Afro-Portuguese songwriter Sara Tavares was born in 1978 and brought up in Lisbon. Second-generation Portuguese of Cape Verdean descent, Sara was brought up by an elderly matriarch in her community after her father left for the States in search of a better life, her mother having traveled south in pursuit of the same ends. Sara showed great musical promise from a young age, a potential that was cultivated and bore fruit while Tavares was still in her teens. Winning the Endemol song contest Chuva de Estrelas, followed by a victory at the Portuguese Television Song Contest in 1994, earned Tavares a slot on the Eurovision Song Contest, all at the age of 16. Her winning song, "Chamar a Musica," was featured on her debut single release, Sara Tavares & Shout (1996), where Tavares mixed gospel and funk with her native Portuguese influences. Performing and writing songs in a mix of Portuguese, Crioulo, and English, Tavares spoke to her own lost generation of Cape Verdeans and Afro-European immigrants who searched to define their unique culture. Her sophomore effort, Mi Ma Bo, released by RCA in 1999, marked a noticeable change in direction toward Afro-pop. The record went gold in Portugal, announcing Tavares' arrival as a national star. After a five-year wait, eager fans were treated to Tavares' third album, released independently in 2006. On Balancê, Tavares penned all of the repertoire and added percussion to her list of credits, in addition to guitar and voice. Full of messages of hope and self-worth, Tavares' Balancê established her as one of the diaspora's most distinct and influential artistic voices.
Eurovision Song Contest 1994 - Dublin
Entry for Portugal
Performer: Sara Tavares
Song title: Chamar A Música
Song writer(s): Rosa Lobato Faria
Song composer(s): João Carlos Mota Oliveira
Sang in Position: 8
Final Position: 8
Total Points: 73
For the second consecutive time, Ireland hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, this time in its capital Dublin. Due to the fact that so many countries wished to participate in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union decided to adopt a relegation system. For the 1994 contest, it would mean that the seven countries that finished at the bottom of the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest were relegated and couldn't participate in the 1994 edition of the show. Instead, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia made their debut. However, Italy and Luxembourg withdrew voluntarily, so only the bottom five countries of the 1993 contest in Millstreet - Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Denmark and Belgium - were relegated. That meant that the total amount of participating countries was 25, just as in the preceding year.
Poland's debut at the Eurovision Song Contest was very successful when their representative Edyta Gorniak came in second with 166 points. However, the Polish song was almost disqualified as Edyta sang her song To Nie Ja! half in English in one of the dress rehearsal which violated the rule that every entry had to be sung in the native language. Nevertheless, even the talented Gorniak wasn't even near to this year's winner, which once again, was Ireland.
About the winner
Never before in the history of the song contest, a country had won three times in a row. The Irish entrants Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan sang Rock 'n Roll Kids, which in the end was 60 points ahead of the runner-up and was the highest score ever at a Eurovision Song Contest to date. This overwhelming victory for Ireland would not be the last in this century, as just two years later in 1996, Ireland would win again.
Facts & figures
The biggest commercial success of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest was none of the songs though, but the interval act Riverdance. The Irish danc sensation went on to be a world famous stage show, which would be seen by millions of people all around the world. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.