Jahn Teigen (27 September 1949 – 24 February 2020) was a Norwegian singer, musician and comedian. He represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest three times, in 1978,[1] 1982[2] and 1983,[3] His given name was Jan; he added the silent H later. From October 2006 until his death in February 2020, he resided in Sweden.

Jahn Teigen
Jahn Teigen in 2011
Jahn Teigen in 2011
Background information
Birth nameJan Teigen
Born(1949-09-27)27 September 1949
Tønsberg, Norway
Died24 February 2020(2020-02-24) (aged 70)
Ystad, Sweden
GenresPop, rock, comedy rock, progressive rock
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, percussion
Years active1967–2020


Popol VuhEdit

Jahn Teigen was born in Tønsberg. He started his career in the late 1960s when he released a few singles and one album with Enemies. However, his commercial breakthrough did not come until the early 1970s as the lead singer of the 6-member rock band Popol Vuh. They released three successful albums, the first self-titled in 1973. Their most popular album was released in 1976, called Stolen From Time, but this time under their new name Popol Ace, to avoid confusion with the German rock band with the same name that also was popular in the 1970s. Popol Vuh is actually a Maya Indian word in the Quiché language, meaning book of the community. Popol Vuh/Popol Ace was actually a refinement of the even-older 8-member group Arman Sumpe Dur Express. During 1971 and the first half of 1972, Arman Sumpe D.E. was on a long-lasting concert tour throughout Norway playing more than 140 concerts. Jahn performed at one of Europe's two largest music festivals, the Roskilde Festival, in 1972, becoming one of the major attractions as part of Popol Vuh (credited as Arman Sumpe[4]). He had previously performed in Roskilde at the Fjordvilla Club[5][6] in 1968 with the band Red Squares.[7]

Prima VeraEdit

Jahn Teigen was a member of the Norwegian humour trio Prima Vera, with Herodes Falsk [1] and Tom Mathisen, who released seven albums between 1977 and 1984. Most of their repertoire consists of popular hits with the most ridiculous lyrics. (This struck a chord with the Norwegian audience, since, at the time, to ensure airplay, English-language songs often were re-recorded with Norwegian lyrics.) Their breakthrough album, 1978s Brakara, went to number 1 in the charts and sold more than 100,000 copies, and includes Teigen's spirited mock-Russian rendition of Mil Etter Mil, Zagra Znja Zagra. This 30-second version is the only available recording of the original arrangement; whether in English or Norwegian, Jahn Teigen's serious recordings of the song feature more electric guitar. The serious version was also a huge hit, making Teigen one of the few performers ever to have success with both a serious version and a parody of the same song simultaneously. Prima Vera had a number of hits, including such classics as Så lykkelig i Sverige ('So happy in Sweden', a version of The Turtles' Happy Together), Det er Norge som er bra and De gærne har det godt.
Teigen decided to leave the band in 1984.

Eurovision Song ContestEdit

In 1978 in Paris Jahn Teigen made his first appearance on the Eurovision stage, performing the song Mil etter mil (Mile after mile), which became famous for not receiving a single point from any of the participating nations. This was the first occurrence of zero points with the new, and current, voting system of the Eurovision Song Contest.[8] Despite the obvious lack of international recognition, the song gained a huge audience back in Norway where his countrymen embraced it.[8] The single dominated the national singles chart for more than four months, being among the 10 most-bought singles for no less than 19 consecutive weeks, for five of those also topping the chart for the nation's most popular international hit. After 30 years in the nation's spotlight, this remains his most successful hit. Teigen's runner-up single was called Jeg gi'kke opp, meaning I don't give up, and his first album release the same year was just as self-ironic: This Year's Loser.

Jahn Teigen returned to the Eurovision stage in 1982 in Harrogate, United Kingdom, where he sang Adieu in duet with Anita Skorgan (to whom he was married 1984-1988 and with whom he has a daughter) ending up at 12th place.[8] In 1983, in Munich, Germany, he went solo again, with Anita Skorgan and three other women as backing vocalists, with the melody Do re mi, composed together with Anita Skorgan, which gave him his best position, a respectable 9th place.[8] Teigen took part in the Norwegian national Eurovision final, called the Melodi Grand Prix, a record fourteen times between 1974 and 2005 with a total of 16 songs.[9] Besides winning the Melodi Grand Prix four times, Teigen also finished as the runner-up on four occasions. In addition to this, Teigen was the host of Melodi Grand Prix and provided the interval act of the Melodi Grand Prix on a number of occasions. He also acted as commentator for Norwegian television in 1991 in Rome, together with John Andreassen.

Melodi Grand Prix participationsEdit

Year Song Place Notes
1974 "Hvor er du?" 1 Performed with a small orchestra. Anne-Karine Strøm sang the song at Eurovison.
1975 "Kjærlighetens under" 2 Performed with a small orchestra.
1976 "Hastverk" 3 Performed with a small orchestra.
"Alltid en vind" 4 Performed with a small orchestra together with Gudny Aspaas.
"Voodoo" 2 Together with Gudny Aspaas with a small orchestra and Inger Lise Rypdal with a large orchestra.
1978 "Mil etter mil" 1 Finished 20th at Eurovison with 0 points.
1980 "Ja" 9
1982 "Adieu" 1 Together with Anita Skorgan. Finished 12th at Eurovison with 40 points.
1983 "Do Re Mi" 1 Finished 9th at Eurovison with 53 points.
1988 "Glasnost" 2
1989 "Optimist" One of the finalist, but did not advance to the Superfinal.
1990 "Smil" 2 With Anita Skorgan and Carola Häggkvist as Backing vocalists.
1993 "Jackpot" 8
1994 "Gi alt vi har" 5
1996 "Ariel" 4 Together with Øystein Wiik. The duo called themselves To tenorer.
2005 "My Heart Is My Home" 4

Extensive recording materialEdit

Teigen has released 17 albums as a soloist as of 1 January 2006. Six of these were best of collections, the last two being Jahn Teigens beste in 1994 and Fra null til gull (From nul till gold or From zero to hero as Teigen stated he would call an English release) in 2004, celebrating his 35+ years as popular artist. His most successful albums to date were En dags pause (One day's break) released in 1979, Mentalkrem (Mental cream) in 1980 and Klovn uten scene (Clown without stage) in 1988.

Stage workEdit

In 1992 he took the part of the Executioner in the London run of the heavily-panned Norwegian opera-musical Which Witch.


Memorable hitsEdit

  • Voodoo (remembered mostly for his skeleton costume on stage in the Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest 1976)
  • Mil etter mil (1978)
  • Min første kjærlighet (1978)
  • Adieu (1982)
  • Glasnost (1988)
  • Det vakreste som fins (1988)
  • Optimist (1989)
  • Gi meg fri (1992)


Popol VuhEdit


  • Popol Vuh (1973)
  • Quiche Maya (1974)

Popol AceEdit


  • Stolen From Time (1976)
  • Curly Sounds (1978) Note; Asa Krogtoft is the singer on this album, Jahn had left the group to go solo and work with Prima Vera.
Collection (best of) albumsEdit
  • Popol Ace (1975)
  • Cat of 9 Tales (1994)
  • All We Have (2003) A box set with all their studio albums remastered on CD + one CD only available in this box called Popoloddities with demos, rarities and live recordings. Five songs were taken from a reunion concert (with Jahn back) at Rebekka West in Oslo in 1994.


  • Silently Loud (2004) two DVD set with one DVD containing a reunion concert at Rockefeller in Oslo in 2003 with KORK[clarification needed] and one containing material from the archives of NRK (Norsk rikskringkasting) from the 1970s.

Jahn TeigenEdit


  • Mil etter mil (1978)
  • Jeg gi'kke opp (1978)
  • Har du lyst på litt mer (1979)
  • Ja (1980)
  • Bli bra igjen (1982)
  • Do re mi (1983)
  • Glasnost (1988)
  • Slå ring (1988)
  • Optimist (1989)
  • I skyggen av en drøm (1990)
  • Gi meg fri (1992)
  • Ensom natt (1993)


  • Teigens tivoli (1977)
  • This Year's Loser (1978)
  • En dags pause (1979)
  • Mentalkrem (1980)
  • Klar dag/Instamatik (1982)
  • Klovn uten scene (1988)
  • Esilio paradiso (1992)
  • Rondo (1993)
  • Lys (1996)
  • Magnet (2000)
  • Utkledd som meg selv (2003)
Collection albumsEdit
  • 67-76 (1976)
  • All We Have Is The Past (1980)
  • Hopp 78–83 (1983)
  • Jahn Teigen (1989)
  • Jahn Teigens beste: Litt av historien (1994)
  • Hele historien (4cd box 1994)
  • Fra null til gull (2004) rerecordings of his old hits, done live in the studio.
  • EMI Gull (2005)
  • 40 største hits (2009)


  • Jahn Teigen fra Tønsberg (2011) DVD/CD from his hugely successful retrospective stage show which ran for 2 years 2009-2011 in Tønsberg and Oslo.

Prima VeraEdit


  • Prima Vera (1977)
  • Brakara (1978)
  • Salmer og sanger vi gjerne hiver (1979)
  • Den 5te (1981)
  • Fisle Narrepanne i Tyrol (1981)
  • Ha ha he he ho de gærne har'e godt (1982)
  • Her kommer Olavs menn (1983)
  • The Prima Vera Show (1999)
Collection albumsEdit
  • The best of EBBA (1980)
  • Absolute Prima Vera (1994)

Jahn Teigen & Herodes FalskEdit


  • "Teigen synger Falsk" (1975)

Jahn Teigen & Anita SkorganEdit


  • Adieu (1982)
  • Friendly (1983)


  • Cheek To Cheek (1983)


  1. ^ Barclay, Simon (17 June 2010). Eurovision Song Contest - The Complete & Independent Guide 2010. Simon Barclay. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4457-8415-1. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  2. ^ Barclay, Simon (17 June 2010). Eurovision Song Contest - The Complete & Independent Guide 2010. Simon Barclay. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4457-8415-1. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  3. ^ Barclay, Simon (17 June 2010). Eurovision Song Contest - The Complete & Independent Guide 2010. Simon Barclay. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-4457-8415-1. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Line up 1972". Roskilde Festival. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Set list for The Red Squares". setlist.fm. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Ad from Fjordvilla Club". Gallerishoppen. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Biography". The Red Squares home page. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d "Norway's 3-time Eurovision participant Jahn Teigen passes away". eurovision.tv. 25 February 2020. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  9. ^ "Jahn Teigen er død: – Ingen kan erstatte deg". nrk.no (in Norwegian). 25 February 2020. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  10. ^ "Eurovison Song Contest National Finals Homepage". natfinals.50webs.com. Retrieved May 28, 2021.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
1982 (with Anita Skorgan)
Succeeded by
Jahn Teigen
with "Do Re Mi"
Preceded by
Jahn Teigen & Anita Skorgan
with "Adieu"
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by