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Spanish Girl, 9, Wins Europe Song Contest

November 22, 2004

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (AP) _ A nine-year-old Spanish girl won the second annual Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Nine-year-old Maria Isabel won the top prize Saturday with her song ``Antes Muerta Que Sencilla″ (``I’d Rather Be Dead than Plain″), an ode to good clothes, good times and standing tall in the face of criticism by others.

The Ayamone native took an early lead in the balloting by viewers throughout Europe and never relinquished it.

Soloists, duos and bands performed original songs in their native language in the contest, a youth-version of the wildly popular Eurovision Song Contest, most famous for launching the international career of the Swedish pop group ABBA in the 1970s.

The children, ranging in age from 8 to 15, performed before a sold-out crowd of thousands in downtown Lillehammer. Millions across Europe watched the show live on television.

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