In Israeli first, Ethiopian singer will represent country at Eurovision

Israel has won Eurovision four times since the competition’s debut in 1973.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel has chosen its next performer to represent the Jewish State for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, Eden Alene won Israel’s reality show Hakochav Haba (“The Next Star”), a competition that determines Israel’s representative in the internationally acclaimed song contest.

“The months in Hakokhav Haba turned me from a girl with a dream into a singer with experience,” Alene said following her win. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me and promise to do everything possible to represent Israel in Eurovision with honor.”

“It is an insane honor to represent my country. It is amazing that an Ethiopian is doing it for the first time,” she said.

Following the 19-year-old’s win, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted “Eden, you are a champion! We trust you to bring Eurovision back home. Good luck!”

Alene, who currently serves in the IDF, was born in Jerusalem to parents who immigrated to the Jewish State from Ethiopia.

Alene’s singing career took off after she won the Israeli X-Factor competition in 2018. She has since released several singles, including a cover of “Save Your Kisses For Me,” by Brotherhood of Man, and an original song “When It Comes To You.”

The song that Alene will sing at Eurovision is yet to be determined.

Alene will perform four songs on March 3, in a special show named “The Next Song for Eurovision,” produced by Israeli public broadcaster Kan. The public and professional judges will then be given the opportunity to vote on which of the four songs Alene will sing at this year’s competition.

Israel has won Eurovision four times since the competition’s debut in 1973.

In 1978, Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta won with the song “Abanib.” Milk and Honey won with “Hallelujah” in 1979. Dana International won with “Diva” in 1998, and Netta Barzilai took the title with “Toy” in 2018.