Diva (Dana International song)

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Dana International - Diva.jpg
Single by Dana International
from the album Free
Producer(s)Offer Nissim
Dana International singles chronology
"Makat hom (i la dirla da da)"
Eurovision Song Contest 1998 entry
Yoav Ginai
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Entry chronology
◄ "Amen" (1995)   
"Yom Huledet (Happy Birthday)" (1999) ►

"Diva" (Hebrew: דיווה‎) is the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998, performed in Hebrew by Dana International representing Israel. The music was composed by Svika Pick, with lyrics written by Yoav Ginai. The song was produced by Offer Nissim with music arrangements by Alon Levin.[1] It was Israel's third winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest, following victories in 1978 and 1979. Dana International's win is considered one of the most groundbreaking moments in Eurovision history.[2]

Eurovision selection and victory[edit]

The song became the last entry entirely in a language other than English to win the Contest until 2007. As the song did not have any live orchestral accompaniment, the interval act was the last time live music from an orchestra was used in the Contest, as the 1999 Contest lacked the necessary budget and was held in a venue not large enough to hold one.[3]

The selection of Dana International's song caused so much controversy amongst conservative groups in Israel that on her arrival in Britain, police escorts and security were required continuously. The performance consisted of Dana International wearing a silver dress, backed by four other female singers wearing black. It involved no dancing.

The song was the eighth entry performed on the night, following Poland's Sixteen with "To takie proste" and preceding Germany's Guildo Horn with "Guildo hat euch lieb!". At the close of voting, it had received 172 points, placing 1st in a field of 25. This was Israel's third Contest victory and, as they had not entered the previous year's Contest, they achieved the unusual distinction of having won a Contest the year after not competing. Ukraine also had this unusual bought of luck, having won in 2016 after missed the contest in Vienna a year before. The same would happen the following year with Portugal, missing the contest in 2016 but winning in 2017.

After the results were announced, Dana International caused a stir by arriving to the presentation late after a long delay, because she changed into an extravagant costume designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier adorned with bird feathers before performing the reprise.

The song was succeeded in 1999 as contest winner by Charlotte Nilsson, performing "Take Me to Your Heaven" for Sweden. It was succeeded as Israeli representative at the 1999 Contest by Eden with "Yom Huledet (Happy Birthday)".


The song was chosen in an internet poll conducted by the European Broadcasting Union in 2005 as one of the 14 most popular songs in the history of the Eurovision, and was one of the entrants in the Congratulations 50th anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, held in October 2005. It was re-enacted by Dana International along with six dancers equipped with giant feathered fans and a live orchestra as the original footage was shown in the background. Diva came 13th in the final voting.

Digital release[edit]

Despite its legacy as a well remembered Eurovision winner, as of 2018, the song was unavailable on digital music platforms (with the sole exception of Scandinavia). Efforts were made to get the rights holders to release the song digitally;[4][5] the efforts finally paid off, as on 11 April 2019 the English version of the song got released, with the Hebrew version to follow the week after.[6]


The song is a moderately uptempo number. It is an ode to powerful women of history and mythology: Maria, mother of Jesus, Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory or Queen Victoria, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love, and Cleopatra are named.

Track listing[edit]

The Blue CD version had the following tracks:

  1. English Radio Version (3:03)
  2. Hebrew Radio Version (3:03)
  3. Handbaggers Remix (7:17)
  4. G's Heavenly Vocal (6:04)
  5. G's Heavenly Dub (7:28)

Sony Music UK/DancePool 15.06.1998 - DANA 1CD
Sony Music Australia/DancePool (thought to be released on 15.06.1998) - 666145 2
Sony Music South Africa/DancePool 06.1998 - CDSIN 268 1

The Pink CD version had the following tracks: -

  1. English Radio Version (3:03)
  2. Sleaze Sisters Paradise Revisited 7" (3:26)
  3. Sleaze Sisters Paradise Revisited 12" (6:39)
  4. Sleaze Sisters Euro Anthem (7:08)
  5. Sleaze Sisters Paradise Revisited Instrumental (6:39)

Sony Music UK/DancePool 15.06.1998 - DANA 1CDX
Sony Music Australia/DancePool (thought to be released on 15.06.1998) - 666145 5

All remixes are in English. For some reason, both Australian versions of Diva were released with a blue cover.

The MC (cassette) version (DANA 1MC) had the following tracks: -

  1. English Radio Version (3:03)
  2. Hebrew Radio Version (3:03)

Sony Music UK/DancePool 15.06.1998 - DANA 1MC


Preceded by
"Love Shine a Light" by Katrina and the Waves
Eurovision Song Contest winners
Succeeded by
"Take Me To Your Heaven" by Charlotte Nilsson


  1. ^ ACUM Website
  2. ^ Barlow, Eve (2018-05-10). "Viva la diva! How Eurovision's Dana International made trans identity mainstream". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  3. ^ "History - Eurovision Song Contest 1999". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  4. ^ @Pop_Activism (26 January 2018). "Still trying to find out who owns the rights to Diva by Dana International with no luck. It's online but only in Scandinavia" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ @Pop_Activism (6 February 2017). "So WHO THE F*** does own Diva by Dana International?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ @Pop_Activism (11 April 2019). "POP ACTIVISM ALERT!🚨🚨We've got DIVA, Dana International's 1998 #Eurovision winner onto @Spotify & @AppleMusic 🇮🇱🇪🇺Thanks @SonyUK for handling our request & putting on in time for #esc2019 in the countries they hold rights* Hebrew version next week!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Dana International – Diva". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Dana International – Diva" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dana International – Diva" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dana International – Diva" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. ^ "Dana International: Diva" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Dana International – Diva" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Dana International – Diva". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (03.07.1998 - 10.07.1998)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Diva". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Dana International" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Dana International – Diva" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Dana International – Diva". VG-lista.
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Dana International – Diva". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Dana International – Diva". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1998" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Rapports annuels 1998" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1998" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 21 July 2020.


  1. ^ After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast. Originally Estonia, Cyprus and Portugal tied for 11th place with 37 points but because Portugal and Estonia received one point less than indicated during the broadcast, Cyprus was placed 11th over Estonia and Portugal.

External links[edit]