Johnny Logan (singer)

For other people with the same name, see John Logan (disambiguation).
Johnny Logan

Logan performing in Vienna in 2009
Background information
Birth name Seán Patrick Michael Sherrard
Also known as "Mr Eurovision"
Born (1954-05-13) 13 May 1954
Frankston, Victoria, Australia
Genres Folk
Occupation(s) Singer, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1978–present

Johnny Logan (born 13 May 1954) is an Australian-born Irish singer and composer. He is known as being the only performer to have won the Eurovision Song Contest twice, in 1980 and 1987. He also composed the winning song in 1992.[1][2]

Logan first won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980, with the song "What's Another Year" written by Shay Healy. In 1984, Logan composed the song "Terminal 3" which placed second at Eurovision, performed by Linda Martin.[3] He won the contest for a second time in 1987 with "Hold Me Now", which he also wrote himself. His third win came in 1992, as composer of Linda Martin's winning entry "Why Me?".

Early life and career

Johnny Logan was born Seán Patrick Michael Sherrard in Frankston, Victoria, Australia. Logan's father was an Irish tenor, known as Patrick O'Hagan, who performed for three different US presidents at the White House: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. The family moved back to Ireland when Logan was three years old. He learnt the guitar and began composing his own songs by the age of thirteen. On leaving school he apprenticed as an electrician, while performing in folk and blues clubs. His earliest claim to fame was starring as "Adam" in the 1977 Irish musical Adam and Eve.[4]

He adopted the stage name Johnny Logan for the main character of the film Johnny Guitar. He released his first single in 1978. He first attempted to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1979, when he placed third in the Irish National Final with the song "Angie".[5][6]

First Eurovision win

Johnny Logan at the Eurovision Song Contest 1980

In 1980, Logan again entered the Irish National selection for the Eurovision Song Contest with the Shay Healy song "What's Another Year", winning the Irish final on 9 March in Dublin.[7] Representing Ireland in the Netherlands, Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest on 19 April.[8] The song became a hit all over Europe and reached number one in the UK.[9]

Owing to a mix-up, two follow-up singles were released almost simultaneously; "Save Me" and "In London". With confusion by radio stations over which to play, both singles flopped. Another single released in late 1980, a cover of a recent Cliff Richard song, "Give A Little Bit More" was a more concerted effort and although it narrowly missed the chart, the momentum from Eurovision was now lost. Logan blames his lack of success in the UK on poor management and his inexperience.[10]

In early 1983, Logan attempted a comeback in the UK with the song "Becoming Electric" with a new sound and image and promotional push, but was unsuccessful and again in 1986 when he rebranded himself Logan with the song "Stab in the Back". Logan was actually classed as a One-hit Wonder with "What's Another Year" in the UK until his second Eurovision winning song was released, seven years later.

Second Eurovision win

In 1987, he decided to make another attempt at Eurovision and with his self-penned song, "Hold Me Now", he represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgium. The song won the contest and again, Logan had a major European hit with the song and reached number two in the UK (although it outsold "What's Another Year").[11][12] Keen to continue this success, Logan released a cover of the 10cc song "I'm Not in Love", produced by Paul Hardcastle as a follow-up, and an album. The single made the UK charts but was not significant enough to sustain a continued chart career.[13]

The following year, Logan released his next single, "Heartland" which became a hit in the Irish charts and from then on, concentrated on his career in Ireland and Europe.[14]

Third Eurovision win

Having composed the Irish Eurovision Song Contest 1984 entry for Linda Martin, "Terminal 3" (which finished in second place), Logan repeated the collaboration in 1992 when he gave Martin another of his songs, "Why Me". The song became the Irish entry at the finals in Sweden. The song took the title and cemented Logan as the most successful artist in Eurovision history with three wins.[2]

Author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor notes in his book The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History that Logan is the only lead singer to have sung two winning entries and one of only five authors/composers (all men) to have written/composed two winning songs.[15]

Recent career

Logan continues to perform and write songs. He is sometimes referred to as "Mister Eurovision" by fans of the contest and the media at large.[1] Throughout his career, which spans four decades, Logan has released no less than 40 singles and 19 albums. He has continued his love of participating in musical theatre, having toured Norway with Which Witch, an opera-musical originating in that country.

In October 2005, "Hold Me Now" was voted as the third most popular song in Eurovision history at the 50th anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark. "What's Another Year" was also nominated amongst the 14 finalists. Logan has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. "Hold Me Now" is also a global million-seller.

In 2009 and 2010, he performed in the Celtic rock opera Excalibur, and continued to do so in 2011.

Logan was one of the recording artists that appeared in the Irish TV seriesThe Hit going against Duke Special. He shortlisted the song "Prayin" by Alan Earls and Jamie Wilson's "Rain" from the pitching rooms. He chose to release "Prayin" for the chart battle against Special who chose a song called "1969" by Aaron Hackett. Logan won the chart battle with his song charting at number three in the charts while Special's charted at number five. Logan returned for the final where he performed "Prayin" with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and was runner-up to Finbar Furey.

In 2002, he took part in the UK television quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks as a team panelist in a Eurovision-special.[16]

"Hold Me Now" has been adopted by fans of Bohemian F.C. (Bohemians) as their anthem and it is sung primarily at away games.

In 2007, Logan advertised McDonald's Eurosaver menu in Ireland. In 2007, he sang "A State of Happiness", advertising the Dutch Center Parcs.

In 2011, Logan received some publicity over comments perceived as an attack on Jedward, that year's Irish Eurovision entry. When the identical twins appeared on The Late Late Show, presenter Ryan Tubridy asked them how they felt about Logan calling them "an embarrassment to Ireland". Logan later clarified those comments: "What I said was that I find them embarrassing to watch. It's like watching two Frank Spencers in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. It's like watching a train crash – you can't look away, but at the same time you don't want to see it".[17] He subsequently refused an interview with RTÉ broadcaster Derek Mooney as, according to Mooney, "he thought we were going to stitch him up". Logan gave an interview to Today FM broadcaster Ray D'Arcy instead.[18]

On 16 December 2012, Logan appeared as musical guest on Romanian edition of X Factor.[19]

In May 2012, Anmary, the Latvian representative to 2012 Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan sang "Beautiful Song" where in the opening lrics, she sings: "I was born in distant 1980 / The year that Irish Johnny Logan won / Thirty years or more, they still remember / So dream away, today's the day I'm singing my song" referring to Logan's 1980 Eurovision win "What's Another Year".

Personal life

Logan lives in Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland with his wife, Ailis and their three children, Adam, Fionn and Jack.[20] He rarely gives media interviews due to what he claims have been frequent misquotes.[17]

Selected discography


Year Album Peak positions Certification
1980 What's Another Year     27   39
1987 Hold Me Now   59 12 25 23
1989 Mention My Name          
1990 Love Songs          
1992 Endless Emotion          
1994 Living for Loving          
1996 The Best of Johnny Logan          
1999 Love Is All          
2001 Reach For Me 2   13   12
Save This Christmas For Me 25        
2003 We All Need Love 20   36   39
2006 The Best of Johnny Logan 2006          
2007 The Irish Connection
(Johnny Logan and Friends)
3   1 73 1
2008 Irishman in America 10   20   24
2010 Nature of Love 9   19   6
2013 The Irish Connection 2 4   2    

Singles (Ireland and UK)

(Source for UK and Irish chart positions [24])

Year Single Peak positions Other charts Album
1978 "No I Don't Want to Fall in Love"    
1978 "Lonely Tonight"    
1980 "What's Another Year" 1 1 Austria: #5
Belgium (Fl): #1
Netherlands: #1
Norway: #1
Sweden: #1
Switzerland; #2
What's Another Year
"Save Me"    
"In London"    
"Give a Little Bit More (Too Much Too Soon)" 25  
1982 "Oriental Eyes" 18  
"Becoming Electric" 22  
1984 "Heaven" 20  
1985 "Ginny Come Lately"    
"Straight From the Heart"    
1986 "Stab in the Back"    
"Sara Smile"    
1987 "Hold Me Now" 1 2 Austria: #4
Belgium (Fl): #12
Netherlands: #3
Norway: #2
Sweden: #2
Switzerland; #6
"I'm Not in Love" 8 51
1988 "Heartland" 21  
1989 "Heartland"    
1990 "Lay Down Your Heart" /
"One by One"
1991 "How 'Bout Us"    
2001 "Hold Me Now" (2001)     Denmark: #9
Sweden: #54
2006 "Don't Cry" 25  
"Hold Me Now" (2006)    
2013 "Prayin" 3[25]  

For a more comprehensive list of all European single releases see discography here .


  1. 1 2 "Johnny Logan Interview". The Baltics Today.
  2. 1 2 "Eurovision Song Contest 1992". Eurovision Song Contest – Belgrade 2008.
  3. "Eurovision Song Contest 1984". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. "Johnny Logan profile". Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  5. "Johnny Logan". Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  6. "IRISH NATIONAL FINAL 1979". 26 October 2009. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  7. "IRISH NATIONAL FINAL 1980". 26 October 2009. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  8. "Eurovision Song Contest 1980". Eurovision Song Contest – Belgrade 2008.
  9. "Johnny Logan – What's Another Year?". Chart Stats. 21 June 1980. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  10. Why Me? (1992 documentary), RTÉ Television
  11. "Eurovision Song Contest 1987". Eurovision Song Contest: Belgrade 2008.
  12. "Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now". Chart Stats. 23 May 1987. Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  13. "Johnny Logan – I'm Not in Love". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  14. Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  15. O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  16. "Never Mind the Buzzcocks" Episode #10.10 (2002) and is noted for being one of the more volatile guests over the years.
  17. 1 2 "Johnny Logan on Jedward, Louis, burgers and Bertie". Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  18. Finn, Melanie. "I'm not trying to stitch up Logan, insists Mooney as winner dodges RTE show".Evening Herald. Retrieved on 13 May 2011.
  19. "Johnny Logan va face show in semifinala X Factor din 16 decembrie" (in Romanian). Antena 1. 12 December 2012.
  20. "'I gave up years ago trying to get records released in Ireland' - Johnny Logan". Irish Independent. 8 March 2015.
  21. "Johnny Logan discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  22. "Johnny Logan discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  23. "Johnny Logan discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  24. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 326. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  25. "Ireland: Johnny Logan Raps His Way to Chart Success". Wiwi Bloggs. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Johnny Logan.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Israel Gali Atari and Milk and Honey
with "Hallelujah"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
United Kingdom Bucks Fizz
with "Making Your Mind Up"
Preceded by
Belgium Sandra Kim
with "J'aime la vie"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Switzerland Céline Dion
with "Ne partez pas sans moi"
Preceded by
Cathal Dunne
with "Happy Man"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with "Horoscopes"
Preceded by
Luv Bug
with "You Can Count on Me"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Jump The Gun
with "Take Him Home"
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