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Dana International
PikiWiki Israel 48024 Dana International in Ramat Gan.JPG
Dana International performing in 2016
Background information
Also known as דנה אינטרנשיונל
Born 2 February 1972 (1972-02-02) (age 48)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Genres
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1992–present
Labels Hed Arzi Music

Sharon Cohen (Hebrew: שרון כהן‎‎ on 2 February 1972), professionally known as Dana International (דנה אינטרנשיונל), is an Israeli pop singer. She has released eight albums and three additional compilation albums. She is best known as the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 in Birmingham with the song "Diva".

After consolidating her initial commercial success with the albums Umpatampa (1994) and Maganuna (1996), she was selected in 1998 to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest with her song "Diva". Placing first at the international competition, she came to public attention throughout Europe.

Dana following up this success with the albums Free (1999), Yoter VeYoter (2001), HaHalom HaEfshari (2002) and Hakol Ze Letova (2008), she represented Israel in Eurovision a second time in 2011, this time with the song "Ding Dong", which failed to make it into the final. The same year, she became a judge on the Israeli television music talent contest Kokhav Nolad.

Early life

Sharon was born in Tel Aviv as Yaron Cohen to a family of Yemenite-Jewish and Romanian-Jewish descent. In an interview, she said her grandfather originated from Romania. Her paternal grandparents lived in Petah Tikva. She was the youngest of three children, and was named after an uncle who had been killed during a terrorist attack.

Though assigned male at birth, she identified as female from a very young age. She wanted to become a singer from the age of eight, when she watched Israeli singer Ofra Haza perform her song "Chai" in the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest. Although the family was quite poor, her mother worked to pay for her music lessons, and she stated that her childhood was happy. She came out as transgender at the age of 13.

Dana International took her stage name from a feminized version of a childhood friend Daniel, who died in a car accident.

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