• DANA

Irish Eurovision star Dana is making her pop comeback at the age of 67

'It’s totally amazing to me as I’m no spring chicken. I feel like it’s happening to somebody else'

By Peter Robertson for Irish Mirror

06:00, 5 APR 2019

Singer Dana at age 18 representing Ireland at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision star Dana is to make a pop the age of 67.

Almost half a century after she became an international star through winning the song contest, with All Kinds Of Everything, she is releasing new music.

The song was the first of a string of hits in the 1970s and she also had her own BBC series and starred in a film.

“This album is an unexpected wonderful lifetime experience,” she says.

“It’s totally amazing to me as I’m no spring chicken. I feel like it’s happening to somebody else.

"I remember being shocked in my 20s when Debbie Harry was still recording with Blondie at 33! So the thought of being nearly 70 and singing is amazing.

“But there are plenty of others older than me still doing it, like Cher, Dolly Parton, Mick endless list of fine performers. That really encourages me because I do get self-conscious about it.”

Dana last released a pop album in 1982. Since then she has made religious records and TV programmes in the United States, and spent five years in politics as a member of the European Parliament.

But the singer has just recorded a new album of pop tracks in Rome, where coincidentally she and seven other celebrities are seen meeting The Pope in tonight (Friday)’s BBC2 programme Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome.

Dana’s comeback album was initiated by her nieces and nephew in the pop group The Rua and will be released on their independent label.

“They asked me if I’d record again, and I said no. I never expected to be recording a commercial album now.

“From the late 90s until very recently, I wasn’t singing or recording much, so I wasn’t sure how my voice would sound. They persisted for almost a year and I kept saying “”No, I think it’ll be a waste of your time and money”.

“Then they just asked me to record three tracks and “see how it goes”, which I did in June 2018 despite being petrified and uncertain going into the studio. Those turned out really well and got a great response from their radio pluggers, so they asked if I’d complete an album.’

Last September, when filming of The Pilgrimage took place in Switzerland and Italy, Dana was given the encouragement she needed by one of the other celebrities on it: comedian Stephen K.Amos.

“Stephen was partnered with me at the opening of the Pilgrimage walk and I didn’t know who he was or what he did.

(Image: BBC/CTVC/Simona Sborchia)

"After we finished filming we had lunch in my hometown, Galway, where he was in a comedy festival.

“I told him I’d been asked to go back in the studio to record more songs but I didn’t know if I should or could. Stephen looked at me and said “Just enjoy it!”

“That was like someone letting air out of a balloon. All my anxieties like “What are people going to think” just went away."

Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome is on BBC2 on Friday at 9pm.



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