Where Are You Now?… Eurovision 1998

Where Are You Now? is a new ESCXTRA feature where we take a look at a select number of stars of a particular Eurovision year and check in on what they’ve been up to since the contest. With the 20th Anniversary blooming, join us as we begin with 1998.
It was the UK’s fifth win and what better place to hold the event than the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham! Twenty-five countries participated in the contest which saw Macedonia making their official debut. It is considered as having one of the most nail biting, thrilling voting sequences in the history of the event – with everything coming down to the final vote. But almost twenty years on, what have some of the stars of this contest been up to since?

Katarína Hasprová (Slovakia)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC &

After her Eurovision participation, Katarína has turned into something of a post-contest fan favorite, and „Modlitba“ is one of the rather unexpected classics. Katarína has continued making music and went on to release two solo albums. Musical theater is where she has really made her career however, being cited as one of the most famous and popular musical actresses in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. She has played characters such as Maria Magdalena in Jesus Christ Superstar, Cleopatra in the musical of the same name, and she has also had central roles in productions such as Cats, Greese, Hair, Sunset Boulevard, Dracula, West Side Story and many more. In total she has had more than 20 leading roles in musicals. In addition to singing she‘s also a remarkable dancer!
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Edsilia Rombley (The Netherlands)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & Edsilia Rombley @ Facebook

Edsilia Rombley performed for The Netherlands with the song “Hemel en aarde” (Heaven and earth). The song scored 150 points, placing Edsilia in 4th place.  This was the best result that the country had received for over 20 years, since they won in 1975 with ‘Ding-a-Dong’. 
Her Eurovision story didn’t end there though,  In 2007 she made her return to the contest with the song ‘On the Top of the World” but sadly didn’t receive enough votes to reach the grand final.   Earlier this year she released the song ‘Wat Doe Je Met Mij’ alongside the four piece male group Re-Play. 
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Imaani (United Kingdom)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & alchetron.com

Imaani represented the United Kingdom in Birmingham with ‘Where Are You?’ and very nearly kept the contest in the UK for another year, reaching second place. Since the contest, Imaani has featured on several other tracks including Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy’s “Freak Like Me” and in 2006, leant her vocals for the house record “Bring Me Love”, performed by Copyright Project. She has transitioned into a jazz artist and released her debut album ‘Standing Tall’ in 2014. The record celebrates all the styles of music that she loves, combined with strong hooks and soulful melodies.
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Lars Fredriksen (Norway)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & alchetron.com

From right before and continuing after his Eurovision participation, Lars was very popular in Norway. His participation in the contest played a big part in this, but it was mainly due to the fact that he was one of the most popular members of Oslo Gospel Choir. He was also massively popular in the Netherlands. He is still actively a member of Oslo Gospel Choir and performs at more than a 100 funerals every year. Lars is a registered nurse and his day job consists of working with people with drug related problems. He is also a fairly popular food blogger – his blog is called larsspiser.no (lars eats)
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Danijela Martinović (Croatia)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & alchetron.com

Danijela Martinović performed Neka mi ne svane“ (“May the sun never rise”) for Croatia at the 1998 contest. Despite performing first, she received a total of  131 points, awarding her the 5th place position.
This was not Danijela´s first time representing the country however,  she also went in 1995 with her pop band Magazin. Magazin and the opera singer Lidija Hovart-Dunjko sang “Nostalgija” which finished 6th at the contest overall.
In 2007, Danijela participated in the Croatian version of Dancing with the Stars although was unfortunately eliminated in the fifth week. In December 2010, she released the song ‘Pola Pola’ which was followed by the album ‘Unikat’, released the following year. In 2012, her single ‘Brodolom’ was classed as the biggest summer hit in Croatia, reaching over 3 million views on YouTube in the space of a month.
In June this year, she released the song ‘Nemam Mjeru’ which was performed at the CMC Festival.
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Chiara (Malta)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & Chiara @ Facebook

After competing at the 1998 contest and reaching third place for Malta, Chiara released two studio albums, “What You Want” in 2000 and “Covering Diversions” in 2003. In 2005, she re-entered the Maltese national final ‘A Song for Europe’, hoping for a second chance at winning the contest. She entered with the song ‘Angel’ and successfully earned the right to represent the country after pulling in 11,935 votes from the public. At the contest, she managed to beat her 1998 result, reaching 2nd place behind Greece. Not giving up in her dream of being victorious at Eurovision, in 2009 she once again entered the Maltese national final with the song ‘What if We’. At her third stint on the Eurovision stage, Chiara reached the grand final but sadly only managed 22nd place. That hasn’t marked the end of her Eurovision journey though – since 2010, she has had the role of reading the votes from Malta, as the country’s spokesperson.
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Michalis Hatzigiannis (Cyprus)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & Chiara @ Facebook

Michalis has been active on the Greek and Cypriot music scene ever since his 11th place in Eurovision 1998 with “Genesis”. He has released 11 studio albums, all of which became massively popular and sold to at least platinum in Greece and/or Cyprus. His most popular albums “7”  from 2008 and “To Kalitero Psema“  from 2010, both sold to 5xPlatinum in Greece. He has toured extensively, in Greece/Cyprus as well as in central Europe, North America and Australia. He has also released two live albums. In 2004 he performed at the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics. Rumours of him returning to Eurovision have been around for years, but so far they have proved to be false.
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Guildo Horn (Germany)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & Chiara @ Facebook

Representing Germany, Guildo sure made a memorable entry with his song “Guildo hat euch lieb” This hyper performance gave him 86 points, that is that 7th place!
Guildo stays true to himself and continues to be this eccentric stage persona. His outfits continue to stick out because of the colorful and antic look. He is now 54 years old and touring with the “Die Orthopädischen Strümpfe”. In October last year they released the song “Hier est ein Mench”.
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Dana International (Israel)

Image Source: YouTube/BBC & Dana International @ Facebook

Obviously, Dana International is most known for winning the 1998 contest and bringing the contest to Israel for the third time. “Diva” charted in over 13 countries and went on to become one of the most popular winning entries of the decade. Since the contest, Dana went on to release five more albums and in 2009, became a judge on the Israeli version of Pop Idol – “Kokhav Nolad”. She co-wrote the 2008 Eurovision entry “The Fire in Your Eyes” performed by Bo’az Ma’uda. As many fans will know, in 2011 she competed in and won the Israeli National selection with the song ‘Ding Dong’, marking her return to the Eurovision stage. Unfortunately, she was unable to repeat her success at the contest and failed to reach the grand final.
[/nextpage] [nextpage] Next up in our ‘Where Are You Now?” series is the year that preceded this one!   Where are the stars of Eurovision 1997 today?

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