Monday, 26 September 2011

World Popular Song Festival - Céline Dion

Céline Marie Claudette Dion, born march 30, 1968, is a Canadian singer. She was a teen star in the French-speaking part of Canada. In 1990 she released the English album Unison, establishing herself as a pop artist in the USA and other English-speaking countries in the world. During the 1990s, with the help of René Angélil, she achieved worldwide fame after signing with Epic Records and releasing several English albums along with additional French albums, becoming one of the most successful artists in pop music history. However, in 1999 at the height of her success, Dion announced a hiatus from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband. She returned to the top of pop music in 2002 and signed a three-year contract to perform nightly in a five-star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

Céline Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals. Céline Dion is the best-selling Canadian artist of all time, is the second best-selling female artist in the US and is the only female artist to have two singles sell more than a million copies in the UK. In addition, her 1995 album D'eux, is the best-selling French-language album of all time. In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best-selling female artist of all time. According to Sony Music Entertainment, Céline Dion has sold over 200 million albums worldwide.

Before her breakthrough in the 1990s and her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi Céline represented France at the World Popular Song Festival with the song Tellement J'ai D'amour Pour Toi which came 3rd and won a Best Song award. At the W.P.S.F. of 1982 Céline also won the Maestro Award which was awarded to the artist who was most appreciated by the orchestra. The song was a big hit in Canada.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sérgio Borges

Sérgio Borges was born as Sérgio Justo Camacho Borges in Madeira on October 18 1944. In 1964 he was one of the founders of the Portuguese band Conjunto Académico João Paulo. In 1966 Sérgio participated at the Festival RTP da Canção, the Portuguese pre-selection for the ESC, with the song Eu Nunca Direi Adeus which came 2nd and won the press award.

In September 1969 Portugal announced it's intention not to participate at the ESC in 1970 in protest against the voting system. Although they didn't participate in the ESC in Amsterdam the Portuguese held their own Festival RTP da Canção which was won by Sérgio Borges and his song Onde Vais Rio Que Eu Canto. In November 1970 Sérgio represented Portugal at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo with Onde Vais Rio Que Eu Canto which didn't reach the Grand Final.

Sérgio had a couple of hits in the 70s with Conjunto João Paulo until 1972 when they split up. For several years Sérgio peformed in the casino of Madeira.

In 1986 Sérgio participated again in the Porugese pre-selection for the ESC where he came equal last with the song Quebrar A Distância.

In 2005 Sérgio won an Award of Culture which was awarded by the Regional Government of Madeira.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Donna Hightower

Donna Hightower, born in Missouri on December 28 1926, is an American r&b, soul, jazz, pop and disco singer.

Donna grew up in Los Angles and was influenced by gospel and jazz and by artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Kay Star and Ella Mae Morse. In 1952 Donna was discovered and was invited to sing in Horace Henderson's orchestra. A couple of years later Donna won a record deal at a talent show and she made a few successful singles.

In 1959 Donna moved to Europe were she performed in Sweden, Spain, Germany, Belgium and France where she lived a couple of years. In Spain Donna won several prizes on festivals and made many records with Danny Daniel as the duo Danny y Donna. In 1972 Donna had her biggest hit world wide with the song This World Today Is A Mess which sold more than a million copies. After a few pop and disco records Donna recorded in 1976 the album El Jazz Y Donna. In 1991 Donna stopped her singing career and moved to Austin, Texas. Donna performs very occasionally.

In 1970 Donna took part in the Spanish pre-selection for the ESC with the song Soy Feliz which came 7th.

In 1971 Donna represented Spain in the World Popular Song Festival with the song If You Hold My Hand which was selected for the Grand Final but was disqualified because the song didn't follow the W.P.S.F. rules. The song became a big hit in Europe, Canada, the USA and Japan.

World Popular Song Festival - José Cid

During his long career José Cid participated three times at the W.P.S.F. in Japan, twice as a singer and once as a composer.

In 1971 he took part with the song Ficou Para Tia which didn't reach the Grand Final and in 1972 José wrote the song Desde Que Me Ames Un Pouco for Vittorio Santos which also stranded in the semi-finals.

In 1975 José participated again with the song Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow which came 9th in the Grand Final and won an Outstanding Song Award. The Portuguese version of the song, Ontem Hoje E Amanhã, was a big hit in Portugal.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Ebonique is a Dutch group formed in 2000 by producer Tjeerd van Zanen. Originally Ebonique consisted of Ingrid Simons, Mieke de Jongh en Caroline Dest who was replaced by Danie Duzant in 2005.

In 2001 Ebonique participated in the Dutch national final with the song So Much Love which came 2nd.

The follow-up single Give A Little was the title song for the Dutch tv-show Big Diet. The song was a success in Germany.

In 2003 Ebonique participated again in the Dutch pre-selection for the ESC and this time they came 4th with the song Heatwave which was written by Gérard James Borg and Philip Vella.

Ebonique is still performing and during their performances they sing songs from the 70s and 80s like It's Raining Men, We Are Family, Conga, Rhythm Of The Night etc.