Eurovision: Those we have lost 2024 Edition

Those we have lost Eurovision 2024

With the grand final for 2024 just a few hours away, it’s time for us to remember those who walked on the Eurovision Song Contest stage before, sometimes Eurovision winners, and who (since the last Contest) are sadly no longer with us. What is Eurovision if not one big family?

Roy Taylor, a member of the group ‘Jump the Gun’ died on 1 June 2023, aged just 66 after a battle with a rare form of Motor Neurone disease. He took to the 1988 Eurovision stage in Dublin with the song ‘Take him home’, finishing eighth with 79 points.

On 18 June, we lost Israeli singer and musical theater performer Racheli Haim – a member of the group Lehakat Shiru, who represented Israel in 1993. She died aged 66 after a struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

On 8 July 2023, Turkish pop and rock musician Raif Özkan Uğur died at 69 after a long battle with cancer. After starting his career in 1970, Uğur formed Eurovision 1985 rock band MFÖ, together with Mazhar Alanson and Fuat Güner. Their song, Sufi, placed 15th overall

On 13 August 2023, Patricia Bredin died. The English actress and one-time singer was best known as the first representative of the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest. Bredin took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 1957 in Frankfurt and finished in seventh place out of ten entries with the song “All”, the first-ever song sung in English at Eurovision.

Luc Smets, a member of the Belgian group Dream Express, passed away on 20 August 2023. In 1977 his group  won the national selection for the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “A million in 1, 2, 3”, ending in a respectable seventh place. The song was allowed to be performed in English despite rules being in place insisting songs be performed in native languages – an exception was made  as the song was selected before this regulation came into effect.

Salvatore “Toto” Cutugno died on 22 August 2023. He was perhaps best known for his worldwide hit song, “L’Italiano”, released on his 1983 album of the same title. However back in 1990, when Samremo winners Pooh declined a place at Eurovision, second-placed Cutugno was invited to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in Zagreb. He went on to win with his own original composition “Insieme: 1992”, a ballad which celebrated European political integration and the establishment of the European Union.

Austrian guitarist, singer, composer, and writer Peter Horton died from Parkinson’s disease in September 2023, shortly after his 82nd birthday. He represented Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest 1967 with the song “Warum es hunderttausend Sterne gibt”. The song scored 2 points to finish joint 14th place out of 17 entries.

Lars Nils “Lasse” Berghagen died on 19 October 2023. He represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1975 with the song “Jennie, Jennie”. He placed eighth, and went on to work in Swedish TV and also had a career in Germany where he released records, and appeared on German TV.

Sara Tavares, a Portuguese songwriter, singer and guitarist was just 45 when she  passed away on 19 November 2023 in Lisbon, having been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009. In 1994, she finished in eight place for Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest with Chamar A Músic.

A special mention goes out to someone who was denied their time on the Eurovision stage by the global Covid pandemic. Dmitry Krasilov, a dancer from the “Uno” music video – a song by Little Big that was to represent Russia in 2020, died on 18 December 2023 aged 29. Russian media reported he had fallen ill the day before and was found unresponsive in his apartment.

A member of the Eurovision winning group Milk and Honey, Shmulik Bilu died on 31 December 2023, at the age of 71 following a lengthy illness. His group represented Israel in the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest with their winning song ‘Hallelujah.

French singer/songwriter Guy Bonnet died aged 78 on 8 January 2024. He wrote the lyrics and composed the music for “La Source”, the French entry in the 1968 contest, performed by Isabelle Aubret. In 1970, he performed “Marie-Blanche” coming fourth out of twelve contestants and repeated the experience in 1983 with “Vivre”, finishing eighth out of twenty.

Veteran Maltese singer Joe Cutajar died aged 83 on 6 March 2024. Valletta born and bred, Cutajar will be best remembered for his participation in the Eurovision Song Contest with Helen Micallef in 1972 when they sang L-Imħabba. Cutajar’s singing career spanned decades and saw him singing in various countries, including the UK where he spent two years working as a cabaret artist in London’s West End in the 1960s.

Humphrey Campbell died peacefully and pain-free on 25 March aged 65, in the presence of his immediate family. In 1992. Humphrey represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, with the song Wijs Me De Weg, ending in ninth place. His brothers Ben and Carlo took care of the background vocals.

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16 days ago

This is a nice tribunte for those we lost.
You do it every year and this is much appreciated.