Her song was third in 1989, but it is one of the most popular entries in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. And she has now been bestowed with the recognition from the fans of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in Denmark, as published by dr.dk.
25 years ago, Birthe Kjær painted the town in red when she brought Vi maler byen rød to the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest for Denmark. Her performance in Lausanne received 111 points which pulled the song up to the third position, behind Riva’s winning entry Rock me for Yugoslavia and Live Report’s Why do I always get it for the United Kingdom.
A third position with a cheerful entry that made an impression. Vi maler byen rød has the power to enliven the mood of those who listen to it. A song that spreads optimism, said the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest host. A presentation that is valid even many years later. Once you hear it, you keep the tune in your head.
That is what happens to (at least) the Danish fans because, as we learned through dr.dk, on 1 November the Danish fan site MelodiGrandPrixFans.dk awarded Birthe Kjær with the Mylleprisen award, which was created as a recognition to artists that have done something extraordinary for the Danish Melodi Grand Prix.
To Johann Sorensen, the president of MelodiGrandPrixFans.dk, Birthe Kjær is an obvious winner. Her Eurovision song is a hit that really takes hold, he confirmed. When we talk to fans from other countries they know the song well, and a large portion of the text, even if it’s in Danish. You can even speculate that if it had been in English she might have won, Sorensen adds.
Vi maler byen rød was included in the compilation CD Congratulations: 50 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, which was released in 2005 for the 50th anniversary of the Contest. Johann Sorensen is right: the song indeed made history in Denmark and abroad.
I am very proud that I am selected to win the Mylleprisen, said Birthe to dr.dk.
The singer is quite an icon for Danish fans of the Eurovision Song Contest and of the country’s national selection:.Birthe has hosted the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in many occasions. She won the selection in 1989, making her the Danish representative in the Eurovision Song Contest that year; she had made other attempts earlier, one being the Grand Prix in 1987 with Hva er du ude på.
Her efforts and commitment to the Danish national selection have made her the winner of the Mylleprisen. The award is named after the artist Jørgen de Mylius, a host and commentator of the Dansk Melodi Granad Prix sometimes referred to by his nickname Mylle. Whom I respect very much, Birthe said.
The previous winner of the award was the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest Danish winner Emmelie de Forest.
Birthe Kjaer sang Vi maler byen rød for Denmark in the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest.