Participant(s): Bonnie Tyler Song : Believe In Me Writer(s) / Composer(s): Desmond Child, Lauren Christy, Christopher Braide
The BBC has made an internal selection to choose the UK representative for Malmö. In recent years the BBC has really put big names on the table: Blue, Engelbert with medium success only and this year it‘s Bonnie Tyler! This is definitely the most popular and established singers in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The song has been written by the worldwide known composer Desmond Child.
Bonnie Tyler was born in 1951 in Skewsen, County Swansea, Wales under her real name Gaynor Hopkins. Influenced by her mother, who was an opera lover, she got in touch with music - mainly Motown music, her idols were Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. After the first little successes in bars, clubs and festivals she started singing professionally. She grew up in a poor family had no music education, worked in a grocery store and as a supermarket cashier and has become one of the most famous Welsh singers worldwide. She has sold over 20 million records owns one house at in Portugal and a farm in New Zealand, she is best friend with Catherina Zeta-Jones and sang “Total Eclipse Of My Heart” on her wedding with Michael Douglas. To improve her voice she had a surgery to remove nodules from her vocal cords which left her with a distinctively husky voice.
“Lost In France” was her breakthrough in 1976 and bigger hits followed: “It’s A Heartache” (#4 in UK, #3 in USA and #2 in Germany), “Total Eclipse Of My Heart” (#1 in UK, Ireland, USA, France and Australia, composed by Jim Steinman), “Holding Out For A Hero” (Footloose Soundtrack) and many more. Bonnie has worked with many international singers and composers like Meat Loaf, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michalis Ratzinkis “The Desert In Your Heart” (Greek ESC singer 2002) and Dieter Bohlen “Bitterblue” (composer for several ESC songs). Bonnie has released 16 albums; the new album is called “Rocks & Honey”.
Bonnie Tyler has received several awards, 3 Grammy award nominations and 2 Brit Award nominations. She was offered to sing the James Bond song “Never Say Never Again” – she declined, she was even asked by the BBC to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song contest in 1983 – she declined as well. Later one she argued that this was not the right time for her.
The song for Eurovision “Believe In Me” could also be mantra for Bonnie – do the people still believe in her? After many comebacks, will this song bring her another comeback for her? The risk of a lot of established singers is the fear to end up least. Last year Engelbert came 25th out of 25 entries! It’s also strange that the BBC never organizes a national selection, as there are so many talented singers and bands that could let the dusty image of the ESC shine again. “Believe In Me” it’s a solid pop-rock tune with the characteristic harmony of Bonnie Tyler songs, so it’s something what people expect to listen. A great choice though. Good luck Bonnie!
Biggest success: 5x 1st place “Puppet On A String” by Sandie Shaw in 1967, “Boom Bang-a-Bang” by Lulu in 1969, “Save Your Kisses For Me” by Brotherhood of Man in 1976, “Making Your Mind Up” by Bucks Fizz in 1981, “Love Shine A Light” by Katrina & The Waves in 1997, 15x 2nd place “Sing Little Birdie” by Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson in 1959, “Looking High, High, High” by Bryan Johanson in 1960, “Are You Sure?” by The Allisons 1961, “Love The Little Things” by Matt Monro in 1964, “I Belong” by Kathy Kirby in 1965, “Congratulations” by Cliff Richard in 1968, “Knock Knock Who Is There?” by Mary Hopkin in 1970, “Beg, Steal or Borrow” by The New Seekers in 1972, “Let Me Be The One” by The Shadows in 1975, “Rock Bottom” by Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran in 1977, “Go” by Scott Fitzgerald in 1988, “Why Do I Always Get It Wrong?” by Live Report in 1989, “One Step Out Of Time” by Michael Ball in 1992, “Better The Devil You Know” by Sonia in 1993, “Where Are You?” by Imaani in 1998, 3x 3rd place “Power To All Our Friends” 1973 by Cliff Richard, “Love Is Enough For Two” by Prima Donna in 1980, “Come Back” by Jessica Garlick in 2002, 2x 4th place, 1x 5th place, 2x 6th place, 4x 7th place, 1x 8th place, 1x 9th place, 3x 10th place
For the 56th time the United Kingdom is taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Only two times the UK did not take part, the first year of the Eurovision 1956 and 1958. But it became quite clear that the UK is one of the strongest contenders in this music contest. The big advantages of the UK in Eurovision were the language and the being one world centre of popular music, with a lot of contemporary music, which was always very radio friendly music. With the opening of the language rule that every participating country must sing in the native language, the power of the UK has suffered quite heavily. So the general interest in the ESC is also impacted. Even though the UK still belongs to the most successful countries in the ESC: there were five victories so far: “Puppet on a string” by Sandy Shaw in 1967, “Boom Bang-a-bang” by Lulu in 1969, “Save your kisses for me” by Brotherhood of Man in 1976, “Making your mind up” by Bucks Fizz in 1981 and “Love shine a light” by Katrina & The Waves in 1997. Also worth to mention is the runner up position, 15 times the UK came second, and often it was close to victory. There were also many Top 10 positions. As already mentioned before, the UK did not shape up very well in recent years, the best position could be achieved was the fifth with “It’s my time” by Jade Ewen, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2009. Once in history the UK came last with “Cry Baby” by Jemini in 2003, zero points for the United Kingdom, almost unimaginable.