Former Eurovision star Sonia reckons this year’s UK entry Mae Muller can go all the way and earn a first British victory since 1997.
The Liverpool singer, who earned a 1989 UK No.1 with You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You, finished second in Eurovision 1993 singing Better the Devil You Know.
Following rehearsals at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool a week ago, she performed a special rendition of her first smash hit alongside a refugee choir at the National Lottery-funded Everyman Theatre in Merseyside on Wednesday 26 April.
Muller will aim to become the first UK winner since Katrina and the Waves, and Sonia believes she has a good chance of going one better than she did three decades ago.
“I think this year’s entry is quite good,” said Sonia. “The girl has got a good vibe about her; it’s quite a catchy tune and she is down with the kids.
“She is quirky and looks fun, so I think she has a pretty good chance. We have got to try and carry it on from last year.
“I am so excited for Eurovision, and I am going to be massively involved on the night – it is going to be the most amazing thing.
“When I did it, I lost out by one point, and I said if I did win it, it had to come to Liverpool – and now my dream has come true!
“It’s fantastic that Eurovision is coming to Liverpool, hosting it on behalf of Ukraine. We are going to do it so proud for them.
“The music heritage coming from Liverpool is outstanding and I couldn’t think of a more apt place to hold it – it had to be Liverpool!” The National Lottery is one of the biggest supporters of music and culture in Liverpool with over £330m invested in 3,600 arts and heritage projects to date. Liverpool’s historic hosting of Eurovision sees The National Lottery make a further multi-million pound contribution to arts, heritage and community across the city.
The 80s pop star was speaking during rehearsals with the National Lottery funded European Youth Music Refugee Choir (EYMRC), with whom she is singing You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You at the National Lottery-funded Everyman Theatre on the aptly-named Hope Street in Liverpool.
Over 50 young refugees and asylum seekers from countries including Ukraine and Afghanistan are part of the choir that will deliver a new version of Sonia’s 1989 hit, including a second verse sung in Ukrainian by Tatiana Volikova, who came to the UK with her two children from Ukraine last year. And Sonia hailed the project for bringing people from a range of backgrounds together thanks to the power of music.
“When I was first invited to do it, I realised what a fantastic cause it is,” she added. “Music brings and unites everyone together. “It’s just lovely to see them all smiling and enjoying the song. To think about what they have been through, it’s wonderful for them to be able to come together.
“My song feels appropriate because of the words in the song You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You: no matter what happens, love unites.
“It’s such a wonderful thing for the young people to come together. It’s not just about music, it’s about finding new friends, having fun. A lot of these refugees and asylum seekers are vulnerable and it’s good for them to be able to come out of their shell and make them feel as welcome as possible.
“It’s fantastic that the National Lottery are doing this. Seeing them come to live, have joy, have hope given all the horrible things they have been through. To now have a release, to find new friends, come together and have a bit of fun.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30 million a week for arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary projects across the UK; see the difference it’s making near you at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk