New Additions to the Eurovision Songwriters Page

Jen and I started the Eurovision Songwriters to explore relationships between countries and songwriters and see if she could come up with a sociological social networking analysis. Because that is the type of Eurovision geekery we engage in. We didn’t get too far down that rabbit hole, though, because we were writing so much about other aspects of the Song Contest while still raising a child and holding down full time jobs.

However, the meager fruits of our labor have been remarkably juicy. The Eurovision Songwriters page is by far the most visited part of the site outside of the home page. In particular, hits on the page have gone through the roof in 2021. Although I’m pretty sure that’s just ego searches by a certain eccentric Russia-based pop star.

Obviously, because I was raised Catholic and am a perfectionist, I have been watching those stats rise while often fretting over how incomplete the page is. Where are Sharon Vaughn and Laurell Barker? Where are Linnea and Joy Deb and Sandra Bjurman, who all have won the damned Song Contest? It’s time to fix that.

I also want to go even deeper into Eurovision history to see if I can find other songwriters who have had multiple entries appear over the years. For example, I had Ralph Siegel on there, but not his primary lyricist Bernd Meinunger. Surely there are others that are prolific enough to include.

Of course, that will be an ongoing project. For now, here are the latest additions to the Songwriters roster.

Linnea Deb and Joy Deb

Wife and husband songwriting team Linnea and Joy Deb first broke into the Melodifestivalen scene in 2012 with Ulrik Munther’s 3rd place finisher “Soldiers.” The next year, their song “You” became the first song to win Melodifestivalen after going through the Andra Chansen round. Linnea and Joy formed a production team with collaborator Anton Hård af Segerstad called The Family; the trio wrote “Heroes” for Måns Zelmerlöw, which won Eurovision in 2015. Both Linnea and Joy have Finnish ancestry, and they teamed up with Saara Aalto on her Eurovision entry “Monsters.” Those two facts aren’t necessarily related, but I’m pretending they are.

  • “You” (Sweden 2013, 14th)
    Linnea and Joy Deb with Robin Stjernberg and Joakim Harestad Haukaas
  • “Heroes” (Sweden 2015, 1st, pictured)
    Linnea and Joy Deb with Anton Hård af Segerstad
  • “Monsters” (Finland 2018, 25th)
    Linnea and Joy Deb with Saara Aalto and Ki Fitzgerald
  • “Yes” (Denmark 2020)
    Linnea Deb with Emil Lei and Jimmy Jansson
  • “Voices” (Sweden 2021, 14th)
    Linnea and Joy Deb with Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt and Anderz Wrethov

Sharon Vaughn

Sharon Vaughn is a country music songwriting legend. While she had some chart success as a performer early in her career, she made her name as a writer when Willie Nelson’s version of “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” hit number one on the U.S. country charts in 1980. Versions of her song “Broken Promise Land” have charted twice, and she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.

The second act of her career took off when Swedish pop singer Agnes had a worldwide dance hit with the song “Release Me” in 2008. Vaughn began writing songs for artists like British boy bands Boyzone and The Wanted and Swedish pop stars like Alcazar, Charlotte Perrelli, and Måns Zelmerlöw. She began her Song Contest journey with Jedward’s “Waterline” in 2012. Since then she has worked with Dimitris Kontopoulos and Philipp Kirkorov, as well as with Uku Suviste on his Eurovision efforts. She also co-wrote the musical Sweet Potato Queens with Melissa Manchester and Rupert Holmes, which I desperately want to see now that I know about it.

  • “Waterline” (Ireland 2012, 19th)
    With Nick Jarl
  • “Scream” (Russia 2019, 3rd, pictured)
    With Philipp Kirkorov and Dimitris Kontopoulos
  • “What Love Is” (Estonia 2020)
    With Uku Suviste
  • “Superg!rl” (Greece 2020)
    With Dimitris Kontopoulos and Arcade
  • “Prison” (Moldova 2020)
    With Dimitris Kontopoulos and Philipp Kirkorov
  • “The Lucky One” (Estonia 2021, DNQ)
    With Uku Suviste
  • “Last Dance” (Greece 2021, 10th)
    With Dimitris Kontopoulos and Arcade
  • “Sugar” (Moldova 2021, 13th)
    With Dimitris Kontopoulos, Philipp Kirkorov, and Mikhail Gutseriev

John Ballard

John Ballard is a producer and songwriter who got his start as a performer in Scotland’s folk scene before moving to Sweden. He competed in Melodifestivalen twice: in 1983 with Ann-Louise Hanson on “Bara en enda gång” and in 1984 with “Rendez-Vous.” He moved over into production when he began working for Pete Waterman’s studio during the heyday of Stock Aitken Waterman’s chart success. He made his name as a producer when he worked with Ace of Base on their first three albums. In the 2010s, Ballard teamed up with Dimitris Kontopoulos and later Philipp Kirkorov to write a number of Eurovision entries.

  • “Hold Me” (Azerbaijan 2013, 2nd, pictured)
    With Dimitris Kontopoulos and Ralph Charlie
  • “Shine” (Russia 2014, 7th)
    With Philipp Kirkorov, Dimitris Kontopoulos, Ralph Charlie, and Gerard James Borg
  • “You Are the Only One” (Russia 2016, 3rd)
    With Philipp Kirkorov, Dimitris Kontopoulos, and Ralph Charlie
  • “This Is Love” (Greece 2017, 19th)
    With Romy Papadea and Dimitris Kontopoulos
  • “My Lucky Day” (Moldova 2018, 10th)
    With Philipp Kirkorov

Sandra Bjurman

Although she is a Swedish songwriter, Sandra Bjurman has made her name  writing Eurovision songs for Azerbaijan. After getting involved with writing “Drip Drop” through her fellow songwriter Anders Bagge in 2010, she ended up winning Eurovision the following year with “Running Scared.” She co-wrote Ukraine’s “Tick-Tock” with Mariya Yaremchuk, which is now best known as the song with the hamster wheel. She also submitted a song to Melodifestivalen in 2012 as a performer but was rejected because she wasn’t an established artist. Yes, this is after she had won Eurovision.

  • “Drip Drop” (Azerbaijan 2010, 5th)
    With Anders Bagge and Stefan Örn
  • “Running Scared” (Azerbaijan 2011, 1st, pictured)
    With Stefan Örn and Iain James Farquharson
  • “When the Music Dies” (Azerbaijan 2012, 2nd)
    With Anders Bagge, Stefan Örn, and Johan Kronlund
  • “Tick-Tock” (Ukraine 2014, 6th)
    With Mariya Yaremchuk
  • “Hour of the Wolf” (Azerbaijan 2015, 12th)
    With Nicolas Rebscher, Nicklas Lif, and Lina Hansson
  • “Skeletons” (Azerbaijan 2017, 14th)
    With Isa Melikov
  • “X My Heart” (Azerbaijan 2018, DNQ)
    With Dimitris Kontopoulos and Tim Bran

Laurell Barker

Laurell Barker is a Canadian singer and songwriter who became the first woman to have three entries in the Eurovision Song Contest when her songs represented Switzerland, Germany, and the United Kingdom in 2019. She broke into Eurovision in 2018 with ZiBBZ’s song “Stones” and achieved her best result to date with Luca Hänni’s song “She Got Me.” As a singer, she has featured on a number of dance pop songs, including Nick Fioricci’s Juno Award-winning “Closer.”

  • “Stones” (Switzerland 2018, DNQ)
    With Corinne “Coco” Gfeller and Stee Gfeller
  • “Sisters” (Germany 2019, 25th)
    With Marine Kaltenbacher, Tom Oehler, and Thomas Stengaard
  • “She Got Me” (Switzerland 2019, 4th, pictured)
    With Frazer Mac, Luca Hänni, Jon Hällgren, and Lukas Hällgren
  • “Bigger Than Us” (United Kingdom 2019, 26th)
    With Anna-Klara Folin, John Lundvik, and Jonas Thander
  • “Empires” (Poland 2020)
    With Patryk Kumór, Dominic Buczkowski-Wojtaszek, Frazer Mac
  • “El Diablo” (Cyprus 2021, 16th)
    With Jimmy Thornfeldt, Oxa, Thomas Stengaard

Bernd Meinunger

Bernd Meinunger is one of the most successful lyricists to ever hold a doctorate in agricultural sciences. He worked with Ralph Siegel on dozens of Eurovision entries over the years, including 1982’s winning song “Ein bißchen Frieden.” Using the pseudonym John O’Flynn, he teamed up with Swiss producer and songwriter David Brandes on the ridiculously cheesy sex-pop act E-Rotic. Yes, he wrote the words to “Max Don’t Have Sex with Your Ex” and “Fred Come to Bed.” Less cataclysmically, Meinunger and Brandes wrote songs for the band Vanilla Ninja, including their Eurovision song “Cool Vibes.”

  • “Dschinghis Khan” (Germany 1979, 4th)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Theater” (Germany 1980, 2nd)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Papa Pingouin” (Luxembourg 1980, 9th)
    With Ralph Siegel, Pierre Delanoë, and Jean-Paul Cara
  • “Johnny Blue” (Germany 1981, 2nd)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Ein bißchen Frieden” (Germany 1982, 1st, pictured)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Children, Kinder, Enfants” (Luxembourg 1985, 13th)
    With Ralph Siegel and Jean-Michel Beriat
  • “Lass die Sonne in den Herz” (Germany 1987, 2nd)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Lied für einen Freund” (Germany 1988, 14th)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Träume sind für alle da” (Germany 1992, 16th)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Wir Geben ‘ne den Party” (Germany 1994, 3rd)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Zeit” (Germany 1997, 18th)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Reise nach Jerusalem – Kudüs’e seyahat” (Germany 1999, 3rd)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “I Can’t Live Without Music” (Germany 2002, 21st)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Let’s Get Happy” (Germany 2003, 11st)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Run & Hide” (Germany 2005, 24th)
    As John O’Flynn with David Brandes and Jane Tempest (Petra Brändle)
  • “Cool Vibes” (Switzerland 2005, 8th)
    As John O’Flynn with David Brandes and Jane Tempest (Petra Brändle)
  • “If We All Give a Little” (Switzerland 2006, 17th)
    With Ralph Siegel
  • “Just Get Out of My Life” (Montenegro 2009, DNQ)
    With Ralph Siegel, José Juan Santana Rodríguez
  • “Chain of Lights” (San Marino 2015, DNQ)
    As John O’Flynn with Ralph Siegel