Dana International

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About Dana International

When Israeli singer Dana International won the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest, the ensuing headlines not only related to her triumph, but also to her gender: The first transgender artist to appear at the competition was a media sensation even before "Diva" took the ultimate Eurovision honor. Since that time, her success has only multiplied. Born in Tel Aviv, she made her first impact on the local music scene in 1993 with a cover of Whitney Houston's "My Name Is Not Susan" -- retitled "My Name Is Not Sa'ida" for the occasion. Her first album, Dana Intl, followed later that year. A second album, Umpatampa, consolidated her initial success in 1994, proving a hit around the Middle East and earning Dana the year's Best Female Artist title at the Israeli Music Awards. Further successes followed, with EP Tampa in 1995 and the 1996 album Maganona -- home to the hits "Don Quixote," "Cinquemilla," and "Waving." In 1997 she recorded Another Sex, an album with fellow Israeli star Eran Zur. Dana International first appeared at Eurovision in 1995, when she finished second in the Israeli qualifying competition. She went one better in the 1998 qualifiers and, despite opposition from various Israeli religious groups, went on to represent Israel on the international stage. Her victory was followed by "Diva" becoming a hit across Europe, including a number 11 spot in the U.K., and in the Top Ten slots elsewhere. The album of the same name was also a smash. However, covers of Barbra Streisand's "Woman in Love" and Stevie Wonder's "Free" flopped, a fate that also awaited the European Free album. The documentary film Lady D arrived in 2000, with 2001's album Yoter Ve Yoter (More & More) -- which included the hits "I Won" and "After All" -- becoming her biggest hit since "Diva." The renaissance continued with 2002's Ha'chalom Ha'efshari (The Possible Dream). A hits collection, The CDs Collection, followed in 2003, before Dana International took another hiatus. Four years elapsed before she resurfaced with the 2007 hit "Hakol Ze Letová" (It's All for the Best). ~ Dave Thompson

Tel Aviv, Israel
February 2, 1973