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Bonnie Tyler flies the flag for the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest

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Bonnie Tyler has been selected as the lucky candidate represent the United Kingdom at this year's Eurovision song contest.The veteran singer, whose hits include Total Eclipse Of The Heart and Holding Out For A Hero, will fly the flag for Britain at the European music event, performing a track called Believe In Me at the event in Malmo, Sweden. "I am truly honoured and delighted to be able to represent my country at Eurovision and especially with such a fabulous song,” said the star.

"I promise to give this everything that I've got for the UK."

"Bonnie Tyler is truly a global superstar with a fantastic voice and we are delighted she will be flying the flag for the UK in Malmo," said Katie Taylor, the BBC controller of entertainment and events.The path to stardom was a difficult one for Bonnie.Her career was almost over before it started when in 1976 she had surgery to remove nodules from her throat.

But the singer, who was born in South Wales, credits the operation with helping develop her trademark husky vocals and later that year scored her first hit when her second single, Lost In France, made the top 10.Since then, the twice Grammy nominee has toured the world and was top of the charts in France with duet single Turn Around. Her latest album, Rocks & Honey, will be released on Friday.Bonnie will be hoping she improves on last year's performance by Engelbert Humperdinck who scraped into last but one place in the contest.He opened the show in Baku, Azerbaijan, with ballad Love Will Set You Free, but seemed to have been forgotten by the time voting started, 25 songs later and the singer, nicknamed The Hump, scored a total of 12 - ending up just one position above Norway.It is 16 years since the UK last won Eurovision with Love Shine a Light by Katrina and the Waves in 1997.The competition on Saturday May 18 will be broadcast live on BBC One from Malmo, Sweden with commentary by Graham Norton, and on Radio 2 with commentary from Ken Bruce. Sweden swept the Eurovision board last year with hit Euphoria by Loreen.