France 1989

France was represented by 11-year-old Belgian singer Nathalie Pâque, with the song ‘ »J’ai volé la vie« , at the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on 6 May in Lausanne, Switzerland. The song was chosen internally by broadcaster Antenne 2.

Pâque is noted as the youngest ever main performer to appear at Eurovision and her age, together with that of the same year’s Israeli singer Gili Natanael (who was 12 years old), caused much controversy and adverse comment from other participating nations, with representations to the European Broadcasting Union that a minimum age restriction needed to be introduced to prevent child performers being put forward for an adult contest. The EBU agreed, and with effect from the 1990 contest no performer was allowed onstage who would not be at least 16 years old by the last day of the year in which the contest was held. The rule has remained in place ever since, so Pâque’s record stands.

At Eurovision

On the night of the final Pâque performed 15th in the running order, following Finland and preceding Spain. At the close of voting « J’ai volé la vie » had picked up 60 points, placing France 8th of the 22 entries. The French jury awarded its 12 points to the United Kingdom.[1]