Sixty-seven songs have won the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual competition organised by member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. The contest, which has been broadcast every year since its debut in 1956, is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. The contest's winner has been determined using numerous voting techniques throughout its history; centre to these have been the awarding of points to countries by juries or televoters. The country awarded the most points is declared the winner. The first Eurovision Song Contest was not won on points, but by votes (two per country), and only the winner was announced.
There have been 64 contests, with one winner each year except the tied 1969 contest, which had four. Twenty-seven countries have won the contest. Switzerland won the first contest in 1956. The country with the highest number of wins is Ireland, with seven. The only person to have won more than once as performer is Ireland's Johnny Logan, who performed "What's Another Year" in 1980 and "Hold Me Now" in 1987. Logan is also one of only five songwriters to have written more than one winning entry ("Hold Me Now" 1987 and "Why Me?" 1992, performed by Linda Martin). This unique distinction makes Logan the only person to have three Eurovision victories to his/her credit, as either singer, songwriter or both. The other four songwriters with more than one winning entry to their credit are, Willy van Hemert (Netherlands, 1957 and 1959), Yves Dessca (Monaco, 1971 and Luxembourg, 1972), Rolf Løvland (Norway, 1985 and 1995) and Brendan Graham (Ireland, 1994 and 1996).
Winning the Eurovision Song Contest provides a unique opportunity for the winning artist(s) to capitalise on their success and surrounding publicity by launching or furthering their international career during their singing years. However, throughout the history of the contest, relatively few of these artists have gone on to be huge international stars. The most notable winning Eurovision artists whose career was directly launched into the spotlight following their win were the members of ABBA, who won the 1974 contest for Sweden with their song "Waterloo". ABBA went on to be one of the most successful bands of its time. Another notable winner who subsequently achieved international fame and success was Céline Dion, who won the 1988 contest for Switzerland with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi".
Since 2008, the winner has been awarded an official winner's trophy of the Eurovision Song Contest. The trophy is a handmade piece of sandblasted glass in the shape of a 1950s microphone. The song writers and composers of the winning entry receive smaller versions of the trophy. The original design was created by Kjell Engman of Kosta Boda, who specialises in glass art.
Winners by year
For information about the winning songwriters of each year, see List of Eurovision Song Contest winning songwriters.
Eleven Eurovision winners (alongside three non-winners) featured at the Congratulations concert in 2005, in which ABBA's "Waterloo" was voted the most popular song of the contest's first fifty years.
Ireland has finished first seven times, more than any other country, Ireland also won the contest for three consecutive years (1992, 1993, 1994), more consecutive years than any other country. Three countries have won twice in a row, Spain (1968 and 1969), Luxembourg (1972 and 1973) and Israel (1978 and 1979). Serbia is the only country to win with its debut entry (in 2007), though Serbia had competed previously as part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro. The country achieving the highest position on its first appearance in any form in the Contest is Poland, which came second in 1994 (even Switzerland in 1956 won with its second entry of the night). Under the voting system used between 1975 and 2015, the winner of the contest was decided by the final voting nation on eleven occasions.[N 6]
Changes to the voting system, including a steady growth in the number of countries participating and voting, means that the points earned are not comparable across the decades. Portugal's Salvador Sobral holds the record of the highest number of points in the contest's history, earning 758 with the song "Amar pelos dois". Norway's Alexander Rybak holds the largest margin of victory in absolute points, a 169-point cushion over second place in 2009. Italy's Gigliola Cinquetti holds the record for largest victory by percentage, scoring almost three times as many as second place (49 points compared with 17 by the runner-up) in the 1964 contest. Under the voting system used from 1975 until 2015, the lowest winning score was Norway's Bobbysocks! 123 points earned (of the 216 available from the 18 other countries) when winning Eurovision 1985, while the lowest winning total ever is the 18 points (of the 160 total votes cast by 16 countries) scored by each of the four winning countries in 1969.
Under the voting system used from 1975 until 2015, in which each country gives maximum points to its first place choice, Sweden's Loreen won Eurovision 2012 with the most ever first place votes earned, receiving first place votes from 18 of 41 countries (excluding themselves). The 1976 United Kingdom entrant, Brotherhood of Man with the song "Save Your Kisses For Me" holds the record of the highest average score per participating country, with an average of 9.65 points received per country. 2011 winner Azerbaijan Ell & Nikki, hold the lowest average score for a winning song under that system, receiving 5.14 points per country.
In 2016, Jamala's "1944" became the first winning entry since the jury vote was added alongside the televote starting in 2009 to place first in neither area, coming second in the jury vote behind Australia and second in the televote behind Russia. Duncan Laurence's "Arcade," became the second such winner in the 2019 contest, having placed third behind Sweden and North Macedonia in the jury vote and second behind Norway in the televote.
The United Kingdom has finished second fifteen times at Eurovision (most recently in 1998), more than any other country. The most successful country never to have won the Contest is Malta, having finished second in 2002 and 2005 and third in 1992 and 1998. Another island nation Iceland has also finished second twice, in 1999 and 2009.
There is no official runner-up for two of the contests – 1956 and 1969. In 1956 only the winner, Switzerland, was announced, whilst there were speculative reports that Germany ended up in second place with "Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück" by Walter Andreas Schwarz, given that Germany was chosen to host the 1957 contest. In 1969 four songs shared first place by achieving the same number of points; fifth place was achieved by Switzerland, which is not considered an official runner-up, because of the draw for first place.
Winners by country
- Table key
|7||Ireland||1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996|
|6||Sweden||1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012, 2015|
|5||France||1958, 1960, 1962, 1969, 1977|
|Luxembourg||1961, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1983|
|United Kingdom||1967, 1969, 1976, 1981, 1997|
|Netherlands||1957, 1959, 1969, 1975, 2019|
|4||Israel||1978, 1979, 1998, 2018|
|3||Norway||1985, 1995, 2009|
|Denmark||1963, 2000, 2013|
Year 1969 is in italics to indicate joint (4-way) win.
By winning percentage
- Table key
|Country||1st appearance||Contests since||Wins||% of W|
- Table key
|Rank||Country||Winner||Runner-up||Third place||Next best placement|
|1||Ireland||7||4||1||4th (three times)|
|3||United Kingdom||5||15||3||4th (five times)|
|4||France||5||4||7||4th (seven times)|
|6||Luxembourg||5||0||2||4th (five times)|
|9||Norway||3||1||1||4th (three times)|
|10||Germany||2||4||5||4th (four times)|
|13||Switzerland||2||3||3||4th (six times)|
|17||Belgium||1||2||0||4th (four times)|
|18||Monaco||1||1||3||4th (four times)|
|19||Turkey||1||1||1||4th (three times)|
|25||Yugoslavia||1||0||0||4th (three times)|
|26||Finland||1||0||0||6th (once)[N 9]|
|27||Portugal||1||0||0||6th (once)[N 9]|
|31||Cyprus||0||1||0||5th (three times)|
|33||Poland||0||1||0||7th (once)[N 10]|
|34||Serbia and Montenegro||0||1||0||7th (once)[N 10]|
|36||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||0||1||6th (once)[N 11]|
|37||Moldova||0||0||1||6th (once)[N 11]|
|38||Croatia||0||0||0||4th (twice)[N 12]|
|39||Armenia||0||0||0||4th (twice)[N 12]|
|42||Lithuania||0||0||0||6th (once)[N 13]|
|43||Czech Republic||0||0||0||6th (once)[N 13]|
|44||Belarus||0||0||0||6th (once)[N 13]|
|46||North Macedonia[N 14]||0||0||0||7th (once)|
|49||Slovakia||0||0||0||18th (once)[N 15]|
|50||Morocco||0||0||0||18th (once)[N 15]|
|51||San Marino||0||0||0||19th (once)|
|52||Andorra||0||0||0||12th (semifinal, once)|
Best placement by non-winning countries
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- Table key
Between 1966 and 1973, and again between 1977 and 1998, countries were only permitted to perform in their own language; see the main Eurovision Song Contest article.
|33||English||1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,[N 16] 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,[N 17] 2018, [N 5] 2019||United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine,[N 16][N 17] Greece, Finland, Russia, Norway, Germany, Azerbaijan, Austria, Israel|
|14||French||1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1988||Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium|
|4||Hebrew||1978, 1979, 1998, 2018[N 5]||Israel|
|3||Dutch||1957, 1959, 1969||Netherlands|
|German||1966, 1982||Austria, Germany|
|Ukrainian||2004[N 16]||Ukraine[N 16]|
|Crimean Tatar||2016[N 17]||Ukraine[N 17]|
- List of Eurovision Song Contest winning songwriters
- Eurovision Song Contest winners discography
- List of Junior Eurovision Song Contest winners
Notes and references
- Between 2004 and 2007, the contest included a single televised semi-final::— In 2004 the semi-final was held on the Wednesday before the final. Between 2005 and 2007 the semi-final was held on the Thursday of "Eurovision Week"
- This song was partially sung in Ukrainian.
- Since 2008 the contest has included two semi-finals, held on the Tuesday and Thursday before the final.
- This song was partially sung in Crimean Tatar.
- This song was partially sung in Hebrew.
- 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2003.
- Yugoslavia's 1989 victory is shown in the lower inset.
- Up until the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1992.
- Tie breaker between Finland and Portugal: Finland's next best placement is four times in 7th place, whereas Portugal's next best placement is twice in 7th place.
- Tie breaker between Poland and Serbia and Montenegro: Poland's next best placement is once in 8th place, whereas Serbia and Montenegro has no additional appearances.
- Tie breaker between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova: Bosnia and Herzegovina's next best placement is once in 7th place, whereas Moldova's next best placement is twice in 10th place.
- Tie breaker between Croatia and Armenia: Croatia's next best placement is once in 5th place, whereas Armenia's next best placement is once in 7th place.
- Tie breaker between Lithuania, Belarus, and Czech Republic: Lithuania's next best placement is once in 9th place, the Czech Republic's next best placement is once in 11th place, whereas Belarus' next best placement is twice in 16th place.
- The country used to participate under the name F.Y.R. Macedonia (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) until it changed its name in February 2019.
- Tie breaker between Slovakia and Morocco: Slovakia placed in 18th place out of 23 contestants, whereas Morocco placed in 18th place out of 19 contestants
- This song was partially sung in Ukrainian.
- This song was partially sung in Crimean Tatar.
- Croatian (the language of the 1989 winning song) and Serbian (the language of the 2007 winning song) are fully mutually intelligible and often considered varieties of a single language, Serbo-Croatian. However, they are listed separately in Eurovision statistics.
- Extract from the rules for the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 22 August 2007. Archived May 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Eurovision 1956. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 24 May 2008. Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- BBC News (6 December 2005). ABBA's Bjorn says no to reunion. Retrieved on 15 March 2008.
- "Trophy". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- "Eurovision Crystal Trophy". Kosta Boda. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- ABBA win 'Eurovision 50th' vote. BBC News (23 October 2005). Retrieved on 22 August 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Winners of the Eurovision Song Contest.|
- Eurovision Song Contest history. Eurovision.tv. Retrieved on 19 August 2007.
- History. ESCtoday.com. Retrieved on 19 August 2007.
- John Kennedy O'Connor (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.