finished: 21st

German trio Natalie Horler, DJ Manian and Yann Peifer are best known internationally for their hit singles Everytime We Touch and Evacuate the Dancefloor.

In 2013 they represented their home country at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Glorious.

Despite being favourites to win, they finished in 21st place with just 18 points.

Bonnie Tyler

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Year: 2013

Finished: 19th

Bonnie Tyler found great success in the 1970s and 80s with songs such as It's A Heartache and Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

She was first approached by Eurovision in 1983, at the height of her fame.

In 2013, she decided to represent the UK at the contest in Malmö, Sweden.

With only 23 points, she finished 19th place overall with the song Believe in Me.

Cliff Richard

Year: 1968 & 1973

Finished: 2nd & 3rd

Cliff Richard has sold more than 250million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

In 1968, Cliff Richard sang the UK entry Congratulations, and lost by one point to Spain's La La La.

His second appearance was at the 1973 contest, where he performed Power To All Our Friends.

It looked to be going well, but he eventually ended up in third place.

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