In 2012, it was Engelbert Humperdinck singing for England that put a veteran artist into the Eurovision Song Contest.
This year, it’s Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who wrote the song Lonely Planet which will be the official entry from Armenia and performed by the band Dorians.
The Eurovision Song Contest was first held in 1956 and is run by the European Broadcast Union. All countries who are members of the union submit a song that is performed on live television followed by a public vote which determines the most popular.
Iommi was hesitant at first to work with Armenia on their entry, even though he has a history with the country in disaster and fund raising efforts, including the Who Cares record with Ian Gillan. He told Rolling Stone, “I first said, ‘Oh God, I don’t know’ – it seemed really strange, me doing a Eurovision song. I don’t usually do that but I said, ‘I’ve got a rock ballad; I’ll send it over’. . . The thing is, I’ve always thought, ‘Oh no, not the Eurovision,’ and here I am in it now.”
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most watched television events each year. Songs that have won and gone on to be hits in the U.S. and U.K. include Puppet on a String (Sandie Shaw), Save Your Kisses For Me (Brotherhood of Man) and possibly its biggest winner, Waterloo by ABBA.
The contest also shot ABBA into international stardom, one of a number of both winning and non-winning performers who received exposure from the show, including France Gall, Dana, Bucks Fizz and Celine Dion.
The 58th annual contest will be held in Malmo, Sweden with semi-finals taking place May 14 and 16 and the finals on May 18.
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