Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest three times. Twice he did this as a performing artist; in 1980 in The Hague, The Netherlands with “What’s another year” and in 1987 in Brussels, Belgium with “Hold me now”. In 1992 he participated in Malmö, Sweden as a lyricist and composer of “Why me?” (Linda Martin). It earned him the nickname “Mr. Eurovision”.
Early life and career
Johnny Logan was born as Seán Patrick Michael Sherrard in Frankston, Victoria (Australia), on May 13, 1954. He was the son of the famous Irish tenor Patrick O’Hagan.
When he was three years old, the family moved back to Ireland. Sherrard had a musical childhood in which he learned to play the guitar at a young age. He composed his first songs when he was 13.
After high school, he started working as an electrician. He also performed as a musician in clubs. He also starred in several musicals. Together with his brother Michael he was part of several bands.
At the beginning of his professional music career, Sherrard took the stage name Johnny Logan. This name was taken from the main character from the movie Johnny Guitar. He then recorded his first single in 1978: “No, I don’t want to fall in love”.
The song wasn’t a hit. In a quest for more success, he decided to register for the Irish national heat for the Eurovision Song Contest of 1979. With the song “Angie ” he finished behind winner Cathal Dunne in third place. Later that year his debut album, “In London” , was released.
First Eurovision victory
In March 1980, Logan made another attempt to go to the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland. In the Irish heat of that year he performed “What’s another year”, a song by Shay Healy. This time Logan easily won the national competition and was able to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest, on April 19, 1980 in The Hague.
He was previously counted among the favorites for the final victory and turned out to be able to meet those expectations. Excluding Morocco and Turkey, he received points from every country and with a total score of 143 points he gave Ireland a Eurovision victory after ten years.
“What’s another year” became a big hit in several European countries. In addition to Ireland itself, it also reached the number 1 position in Belgium and the United Kingdom, among others. Nevertheless, Logan failed to maintain his sudden international success. Successive singles flopped and the number of bookings was disappointing, in his own words due to poor management and his own inexperience.
As a result, the singer got into financial trouble and also developed an alcohol problem.
In 1984, however, Logan had another success as a writer of the song “Terminal 3”, with which Linda Martin finished second on behalf of Ireland at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. He got the taste of the Eurovision song contest again and continued to write potential entries.
For example, his brother Michael (Mike) Sherrard appeared in the Irish heat of 1985 with the song “Hearts” written by Logan, which ended up in last place.
Mike (Michael Sherrard)
In 1986, his song “If I can change your mind,” was re-performed by Linda Martin, became fourth in the Irish preselection.
Second Eurovision victory
In an attempt to get his career back on track, and to erase his predicate of one-day fly, Logan himself wanted to return to the Eurovision song contest to try to win the event again.
In 1987 he wrote and composed the song “Hold me now”, which he submitted to the Irish national heat of that year. He managed to win the selection again and was thus allowed to represent Ireland again at the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held two months later in Brussels, Belgium.
At the Eurovision song contest, where he received a lot of media attention as a former winner, Logan was again considered one of the favorites. The total points score of 172 was ultimately enough for the victory. It meant, after 1970 and 1980, the third Irish Eurovision victory, and the second for Logan personally. He thus became the first (and to date only) performing artist to win the Eurovision Song Contest twice.
As with “What’s another year”, Johnny Logan also scored a big hit with “Hold me now” in several European countries. In addition to Ireland himself, he also reached the number 1 position in Flanders. The subsequent single “I’m not in love” was, as well as the released album “Hold me now”, a modest success.
Third Eurovision victory
After a few years, in which he made an international tour, Logan again occupied himself with the Eurovision Song Contest at the beginning of the nineties. For the 1991 Irish national heat he wrote the song “When do I get over you?” which put his brother Mike in sixth place. A year later he resumed his collaboration with Linda Martin and wrote for her the song “Why me?”, which would become the Irish entry at the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. The song caught on and ensured another victory for Ireland. Logan became the first (and to date only) person to win the Eurovision Song Contest three times.
In the years that followed, Logan continued to write and release music. He became a much sought-after artist at events where the Eurovision Song Contest is central. His popularity stabilized especially in Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Live during ” Het Grote Songfestivalfeest” in Amsterdam in 2019
Logan remained involved in the Eurovision Song Contest in various ways over the years. For example, during the scoring in 2004 he passed on the Irish points and he wrote several songs for preliminary rounds, and he also regularly sat on professional juries during national selections.
In both 2007 and 2009, Logan was approached by Irish broadcaster RTÉ to represent Ireland again at the Eurovision Song Contest, but in both cases the talks came to nothing. In 2010 it was reported that Logan would write the French entry of that year, but in the end nothing came of it.
With his album “The Irish connection”, Logan achieved great success in the Scandinavian countries in 2007. In Sweden and Norway, the album reached the first place of the album list. A second part was published in 2012.
His most recent album was released in 2017, titled “It is what it is”.