Finland joined the Eurovision Song Contest family in 1961 and was represanted by one of country's biggest stars, Laila Kinnunen also known as La Laila.
Born in 1939 she spent her childhood as a war refugee in Sweden and returned to Finland only in 1949. Her career started by winning a talent show in 1955 and her first recording, a cover of Domenico Modugno's Lazzarella in 1957 was a smash hit. More hits followed and by ESC 1961 she was a big national star. She later performed also in Sweden, the Netherlands and West-Germany and recorded in various languages. She also starred in several films and did a lot of television and represanted Finland in the Sopot Festival 1967.
She participated in the Euroviisut also 1962, 1966 (2nd), 1967 and 1969 (4th). Her career on top lasted only about ten years but during that time she recorded several evergreens and gained a respect and fame unmatched before by anyone in Finland. Laila's last recording is from 1980. Thereafter she retired from the scene and literally moved into the forests.
Her troubled life and sad love stories, alcoholism and all related gave the papers a lot to write about and scandals followed her until her premature death in 2000, alone and forgotten.
Watch legendary La Laila here: