13 years ago today: Sweden wins the contest
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.