Danish 3rd placeholder from 1989, Birthe Kjær turned 60 today. Although she started performing at the age of 11 she got her first record deal and her first number 1 hit in 1968 and is as such also celebrating her 40 years jubilee this year.
Birthe Kjær is one of those household names all Danes know and her many hits over the years are non countable. Even the young generation of today are able to sing along to her 30 and 40 years old hits like Arrivederci Franz, Tennessee Waltz and Sommer og sol – not to mention Pas på den knaldrøde Gummibåd that is still a big hit at the discos from time to time.
Danish Melodi Grand Prix, the Danish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, first had Birthe among the participants in 1980 when she sang the duet, Du og Jeg together with Henning Vilén. They came second only beaten by Bamses Venner, another household name.
In 1986 and 1987 Birthe Kjær took part in the national finals again with the songs Vil du med and Hva’ du ude på and as a weird coincidence both of these entries also came second! Three participations and three second places gave her the nick name “the eternal number two”, but for Birthe Kjær fourth time meant luck as she finally won the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix and the ticket for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1989 with the song Vi maler byen rød. At the Contest in Lausanne she got international success as well when she achieved a third place.
In 1990, Birthe Kjær was back, but this time as co- host for the national final together with Dario Campeotto, who had represented Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1961 with the song Angelique. But she wasn’t completely done with the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix as she participated again in 1991 with Din musik – min musik and came third.
She was one of 10!hosts on the Danish final in 2001 and that is, so far, the last time we have seen her involved with the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.
Birthe Kjær has been hosting other TV programs as well as trying her in talents in various theatre performances and revue shows.
In 2005 she should have been on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest anniversary show, Congratulations, but just a couple of days before the show she suffered from a heart attack that happen during the training for Strictly Ballroom Dancing. Thomas Thordarson was put in instead of her and while he performed her winning song from 1989, Birthe was watching it from her bed at the hospital.
EuroVisionary would like to wish Birthe Kjær a happy birthday, may she have many more of those.
Below you can see the video of her Eurovision performance from 1989.