Alice Babs, Sweden's first Eurovision representative, dies at 90
Fifty-six years ago, at the third edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Sweden debuted with their first ever representative, Alice Babs. She participated with the song “Lilla Stjärna.”
Today, the Swedish icon passed away from Alzheimers complications, at the retirement home she was living.
Born Hildur Alice Nilson in 1924, she rose to fame in Sweden in the 1940’s as an actress and jazz singer. Alice Babs entered the Eurovision Song Contest 1958 in Hilversum, The Netherlands, as the first ever Swedish entry. This was also the year of the first win for France, while Sweden came fourth. The contest is one of only two editions that did not feature an English language song, as the United Kingdom did not enter.
After Eurovision, she created the trio Swe-Danes with two Danes, creating such popular records as “Scandinavian Shuffle.” They gained popularity in neighboring countries, later touring the United States and performing at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles. This lead to her working with the famous American jazz musician Duke Ellington, who was impressed by her three octave voice.
Alice Babs was married for 65 years, until the death of her husband in 2011. They are survived by three children and ten grandchildren. Like her husband, she wished for a quiet funeral, surrounded only by her nearest family.
Alice Babs – Lilla Stjärna