Eurovision's first winner Lys Assia dies

News 26/03/2018

The first-ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Lys Assia, has died.

She was 94, and died on Saturday (local time) at the Zollikerberg Hospital in Zurich.

She won the prize for Switzerland in 1956 with the song 'Refrain'.

Eurovision has called her the Grande Dame of the competition, and says she has always been a huge supporter of the contest. 

Assia was born in Rupperswil, northern Switzerland, in 1924. Before she began singing, she was a dancer.

She performed at the 2005 Eurovision contest in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

In 2012 and 2013 she unsuccessfully attempted to return to represent Switzerland in the competition once again, aged 87.