The first Austrian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Udo Jürgens has passed away today at the age of 80 from an unexpected heart failure.
According to the Austrian broadcaster ORF, Jürgens had collapsed unconscious whilst walking in Switzerland. Following immediate resuscitation, Jürgens was pronounced dead via his management.
Jürgens represented Austria a total three times in the Eurovision and was up until 2014 the only Austrian winner of the contest.
His first appearance was in Copenhagen in 1964. The entry was called Warum nur warum? and came a respectable 6th place.
The following year he took to the stage again singing the song Sag ihr, ich lass sie grüßen. He finished 4th at the Naples contest which was at that time Austria’s best ever placing.
However it was his entry in 1966 that he would be most remembered for. At that year’s contest in Luxembourg he sang the ballad Merci, chérie which gave Austria their 1st Eurovision victory.
Throughout his career, Jürgens has composed over 1000 songs and has sold over 100 million records. As well as his Eurovision songs, his other hits included Aber bitte mit sahne and Griechischer wein.
In 2014, Conchita Wurst joined Udo Jürgens as an Austrian winner of Eurovision when she won in Copenhagen with Rise like a phoenix. Earlier today Wurst took to Twitter and Facebook to pay her respects.
Udo, ich bin zutiefst betroffen dass du heute von uns gegangen bist. Du warst ein großartiger Künstler – Merci! Conchita
— Conchita Wurst (@ConchitaWurst) December 21, 2014