The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Saturday 14 May in Turin, Italy. There have been some iconic participants over the years but who are the biggest names to win the competition?
The Eurovision Song Contest isn’t necessarily known for luring the biggest names in music to its main stage, but that hasn’t always been the case.
READ MORE: Get our free Eurovision predictions & tips
There have been some truly huge acts which have competed in Eurovision over the years, with Sandie Shaw’s ‘Puppet on a String’ and Ted and Dougal’s ‘My Lovely Horse’ among some of the more notable entries.
Here, we run through our top five biggest names to take the Eurovision crown.
Who are the biggest names to have won Eurovision?
5. Katrina and the Waves (1997)
The earliest incarnation of Katrina and the Waves existed back in 1975, but it wasn’t until the mid 80s that the band saw genuine success as ‘Walking on Sunshine’ made the top ten in both the UK and US.
The group achieved moderate success in the intervening years before being thrust back into the spotlight when they represented the United Kingdom in the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Love Shine a Light’. They won the competition by a then record margin of 70 points and remain the last act from the UK to clinch the Eurovision title.
4. Bucks Fizz (1981)
Bucks Fizz were formed in 1980 with the intention of entering themselves into the Eurovision Song Contest with their song ‘Making Your Mind Up’. It certainly ended up being a good decision, with the group winning the 1981 contest by four points.
The win, and iconic dance routine, propelled Bucks Fizz into the public eye and they achieved three number one singles and two top twenty albums in the UK. They were still performing as recently as 2018, although the final incarnation of the group featured just one of the original members in Bobby G.
3. Lulu (1969)
Lulu was a genuine star in both the UK and US when she entered Eurovision in 1969. She’d already achieved five top ten hits in the UK, a number one in the US and was on various TV shows in the 1960s.
The 1969 Eurovision Song Contest saw four nations, including Lulu and the United Kingdom, tie in first place and share the title. ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’, the winning entry for Lulu, reached number two in the charts and increased her profile further. She continues to be a star in the UK, achieving success in both music and TV.
2. Celine Dion (1988)
Celine Dion’s Eurovision win might not be recognised among the most iconic, but she’s certainly one of the biggest stars to have won the competition. Dion had achieved good success in her native Canada prior to representing Switzerland in 1988. Her song ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’ won the competition by just one point and led to her achieving widespread success in Europe.
Since her win, Dion has released numerous top ten hits in various countries, including the UK, US and Canada. Her biggest hit was the feature song from the 1997 film ‘Titanic’, with ‘My Heart Will Go On’ reaching number one in more than twenty countries and winning four Grammy awards along the way. Dion continues to perform and has had various residencies in Las Vegas, revolutionising the entertainment industry in the city.
1. ABBA (1974)
Without question the biggest winners of Eurovision are ABBA, the Swedish group who shot to fame following their 1974 win. The group had achieved a reasonable level of success in Sweden, but the Eurovision Song Contest really thrust them onto the international scene. ‘Waterloo’, the winning song, achieved success in Europe and the US. It was the first of ABBA’s nine number ones in the United Kingdom.
The group achieved success well into the 80s, but their legacy lasts to this day with two films being made (each making over $400m at the box office) based on the songs of the group. A stage show is also still in production in London’s West End, as well as having a 14-year run on Broadway in New York. There aren’t many groups that can claim to have such a cultural impact on the world almost 50 years after they first found fame, but ABBA can definitely count themselves as one of the most influential bands ever — in no small part due to Eurovision.
When and where is Eurovision 2022 being held?
The 2022 edition of Eurovision is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 14, with the semi-final stages taking place on Tuesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 12.
The grand final will be held in Turin, Italy. This follows the tradition of the winner of the previous year’s contest hosting the subsequent final.
How can I watch Eurovision 2022?
UK viewers can watch the two semi-finals of the competition live on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer on Tuesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 12.
The final will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 8pm on Saturday, May 14.
All of the action will also be available on BBC Radio Two and via the BBC Sounds app.