8 Eurovision Artists with Christmas Albums or EPs

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s biggest music competition. Regardless of whether they took home the trophy or didn’t even qualify for the Grand Final, every artist who has ever been chosen to represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest still holds the honor of being a Eurovision alumnus. Most musicians who performed at Eurovision continue to make music after the competition, and for some of them, this includes a small catalog of Christmas music. Here are 8 Eurovision artists who have recorded a Christmas album or EP!

1. Celine Dion (Switzerland 1988) – These Are Special Times

Did you know that nearly 10 years before she performed “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion represented Switzerland at Eurovision—and won? The year after her 1997 Titanic song shot her to superstardom, she released a 15-track album called “These Are Special Times.” The album includes holiday classics such as “O Holy Night” and “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” as well as religious songs like “Ave Maria” and a few original Christmas songs.

2. Alexander Rybak (Norway 2009 and 2018) – Christmas Tales

My crush on Alexander Rybak is actually what got me into Eurovision in the first place. After winning the contest in 2009, he returned in 2018, where he placed 15th in the Grand Final. Between these two contests, however, he released a Christmas album called “Christmas Tales” in 2012. While most of the songs on the 12-track album feature Rybak singing, his violin skills take center stage in the mostly instrumental cover of “Silent Night.” The album also includes an original song called “Presents,” which is actually a duet with another Eurovision alum: Didrik Solli-Tangen, who represented Norway when the country hosted the contest in 2010 following Rybak’s win the previous year.

3. Poli Genova (Bulgaria 2011 and 2016) – По-добрата Коледа

When she first represented Bulgaria in 2011, Poli Genova unfortunately failed to qualify for the Grand Final. However, when she returned in 2016, she took 4th place, which at the time was Bulgaria’s best result yet (she was surpassed the following year by Kristian Kostov, who came in 2nd). In 2022, she released a holiday album called “По-добрата Коледа,” which is Bulgarian for “A Better Christmas.” Although 6 of the 10 tracks are in Bulgarian, anglophones will recognize most of the English-language songs, which include “Winter Wonderland” and “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.”

4. Sanna Nielsen (Sweden 2014) – Min Sanna jul

Sweden is tied with Ireland for the country with the most wins at Eurovision, and they also have a great track record of placing in the top 5. One of many artists who achieved this feat is Sanna Nielsen, who rounded out the top 3 in the 2014 contest with her song “Undo.” By this point, she had already released a Christmas album in 2013 called “Min jul” (Swedish for “My Christmas”); however, in 2021, she released a slightly longer album called “Min Sanna jul” (which translates into “My True Christmas,” although “Sanna” is most likely being used as her name instead of the word “true” here). This album has 11 of the 12 songs from the first “Min jul” (the only missing song is “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)”) plus 4 new songs. Of the 15 songs, 8 are in Swedish.

5. Dami Im (Australia 2016) – Christmas Songbook

In 2015, Australia was invited to compete in Eurovision as a reward for having the highest number of viewers out of any non-European country, and they have participated ever since. In just their second year at the contest, they accomplished 2nd place with Dami Im and her song “Sound of Silence.” This year (2023), Im released a Christmas EP called “Christmas Songbook.” It features 6 covers of popular songs including “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” as well as an original song called “Baby’s First Christmas Day,” which is the first song Im has written since the birth of her first son.

6. Cesàr Sampson (Austria 2018) – A lovely little Christmas

Four years after taking home the bronze with his song “Nobody But You” at the 2018 edition of Eurovision, Cesàr Sampson released several Christmas singles, including covers of “Last Christmas” and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” However, one year before these singles came out, he had bundled together 5 Christmas songs for an EP titled “A lovely little Christmas.”  The first song on the EP, an original called “A Little Love,” is more wintry than specifically about Christmas, while the remaining 4 tracks are more covers of Christmas songs.

7. Ulrikke (Norway 2020) – Spend Christmas With Me

Ulrikke Brandstorp (known by the mononym Ulrikke)’s Eurovision entry “Attention” is not just one of my favorite Eurovision songs of all time, it’s also one of my favorite songs in general. Unfortunately, since the 2020 contest was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she never got to actually compete. She did, however, manage to release a lovely Christmas album in November of that same awful year.  The album’s titular track, “Spend Christmas With Me,” features Ben Adams, who would eventually become half of the bizarre pop duo Subwoolfer: Norway’s representative at the 2022 contest. 4 of the album’s 10 songs are in Norwegian.

8. The Mamas (Sweden 2020) – All I Want For December

Like Ulrikke, The Mamas lost their opportunity to compete in Eurovision because of the pandemic. Coincidentally, their Christmas EP “All I Want For December” came out on the exact same date as Ulrikke’s Christmas album! The EP includes 4 original songs in addition to covers of a couple of lesser known Christmas songs: “River” by Joni Mitchell, and “If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard.

Which Eurovision alum do you think has the best Christmas collection? My vote is for my beloved Alexander Rybak, of course, but let me know YOUR thoughts in the comments!

About Gabby Bibus

Gabby has been obsessed with anime since she was just 9 years old, and is proud to say she has watched over 200 different series. But that’s not even her biggest claim to fame: she also lives on a farm with over 80 goats! Although anime and animals are her two favorite things in the world, she also loves music, books, and movies. Her day job is a middle school ESL teacher, and she is also a staff member at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

View all posts by Gabby Bibus

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