In the late 70’s, the artist was the singer of Swedish heavy metal band Horizont. The group released two albums but a French producer, Yves Accary, contacted Nilsson and signed him to a French record company. The singer enjoyed his first big hit in France in 1981 with the song No Way No How. The single sold one million copies and the album 200 000 copies. No Way No How, his first album, included disco tracks and ballads. A follow up LP Tommy Nilsson was released in 1982 and this time the songs were composed by Tommy Nilsson and Alex R Contanstinos. This was a rock album, recorded in Stockholm and Los Angeles, but it did not sell very well and after two years of travelling between France and the United States, Nilsson decided to go back to Sweden.
Tommy Nilsson shocked the European music scene with his Michael Boltonesque voice and sweet ballads in the early 1980’s. First discovered in France he soon began to sing in Swedish and made immortal hits such as Öppna din dörr. The Swedish answer to Michael Bolton appeared in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 and finished last with 0 points.
He first joined another metal band, Easy Action, and they released two albums. The group eventually split up and Nilsson started a solo career. He represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1989 with the ballad En dag (One day) and placed fourth. He has also made several Swedish hits in Sweden; Allt som jag känner (Everything that I feel) (a duet with Tone Norum) in 1987, Öppna din dörr (Open your door) in 1994, Dina färger var blå (Your colours were blue) in 1996, and Amelia in 2005. In 1988, he was given an award for best Swedish male artist and in 1990 received a gold disc for his album Follow the Road.
In 2001, a compilation of his songs En samling 1981-2001, went platinum in Sweden. Nilsson has also collaborated with Swedish television, dubbed cartoons, and acted in several plays. In 2005, his album Tiden före nu reached # 2 on the Swedish sales chart just after its release.
Tommy Nilsson took part in the Swedish national Eurovision Song Contest selection again in 2007. He performed the power ballad Jag tror på människan (I believe in man) in Melodifestivalen 2007’s first semi final in Jönköping on February 3, 2007, and qualified for the final round, along with Anna Book. The song placed tenth and last in the final after failing to receive any points from the judges or the televoting audience. Nevertheless Jag tror på människan reached #9 on the Svensktoppen.
The singer will play the part of Captain von Trapp in the musical The Sound of Music that will be staged in Stockholm beginning September 29th 2007.
Tommy Nilsson is married to Swedish actress Malin Berghagen, daughter of Lars Berghagen.
Eurovision Song Contest 1989 - Lausanne
Entry for Sweden
Performer: Tommy Nilsson
Song title: En Dag
Song writer(s): Tim Norell, Ola Håkansson
Song composer(s): Tim Norell, Ola Håkansson, Alexander Bard
Sang in Position: 10
Final Position: 4
Total Points: 110
Lausanne had never hosted the Eurovision Song Contest before, in fact it was only the second time since 1956 that Swiss TV had the chance to host Europe’s biggest musical event. With Cyprus back in competition, there were 22 countries again, just like in 1987. The French participant Nathalie Pâque was just 11 years old and one of the Israeli representatives just one year older which led the European Broadcasting Union to a change of rules for the next years to come, so a minimum age rule was introduced: a participant had to become at least 16 in the year the contest was held.
Another new rule was created as well: in the event of a tie, the country with the most “12 points” wins. If this also resulted in a tie, then the winner would be the country which had received the most “10 points”. This rule became necessary in 1991 when Sweden and France were tied at first place with 146 points.
True to form, Italy sent its biggest stars to Eurovision. This year it was the turn of Fausto Leali and Anna Oxa who had won the festival of San Remo some weeks prior to the Eurovision Song Contest. Germany and Austria’s entries were both written by German pop titan, Dieter Bohlen. Bohlen became famous in Germany in the 1980’s as one half of the duo Modern Talking. Since then, he has gone on to have a successful career as one of the country’s most successful pop producers and also became a judge in the German version of Pop Idol.
The tipped winner was Sweden’s Tommy Nilsson, who was heavily supported by big names in the Swedish music industry as his backing vocalists, and he ended up in a respectable fourth position. The Swiss entry Viver Senza Tei by the group Furbaz was the first entry ever to be sung in Romansch, one of the four official languages of Switzerland. However, Furbaz only managed to come 13th on home ground. During the interval act, last year’s winner Céline Dion performed the song Where Does My Heart Beat Now which would turn out to be a top 10 hit for the Canadian singer two years later.
It was a big surprise for many that Yugoslavia won with the simple but efficient uptempo song Rock Me. However, record buyers didn’t think much of the song which only became a minor hit in some countries.
Edited by Kakemann on 21 Jul 2010, 14:58
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