The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), often shortened to ESC or Eurovision, is the longest running annual TV song competition held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy.
Each member, or invited, country submits a song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest has been broadcast every year for sixty years, since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally. Eurovision has also been broadcast outside Europe to such places as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam, although these countries do not compete. However, Australia has been invited to compete as a guest country in 2015 for the 60 years of Eurovision celebration. Since 2000, the contest has also been broadcast over the Internet, via the Eurovision website.
Winning the Eurovision Song Contest provides an opportunity for the winning artists to capitalise on the surrounding publicity and further their careers. Artists whose international careers were directly launched into the spotlight following their participation at Eurovision include: Italian Domenico Modugno, who came third with the song "Nel blu dipinto di blu" ("In the sky, painted blue", popularly known as "Volare") in 1958; ABBA, who won the contest for Sweden in 1974 with "Waterloo"; Céline Dion, who won for Switzerland in 1988 with the French-language song "Ne partez pas sans moi" ("Don't leave without me"); the Spaniard Julio Iglesias, who has sold over 300 million records worldwide, was beaten into fourth place by Dana, winning for Ireland in 1970 with "All Kinds of Everything"; and Bucks Fizz, who won in 1981 for the United Kingdom with "Making Your Mind Up". The latest winner is Mĺns Zelmerlöw of Sweden, who won the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria with "Heroes".