Saturday, 2 April 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 2 - Israel

Dana International, the stage name of Sharon Cohen, born as Yaron Cohen, (Tel Aviv, 1972) is an Israeli singer. At early age Yaron realized that he was mend to be on stage. He loved the Eurovision Song Contest and was a huge fan of Ofra Haza.

In 1992 Yaron earned a living as Israel's first drag queen parodying many famous artists and he called herself Dana International. During one of the performances Dana was discovered by Offer Nissim, one of Israel's most famous DJ's, who produced Dana's first single. The song received considerable airplay and launched her career as a professional singer. In 1993 Yaron flew to London for male to female sex reassignment surgery and came back as Sharon Cohen. That same year Dana released her first album entitled Dana International in Israel, Greece, Jordan and Egypt and was a huge success.

In 1995 Dana participated in the Israeli pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Layla Tov, Eropa which came 2nd but was another hit for Dana. In 1998 Dana was chosen to represent Israel with the song Diva which won the contest in Birmingham. Dana became a star in Europe as well. In the following years Dana released a couple of album which were quite successful in Israel, Egypt and parts of Europe.

After a few years away from show business Dana released an album in 2007 which was another success in Israel. In 2008 Dana wrote the song Ke'ilu Kann/The Fire In Your Eyes for Boaz Mauda which won the Israeli national final and came 9th at the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2009 Dana joined the Israeli version of American Idol as a judge.

In 2011 Dana paticipated again in the Israeli national final for the ESC with the song Ding Dong, she won an will represent Israel in Düsseldorf.

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