Swedish Singer Loreen makes history as first woman to win Eurovision twice

Sunday 14 May 2023

Swedish vocalist Loreen has won the Eurovision Song Contest with her powerful ballad "Tattoo" at a vibrant and diverse musical competition that was once again overshadowed by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Loreen, hailing from Stockholm, outperformed contenders from 25 other countries to become the reigning pop queen of the continent at the event in Liverpool. The race was tight, with Finnish artist Käärijä coming in second place in a closely fought battle with the Nordic neighbours.

This marks Loreen's second Eurovision win, making her only the second artist to receive this honor twice, following in the footsteps of Ireland's Johnny Logan in the 1980s. This year, Britain played host to Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine, which won last year but was unable to hold the competition due to the ongoing war. Air raid sirens could be heard across Ukraine during the event.

Eurovision's motto of "united by music" combined the soul of the English port city that gave birth to The Beatles with the resilience of war-torn Ukraine. The show was infused with the sights and sounds of Ukraine, starting with an opening film featuring the Kalush Orchestra, who won Eurovision in 2022, singing and dancing in the Kyiv subway. The music was then picked up by musicians in the UK, including Kate, Princess of Wales, who was shown playing the piano. The folk-rap band then made a grand entrance on stage at the Liverpool Arena on a giant pair of outstretched hands, accompanied by a host of drummers.

The 26 finalist nations' contestants paraded into the arena in an Olympic-style flag ceremony, accompanied by live performances from Ukrainian acts, including Go A, Jamala, Tina Karol, and Verka Serduchka, who were all past Eurovision contenders.

As the world's largest music competition, Eurovision has been running for 67 years and bills itself as an Olympiad of party-friendly pop. Contestants have three minutes to create catchy tunes and visually stunning performances that can win over millions of viewers.