The winner of the very first Eurovision Song Contest, that of 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland, is no more. Lys Assia passed away today at the age of 94, her agent Jean Eichenberger just confirmed that to Swiss news site blick.ch.
Born Rosa Mina Schärer, she represented her native Switzerland under the artists name Lys Assia at the very first contest, where she won on home soil with one of her two entries that year: Refrain. Lys went on to represent her country the two following years as well, coming second in 1958 with ‘Giorgio’.
Have a look at Lys singing her winning song ‘Refrain’, the very first Eurovision winner:
The official website, eurovision.tv, has uploaded a video where they have Lys in memoriam as well:
Lys was very much interested in Eurovision even recently, frequently attending Eurovision editions, listing her favourites every year and joining the Swiss selection not too long ago. That combined with her warm personality made that lots of Eurovision fans held her very dear to their hearts.
Rest in Peace, Lys Assia!
Our condolences go out to Lys’ friends and family.