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About Conchita Wurst

Affectionately dubbed "the bearded lady" Conchita Wurst rose to worldwide fame as Austria's somewhat controversial entry into the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. The alter-ego of Austrian Tom Neuwirth, Wurst had originally come to life after Neuwirth's short-lived boy band Jetzt Anders! disbanded after just a year, following his previous brush with fame as second place finisher in the 2006 edition of Austrian TV show Starmania. Wurst's first appearance on national TV occurred in 2011 on Die große Chance, a program which saw artists competing to represent Austria in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Coming in second, Wurst followed up the show with appearances on reality shows The Hardest Jobs of Austria and Wild Girls. In 2013 Wurst was named Austria's official entry into the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Sparking condemnation from conservative groups, particularly across Eastern Europe, Wurst became the bookies' favorite to win and eventually took the trophy at the finals in Copenhagen. In a dig at the right-wing political elite, Wurst stated "we are unity and we are unstoppable" when receiving the trophy, confirming the message was aimed at conservative Eastern Europe in protest of the lack of LGBT rights. Wurst's Eurovision entry, "Rise Like a Phoenix," was released as a single and reached the top of the Austrian chart, while also placing in the Top Ten throughout most of the rest of Europe. ~ Rich Wilson

Gmunden, Austria
Nov 6, 1988

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