Denmark's first Eurovision winner, Jørgen Ingmann, has passed away
News broke today that the first Danish winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jørgen Ingmann, passed away yesterday peacefully in his home.
He was 89, about to turn 90 next month on April 26.
Jørgen Ingmann won the 1963 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in London, with his wife Grethe Ingmann and the song “Dansevise.” The melody of the song was featured in the opening of last year’s Grand Final in Copenhagen. The couple divorced in 1975, but had two children. Grethe Ingmann died in 1990.
Upon winning Eurovision, Jørgen Ingmann had already had a hit on the American Billboard chart in 1961, with the song “Apache.”
Suffering from severe stage fright, Jørgen Ingmann gradually retreated from the public eye following the Eurovision victory, with Grethe Ingmann performing solo.
In 1984, he stopped performing altogether and did not own a single guitar, stating that “when you stop, you stop.” According to Danish musician Keld Heick, he was terribly afraid of failing to live up to the big expectations that came with his talent.
In his last interview, given to Danish newspaper BT on his 80th birthday in 2005, he said about winning Eurovision: “All of a sudden we had to perform on TV-stations and big stages all over Europe. I’m not good at that. I was the best when I was in the studio playing my guitar.”
Instead of playing music, Jørgen Ingmann dedicated his life to family and friends. “I have two wonderful children, and four great grandchildren. And a lot of friends that I see often.”