Tuesday, 31 July 2012

De Spelbrekers

De Spelbrekers were a Dutch singing duo, known for their participation in the 1962 Eurovision Song Contest. De Spelbrekers consisted of Theo Rekkers (24 april 1923 - 20 april 2012) and Huug Kok (19 februari 1918 - 27 oktober 2011)

Rekkers and Kok met during World War II at a munitions factory in Bremen, Germany, where they were working as forced labour. They formed De Spelbrekers in 1945, as the war ended. Their recording career began in 1950, and they released numerous singles during the decade, the most successful being Oh wat ben je mooi which reached #5 on the Dutch chart in 1956.

In 1962, De Spelbrekers took part in the Dutch Eurovision selection, and won with the song Katinka, which went forward to the seventh Eurovision Song Contest, held in Luxembourg City on March 18th. In a field of 16, Katinka was one of four songs (the others being the entries from Belgium, Spain and Austria) which failed to score. This was the first year in which songs had failed to register at all on the Eurovision scoreboard. Nevertheless, Katinka proved a success within the Netherlands, and has gone on to become one of the country's better-remembered and recognised Eurovision entries.

The duo never managed to recapture the success of Oh wat ben je mooi and Katinka, and after years of releasing further singles to ever-declining interest, they decided in the mid 1970s to move into music management, their clients including André van Duin, Ben Cramer and Saskia & Serge.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 2004

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 2004, was held at the Globe Theatre in Stockholm on March 20th, hosted by Charlotte Perrelli (winner of the 1999 ESC), Ola Lindholm and Peter Settman. The winner was chosen by regional juries (50%) and televoting (50%) - Lena Philipsson was the favourite with both. Her song, Det gör ont, was written and composed by Thomas 'Orup' Eriksson.

Before the final there were 5 semi-finals.

The Swedish Semi-Finals were hosted by Charlotte Perrelli, Ola Lindholm and Peter Settman. The winners in the first four semi-finals were chosen in two rounds of televoting - the first round to decide the top 5, and the second round to decide the top 2 songs that would go directly to the final. The 3rd and 4th placed songs got another chance in the 5th semi-final, where there was just one round of televoting.


Semi-Final 1 - February 21st - Löfbergs Lila, Karlstad

1. Tango! Tango! - Petra Nielsen
2. Som stormen - Sara Löfgren
3. Love Turns Water Into Wine - Karl Matindahl
4. Älvorna - Sarek
5. It's In The Stars - LaGaylia Frazier
6. Tro på mig - Niklas Andersson
7. En gång för alla - Nina & Kim
8. Still Believe - Jocke Bergström

Semi-Final 2 - February 28th - Scandinavium, Gothenburg

1. Paradise - E-Type
2. Vindarna vänder oss - Fame
3. Finally - Fredrik Kempe
4. Säg att du har ångrat dig - Anne-Lie Rydé
5. (Are U) Ready Or Not - LaRoxx
6. Trendy Discothèque - Pay TV
7. Soy tu venus - Baccara
8. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Jennifer Eskola

Semi-Final 3 - March 6th - Umeå Arena

1. Här stannar jag kvar - Sandra Dahlberg
2. C'est la vie - Hanson, Carson & Malmkvist
3. Efharisto - Bosson
4. Blow The Spot - Bubbles
5. Innan mörket faller - Emil Sigfridsson
6. Bulletproof Heart - Autolove
7. Super Mega Nova - Itchycoo
8. Baby I Can't Stop - Gladys del Pilar

Semi-Final 4 - March 13th - Malmö Mässan

1. Det gör ont - Lena Philipsson
2. La Dolce Vita - After Dark
3. Olé Olé - Andrés Esteche
4. Min kärlek - Shirley clamp
5. Runaway - Pandora
6. Boom-bang-a-bang - Lotta Nilsson & Glenn Borgkvist
7. Just Like Me - Anders Borgius
8. Äntligen - Fre

Semi-Final 5 - March 14th - Hotel Rival, Stockholm

1. Olé Olé - Andrés Esteche
2. Min kärlek - Shirley Clamp
3. Love Turns Water Into Wine - Karl Martindahl
4. Blow The Spot - Bubbles
5. Älvorna - Sarek
6. Efharisto - Bosson
7. Säg att du har ångrat dig - Anne-Lie Rydé
8. Finally - Fredrik Kempe

The Final - March 20th - Globen, Stockholm   

01. Det gör ont - Lena Philipsson, 232 points
02. Min kärlek - Shirley Clamp, 174 points
03. La Dolce Vita - After Dark, 156 points
04. Tango! Tango! - Petra Nielsen, 151 points
05. Paradise - E-Type, 75 points
06. Vindarna vänder oss - Fame, 66 points
07. Som stormen - Sara Löfgren, 52 points
08. Här stannar jag kvar - Sandra Dahlberg, 19 points
09. Olé Olé - Andrés Esteche, 14 points
10. C'est la vie - Hanson, Carson & Malmkvist, 7 points

At Eurovision, Lena sang Det gör ont in its English version, It Hurts. Lena appeared on stage with her backing singers lined up on the side. She moved on stage by herself very effectively and gave one of the best performances of the night. Lena's performance was very similar to her Melodifestivalen performance. Sweden closed the contest performing last in the 24th spot and eventually making their way up to a joint 5th place with 170 points. 


Maria Magdalena "Lena" Philipsson (also known as Lena Ph, born January 19, 1966 in Vetlanda, Sweden) is a Swedish singer and media personality.

Lena participated in the Swedish New Faces in 1982. Her career started with the single Boy/You Open My Eyes in 1984 and with her entries at Melodifestivalen in 1986, 1987 and 1988. In 1987 she released the song Aquarius 99 by duet with the Russian composer Igor Nikolaev. In 1989 she had great success with the album My Name that included top hits Standing In My Rain, Why and Leave A Light. In 1991 she recorded a concept album and show about a female secret agent, Agent 006. In the early 1990s her fame increased in Sweden, and she continued to release albums until 1997. In 2001 she had a stage comeback, the Lena Philipsson Show was sold out for two and a half years around Sweden. In 2004, she returned after a seven year hiatus from the album charts.

In 2004, she entered Melodifestivalen for the fourth time as a solo artist, with Det gör ont. She made it through the semifinal process and emerged as the winner on 20 March 2004, going on to representing Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 with the translated English language version It Hurts. The song composed by Thomas Eriksson and combined up-tempo and disco themes. Lena's stage appearance caused much controversy in Swedish press and media because her performance, in a short fuchsia pink dress and high heels, consisted of dancing with the microphone stand in a fashion similar to Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.

Despite being the third favourite to win the competition, she finished in joint 5th place. The album, Det gör ont en stund på natten men inget på dan, sold gold in nine days, with Det gör ont as its lead single. It also spawned the singles Delirium, Lena Anthem and På gatan där jag bor.

The Swedish radio show Tracks voted her best female artist, best Swedish artist, and artist of the year for 2004, and Det gör ont was voted best song.

She released her new album Jag ångrar ingenting in 2005. After one day in Swedish shops it had sold over 30,000 copies. A one-hour TV special featuring new songs as well as old hits and some interviews aired in November the same year. In January 2006, Philipsson announced she was to host the 2006 Melodifestivalen. Because Melodifestivalen is a family show, her appearance as host was met with some controversy due to numerous jokes considered inappropriate to the audience.

In early 2007, she released her new version of her greatest hits, "Lena 20 år. The album included hits from all albums except Fantasy album. Also included new song Jag måste skynda mig på. Lena and Orup set up their own show on China Teatern in Stockholm at the same time as the album release. The show was a critical and public success.  After the success in Stockholm and Goteborg, the show Lena+Orup go on tour across Sweden late 2008. At the same time, Lena and Orup will release a duet album called Dubbel, released in November.

Lena Philipsson has participated in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest six times: four times as a performer and twice as a songwriter.

As a performer:

        1986, Kärleken är evig (2nd)
        1987, Dansa i neon (5th)
        1988, Om igen (2nd)
        2004, Det gör ont

As a songwriter

        1991, Tvillingsjäl (performed by Pernilla Wahlgren) (equal 6th)
        1999, Det svär jag på (performed by Arvingarna) (3rd)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 2003

The Swedish Final was held at the Globe Theatre in Stockholm on March 15th, hosted by Jonas Gardell & Mark Levengood. The winner was chosen by a mixture of regional juries (50%) and televoting (50%) - Fame were the favourite with both.

Before the final there were 5 semi-finals. The winners in the first four semi-finals were chosen in two rounds of televoting - the first round to decide the top 4, and the second round to decide the top 2 songs that would go directly to the final. The 3rd and 4th placed songs got another chance in the 5th semi-final, where there was just one round of televoting.

The winners were Fame consisting of Jessica Andersson and Magnus Bäcklund. Their song, written by Calle Kindbom and Carl Lösnitz, was called Give me your love, and was a typical schlager–disco song.


Semi-Final 1 - February 15th - Jönköping - hosts: Mark Levengood, Lena Philipsson & Charlotte Nilsson

1. Let Your Spirit Fly - Pernilla Wahlgren & Jan Johansen    
2. Crazy In Love - Jill Johnson
3. Carnaval - Méndez
4. Television - Markus Landgren
5. Stop! Look! Listen! - Da Buzz
6. Stronger - Crosstalk
7. Someone, Somewhere, Someday - DeDe Lopez
8. Ingen annan - Alive featuring Jesse Martin

Semi-Final 2 - February 22nd - Gothenburg - hosts: Mark Levengood & Carola

1. Give Me Your Love - Fame
2. Hela världen för mig - Sanna Nielsen
3. Not a Sinner Nor a Saint - Alcazar
4. 15 minuter - Brandsta City Släckers
5. Just Like A Boomerang - Andrés Esteche
6. Better Believe It - Aleena
7. Let's Go - Kerli featuring Locatellies
8. You - Pandora

Semi-Final 3 - March 1st - Luleå - hosts: Mark Levengood & Lill-Babs

1. Genom eld och vatten - Sarek   
2. Bye, Bye - Barbados
3. Stay The Night - Style
4. Love is all - Liverpool
5. My Love - Sofia Källgren & Robert Wells
6. Mr. Memory - Shirley Clamp
7. Evig kärlek - Nanne Grönvall
8. Tonight's The Night - Shanna smith

Semi-Final 4 - March 8th - Sundsvall - hosts: Mark Levengood & Roger Pontare

1. Maria - Östen med resten    
2. Aqua Playa - Afro-Dite
3. T.K.O. (Knock You Out) - Bubbles
4. Nothing Can Stop Me - Lina Hedlund
5. We're Unbreakable - Sahlene
6. He Is Always On My Mind - Maarja
7. Tills jag mötte dig - Mikael Erlandsson
No dudes en llamarme - Fernando Brito

Semi-Final 5 - March 9th - Stockholm - hosts: Rickard Olsson & Marianne Rundström

1. Not a Sinner Nor a Saint - Alcazar
2. T.K.O. (Knock You Out) - Bubbles
3. 15 Minuter - Brandsta City Släckers
4. Nothing Can Stop Me    - Lina Hedlund
5. Carnaval - Mendez
6. Love Is All - Liverpool
7. Television - Markus Landgren
8. Stay the night - Style

The final - March 15th - Stockholm - hosts: Jonas Gardell & Mark Levengood

01. Give Me Your Love - Fame, 240 points
02. Let Your Spirit Fly - Pernilla Wahlgren & Jan Johansen, 178 points
03. Not a Sinner Nor a Saint - Alcazar, 172 points
04. Crazy in Love - Jill Johnson, 122 points
05. Hela världen för mig - Sanna Nielsen, 93 points
06. Genom eld och vatten - Sarek, 55 points
07. Aqua Playa - Afro-Dite, 48 points
08. Maria - Östen med resten - 21 points
09. T.K.O. (Knock You Out) - Bubbles, 10 points
10. Bye Bye - Barbados, 7 points

Fame were drawn to sing as #25 at the ESC final in Riga. They finished 5th with 107 points.


Fame is a Swedish duo consisting of Jessica Andersson (born October 27 1973 in Stockholm) and Magnus Bäcklund (born November 16 1965 in Kristinehamn, Värmland County). They met each other at the televised arts school and contest Fame Factory, which aired in autumn 2002. Bäcklund was the overall winner, while Andersson dropped out to give birth to her son Liam. Bäcklund also has two young twin daughters. Andersson is a former photo model and Bäcklund is a commercial pilot.

In 2003, Fame won the favour of the Swedish public and the jury with the song Give Me Your Love in a landslide victory in Melodifestivalen 2003 at the Stockholm Globe Arena. Fame won with 240 points, overtaking such former Melodifestivalen winners as Jan Johansen, Jill Johnson and Afro-Dite, as well as the famous Swedish pop group Alcazar. They went on to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, eventually garnering 107 points, which put them in fifth place.

In 2004, they participated in Melodifestivalen again and reached sixth place with the song Vindarna vänder oss.

Magnus Bäcklund went on to take part in Melodifestivalen 2006 with the song The Name of Love. He took part in the first semifinal and made it to the Andra Chansen (second chance) round. From there he reached the final, where he finished 5th. Jessica Andersson also entered with the song Kalla Nätter, but came in fifth in her semifinal round, which eliminated her from the competition. She returned one year later to perform in the second semifinal of Melodifestivalen 2007 with the song Kom.

Jessica Andersson won a place in the Andra Chansen (second chance) round in Melodifestivalen 2007 on 10 February. On 3 March 2007, Jessica won in the first round over Elin Lanto but lost the second against Sanna Nielsen for a spot in the Melodifestivalen 2007 Final.

In the Melodifestivalen 2010 season, Jessica reached eighth place in the final of Melodifestival with the song I Did It for Love. The song performed best among the Swedish voters, reaching sixth place.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Avi Toledano

Avi Toledano (born April 4, 1948) is an Israeli singer and songwriter who was born in Meknes, Morocco.

In the 1981 national final in Israel, Avi Toledano sang Carneval, a song he co-wrote with Shimrit Or which came 3rd.

In 1982, Avi Toledano represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in Harrogate, UK with Hora. He finished in second place, after the German winner, Nicole.

In 1983 he composed the song that represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest in Munich. Chai (Alive) was performed by Ofra Haza and finished also in second place.

In 1986, Avi Toledano wrote Lechaim for Haim Moshe, which came 3rd in the Israeli pre-selection for the ESC.

In 1989, he performed in the Israeli final himself and came 2nd with Dayenu.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 2002

The Swedish Final was held on March 1st at the Globe Theatre in Stockholm, hosted by Kristin Kaspersen & Claes Åkesson. For the first time, songs could be sung in a language other than Swedish. The winner was chosen by 50% televoting, 50% regional juries - Afro-Dite was the favourite with both and they won the ticket for the ESC in Tallinn, Estonia. Their song, Never let it go, was written by Marcos Ubeda.

Before the final, there were 5 semi-finals.

The Swedish Semi-Finals were hosted by Kristin Kaspersen & Claes Åkeson. The first four semi-finals had two rounds of voting. In the first round, the 8 songs were performed and there was a televote. Then in the second round, the top 4 songs were performed again, followed by another televote. The top 2 songs went forward to the final, while the 3rd/4th placed songs went forward to the 5th semi-final, where a jury of former Swedish Final winners selected 2 of the songs to go forward to the final. The jury consisted of: Siw Malmkvist, Lasse Holm, Jill Johnson, Tommy Nilsson, Charlotte Nilsson, Svante Thuresson, Roger Pontare and Nanne Grönvall.


Semi-Final 1 - 19th January - Tipshallen, Växjö

1. Kom och ta mig - Brandsta City Släckers
2. Adrenaline - Méndez
3. Världen utanför - Barbados
4. Last to Know - Excellence
5. Du har rört vid min själ - Camilla Lindén
6. Hollywood-do - Zoë
7. Blue As Her Angel Eyes - Tom Nordahl
8. En värld som alltid brinner - Rickard Sköld

Semi-Final 2 - 26th January - Himmelstalundshallen, Norrköping

1. Never Let It Go - Afro-Dite
2. No hay nada más - Javiera Muñoz
3. What Difference Does It Make - The Poets
4. Sail Away - Annika Ljungberg
5. Ge mig mitt hjärta tillbaka - Jakob Stadell & Voice Boys
6. Sluta - Ann-Louise & Molle
7. Du och jag (i hela världen) - Martin
8. Ingenting ingenting - Jennifer Newberry

Semi-Final 3 - 2nd February - Nordichallen, Sundsvall

1. Hon kommer med solsken - Östen med Resten
2. Big Time Party - Hanna & Lina Hedlund
3. Tidig är tiden - Rolf Carlsson
4. Det innersta rummet - Date
5. Hon är en annan nu - Sylvia Vrethammar
6. Ingenting är större än vi - Arvingarna
7. Back Again - Towe Jaarnek
8. You're the Best Thing - Linda Grip

Semi-Final 4 - 8th February - Lugnet, Falun
1. Vem é dé du vill ha - Kikki, Bettan & Lotta
2. The One That You Need - Friends
3. Sista andetaget - Jan Johansen
4. Son of a Liar - Kine Jaarnek
5. Vackare nu - Fredrik Wännman
6. It Takes 2 - The Honeydrops
7. Ge mig himlen för en dag - Solo
8. I Want You - Niklas Andersson

Winners' Choice - 22nd February - Globen, Stockholm

1. Världen utanför - Barbados
2. Sista andetaget - Jan Johansen
3. Sail Away - Annika Ljungberg
4. Son of a Liar - kine Jaarnek
5. What Difference Does It Make - The Poets
6. Det innersta rummet - date
7. Last to Know - Excellence
8. Tidig är tiden - Rolf Carlsson

The final - March 1st - Globen, Stockholm

01. Never Let It Go - Afro-Dite, 248 points
02. Adrenaline - Mendez, 162 points
03. Vem é dé du vill ha - Kikki, Bettan & Lotta, 100 points
04. Världen utanför - Barbados, 90 points
05. Kom och ta mig - Brandsta City Släckers, 88 points
06. No hay nada más - Javiera Muñoz, 71 points
07. Sista andetaget - Jan Johansen, 65 points
08. The One That You Need - Friends, 46 points
09. Big Time Party - Hanna Hedlund & Lina Hedlund - 43 points
10. Hon kommer med solsken - Östen med Resten, 33 points


Afro-dite is a Swedish pop group made up of three pop singers. The group consists of Blossom Tainton-Lindquist, Gladys del Pilar and Kayo Shekoni. The name is a play on words implying they are beautiful as Greek goddess Aphrodite and being black.

Blossom has already been in showbusiness for a long time. She sings and dances, played in several musicals and even hosted TV-shows on Swedish television.

Gladys, born in Ecuador, came to Sweden when she was only 7 years old. She worked with Dr. Alban and Denniz Pop but her final breakthrough was when she appeared in ABBA - the true story.

Kayo is another multitalented woman. She is not only a singer, but also an actress, TV-show host and model. In the 80s she sang with the pop group Freestyle and in the 90s she fronted the eurodance project Le Click.

Afro-dite came together to sing the song Never let it go for the Eurovision Song Contest 2002. The song was originally meant to be sung by Alcazar but they refused. In Eurovision, Afro-dite reached the 8th place. In 2007 they released a new album. In 2003 they participated again at Melodifestivalen where they came 7th with Aqua playa and in 2012 Afro-Dite came 5th in semi-final one with the song The boy can dance.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 2001

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 2001,  was held at the Musikteater in Malmö on 23rd February, hosted by Josefine Sundström & Henrik Olsson. The winner was chosen by 11 regional juries (50%) and televoting (50%) - Friends were the favourite of both.

Winner was last year's runner-up, the group Friends with the typical schlager song Lyssna till ditt hjärta. It was written by Thomas G:son and Henrik Sethson.


01. Lyssna till ditt hjärta - Friends, 237 points
02. Allt som jag ser - Barbados, 192 points
03. Igår, idag - Sanna Nielsen, 172 points
04. Ingemansland - Jan Johansen, 107 points
05. Om du stannar här - Ellinor Franzén, 91 points
06. Om du förlåter mig - Date 57 points
07. Vända om - Annie Kratz-Gutå, 29 points
08. Kom ner på jorden - Teresia, 25 points
09. Jag känner dig - Popson, 23 points
10. Om du var här hos mig - Rosanna, 13 points

For the ESC, the song was rewritten into English and got the new title Listen To Your Heartbeat. It was performed in the 7th spot, in a total of 23. Despite not receiving any 12s, Sweden reached the 5th position with 100 points.

Listen To Your Heartbeat became part of a controversy after it was claimed that it was plagiarised from Belgium's 1996 entry Liefde is een kaartspel. At first this was denied by the Swedish composers, Thomas G:son and Henrik Sethsson, but after the Belgian songwriters and the author's organisation SABAM pressed for legal action, a cash settlement was agreed.


Friends was a Swedish dansband or pop group formed in 1999 and made up of Stefan Brunzell, Tony Haglund, Kristian Hermanson, Nina Inhammar, Kim Kärnfalk and Peter Strandberg. They were put together from auditions on the reality television show Friends på turne (Friends on Tour), made by Bert Karlsson for TV4. The show was a success and Friends competed on Melodifestivalen 2000, reaching second place.

They won Melodifestivalen 2001 with Lyssna till ditt hjärta and represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 with the English version of the song, Listen To Your Heartbeat wearing sexy, tight, leather fitted clothing.

In 2000, Friends came 2nd at Melodifestival with the song När jag tänker på i morgon and in 2002 they came 8th with The one that you need.

The band split in 2002, with Nina Inhammar and Kim Kärnfalk forming their own duo Nina & Kim, which continued until 2006, after which Kim Kärnfalk continued as a solo artist. In 2004 Nina & Kim stranded in the semi-finals of Melodifestivalen with the song En gång för alla.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 2000

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 2000, was held on March 10th at the Operahouse in Gothenburg. There were 10 hosts - Björn Skifs, Arja Saijonmaa, Elisabeth Andreassen, Lasse Holm, Lena Philipsson, Loa Falkman, Lasse Berghagen, Lotta Engberg, Tommy Körberg & Carola. The winning song was chosen by a mixture of regional juries and televoting - Roger Pontare was the favourite with both.

1394 songs were submitted and 10 progressed to the final, which was one of the most seen TV shows ever in Sweden with 4 175 000 viewers. Just like last year, 11 juries combined with televotes selected the winner, which surprisingly was folk-inspired rock song När vindarna viskar mitt namn. It was sung by Roger Pontare, who had also represented Sweden at the 1994 contest. The song was written and composed by Thomas Holmstrand, Linda Jansson and Peter Dahl.


01. När vindarna viskar mitt namn - Roger Pontare, 227 points
02. Se Mig - Barbados, 146 points
02. När jag tänker på imorgon - Friends, 146 points
04. Varje timma, var minut" - Javiera Muñoz, 139 points
05. Vi lever här, vi lever nu - Guide, 97 points
06. Tillsammans - Misnight Band, 58 points
07. Bara du och jag - Balsam Boys, 54 points
08. Anropar försvunnen - Hanna Hedlund, 47 points
09. Alla änglar sjunger - Tom Nordahl, 32 points
10. När filmen är slut - Avengers, 0 points

The song När vindarna viskar mitt namn extols the traditions of indigenous peoples and their efforts to protect their territories and cultures. For his solo appearance in 2000, Pontare wore a Sami costume associated with the indigenous population of Lapland in northern Sweden (and also the northern regions of Norway, Finland, and Russia). On his performance at the Eurovision Song Contest, Pontare was accompanied by an Indian dancer, a Thule Eskimo and a Norwegian Sami.

Roger performed his song in the 18th spot, and received much cheers from the home public. The song had been translated into English and was now called When Spirits Are Calling My Name, and the stage show was quite spectacular with Native American and Sami themes. Sweden finished 7th with 88 points.


Fred Roger Pontare (born as Fred Roger Johansson on 17 October 1951 in Slagnäs, Arjeplog Municipality, Sweden) is a Swedish musician. He currently lives in Vingåker, Södermanland County.

He represented Sweden twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1994 (duet with Marie Bergman) with Stjärnorna and in 2000 with When Spirits Are Calling My Name, placing 13th and 7th, respectively. Roger released 5 quite successful labums.

Roger participated 4 times at Melodifestivalen:

1994: Stjärnorna (with Marie Bergman), 1st
1999: Som av is, 5th
2000: När vindarna viskar mitt namn, 1st
2006: Silverland, 4th in semi-final 4

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Saskia & Serge

Saskia & Serge are a Dutch vocal duo consisting of singer Trudy van den Berg (born April 23 1947, Grootebroek) and singer-guitarist Ruud Schaap (born March 22 1946, Den Helder). They are known for their participation in the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest, and have enjoyed a long and successful career in the Netherlands, where they were awarded the title of Knights of the Order of Orange-Nassau in 2004.

Trudy van den Berg and Ruud Schaap first attracted attention when, as Trudy & Ruud, they won a talent contest organised by singer Max van Praag in 1967. The couple married in 1969 and changed their professional name to Saskia & Serge, as their gentle, folk style began to attract favourable attention.

In 1970, Saskia & Serge took part in the Dutch Eurovision selection with Het spinnewiel, which was narrowly and controversially beaten into second place. They returned in 1971, this time singing all six songs in the national selection, and Tijd was chosen to go forward to the 16th Eurovision Song Contest, held in Dublin on April 3. Although Saskia suffered a microphone malfunction at the start of the song, Tijd finished in 6th place of the 18 entries.

After releasing several folk-themed albums to a largely indifferent response, Saskia & Serge changed direction in 1976 by releasing a successful country music-style album, We'll Give You Everything, the title track from which was a top 10 hit. The album got them noticed outside the Netherlands, and they became the first Dutch artists to appear at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Further hit singles followed, including Mama, He's a Soldier Now which became their biggest hit, peaking at #6 in 1980.

Saskia & Serge have continued to release popular albums of both original material and cover versions. Their fifteenth studio album, Mooie liedjes, came out in December 2008, consisting of new adaptations of well-known Dutch songs.

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1999

The Swedish Final was held on February 27th in Stockholm, hosted by Anders Lundin and Vendela Thommessen. The voting was 50% regional juries and 50% televoting.

The winner was Charlotte Nilsson with the song Tusen och en natt, written by Gert Lengstrand and Lars Diedricsson. It got the highest number of points from both the 11 juries and the televoters.


01. Tusen och en natt - Charlotte Nilsson, 217 points
02. Stjärna på himmelen - Drömhus, 148 points
03. Det svär jag på - Arvingarna, 114 points
04. (Du är så) Yeah Yeah Wow Wow - Martin, 109 points
05. Som av is - Roger Pontare, 98 points
06. Det gäller dej och mej - Crosstalk, 87 points
07. Jag kan se dig - Janica, 66 points
08. Natten är min vän - Cleo, 59 points
09. Bilder av dig - Ai, 42 points
10. Välkommen hem - Christer Björkman, 6 points

The song was performed in English at the Eurovision as Take me to your heaven, taking advantage of new rules removing the requirement to perform in a national language, and it won the contest with 163 points.  At the Eurovision, one of Charlotte's backing singers was Gabriel Forss, who was a member of Blond that represented Sweden in 1997.


Charlotte Nilsson (born Anna Jenny Charlotte Nilsson on October 7 1974, in Hovmantorp, Kronobergs län, Sweden) is a Swedish singer and occasional television host, perhaps most famous for winning the 1999 Melodifestivalen and subsequently that year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song Take Me to Your Heaven.

Since then she has released seven albums and multiple singles. Charlotte once again won Melodifestivalen 2008 and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with her song Hero, this time she placed 18.

She is one of Sweden's most popular female singers, often performing at Sweden's top shows. Throughout her career, she has worked with different types of music, ranging from dansband and schlager, via modern pop, to soulful ballads and jazz melodies.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1998

The final of Melodifestivalen 1998 was held on March 14th in Malmö, hosted by Pernilla Månsson & Magnus Karlsson. The 10 songs were reduced to 5 finalists before the winner was chosen by 11 regional juries. The winner was Kärleken är, sung by Jill Johnson and composed by Bobby Ljunggren, Håkan Almqvist and Ingela Forsman.

Although lyricist Ingela "Pling" Forsman did not comment on the background of the song when it won Melodifestivalen and competed at Eurovision, she has since confirmed that the lyrics indeed were inspired by the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car accident in France in 1997. The chorus in Swedish translates as: An angel flew by on her way to heaven, so free, but she left her smile here on earth - like a warming sun, like heavenly starlight, so that we can contemplate life and its events with a faith; love is...


01. Kärleken är - Jill Johnson, 62 points
02. Ingen annan väg - B.I.G, 52 points
03. Julia - Myrra Malmberg, 38 points
04. Avundsjuk - Nanne Grönvall, 35 points
05. Cherie - Blak Ingvars, 34 points

Other participants:

När en stjärna faller - Annika Fehling
Ta dej tid - Elisabeth Melander
Bara månen får se - Linda Eriksson
Kärleken finns överallt - Helena Eriksson
Långsamma timmar - Fredrik Karlsson

Jill Johnson sung in the 16th position on the night of the contest, and finished 10th at the close of the voting, receiving 53 points.


Jill Anna Maria Johnson, (born May 24, 1973 Ängelholm), is a Swedish country- and pop-singer and songwriter. She performed the Melodifestivalen 1998 winning song Kärleken är, and represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 with that song, which finished 10th with 53 points. In 2003 she again entered Melodifestivalen with Crazy in Love, which finished fourth in the final. She also hosted the final of Melodifestivalen in 2005. Jill Johnson is today one of the most successful artists in Sweden, with several gold and platinum records.

By the age of four, Jill had decided that she wanted to become an artist, an aspiration towards which she was highly encouraged by her local choir leader. As a 12-year old, she started off as vocalist in a Country & Western band, Tomboola Band, touring in Norway and Denmark. She signed eventually with EMI-Medley in Denmark and recorded an album, produced by top producer Paul Bruun. The title-track, Sugar Tree, became a hit in Denmark. In 1996, she had her first Swedish hit with Kommer tid, kommer vår, a duet with Jan Johansen.

In 1998, she performed Kärleken är at Melodifestivalen, winning the Swedish finals and going on to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest. This established Johnson as one of the prime Swedish artists. The success was followed by the hit album När hela världen ser på and a successful tour.The single Kärleken är was released on March 20 1998. It reached #5 on the Swedish singles chart.

In mid 1999, Jill Johnson went to L.A. to look for material for her second album. At home, she worked with Andreas Carlsson, who is known for several massive hits, the biggest, so far, being Celine Dion's That's the Way It Is. She also tried out a few local new-comers and the album Daughter of Eve was released in early 2000. It was very well received and Jill was compared with some of the world's best artists.

In 2000, she received a platinum-record in Denmark for the sound-track Promise To Love from the Danish block-buster, Eneste Ene. Later that year, Johnson started to collaborate with other songwriters such as Jenny Orenstein, Charlie Stefl, Mary Green. This resulted in her receiving a Publishing contract in Nashville Tennessee. Consequently, in 2002 Johnson's album entitled Good Girl  secured Johnson's artistic sound and style and once again she was extremely well received by the press in their reviews where she was described as an artist of International calibre.

In the Swedish finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 she qualified at fourth place (out of 32 entries) but  her song Crazy in Love became a hit and received a great deal of radio play and was followed by a successful tour.

Johnson's collective Discography CD was released in late March 2003. It contains the 20 most popular songs since her debut in 1995. This Cd went straight into the sales charts for best selling CDs in Sweden. The single Crazy in Love stayed at No 1 in the Swedish Top Charts (Svensktoppen) 12 weeks consecutively and No 2 for 15 weeks. Discograph" sold Gold in Sweden and Johnson also got a Grammy for this album.

The latest album Roots and Wings was released in November 2003, recorded and produced by Amir Aly in Sweden and by Scott Baggett in Nashville, USA. Roots and Wings sold gold in less than two weeks and platinum a few months later. The album Being who you are was released in Sweden in late March 2005 and sold gold in only a few weeks. Johnson was the host of the 2005 Swedish finals of the Eurovison Song Contest in Stockholm.

She now lives in a hunting lodge in the Western Gothlandic woods of Sweden, but also has a home in Stockholm.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1997

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 1997, was held on March 8th in Gothenburg, hosted by Jan Ringryd. The winner was chosen by regional juries.

The winner was the song Bara hon älskar mig, sung by Blond. It was written and composed by Stefan Berg.


01. Bara hon älskar mig - Blond, 80 points
02. Där en ängel hälsat på - N-Mix, 68 points
03. Missarna - Wille Craaford, 65 points
04. Du gör mig hel igen - Cajsalisa Ejemyr, 56 points
05. Hand i hand - Robert Randqvist, 55 points
06. Jag skall aldrig lämna dig - B.I.G., 40 points
07. Jag saknar dig, jag saknar dig - Andreas Lundstedt, 32 points
08. En gång ska han gråta - Garmarna, 28 points
09. World Wide Web - Nick Borgen, 26 points
10. Charlie - Jim Jidhed, 12 points
11. Nu idag - Monia Sjöström, 11 points
12. Nattens änglar - Photogenique, 0 points

Blond performed 16th on the night of the contest and received 36 points, placing 14th.


Blond was a boy band in the 1990s. The group consisted of Jonas Karlhager, Gabriel Forss and Patrik Lundström.

The group participated in Melodifestivalen 1997 with the song Bara Hon Älskar Mig, written by Stephan Berg. During the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland Blond came 14th with 36 points. The group also recorded the song with English lyrics and it was titled Baby, I'll Die For You. 

In summer 1997 the group toured in Sweden and performed in public parks and on the Water Festival in Stockholm. Blond released an album, but after that the members went in different directions. They reunited temporarily for a schlager night in Stockholm Pride Tantolunden 2006.

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1996

The Swedish Final was held at the Victoriahallen in Älvsjömässen on February 24th, hosted by Siw Malmqvist & Pontus Gårdinger. The winner was chosen by regional juries who initially reduced the songs from 10 to 5, and then once the final 5 had been performed again, chose the winner.

The winner was Den vilda, performed by One More Time. It was written by group members Peter and Nanne Grönvall.


01. Den vilda - One More Time, 71 points
02. Driver dagg faller regn - Andreas Lundstedt, 48 points
03. Juliette & Jonathan - Lotta Engberg, 45 points
04. Förlorad igen - Mårten Eriksson, 41 points
05. Tårar från himlen - Frank Ådahl, 26 points

other participants:

Gör någon glad - Janne Bark, Nick Borgen, Lennart Grahn, Lasse Kroner and Peter Lundblad
Finns här för dig - Ellinor Franzén
Gråt inte - Inger Nordström
Du är alltid en del utav mig - Henrik Åberg
Va' e du? - Mårten Eriksson

At the contest, held in Oslo, Norway, One More Time performed last of 23. At the close of the voting it had received 100 points, placing 3rd behind winner Ireland and runner-up Norway.


One More Time is a Swedish pop group. Members are Peter Grönvall, the son of ABBA's Benny Andersson, his wife Nanne Grönvall and Maria Rådsten. A forth member, Thérèse Löf, left the group shortly after the first album was released. In 1992 they began their international career with the release of the single and album Highland. The single became an international success, entering #1 in the hit charts of 10 countries and awarding them prize for Best Foreign Group in Belgium. The Highland album went gold in South Africa. Turn Out the Light was a further single release off this album. Their second, self-titled album followed in 1994 but wasn't as successful as the previous album.

The group never dissolved and there are plans of a fifth album. Nanne Grönvall has a successful solo career in Sweden since her first solo album in 1998.

One More Time have participated in two Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selections for the Eurovision Song Contest. At the Melodifestivalen 1995, they entered as composers of the ballad Det vackraste , interpreted by Cecilia Vennersten. The song was runner-up of Jan Johansen and Se på mig . Det vackraste was awarded a Grammis for Best Song of 1995. The group later recorded the song in English, named Living in a Dream. At Melodifestivalen 1996 the group composed and performed the etno ballad Den vilda, which won the selections and propelled them to third place in Eurovision Song Contest 1996 in Oslo, Norway.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1995

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 1995, was held in the Malmö Musikteater on February 24th, hosted by Pernilla Månsson. The 10 songs were initially reduced to 5 finalists before the winner was chosen by 11 regional juries.

The winner was Jan Johansen with the song Se på mej. The song was composed by Bobby Ljunggren, Håkan Almqvist and Ingela Forsman.


01. Se på mej - Jan Johansen, 64 points
02. Det vackraste - Cecilia Vennersten, 61 points
03. Jag ger dig allt - Jessica G. Pilnäs, 45 points
04. On du inte tror mig - Paula Åkesdotter-Jarl, 31 points
05. Följ dina drömmar - Lasse Lindbom, Janne Bark, Michael Stolt and Simon Ådahl,    30 points

other participants:

Jag tror på dig - Ulrika Bornemark and Göran Rudbo
Du är drömmen jag drömt - Björn Hedström
Bo Diddley - Arvingarna
Himmel på vår jord - Tina Leijonberg and Monica Silverstrand
Joanna - Nick Borgen

In the weeks before the ESC, Sweden was one of the favourites to win. On the night of the contest Jan Johansen performed 18th. At the close of the voting, Sweden had received 100 points, placing 3rd in a field of 23.


Jan Christian Johansen (born January 9 1966) is a Swedish singer.

His father is jazz musician Egil Johansen and his mother is Ellen Böback. He represented Sweden at the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest with Se på mig and finished 3rd with 100 points. The song stayed at the top of Svensktoppen for fifteen weeks, charting for thirty weeks in total.

Jan Johansen has participated in Melodifestivalen three times since Se på mig:

2001: Ingensmansland, 4th
2002: Sista andetaget, 7th
2003: Let your spirit fly (with Pernilla Wahlgren), 2nd

Johansen voiced Dodger in the Swedish redub of Oliver and Company and also sang.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1994

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 1994, was held at the SVT TV-House in Stockholm on March 12th, hosted by Sven Melander & Kattis Ahlström. The 10 songs were reduced to 5 finalists before the winner was chosen by 11 regional juries.

The winner was Stjärnorna, sung by Marie Bergman and Roger Pontare, written by by Peter Bertilsson and Mikael Littwold.


01. Stjärnorna - Marie Bergman and Roger Pontare, 66
02. Det vackraste jag vet - Gladys del Pilar points, 62 points
03. Stanna hos mig - Cayenne, 61 points
04. Kom och dela min hemlighet - Tina Röklander, 21 points
04. Små minnen av dig - Nick Borgen, 21 points

other participants:

Vill du resa til månen med mig - Perikles
Håll om mig ikväll - Tiffany
Det är aldrig för sent - Carina and Michael Jaarnek
Jag stannar hos dig - Jonny Lindé
Kärlekens vind - Jan Höglund


Marie Bergman and Roger Pontare opened the contest, singing 1st of 25 countries. At the close of the voting they had received 48 points, placing 13th.

Marie Bergman (born November 21 1950 in Stockholm) is a Swedish singer. Between 1969 and 1972, she was a member of the group Family Four, which represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1971 and 1972. She started her solo career in 1974. She has released 13 own-written records and 2 jazz albums and has received numerous awards. In 1994 she again represented Sweden at the Eurovision, this time with Roger Pontare, setting a record as the singer who has represented Sweden at the ESC the most times. This was equalled by Carola Häggkvist in 2006. Marie has performed at the Roskilde Festival four times.


Fred Roger Pontare (born as Fred Roger Johansson on 17 October 1951 in Slagnäs, Arjeplog Municipality, Sweden) is a Swedish musician. He currently lives in Vingåker, Södermanland County.

He represented Sweden twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1994 (duet with Marie Bergman) with Stjärnorna and in 2000 with When Spirits Are Calling My Name, placing 13th and 7th, respectively. Roger released 5 quite successful labums.

Roger participated 4 times at Melodifestivalen:

1994: Stjärnorna (with Marie Bergman), 1st
1999: Som av is, 5th
2000: När vindarna viskar mitt namn, 1st
2006: Silverland, 4th in semi-final 4

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1993

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 1993, was held on March 5th at the Lisebergshallen in Gothenburg, hosted by Triple & Touch who participated in the 1988 Swedish final. The 10 songs were reduced to 5 finalists by 11 regional juries, before the winner was chosen by regional televoting. 


01. Eloise - Arvingarna, 56 points
02. We Are All The Winners - Nick Borgen, 42 points
03. I dina ögon - Pernilla Emme, 28 points
04. Sjunde himlen - Lena Pålsson - 13 points
05. Vågornas sång - Monica Silverstrand, 8 points

other participants:

Högt i det blå - N.E.O.
På vingar av kärlek - Patrick Swahn
Välkommen till livet - Christer Björkman
Ge mig din hand - Richard Carlsohn
Närmare dej - Tina Leijonberg

The winner was dansband Arvingarna with the song Eloise, written by Gert Lengstrand and Lasse Holm.

At the ESC in Millstreet, Sweden performed 13th. As the close of the voting, they had finished 7th in a field of 25 with 89 points.


Arvingarna is a Swedish dansband, which was formed in 1989 and which competed in the Swedish Melodifestivalen in 1993, 1995, 1999 and 2002. In 1993 they won with the song Eloise and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1993, where the song finished 7th.

Participations at Melodifestivalen:

1993: Eloise, 1st
1995: Bo Diddley, equal 5th
1999: Det svär jag på, 3rd
2002: Ingenting är större än vi, 6th in semi-final 3

The band's name (The heirs) refers to the group member's parents, who also were active in dansbands. Arvingarna consists of Casper Janebrink, Lars Larsson, Kim Carlsson and Tommy Carlsson

Arvingarna plays a form of dansband music that is it inspired by pop music and rock music.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1992

After Carola Häggkvist's win in the 1991 contest, Sweden was the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 1992, held in Malmö.

The Swedish Final, Melodifestivalen 1992, was held in Stockholm on March 14th, hosted by Anders Malmberg & Claes Malmberg. The 10 songs were reduced to 5 finalists, and once these 5 had been performed again they were voted on by 11 regional juries.

The winner was I morgon är en annan dag, a song composed by Niklas Strömstedt and performed by Christer Björkman.


01. I morgon är en annan dag - Christer Björkman, 64 points
02. Som om himlen brann - Lizette Pålsson & Bizazz, 59 points
03. Vad som än händer - Maria Rådsten, 41 points
04. En enda gång - Kikki Danielsson, 34 points
05. Långt härifrån - Py Bäckman, 33 points

Other participants:

Venus Butterfly - Venus
Ingenting går som man vil - Thérèse Löf
Ingen annan än du - Anna Nederdal
Upp, flyger vi, upp - Shanes
Jag kan se en ängel - Lena Pålsson & Wizex

Sweden sang 7th on the night of the contest. Christer Björkman could not, however, repeat Carola's success of the previous year, picking up 9 points and placing 22nd of 23 countries.


Christer Samuel Björkman (born 25 August 1957 in Borås, Sweden) is a Swedish singer. He was a hairdresser, and had a hair-salon in Borås. He started his career by recording a song called Våga och vinn which was produced by Bruno Glenmark in the mid-1980s.

He won Melodifestivalen 1992 with I morgon är en annan dag, and represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 1992. He finished second last, Sweden's worst result at the contest since 1977. In 1993 Christer participated again at Melodifestivalen were he came equal 5th with the song Välkommen till livet.

He entered Melodifestivalen again in 1999 with a song called Välkommen hem which finished last among the ten participants.

He is now supervisor of Melodifestivalen, a post he has held since 2002. He was recently accused of manipulation of the jury which chooses the participating songs.

He will be the Show Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 to be held in Sweden after Loreens victory in Baku in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1991

The Swedish final, Melodifestivalen 1991, was held on March 31st at the Stadsteatern in Malmö, hosted by Harald Treutiger. The 10 songs were reduced to 5 finalists before the winner was chosen by 11 regional juries.

Carola Häggkvist won the competition for a second time, having won in 1983. She sang the song Fångad av en stormvind which was written by Stefan Berg.


01. Fångad av en stormvind - Carola, 78 points
02. Ett liv med dej - Towe Jaarnek, 46 points
03. Kommer du ihåg mej - Jim Jidhed, 45 points
04. Annie - Laila Dahl, 33 points
05. Låt mej se ett under - Tove Naess, 29 points

Other participants:

Tvillingsjäl - Pernilla Whalgren
Kärlekens dans - Diana Nunez
Stanna du i dina drömma - John Ekedahl
Änglar - Jessica Wimert
Ge mig ett svar - Sharon Dyall

At the ESC in Rome Carola was one of the favourites to win. At the close of the voting, she had received 146 points, placing joint 1st place with France's Amina. After the four-way tie at the 1969 contest, a tie-break system had been implemented, where a count-back on the number of top points awarded was used. Since both countries received four 12-points, but Sweden gaining five 10-points over France's two, Sweden was declared the winner.

This was the first and, to date, only time the tie-breaker has been required, since it was introduced after the four-way tie in 1969.

In the singles charts, it peaked at #3 in Sweden and #6 in Norway. On 28 April 1991, the song reached first place in the Swedish hitlist Svensktoppen.


Carola Maria Häggkvist (born 8 September 1966), better known as Carola, is a Swedish singer and occasional songwriter.

She has been among Sweden's most popular performers since the early 1980s, and has released albums ranging from pop and disco to hymns and folk music. Her debut album, Främling, sold around one million copies and remains the biggest-selling album in Swedish music history. She has also worked as a songwriter. During her 25-year long career, she has recorded many top-selling albums and singles and is referred to as Sweden's most prominent female singer. Some of her biggest hits include Främling from 1983, Tommy tycker om mig from 1984, Fångad av en stormvind from 1991, All the Reasons to Live from 1992, I Believe in Love from 2001, Genom allt  from 2005 and Evighet from 2006.

Carola Häggkvist has represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions: in 1983 finishing 3rd, in 1991 winning the contest and in 2006 finishing 5th.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1990

The Swedish final, Melodifestivalen 1990, was held on March 9th at the Rondo in Gothenburg, hosted by Carin Hjulström. The winning song was chosen by the votes of 11 regional juries.

Edin-Ådahl won the contest, beating 1983 representative Carola Häggkvist to second place. Their song, written by Mikael Wendt, was Som en vind.


01. Som en vind - Edin-Ådahl, 99 points
02. Mitt i ett äventyr - Carola Häggkvist, 84 points
03. Varje natt - Lisbeth Jagedal, 76 points
04. Handen på hjärtat - Sofia Källgren, 75 points
05. Vi vill ha värme - N'Gang, 73 points
06. Sången över havet - Lizette Pålsson, 56 points
07. Jag ser en stjärna falla - Elisabeth Andreasson, 53 points
08. En gång till - Lotta Engberg, 49 points
09. En sensation - Peter Jöback, 43 points
10. Symfonin - Loa Falkman, 30 points

At the contest Sweden performed 18th. At the close of the voting they had received 24 points, being placed 16th of 22 countries competing.


Edin-Ådahl were a Swedish CCM (Contemporary Christian music) group from 1977 to 1994, composed of brothers Bertil & Lasse Edin and Simon & Frank Ådahl. The group are most well known for their 1990 hit Som en vind. It won the 1990 Melodifestivalen and went on to place 16 at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Simon Ådahl participated in 1995 together with Lasse Edin with the song Följ dina drömmar which came 5th. Another song, Revival, rose to No. 3 in Sweden's radio charts.

Their English albums had similar production quality when compared to secular albums, but suffered from poor distribution and "lousy lyrics".

Frank Ådahl was the voice of Simba in the Swedish version of the 1994 animated film The Lion King. Two of the brothers released solo albums on Refuge in 1985. Bertil Edin released Cross The Border, and Simon Ådahl I'm In Touch. Lasse Edin formed a band called The Outsiders in 1990.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dead by April

Dead by April is a Swedish melodic metal band from Gothenburg, formed in February 2007. The band consists of Jimmie Strimell, Zandro Santiago, Marcus Wesslén, Alex Svenningsson and Pontus Hjelm. They released their self-titled debut album in May 2009. In 2010 the two guitarists, Pontus Hjelm and Johan Olsson, left the band. Pontus, remained a songwriter for the band, however rejoined as the session guitarist, then later as a permanent member.

The band was formed in early 2007, when Jimmie Strimell, the lead singer of Nightrage, decided to collaborate with songwriter and former Cipher System member Pontus Hjelm to form Dead by April. During the band's early days in 2007 and 2008, the band did not release any physical media, though most of the songs that they gave to friends were quickly leaked out to several peer-to-peer-sites, with the first songs being Lost and Stronger. During this time, they also played in local venues around Gothenburg.

On March 27, 2010, Dead by April headlined the Norwegian festival Rock mot Rus together with several Norwegian acts such as Turdus Musicus, Moddi, Cyaneed, Jodski, Purified in Blood etc. The band continued touring with Purified in Blood until early May.

On April 23, 2010, it was announced on the band's official MySpace page that Pontus Hjelm (guitarist, songwriter and singer) had officially left Dead by April. The reason for his departure was because he didn't want to continue as a band member, he wanted to focus on being a songwriter. Although Pontus would no longer be an official band member, he wanted to continue writing music for Dead by April, telling the fans that nothing is different in the songwriting department. The replacement for Pontus Hjelm became Zandro Santiago. Although Zandro only provides vocals, the band felt that it did not change much of the sound to continue with only one guitarist.

On May 17, the band released the fourth single of their debut album. Unlike any other Dead by April-single release, this single was a double A-Side entitled Love Like Blood/Promise Me. Besides that Love Like Blood is a Killing Joke cover, it marks the very first track recorded by Dead by April with their new singer, Zandro Santiago. Promise Me, however, already appeared on the album.

On October 22, 2010, it was announced that Johan would be leaving the band, citing personal issues, as well as focusing on his clothing range. The band searched for a new guitarist via FaceBook and YouTube. However, they later revealed on their Facebook page that Pontus would act as a session player on their upcoming album and whilst on tour.

During Dead by April's UK tour with My Passion, Johan was replaced by guitarist Joel Nilsson.

In August 2010, they released a teaser for a new song called Within My Heart, which was released, along with the new album, in early 2011. The album is heavier and more dynamic than their self-titled album. The song More Than Yesterday has been played live on tour in the UK and Sweden and will feature on the new album, as well as the compilation album, Stronger. Jimmie released a demo recording of it on his YouTube channel.

On December 7, it was announced that a new compilation album called Stronger would be released on January 25, 2011. It contains a demo version of More Than Yesterday, three heavier versions of their songs and some tracks that have already been released.

During shows in Russia, DeathDestruction drummer Jonas Ekdahl, was replacing Alexander while he is resting his ears. Jonas will remain as a session drummer for the coming 3 to 5 months.

On January 24, 2011, Dead by April released the compilation album Stronger. On April 19, 2011, Dead by April confirmed the mixing was complete for their newest album via their Facebook page. On May 2, 2011, Dead by April announced that their first single of their second album would be Within My Heart. This was released digitally on May 16, 2011 and included two more songs - a new song called Two Faced and a re-recorded version of Unhateable. Later it was confirmed that the band would perform at the Sonisphere Festival in Sweden on July 9.

Dead By April performed in Melodifestivalen in early 2012 and went into the finals. The band placed 7th, using the song Mystery. They have also announced that they are currently working on a new album, which includes former guitarist Pontus Hjelm. He is believed to be back in the band.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Updating old posts

I'm currently in the process of updating all my old posts, expanding them with extra information and facts. To date I've updated all posts from June 2010 until June 2012.

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1989

Sweden chose their song and singer for the Eurovision Song Contest 1989 in the national preselection Melodifestivalen 1989 which was held at the Globe Theatre in Stockholm on March 11th, hosted by Yvonne Ryding-Bergquist & John Crispinsson. The winning song was chosen by 11 regional juries.

With a small mariginal, the winner was Tommy Nilsson with the power ballad En dag, written by Tim Norell, Ola Håkansson and Alexander Bard.


01. En dag - Tommy Nilsson, 113 points
02. Upp över mina öron - Eriksson-Glenmark, 108 points
03. Mitt ibland änglar - Fingerprints, 80 points
04. Du (öppnar min värld) - Lisa Nilsson, 74 points
05. Okey okey - Lill & Sussie, 67 points
06. Nattens drottning - Haakon Pedersen & Elisabeth Berg, 67 points
07. Världen är vår - Visitors & Sofia Källgren, 50 points
08. Genom eld - Cajsa Bergström, 39 points
09. När stormen går - Catrin Olsson, 29 points
10. Jorden är din - True Blue, 19 points       

The song was drawn #10 at the contest in Lausanne, Switzerland. It scored very well, receiving a total of 110 points, making Sweden finish 4th, only 1 point behind their neighbour Denmark.


Erik Tommy Nilsson (March 11 1960, Köping) is a Swedish singer and composer. Swedish critics state that he has one of the best voices of Sweden.

In the late 70's, Tommy was the singer of Swedish heavy metal band Horizont. The group released two albums but a French producer, Yves Accary, contacted Nilsson and signed him to a French record company. The singer enjoyed his first big hit in France in 1981 with the song No Way No How. The single sold one million copies and the album 200 000 copies. No Way No How, his first album, included disco tracks and ballads. A follow up LP Tommy Nilsson was released in 1982 and this time the songs were composed by Tommy Nilsson and Alex R Contanstinos. This was a rock album, recorded in Stockholm and Los Angeles, but it did not sell very well and after two years of travelling between France and the United States, Nilsson decided to go back to Sweden.

He first joined another metal band, Easy Action, and they released two albums. The group eventually split up and Nilsson started a solo career. He represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1989 with the ballad En dag and placed 4th. He has also made several Swedish hits in Sweden; Allt som jag känner (a duet with Tone Norum) in 1987, Öppna din dörr in 1994, Dina färger var blå in 1996, and Amelia in 2005. In 1988, he was given an award for best Swedish male artist and in 1990 received a gold disc for his album Follow the Road.

In 1997, Tommy co-starred with Mary Wilson of the Supremes in "SupremeSoul", the story of a black singer who arrives in Sweden to do a show with a white singer. The show consisted of music, as well as humorous moments that highlighted culture differences between Sweden and the United States of America.

In 2001, a compilation of his songs En samling 1981-2001, went platinum in Sweden. Nilsson has also collaborated with Swedish television, dubbed cartoons, and acted in several plays. In 2005, his album Tiden före nu reached # 2 on the Swedish sales chart just after its release.

Nilsson took part in Melodifestivalen again in 2007. He performed the power ballad Jag tror på människan in Melodifestivalen 2007's first semi final in Jönköping and qualified for the final round, along with Anna Book. The song placed tenth and last in the final after failing to receive any points from the judges or the televoting audience. Nevertheless Jag tror på människan reached #9 on the Svensktoppen.

The singer played the part of Captain von Trapp in the musical The Sound of Music that ran in Stockholm beginning 29 September 2007, ending with a tour and the last performance in Örebro in May 2008.

Nilsson has been married to the Swedish actress Malin Berghagen.

Nilsson is also known for his dubbing work for animated films and series, including Top Cat, Batman: The Animated Series, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, among others. He dubbed Mel Gibson's voice of John Smith in Pocahontas.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1988

The Swedish final, Melodifestivalen 1988, was held on February 27th at the Malmö Stadsteater, hosted by Bengt Grafström. The 12 songs were reduced to 6 finalists before the winner was chosen by 11 regional juries. 

The runaway winner was the ballad Stad i ljus sung by Tommy Körberg, who also had represented Sweden at the 1969 contest. This time his song was written by Py Bäckman. It was the first time in the eighties that the Swedish entry was a ballad.


01. Stad i ljus - Tommy Körberg, 84 points
02. Om Igen - Lena Philipsson, 55 points
03. 100% - Lotta Engberg with Triple & Touch, 47 points
04. Bang, en explosion - Haakon Pedersen, 33 points
05. Dansa med vindarna - All Of A Sudden, 26 points
06. I en ding ding värld - Annica Burman, 19 points

other participants:

Säg är det sant? - Karin Ljung & Michael Nannini
Nästa weekend - Uffe Persson
Måndag i mitt liv - Billy Gezon
Kärlek är... - Sten Nilsson & Nilsonettes
Det är kärlek - Siw Malmkvist
Bara du och jag - Paul Rein

Sweden performed second at the contest and received a total of 52 points and finished 12th.

Here you can find more information about Tommy Körberg.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1987

The Swedish Final was held on February 21st at Lisebergshallen in Gothenburg, hosted by Fredrik Belfrage. The 12 songs were reduced to 6 finalists and the winning song was then chosen by the votes of 9 juries containing members of the public which were split according to the ages of the jurors.

The winning song was Fyra Bugg och en Coca-Cola which was performed by Lotta Engberg, and written/composed by Christer Lundh and Mikael Wendt.


01. Fyra Bugg & en Coca Cola - Lotta Engberg, 59 points
02. Högt över havet - Arja Saijonmaa. 58 points
03. När morgonstjärnan brinner - Cyndee Peters, 46 points
04. Alexandra - Sound of Music, 44 points
05. Dansa i neon - Lena Philipsson, 43 points
06. Hand i hand - Style, 29 points

other participants:

Nya illusioner - Annica Johnsson
Ung och evig - Paul Sahlin & Anne Kihlström
Flyktingen - Jan-Eric Karlzon
Leva livet - Baden-Baden
Sommarnatt - Robert Wells
Det finns en morgondag - Anna Book

As the songs title contained the trademark names Coca-Cola and the Swedish chewing gum Bugg, the European Broadcasting Union demanded that the lyrics would be changed before the Brussels final, so the song was renamed Boogaloo. It was drawn to perform at start position 12. After the voting, Sweden had received 50 points, which led to a 12th place (out of 22). This was the worst placement for Sweden in eight years.


Anna Charlotte Lotta Engberg, is a Swedish dansband and pop singer, born 5 March 1963 in Överkalix, Norrbotten County and raised in Laxå, Örebro County. She now lives in Alingsås with her husband. She hosts the Swedish sing-along show Lotta på Liseberg.

Under her maiden name, Pedersen, she made her debut in the Sveriges Television program Nygammalt in 1980 when she was 17. She was also a member of the Trioala, an a cappella choir. Later, she received a permanent place in the TV program's choir.

Lotta Engberg won Melodifestivalen 1987 with Fyra bugg & en Coca Cola and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1987. She has before and since then performed in Melodifestivalen several times:

1984: Sankta Cecilia (together with Göran Folkestad), 2nd
1985: En helt ny dag, not selected
1987: Fyra Bugg & en Coca Cola, 1st
1988: 100% (together with Triple & Touch), 3rd
1990: En gång till, 8th
1996: Juliette & Jonathan, 3rd
2002: Vem é dé du vill ha (with Kikki Danielsson and Elisabeth Andreasson), 3rd
2012: Don't let me down (with Christer Sjögren), 3rd in the fourth semi-final

In 2003 Lotta participated at the Norwegian nation final for the ESC. Together with Kikki Danielsson and Elisabeth Andreasson she sang the song Din hånd i min hånd and came 4th.

On October 2, 1999 Sweden issued a postage stamp with her portrait.

She is also a successful TV host. Since August 2008, she has hosted the Swedish game show Bingolotto, which she will leave in the summer of 2011.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest - 1986

The Swedish Final was held on March 22nd at the Cirkus in Stockholm, hosted by Lennart Swahn & Tommy Engstrand. The 10 songs were presented as videoclips, and after 5 finalists were chosen, these songs were performed live . The winning song was chosen by 9 groups of people, the groups being split according to the age of its members.

At Melodifestivalen 1986, no orchestra was used, and instead the ten songs were broadcast as music videos. The five songs that qualified for the second round were performed live with a backing track.

The winners were Lasse Holm and Monica Törnell with their song E' de' det här du kallar kärlek? which was written by Lasse Holm.


01. E' de' det här du kallar kärlek? - Lasse Holm & Monica Törnell, 64 points
02. Kärleken är evig - Lena Philipsson, 42 points
03. Dover-Calais - Style, 33 points
04. Eldorado - Sound of Music, 26 points
05. ABC - Anna Book, 24 points

other participants:

ABCD - Dan Tillberg
Du förför mig - Git Persson
Jag har en dröm - Baden-Baden
Fem i tolv - Fredrik Willstrand
Stopp, stopp, stanna - Karin Risberg

At the ESC in Bergen, Sweden came 5th.

Lars-Eric Gustav, Lasse, Holm, born December 9 1943 in Stockholm, Sweden, is known as a composer, lyricist and singer.

Since childhood, he was interested in music and was a member of a lot of pop music and rock music groups in the 1960s: Doug and the Millsmen, The Spacemen and The Moonlighters. During the 1980s, he was a songwriter for Chips and country band Mats Rådberg & Rankarna.


Lasse Holm is mostly known as a schlager composer and he has, by himself or in collaboration with others, written five winning songs in the Swedish Melodifestivalen: Dag efter dag (Chips, 1982), Främling (Carola Häggkvist, 1983), Bra vibrationer (Kikki Danielsson, 1985), E' de' det här du kallar kärlek (a duet by Holm and Monica Törnell, 1986) and Eloise (Arvingarna, 1993). Other hits written by Lasse Holm include Canneloni Macaroni, Växeln hallå (recorded by Janne Lucas Persson), Högt över havet, (recorded by Arja Saijonmaa), Då lyser en sol (recorded by Elisabeth Andreassen), and Papaya Coconut(recorded by Kikki Danielsson).

Holm has hosted a number of Swedish TV shows such as Sikta mot stjärnorna, Pictionary and Diggiloo.


Monica Kristina Ingeborg Törnell, (born June 3, 1954 in Trönö, Hälsingland, Gävleborg County, Sweden) is a Swedish singer and songwriter. After being discovered by Cornelis Vreeswijk 1971, she was a prominent singer in several genres, mainly folk and rock music, for over two decades. Together with Lasse Holm, she represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1986 in Bergen, Norway.