13 years ago today: Sweden wins the contest

13 years ago today: Sweden wins the contest
Charlotte Nilsson winner of the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest
Jerusalem, Israel -

Sweden winning the Eurovision Song Contest, is a headline that has being going around the world in the last few days, but it was also the headline going around on this date, the 29th of May, in 1999, when Charlotte Nilsson won the contest with Take Me To Your Heaven. Let's recall when Sweden won Europe's Favourite TV Show for the fourth time.

The 44th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was held on the latest date so far in the calendar year, the 29th May, and was staged in the Usshishkin Hall in the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, the same venue that had staged the contest 20 years earlier in 1979.

1999 Facts and figures

  • For the first time there were three presenters of the contest, namely,Yigal Ravid, Dafna Dekel & Sigal Shahamon. Dekel had previously sung the Israeli entry in the 1992 edition, Ze Rak Sport.
  • Broadcasters were no longer obliged to enter songs in their own national language(s), and many opted to perform in English, including Sweden, who went onto win the contest.
  • 23 countries participated in the contest. including Lithuania who returned to the contest after a five year absence.
  • It was the first contest not to feature an orchestra, and artists had to perform to backing tracks. The orchestra hasn't returned since.
  • Iceland achieved their best result to date in 1999 by finishing second with All Out Of Luck sung by Selma.
  • It was the first contest to deliberately structure a commercial break within the proceedings, something which has become routine nowadays.
  • Two former competitors returned to contest, Doris Dragović who represented Croatia, had previously represented Yugoslavia in 1986 and Darja Švajger who represented Slovenia, just as she had done before in 1995.

Read more about the 1999 contest in our history section.

As we can see there are many elements that were introduced in the 1999 contest that are still with us in the modern show of today, and was a landmark contest in the development of Europe's Favourite TV Show.

About the winner

Born in 1974 as Anna Jenny Charlotte Nilsson, Charlotte had a long career before taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Her career started at the age of 13, when she performed with the dansband the Bengt Ingvars. She then continued to work with another band, the Anders Engbergs before joining the group Wizex in 1997. This period of her life gave her some of her best success at home in Sweden and set her up for entering the Swedish national final, Melodifestivalen in 1999.

In Jerusalem in 1999, Charlotte won the contest with the song Take Me To Your Heaven. The song gave her a lot of success and she got to travel around Europe and the middle east on promotional trips.

Following on from her win, Charlotte released more music and presented Melodifestivalen in 2003 and 2004. She also got married and changed her name to Perrelli in 2003.

In 2008, Charlotte decided to take part in Melodifestivalen once again, this time as an artist. Her song Hero won the competition by a small margin and went on to represent Sweden in Belgrade. The song was one of the early favourites to win the entire competition, but only managed to achieve an 18th place in the final.

There are 23 comments

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  • Posted on 30 January 2013 at 15:24
    This is the best Eurovision produced in my opinion!
    The show was really good, and the presenters were very professional and very good at English.
    The songs this year had a higher standard than earlier years, especially the winning song by Charlotte from Sweden, but also the 1st runner up were really good, Selma from Iceland.

    Great job and thank You Israel for a great and a classic Eurovision show! Shalom!!! :-) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 2 June 2012 at 18:32
    This year my top 3 Sweden, Croatia, Netherlands report to the moderator
  • Posted on 31 May 2012 at 15:37
    12) SWEDEN - Charlotte Nilsson "Take Me to Your Heaven"
    10) NETHERLANDS - Marlayne "One Good Reason"
    08) CROATIA - Doris "Maria Magdalena" report to the moderator
  • Posted on 31 May 2012 at 06:36
    I really like how much Eurovision has evolved over many years. Looking back at the old Eurovision in YouTube it looked very similar to Italy's San Remo Festival.

    Now it has evolved into a contest that people of different social and ethnic backgrounds can enjoy~!!

    Also it brings countries that are normally fighting, close together :-) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 30 May 2012 at 19:34
    My fav from 1999 is Reise Nach Jerusalem by Surpriz. A very good attempt to curry local flavour. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 30 May 2012 at 19:18
    Charlotte also did participate this year in Sweden
    She didnt even get into the national final; report to the moderator
  • Posted on 30 May 2012 at 10:46
    My favourite memory is that we won:D
    It was the first time that I witnessed a Swedish victory, I was 9 years old at that time. I remember staying up late and watching the first Swedish interview with Charlotte after her win, and how shocked she were.

    I also remember that Bosnia came 7th with Dino Merlin and Beatrice. This was the first time Bosnia got in the top 10, and as a Bosnian that was a huge deal. I remember that Austria gave us a 12:D
    And I think that we were tipped to come last this year, as it was a strange entry. So it was even sweeter that we came that high report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 23:23
    Besides the winner, there were so many good songs in 1999! Marlain from Cyprus was fantastic, as was Selma from Iceland. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 22:11
    Since I was born (1996) there have been only two double Winners, Norway and Sweden, does that show the Scandinavian power in Music, Scandinavia and Baltic nations have had 8 wins over the last 16 years! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 18:59
    Eurovision 1999 was a rather dull year with only a few good songs. My favourite was Croatia (Marija Magdalena - Doris Dragovic). Second best Bosnia/Hercegovina.

    But best song this year was the runner up from Melodifestivalen /Swedish Final).
    Stjärna på himlen (star in the sky) by Drömhus (Therese Grankvist). Much better than Take me to your heaven in my opinion. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 12:56
    I remember that year, It was my favourite ^^ But this year not :(

    I didnt know was the year of end of orchestra, interesting, one day hope they coming, coz I miss a lot .not for totally but some can use it ? yes I know its a lot of money and now we are all in Crisis :s report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 12:29
    and what do y think of this euphoria...for euphoria SWEESCFAN? so long...david. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 11:23
    Coming from Sweden myself, Charlotte was not my favourite that year, Selma from Iceland was the best in my opinion :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 10:59
    yes, the winning song is one of the best of competition and loreen is a good singer, but what I didn't like at all was the feeling we got from the beginning of the contest week that loreen would have already favourite...according to messages on facebook she had won since february, ansdo also according to many scandinavian , they were so sure to got 1st position. ...I think this affirmation helped this climbing. but also other voices deserved much more attention...spain, with pastora or sabina...
    what I didn't like of loreen were her thin ANswers:
    no, yes, I will, I love, I like...etc. no more... report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29 May 2012 at 10:41
    I really like this year.Charlotte is perfect singer in Europe.I hope Charlotte will compete in eurovision again .) report to the moderator