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.

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