Newstalk
Newstalk

16.17 1 May 2018


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It is that time of year again - Eurovision 2018 is almost upon us.

Ryan O'Shaughnessy will take to the stage in the first semi-final for Ireland on May 8th with a ballad called 'Together'.

While Swedish pop group ABBA are arguably the most famous act to come from the pan-European competition, a Canadian superstar also made her name at the event.

It was 30 years ago this month that Céline Dion won the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland in Dublin.

She has since become one of the world's top selling artists of all time.

The voting was so tight back in 1988 that presenter Pat Kenny joked after the second last vote from Portugal: "I have to tell you that we employed Agatha Christie to write the script for tonight!".

Pat Kenny hosting the show in 1988 | Image: YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest

A final 12 points to Céline Dion from Portugal put Dion, with 131 points, closer to the country leading - the United Kingdom - who was on 136 points.

Dion anxiously awaiting the results | Image: YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest

With only five points between the UK and Switzerland and only Yugoslavia left to vote, their jury awarded six points to Switzerland.

Dion took the Eurovision crown with just a single point.

Dion after being announced as the winner | Image: YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest

The cameras then turned to the young Canadian singer and her manager, and future husband, the late René Angélil.

Her winning song, Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi (Don't Leave Without Me), was written by Atilla Sereftug and Nella Martinetti.

After a well-deserved rest and breakfast the next morning in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel, Dion and Angélil were back at home in Montreal to a hero's welcome.

A year later, Dion opened the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest in Lausanne with her song 'Where Does My Heart Beat Now' - which went on to become a top-five hit in the United States and made it into the charts around the globe.

Celine Dion performs on stage during a concert at the POPB Bercy Arena, in Paris, France in 2008 | Image: Guibbaud Christophe/ABACA/PA Images

She has sold more than 250 million records to date, and performed over 700 shows at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Dion is one of the world's most successful pop singers with an estimated worth of US$400m (€333m), according to Forbes.


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