Madonna has officially been confirmed for the Eurovision stage in Tel Aviv tomorrow and we could not be more excited. She holds the record for best-selling female recording artist of all time and is sure to put on a memorable show. While this is the first time Madonna will be performing at Eurovision, we were thrilled to find that singing and performing are clearly in Madonna’s DNA. Would you believe that she’s related to no fewer than six previous Eurovision winners?
1. Céline Dion is Madonna’s 8th cousin
Céline Dion and Madonna are 8th cousins, which is a pretty close family relationship. Celine and Madonna’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers were sisters! When French-Canadian Céline Dion won the Eurovision contest in 1988, she was only well known in the French-speaking world. But her Eurovision win was just the beginning. Céline would go on to become one of the best-selling global artists of all time. While the two divas styles could not be further apart, Céline is dreamy and angelic while Madonna is provocative and hard-hitting, they share jaw-droppingly powerful vocals.
2. Salvador Sobral is Madonna’s 12th cousin twice removed
Salvador Sobral, who won the Eurovision contest just two years ago for Portugal, is Madonna’s 12th cousin twice removed. Salvador won the contest with an emotional operatic waltz about experiencing heartbreak after a difficult breakup. The song was actually written and composed by Salvador’s sister Luísa Sobral. Maybe she took some inspiration from Madonna’s HeartBreakCity where she veers slightly from her classic pop style with a slow and deep ballad.
3. Charlotte Perrelli is Madonna’s 21st cousin twice removed
Charlotte Perrelli of Sweden is Madonna’s 21st cousin twice removed. Madonna and Charlotte, who are both crown jewels of their respective countries music scenes, have royalty in their blood. They can trace their linked ancestry back to Valdemar II “The Victorious”, King of Denmark who ruled in the 12th century. King Valdemar II ascended to the throne when he was just 12 years old and had to fight off a scheming bishop who wanted overthrow his kingship. In the end, Kind Valdemar II was victorious, and he was considered the last king of the golden age of Denmark’s monarchy. It seems like both Madonna and Perrelli have genes propelling them toward greatness.
4. Benny Andersson is Madonna’s 21st cousin twice removed
Benny Anderson is another pop singer and relative of Madonna whose career took off after winning Eurovision. Anderson, who is Madonna’s 21st cousin twice removed, was a member of ABBA when they won the contest in 1974 with their hit song Waterloo. Later, Benny Anderson composed the hit Broadway show “Mama Mia”. Mama Mia is based off 18 ABBA songs. While Madonna’s songs have mostly stayed off the Broadways stage, Madonna herself did have one Broadway acting stint in 1988 David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. Her performance was less than show-stopping, but we’ll forgive her. We’d rather watch her perform in concert anyway!
5. Emmelie de Forest is Madonna’s 16th cousin twice removed
Emmelie de Forest, who is Madonna’s 16th cousin twice removed, won it all for Denmark in the 2013 Eurovision contest with the song “Only Teardrops.” Emmelie was born in 1993, which makes her the youngest Eurovision winner who is related to Madonna. It also means she was born in a world where Madonna had already made her mark on society. Emmelie probably grew up hearing the Queen of Pop’s tunes on the radio all the time and no doubt she was influenced by Madonna’s iconic music.
6. Hanne Krogh is Madonna’s 24th cousin four times removed
Hanne Krogh jumped and jived her way to a big win for her home country of Norway when she performed her upbeat song “La Det Swinge” (“Let It Swing”) along with Elisabeth Anderson. Hanne went on to release an impressive 27 albums and many more hit singles. She became a symbol of successful female entrepreneurship and is often asked to MC at events focused on women’s empowerment. For her part, Madonna supports over 30 non-profit charities, proving herself to be more than a material girl. In 1998 Madonna founded The Ray of Light Foundation which ensures vulnerable children, especially girls, have access to education. In 2006 she turned her focus to poverty relief in the African country of Malawi and founded the charity Raising Malawi. It’s clear that both Hanne and Madonna have made a name for themselves amongst today’s female activists.