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Linda Martin
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Linda Martin (born in Omagh, Northern Ireland on 17 April 1947) is an Irish singer and TV presenter, working almost exclusively in the Republic of Ireland. She is best known in Europe as the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1992 with the song “Why Me” and in Ireland as a member of the ’70s/’80s band, Chips.
For most of her career, Martin has been synonymous with her flaming red hair; however, her natural hair colour is blonde.
Martin, a native of Omagh, Tyrone in Northern Ireland, started off her musical career when she joined the band Chips in Belfast in 1969. The group lasted until the early 1980s and released several hit singles in Ireland. In 1983, Martin won the Castlebar Song Contest a nationwide song contest in Ireland with “Edge of the Universe”. From this point she concentrated on a solo career and Chips disbanded until they replaced her with a new female vocalist (Valerie Roe) in the late 1980s.
She participated in the National Song Contest four times as a member of Chips, however they did not score successfully. She participated another four times in the contest as a soloist and once more as part of the group “Linda Martin and Friends”. With nine participations, she has been the most frequent entrant in the National Song Contest’s history. She won the contest twice, going on to represent Ireland twice at the Eurovision Song Contest. The first of these victories was in 1984 with the song “Terminal 3”, written by Johnny Logan (under his real name Séan Sherrard). The song came 2nd in the final, being beaten by 8 points. “Terminal 3” reached No.7 in the Irish charts. The second victory was in 1992 when her song “Why Me” (also written by Logan) went on to win the final in Sweden. This became Ireland’s 4th victory in the Eurovision Song Contest and the song reached No.1 in the Irish charts as well as becoming a hit in many European countries.
According to John Kennedy O’Connor in his book, The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, Martin is one of only three artists to finish both first and second at Eurovision. [12] Of the three, Martin was the first to finish second first and first second.
She has presented the RTÉ quiz show The Lyrics Board, one of the broadcaster’s more popular formats. She served as one of Louis Walsh’s behind-the-scenes team on the first series of ITV’s The X Factor.
She also served as a judge on the first, second and fourth seasons of RTÉ’s You’re A Star and on Charity You’re A Star in Summer 2005 and Summer 2006. She was dismissed from the 2007 season, however, speaking on Saturday Night with Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ television on Saturday July 28, 2007, she insisted that she was “open” to being invited back on to the show. Martin has not ruled out a return to Eurovision following Ireland’s dismal performance in the 2007 contest finishing last with only five points.
She was a guest performer at Congratulations, the 50th anniversary Eurovision concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2005.
Linda Martin recently was also the Irish spokesperson for Eurovision Song Contest 2007.
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