Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 60 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956. The only countries with more appearances are Germany and the United Kingdom. Belgium have been absent only three times in total, in 1994, 1997 and 2001, due to low scores in the previous contests that relegated them from the contest. Belgium has won the contest once, in 1986. In the first 20 years of the contest, Belgium's best result was Tonia's fourth place in 1966. In 1978, Jean Vallée achieved Belgium's first top three placement. Sandra Kim became the first and to date only winner for Belgium in 1986, when she won as a 13-year-old in Bergen, performing the song "J'aime la Vie". Belgium's only other top three result came in 2003, when the group Urban Trad finished second in Riga, losing out by only two points. Belgium have finished last in the contest eight times, most in 2000, have twice received "nul points". After the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Belgium failed to reach the final for five consecutive years.
Since 2010, Belgium have become more successful, qualifying for the final in five out of nine contests and placing in the top 10 four times, with Tom Dice sixth, Loïc Nottet fourth, Laura Tesoro tenth, Blanche fourth. Belgium has two national broadcasters of the contest, Flemish broadcaster Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep and French-speaking broadcaster Radio télévision belge de la communauté française; the two broadcasters rotate selection for the Eurovision Song Contest each year. While VRT hosts a national final, when selecting their entries for Eurovision, it has been normal for RTBF to hold an internal selection process. Tonia's fourth-place at the 1966 contest remained Belgium's best result until Jean Vallée finished second in 1978. By 1980, Belgium had finished last in the contest five times, in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1973 and 1979. Following good results for Stella and Jacques Zegers, Belgium finished last for the sixth time in 1985; this was followed by Belgium's first Eurovision victory in 1986, when Sandra Kim won with her song "J'aime la vie" in Bergen, Norway.
Although she claimed she was 15 years old, she was only 13, but was allowed to keep her victory. The minimum age for participation is 16 and thus Sandra Kim will remain the youngest winner unless the age limit is lowered. By winning in 1986, Belgium became the last of the French-speaking countries to win the contest, as France, Luxembourg and Switzerland all had won at least once before. Belgium scored an absolute record at the time, with Sandra Kim earning a never seen before amount of 176 points, an average of 9.26 points per voting nation. Kim received 77.2% of the maximum possible score, which, as of 2017, still ranks eighth among all Eurovision winners. Belgium finished last for the seventh time at the 1993 contest, before achieving its only top ten result of the decade at the 1998 contest in Birmingham, where Mélanie Cohl finished sixth. Belgium finished last in the contest for the eighth and final time at the 2000 contest in Stockholm, before achieving its best result of the 21st century in 2003, where Urban Trad sang in an invented language and earned second place with 165 points, losing out to Turkey's Sertab Erener by just two points.
Ishtar did the same in 2008, but finished 17th in the first semi-final, failing to qualify for the final. In the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Belgium participated in the first semi-final on 12 May 2009, however they received just one point which came from Armenia and left them in second-last position; the 2010 entry for Belgium was Tom Dice, runner-up of the Belgian Flemish version of The X Factor in 2008. Dice was internally selected and announced by VRT on 25 November 2009. Tom Dice finished 1st in the first semi-final, allowing Belgium to participate to the final for the first time since the introduction of the semi-finals, he finished 6th, Belgium's best result since 2003, along with 1959, the best result for a Flemish entrant, since Belgum's all top 5 placings have been achieved by the representantives of the French-language broadcaster RTBF. In 2011, the entry for Belgium was Witloof Bay, they didn't qualify for the finals, finishing 11th only one point behind Moldova, thus 1 point behind the qualification.
Due to the good results and the Flemish population's choice, the VRT cancelled'Eurosong' selection procedure and chose internally for 2012. For the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, they choose 17-year-old singer Iris but decided to let the public choose what song she would sing to represent Belgium. However, she didn't qualify after finishing 17th of 18 entrants in the first semi-final, scoring just 16 points, the second lowest total of all the 36 semi-final entrants. In 2013, Roberto Bellarosa, winner of The Voice Belgique, was chosen to represent Belgium for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. Bellarosa finished in 12th place. In 2014, VRT organized a national final again and 30 participants were selected to enter the castings. Axel Hirsoux won the national final, with more than 50 percent of the televotes and four times the ma
Fud LeClerc was a Belgian singer, the pianist of Juliette Gréco. Born Fernand Urbain Dominic Leclercq, LeClerc had a career as a pianist, accordionist and singer before retiring to travel the world. On his return to Belgium he began a new career as a building contractor. More LeClerc was invited to ESC 2005 by the Belgian TV network RTBF as a guest star. LeClerc represented Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest four times: The song LeClerc performed in the 1962 Contest is notable for being the first song performed at the Contest that scored zero points. At the time of his death LeClerc was retired, living in Brussels. Fud Leclerc on IMDb Tom nom, Eurovision 1962 on YouTube
Cornelia Maria "Corry" Brokken was a Dutch singer. In 1957, she was the first Dutch winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the high points in a long career as a singer and entertainer in the 1950s and 1960s, during which she scored a number of hits and sang in the popular Sleeswijk Revue with Snip en Snap, had her own television show, she ended her career in 1976 to study law, became an attorney and a judge. Brokken wrote an autobiography, in the 1990s returned to the public eye, writing a weekly column and again performing and recording. Brokken was the first Dutch winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, winning the event in 1957 with the song "Net als toen"; the melody was composed by Guus Jansen and the lyrics were written by Willy van Hemert. She participated in the 1956 contest singing "Voorgoed voorbij", with music and lyrics by Jelle de Vries, in the 1958 contest singing "Heel de wereld", with music and lyrics by Benny Vreden. John Kennedy O'Connor's book, The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, notes that Corry is the only singer to have finished both first and last in the contest.
Brokken was one of the most popular women singers of the 1950s and 1960s, performing in the Sleeswijk Revue alongside Snip en Snap and scoring hits, some of which with translated chansons by Charles Aznavour. In 1973, she happened upon a book discussing Roman law, began to get interested in the legal profession. In 1976, Brokken served as the presenter of the contest, in 1997 she announced the results of the Dutch vote for that year's contest. By that time she was no longer active as a singer: she ended her musical career in 1976 to study law. In the 1990s she returned performing on stage and recording an album, she died on 30 May 2016 at the age of 83. Songs"Voorgoed voorbij" "Net als toen" "Heel de wereld" FilmsJenny Redt een kind Uit met Maurice Dean List of Eurovision Song Contest presenters Corry Brokken on IMDb
Bobbejaan Schoepen was a Flemish pioneer in Belgian pop music and European country music. Schoepen was a versatile entertainer, singer-songwriter, comedian and professional whistler, as well as the founder and former director of the amusement park, Bobbejaanland, his musical career flourished from 1948 until the first half of the 1970s. He sold more than five million copies from his repertoire of 482 songs, which extended from Twang, instrumental film music, country, to folk and vocal music. Born in Boom, Flanders, Belgium, he worked his way up from a working-class environment to become one of the 200 richest people in Belgium. Schoepen married Dutch former opera singer and photographer's model Josephina Jongen on 18 May 1961, they have five children: Robert, Jacky and Tom. His son Tom became his manager in Belgium. Modest Schoepen grew up in a smithy in Antwerp, his career started in the late 1930s when he and his sister Liesje performed vaudeville shows in the surrounding villages, going around with the hat collecting money afterwards.
He had his first audition for radio, in 1944 in Brussels. In 1943 he undertook classical guitar instruction with guitarist Frans De Groodt; that same year he had a memorable debut performance in the Ancienne Belgique of Brussels. In front of a full house he sang the South-African song, "Mama, ek wil'n man hé". Nee mamma, née,'n Duitseman, die wil ek nie. Want Schweinefleisch dit lus ek nie" The song was perceived as being anti-German, provoking a few Nazis who were present at the show to take him away; the South African song is making reference to a'German man'. The Ancienne Belgique was closed for three weeks. Shortly thereafter he was forced to go work in Germany; as an alternative he chose to sing for the Flemish workers doing compulsory labor. For this he was locked up for three months in the Dossin barracks in Mechelen from October 1944, without a hearing or a trial. In 1945 he formed a duo with Kees Brug, a young man from his own village, with the name of "Two Boys and Two Guitars", they performed impersonations, South-African songs, country music from Calais to Amsterdam, all with plenty of room for improvisation and adventure.
The name "Bobbejaan" comes from the South-African song, "Bobbejaan klim die berg". Schoepen took it as his artist name in 1945 or 1946. In 1947 he came into contact with Jacques Kluger. Kluger asked Schoepen to entertain the American and Canadian troops during the Nuremberg Trials, in Frankfurt and Berlin. Kluger was pleased to receive an unexpected, flattering letter from Major Mearker, contracted Schoepen to go on tour in Germany for several months. In Berlin, still in ruins, his floor shows were attended by the American general and military governor Lucius D. Clay, who asked him for two additional performances; these tours would further stimulate his country music tendencies. In between these shows, Schoepen gave occasional performances in his own country. While he did not wish to sing in Dutch, Kluger convinced him to record'a Flemish record'. Schoepen's first recordings followed, in 1948 "De Jodelende Fluiter" became Schoepen's first hit, his breakthrough in the Netherlands happened that year.
Among his many performances, he was asked to guest-star in the Netherlands. Bobbejaan soon became the right man to work for the benefit of the Dutch. In 1949 he went on tour for the Dutch troops in Indonesia, performing 127 shows over the course of three months, he was decorated for courage and self-sacrifice by the Dutch government because he performed for troops near the front line. Five days after returning home he began a 220-day tour through Belgium, playing nostalgic songs, such as the tried and true "De lichtjes van de Schelde", still an evergreen in Belgium today, Bobbejaan Schoepen became one of the most popular artists in Flanders. Schoepen toured in at least twenty different countries, together with artists such as Josephine Baker, Caterina Valente, Gilbert Bécaud, Toots Thielemans, he is one of the first Europeans to have appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, one of the most important centers of country music in the United States. In 1953 he played there three times with Roy Acuff.
There was one performance with the country singer Red Foley in Missouri. The American country singer, Tex Williams, a Western swing performer, would release a cover of Schoepen's "Fire and Blisters" in the US. In 1954 there followed a three-month European tour through Germany and Denmark, which concluded with a few months of performances in the Folies Bergère in Brussels. Syd Fox was Schoepen's manager in Denmark; when Jacques Brel performed the opening act in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels in January 1955, Schoepen had the status of an international vedette in his own country. He was chosen as the best Flemish singer by the broadcasting company NIR, for which he received the "Grand Prize for Flemish Gramophone Recording."That autumn he toured with his show for a month through Germany three months through the Congo. In 1957 he again went to New York, where he was asked to make a guest-appearance on the famous Ed Sullivan Show, he recorded albums at RCA Records with the producer Steve Sholes.
Sholes offered him a contract to promote his record, by visiting radio st
Freddy Quinn is an Austrian singer and actor whose popularity within the German-speaking world soared in the late 1950s and 1960s. Similar to Hans Albers two generations before him, Quinn adopted the persona of the rootless wanderer who goes to sea but longs for a home and friends. Quinn's Irish family name comes from Johann Quinn, his mother, Edith Henriette Nidl, was an Austrian journalist. He is associated with the Schlager scene. Quinn grew up in Vienna; as a child he lived in Morgantown, West Virginia with his father, but moved back to live with his mother in Vienna. Through his mother's second marriage to Rudolf Anatol Freiherr von Petz, Quinn adopted the name Nidl-Petz. At the end of World War II, as part of a refugee group, Freddy encountered American troops in Bohemia. Due to his fluent English, the 14-year-old succeeded in pretending to be of American nationality, he was subsequently sent to the US in May 1945 with a military transport. On Ellis Island, he learned that his father had died in 1943 in a car accident.
The boy was sent back to Europe and, before returning to his mother in Vienna, was stranded for a whole year in Antwerp in a children's home, where he learned to speak French and Dutch. However, having left the landlocked country of Austria in favor of adventurous journeys through Southern Europe and Northern Africa, he headed for Germany, he was "discovered" in St. Pauli and was offered his first recording contract in 1954, he represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland with the atypical song, "So geht das jede Nacht", about an unfaithful girlfriend who dates many men. He did not win, the full results of the contest were never released so his placement is not known. Most of his other songs are about the endless sea and the solitary life in faraway lands, his first hit record was "Heimweh" ("Homesickness", a.k.a. "Brennend heißer Wüstensand", "Dort wo die Blumen blüh'n" and "Schön war die Zeit", a German version of Dean Martin's "Memories Are Made of This". It sold over one million copies, was awarded a gold disc.
Other hits with him billed as Freddy, followed: "Die Gitarre und das Meer", "Unter fremden Sternen", "Irgendwann gibt's ein Wiedersehn", "La Paloma", "Junge, komm bald wieder". His 1964 offering "Vergangen, vorueber" was another million selling release, his popularity waned in the 1970s, but Quinn continued performing. "Junge, komm bald wieder" was sung by Alpay on 7 Dilde Alpay album, released in 1973. Starting in the late 1950s, Quinn acted in several movies, again cast as the seafaring loner. Titles include Freddy, the Guitar and the Sea, Freddy unter fremden Sternen and the Song of the South Pacific, Homesick for St. Pauli. Subsequently, Quinn performed on the stage in such diverse roles as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, the king in The King and I, Lord Fancourt Babberly in Charley's Aunt. Quinn was an accomplished circus performer who stunned television audiences as a tightrope walker, performing live and without a safety net. On another occasion, televised, he rode a lion inside a circus cage while the lion was balancing atop a moving surface.
Quinn lives in Germany. Freddy, the Guitar and the Sea Freddy and the Melody of the Night Only the Wind Freddy and the Millionaire Freddy and the Song of the South Pacific Homesick for St. Pauli Freddy in the Wild West The Roaring Fifties This list only contains songs that have been covered by Freddy Quinn or others; the year lists up. Freddy Quinn on IMDb A Freddy Quinn fan page An Irish based Freddy Quinn fan page
Refrain (Lys Assia song)
"Refrain" was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1956, co-written by Émile Gardaz and Géo Voumard, performed by Lys Assia representing Switzerland. It was the first-ever winner of the Contest, but not the first-ever performance by Switzerland; this apparent anomaly is due to the rules of the 1956 Contest allowing each competing country to be represented by two songs. Assia represented Switzerland singing both songs, had performed "Das alte Karussell" in German; the song is in the classic chanson mode and laments the lost loves of the singer's "adolescence". The song was performed 9th on the night of the contest, following the Netherlands' Corry Brokken with "Voorgoed voorbij" and preceding Belgium's Mony Marc "Le plus beau jour de ma vie", it was the winner of the contest, however the number of points given to it was never revealed. The song was succeeded as Contest winner in 1957 by Corry Brokken representing the Netherlands singing "Net als toen"; the song was accompanied at the 1956 contest by Assia with "Das alte Karussell" and was succeeded as Swiss representative at the 1957 contest by Assia with "L'enfant que j'étais"
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo