Eurovision fans worldwide are saying goodbye to a legend, as 1964 German entrant Nora Nova passed away this week. She was 93 years old.

She competed with the song “Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne”, a song that still holds the record for longest Eurovision song title. She finished in a tie for 13th place. As most footage from the 1964 contest is considered lost, there is no video of her performance, but you can listen to it below:

Birth name Achinora Konstantinova Kumanova, she was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1928. (She was the first Bulgarian to ever enter Eurovision.) Her mother was an opera singer and her father was a diplomat in the government of Tsar Boris III. After World War 2, a change of leadership in the country left Nora Nova and her family branded as enemies of the state. In 1960, she married a German politician and eventually fled with him to West Germany, staying in a refugee camp for a time.

After German news media picked up on her and her husband’s story, Nora Nova was sought out by German music producers. She was entered into the 1961 German Schlager Festival, coming 4th place, one place lower than Lys Assia, with the song “Dubist so lieb, wenn du lächelst, Cherie” (see below). She would go on to have a number of music chart successes throughout the early ’60s. 

Nora in her later years.

Her music career wound down post-Eurovision, with Nora Nova focusing on running a number of businesses, including a chain of fashion boutiques and a bistro. She returned to Bulgaria in 1989 and became involved in politics. She gave a few interviews in her later years, including a 2016 interview in which she criticized the modern state of Eurovision but lauded that year’s Bulgarian representative.

“Compliments to [Poli Genova], she is our best contemporary singer,” she said. “She is nice to the audience and to her colleagues, she is a good child.”

The Eurovision community will miss her, but we’ll always have the music she brought us along the way.

Are #YOU a fan of some of Nora Nova’s non-Eurovision singles? If so, which songs do #YOU recommend we check out? Do #YOU think any Eurovision song title will exceed the FORTY-ONE character length of hers? Sound off in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.

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