Israel's Dana International with "Diva" (1998)
Orthodox Jews were aghast when transsexual Dana International (born Yaron Cohen) won the right to represent Israel at Eurovision. Her single "Diva" conveyed the hope that the transgender community could find strength through struggle: "She is all you'll ever dream to find/ On her stage she sings her story/ Pain and hurt will set her heart alight/ Like a queen in all her glory." Europe was moved at the final and crowned her the winner. "My victory proves God is on my side," she said afterward. "I want to send my critics a message of forgiveness ... I am part of the Jewish nation." "Diva" went on to sell more than 400,000 copies worldwide and made the Top 10 in five European countries.