“Melodifestivalen” has been broadcast on SVT1 in Sweden since 29 January 1959. For 4 weeks every year, many different performers sing and the public phones in votes for their favorite song. The song with the most votes at the end of the show is the one selected to represent Sweden in the yearly event known as the “Eurovision Song Contest”.
In recent years as many as ten artists are chosen to sing a total of 10 different selected songs and at the end of the competition a winning song is chosen based on the most votes. Later in the year the winning song is performed at the annual “Eurovision Song Contest” by the artist who sang it on the annual "Melodifestivalen" show. The very 1st winner in 1959 was “Siw Malmkvist” who sang “Augustin”. Sweden’s winning song came in 9th place that year at the “Eurovision Song Contest”. Every year a different European country is host for the “Eurovision Song Contest” and the first year in 1959 it was held at the Palais Des Festivals, in Cannes, France.
Some interesting facts:
1. This series was not held on 3 separate occasions in 1964, 1970 & 1976.
2. There have been 7 performers who have won this competition 2 times each and 1 performer "Carola Häggkvist" who has won it on 3 separate occasions in 1983, 1991 & 2006.
3. There has been 3 different celebrities to host this series 3 times each but only “Lena Philipsson” who hosted the show in 2000, 2003 & 2006 also was a winner of this competition in 2004.
4. The most well known worldwide performers to win this competition was “ABBA” in 1974.