Dana International Diva
"Diva" (Hebrew script: דיווה) was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 performed in Hebrew by Dana International representing Israel. The music was composed by Tzvika Pick, and the lyrics by Yoav Ginai. It totalled 174 points in the polling.
The song became the last entry entirely in a language other than English to win the Contest until 2007. The interval act and Dana's reprise 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. Dana is also currently the only transgender singer to have won the Contest.
The selection of Dana International's song caused such controversy amongst conservative groups in Israel that upon her arrival in Britain, police escorts and security were required continuously. The performance consisted of Dana International, wearing a silver dress, being backed by four other female singers wearing black, and involved no dancing.
After winning the contest, Dana International caused a stir by arriving to the presentation late after a long delay in changing into an extravagant costume designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier adorned with bird feathers before performing the reprise.
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.
The song is an ode to the powerful women of history — with Cleopatra in fact being the only real figure named. Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty are also named.