Martin in May 2013
|Born|| (1952-03-27) 27 March 1952|
Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Genres||Pop, pop-rock, MOR|
|Labels||CBS, Polydor, Rex, Spider, WEA|
Linda Martin (born 27 March 1952) is a singer and television presenter from Northern Ireland. She is best known in Europe as the winner of the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Why Me?", and in Ireland as a member of the 1970s/1980s band Chips.
Martin is of Irish, Scottish and Italian ancestry. Her father's family's surname was originally Martini. Her paternal great-grandfather Francis Martini was born in Dublin to immigrants from Saronno, near Milan, Italy. Two of Martin's maternal great-grandparents, William Green and Elizabeth Nangle, had a coal-mining background; they had transferred to Belfast from Larkhall, Scotland.
Martin began her musical career when she joined the band Chips in Omagh in 1969. They quickly became one of the top bands in Ireland on the live circuit, and released hit singles "Love Matters", "Twice a Week" and "Goodbye Goodbye" during the mid-to-late 1970s. In 1972, Martin left Chips to be a vocalist with new group Lyttle People, but rejoined her former bandmates the following year.
The group appeared on Opportunity Knocks in 1974 and appeared a number of times on British television promoting their singles, but never scored a UK hit. With multiple entries to the Irish National finals of the Eurovision Song Contest, the band carried on into the 1980s. They scored a final Irish hit in 1982 with "David's Song", after which Martin left when she won the Castlebar Song Contest with "Edge of the Universe" in 1983. From this point she concentrated on a solo career as well as occasional live appearances with Chips until they recruited a new lead singer (Valerie Roe) in the late 1980s.
Eurovision Song Contest
She participated in the National Song Contest four times as a member of Chips; however, they did not score successfully. She participated another four times in the contest as a soloist and once more as part of the group 'Linda Martin and Friends'. With nine participations, she has been the most frequent entrant in the National Song Contest's history. She won the contest twice, going on to represent Ireland twice at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The first of these victories was in 1984 with the song "Terminal 3", written by Johnny Logan (under his real name Séan Sherrard). The song came second in the final, being beaten by eight points. "Terminal 3" reached No. 7 in the Irish charts. The second victory was in 1992 when her song "Why Me" (also written by Logan) went on to win the final in Sweden. This became Ireland's fourth victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, and the song reached No. 1 in the Irish chart as well as becoming a hit in many European countries.
Martin was, at the time, one of only three artists to finish both first and second at Eurovision, behind Lys Assia and Gigliola Cinquetti. Since then, only Elisabeth Andreassen and Dima Bilan have achieved this, raising the number to five. Martin was the first of the three artists to finish second first and first second, matched only later by Bilan.
She has presented the RTÉ quiz show The Lyrics Board, one of the broadcaster's more popular formats. She served as one of Louis Walsh's behind-the-scenes team on the first series of ITV's The X Factor.
She also served as a judge on the first, second and fourth seasons of RTÉ's You're a Star and on Charity You're a Star in summer 2005 and summer 2006. She was dismissed from the 2007 season, however, speaking on Saturday Night with Miriam on RTÉ television on 28 July 2007, she insisted that she was "open" to being invited back on to the show. Martin has not ruled out a return to Eurovision following Ireland's dismal performance in the 2007 contest finishing last with only five points.
She was a guest performer at Congratulations, the 50th anniversary Eurovision concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2005. Martin was also the Irish spokesperson for Eurovision Song Contest 2007 and was one of the five judges for Eurosong 2009 (Irish Selection for Eurovision). In 2012, she was the mentor for Jedward in the Irish Eurovision final Eurosong 2012.
During the interval of Eurovision 2013, the host Petra Mede presented a light-hearted history of the contest, during which she explained to viewers that Johnny Logan had won the competition three times, in 1980, 1987 and 1992. Appearing alongside Linda Martin in some vintage footage she joked that he had won the third time disguised as a woman, saying, "I recognise a drag queen when I see one". The joke proved controversial, particularly in the Irish media. However, on 1 June 2013, during an appearance on RTÉ's The Saturday Night Show Martin claimed that she had actually benefited from all the publicity. On the same show she performed a cover of the song "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk.
She toured Menopause the Musical with Irish entertainer Twink. While on tour, Twink described Martin as a "cunt" during a tirade in May 2010. The two had been friends for 30 years but both said afterward that they had no plans to speak to each other again.
Singles with Chips
|1971||"Today I Killed a Man"||-|
|"Sock It to 'Em Sister Nell"||-|
|1973||"Open Your Eyes"||-|
|1974||"King Kong"(as Lily and Chips)||-|
|"Twice a Week"||13|
|1976||"I'm a Song (Sing Me)"||-|
|1977||"Shine a Light"||-|
|1978||"Here in My Arms" (or "It's Over")||-|
|"The Sooner The Better"||-|
|1981||"New Romance (It's a Mystery)"||-|
|1982||"David's Song (Who'll Come With Me)"||13|
|Date||Single||Record Label||Irish Charts|
|1983||"Edge of the Universe"||Lunar||20|
|1987||"Miles of Eyes"||Mystery records||-|
|"Hiding from Love"||EMI||22|
|1989||"Impossible to Do"||Plaza||-|
|1990||"Where the Boys Are"||K-Tel||19|
|1991||"Did You Ever?" (with Mick McCarthy)||15|
|2016||"Why Me? Remixed"||Energise||-|
|2017||"Won't Stop"||Powerworld Music||-|