Turkey wins first prize at the Eurovision song contest
Turkey's number one singer Sertab Erener won the first prize at the Eurovision song contest on May 24, 2003 gaining 167 points for the song "Every Way That I Can". The result was in doubt until the very end as votes were tallied from the 26 participating countries. Erener's victory was a very close call to runner-up Belgium's Urban Trad, and with Tatu a close third, reported the London based daily, Al Sharq Al Awsat.
Many observers had suspected that the Russian female pop duo of t.A.T.u would try to ambush the Eurovision by giving the family event an X-rated spin. However, despite having shared several onstage kisses in the past, the duo followed the organizers' demand to tone down their act or they would be disqualified if their performance contained the sexual antics they are famous for.
The United Kingdom's duo Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey, better known as pop duo Jemini , did not receive a single point at the festival and came in last. Latvia, which hosted the 48th annual Eurovision contest, came in third from last. It scored only five points (all from Estonia) beating Malta.
This was the 48th annual Eurovision contest, seen by an estimated 150 million people across Europe and around the world. This year's event was held in Riga, Latvia, since a Latvian artist won last year. As the new winner, Turkey will host next year's contest.
Sertab was born in Istanbul, Turkey and is one of the country’s most popular female vocalists, with record sales numbering four million. Her first album was released in 1992, followed by “Lal” in 1994 and “Sertab Gibi” in 1996.
Her duet with Jose Carreras showed her capability as a singer of different genres of music, while her duet with Ricky Martin called “Private Emotion” on the Turkish and Middle Eastern versions of Martin's 99 English language album increased her stardom. Her 1994 recording of “Lal” was selected by Sony Music as one of the biggest hits of the century and was included in the “Soundtrack For A Century” collection.
In April 1999 she released her fourth album, “Sertab” and less than a year later, in February 2000, she released a European album. Sertab has given numerous concerts, including some at major festival.
Her latest album “Turuncu” was released in 2001. "Turuncu" is the word for the color orange, signifying happiness and all things positive. Sertab is currently recording her next album, due to be released this summer. –Albawaba.com
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)