12.05.2023: The UK’s first Eurovision winner has Sandie Shaw called on the Government to appoint a new Power of Music Commissioner to ensure the legacy of Eurovision 2023 supports the nations health, mental health and wellbeing.
In a piece for The Times, the 60s icon discusses how she experienced the power of music to bring people together when she won Eurovision in 1967 with the song Puppet on A String.
“From the beginning I recorded and performed my songs in five languages because I wanted to create connections across borders. This meant that every country in western Europe regarded me as their own because of those strong bonds…We represented so much for the young people of those countries,” she said, “Eurovision felt like a catalyst for change.”
She went on to say: “This year’s United by Music theme reflects our determination both to support Ukraine and to show how music can be a force for good. However, once the winner is crowned we must not let that love for music and communal spirit fade away.”
Sandie highlights the positive role music played in people’s lives during the pandemic, the way it’s been proven to support people with dementia and how it can help people recovering from surgery.
It is because of this that Sandie has joined UK Music, Music for Dementia and the National Association for Social Prescribing, among others, in calling for a Power of Music Commissioner.
Last year, UK Music and Music for Dementia released the Power of Music report, which set out a vision of how to harness music to improve health and wellbeing and called for this new role to be created.
The commissioner would champion the benefits of music for health and co-ordinate work between the government, health and social care sectors and the music industry.
“We need the government to seize on the joy of Eurovision to create that new role to help make us all healthier and happier,” said Sandie. “That would ensure the contest has an enduring legacy, and will provide a fitting tribute to the people of Ukraine and a testament to the power of music.”
The piece can be read in full here (£).Back to news