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Blast from the past: Sweden 2002

We know a lot about Eurovision and we want to share this knowledge with you! Therefore we’d like to bring you a blast from the past. Today, we will have a look at 2002, when Afro-Dite represented Sweden with the song “Never let it go”.

Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest

Sweden is one of the most succesful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. Their first entry came in 1958. Their first victory came in 1974 (Abba with “Waterloo“). The country also won the prize in 1984 (The Herreys with “Diggi-loo diggi-ley), 1991 (Carola with “Fångad av en stormvind“), 1999 (Charlotte Nilsson with “Take me to your heaven“), 2012 (Loreen with “Euphoria“) and 2015 (Måns Zelmerlöw with “Heroes“).

National selection

For the first time, the Swedish national selection did not last only one evening. Four rounds and a 2nd chance round (andra chancen) ended up in a final with 10 songs. Former participants Friends, Kikki Danielsson, Elisabeth Andreasson (Bettan), Lotta Engberg and Jan Johansen were among the candidates. This is the full list of the final:

  1. Afro-Dite sings “Never let it go“, 248 pts., 1st
  2. Brandsta City Släckers sing “Kom och ta mig“, 88 pts., 5th
  3. Javiera sings “No hay nada más“, 71 pt., 6th
  4. Barbados sings “Världen utanför“, 90 pts., 4th
  5. Hanna & Lina sing “Big time party“, 43 pts., 9th
  6. Östen med Resten sing “Hon kommer med solsken“, 33 pts., 10th
  7. Friends sing “The one that you need“, 46 pts., 8th
  8. Kikki, Bettan & Lotta, “Vem é dé du vill ha“, 100 pts., 3rd
  9. Jan Johansen, “Sista andetaget“, 65 pts., 7th
  10. Méndez, “Adrenaline“, 162 pts., 2nd


Afro-Dite is a Swedish pop group, which originally consisted of Gladys del Pilar, Blossom Tainton Lindquist and Kayo Shekoni. Gladys Del Pilar had previously participated in Melodifestivalen in 1994, where she became 2nd with her song “Det vackraste jeg vet“. The group won the Swedish Melodifestivalen in 2002 with the song “Never Let It Go.”. They also participated in Melodifestivalen 2003 with the song “Aqua Playa” and came seventh.

In 2007 they released a new album which was released as a download on their website. Just in time for Stockholm Pride 2011, Jonas Hedqvist released a new version of the single “I am What I am” together with the group Afro-Dite. The group made a comeback and participated in Melodifestivalen 2012 with the song “The Boy Can Dance“. They came 5th in the first part of the competition and were thus eliminated.

In 2015, Kayo Shekoni left the group and was replaced by Jessica Folcker.

Never let it go

The song “Never let it go” was a swinging, uptempo song. The song was written and composed by Marcos Ubeda, who previously wrote the winning lyrics of “Take me to your heaven” in 1999. After “Never let it go” Marcos wrote numerous songs for Melodifestivalen, but never won it again.



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