Dana International represented Israel in 1998 in Birmingham with the song ‘Diva’
|Fact title||Fact data|
Winner in 1998 with 172 points
Dana (born Yaron Cohen) came out as a trans woman at the age of 13, and by 18 was making a living as a drag act – reportedly Israel’s first! As both transsexual and Jewish, she captured the interest of broadcasters worldwide after her Eurovision performance, and became known internationally. Though receiving some criticism questioning her religious beliefs, Dana argued that: “My victory proves God is on my side. I want to send my critics a message of forgiveness and say to them: try to accept me and the kind of life I lead. I am what I am and this does not mean I don't believe in God, and I am part of the Jewish Nation”.
I don't care what you call me, as long as you let me live my life!Dana International
After her Eurovision win in Birmingham, Diva landed top-ten spots in the charts in Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. She later went on to release multiple albums; represent her country once more in Eurovision 2011 with the song ‘Ding Dong’; and she also became a judge on the Israeli television music talent contest ‘Kokhav Nolad’.