Dana International was born as Yaron Cohen in Tel Aviv, Israel, supposedly (according to her official resume) in 1972, but more probably in 1969. By 14 he had realised that he was really a female and increasingly used the name Dana, which became his stage name.
At 18 he was excused compulsory military service because of his declared transsexuality, which he proved by showing his well developed breasts - presumably the result of an already lengthy period on female hormones. He then worked as a drag artist in gay clubs, where he developed his feminine voice and superb singing skills, eventually releasing his first (and very successful) singles. During this period he added to "International" to his name and was clearly transitioning to womanhood, despite some public denials at the time.
In 1993 she had her SRS operation in London and legally became called Sharon Cohen. She continued to enjoy extraordinary musical success, with several best selling albums and records in Israel and oddly enough also in the Arabic world, particularly Egypt. In 1996 she was awarded with the prize of Best Female Artist in Israel. After being runner-up in 1995, in 1998 she was selected as the Israeli entry for the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Birmingham, England. Her surprise win of the contest generated enormous publicity as the world's press struggled to cope with idea that a successful, pretty and blatantly sexy young woman could also be a transsexual.
After her Eurovision success, Dana didn't really make much further impact on the European music scene. However she continues to tour and release records and has enjoyed a degree of success in Asia.
Dana isn�t married but has been associated with several boyfriends.
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Last updated: 28 April, 2003