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The winner of the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest, where she represented the tiny principality of Monaco, French singer Séverine was born Josiane Grizeau on October 10, 1948, in Paris. A virtual unknown when she was selected to appear at the contest, she swept to victory with the plaintive "Un Banc, un Arbre, une Rue" (A Bench, a Tree, a Street), a song that went on to become a major international hit. Indeed, it even made the Top Ten in the U.K., a nation that was generally resistant to foreign-language recordings, with its triumph rendered even sweeter by the fact that it was the original French-language version (released by the Philips label) that charted, rather than an English-language recording, "Chance in Time" on CBS.
Séverine would continue enjoying minor hits in France, albeit sporadically. Although she never again bothered the national Top 20, over the next three years she scored with "Vivre Pour Moi," "Comme un Appel," "J'ai Besoin de Soleil" "Là ou Tu N'es Pas," "Mon Tendre Amour," "Il Faut Chanter la Vie," and, finally, a cover of Cliff Richard's 1973 Eurovision entry, "Power to All Our Friends." Séverine was also popular in Germany. In 1972, her single "Olala l'Amour" made the Top 20 there, and in 1975 she competed in Germany's own national Eurovision finals. She was not selected, but remained visible for the rest of the decade. Her last German hit was a cover of the Goombay Dance Band's "Seven Tears," "Sieben Tränen," in 1981 and, the following year, she again competed unsuccessfully in the German national finals. ~ Dave Thompson
- Paris, France
- 10 Oct 1948