June is when Pride events of the LGBTQ+ community take place all over the world. In order to pay our tribute to the community we are going to release a series of posts, where we celebrate LGBTQ+ supporters that took part in ESC.
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Dana International was born on February 2, 1969, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her real name is Sharon Cohen. She was assigned male at birth but she identified herself as female from a very young age. At The age of 18, she worked as a drag queen impersonating female singers. After her sex reassignment surgery, she released her debut album “Dana International”, which became a success in Israel. In 1994 she released her second album and in 1995 she competed in the national final for Eurovision, placing second. In 1998, she was internally chosen to represent her nation. Dana won Eurovision in Birmingham and gave her country its third victory. Despite the disapproval of her participation by conservatives in her country, Dana became a symbol of Eurovision.
After her victory, she tried again to participate in Eurovision. In 2008 she co-composed the Israeli entry “The Fire In Your Eyes” and in 2011 she returned to the contest with the song “Ding Dong”, without making it to the final. In 2019, she was among the singers that sang as an Interval Act for Eurovision. In the same year, she also collaborated with fellow Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli, releasing the song “Diva To Diva”.
In 1998, Israel internally selected Dana International to send in Eurovision with the song “Diva”. Dana’s selection led to a controversy with the conservative Israelis, because Dana was a transgender woman. The public broadcaster didn’t change its mind and Dana went to won the competition with 172 points. That was the third victory of Israel.
What do you think about Dana International? Do you like her entry? Let us know in the comment box below!