Padar, Benton & 2XL

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While the Eurovision Song Contest of the 2000s was very much dominated by solo performers, 2001 saw the event won by the unique teaming of three separate performers, Estonian vocalist Tanel Padar, Aruba-born…
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While the Eurovision Song Contest of the 2000s was very much dominated by solo performers, 2001 saw the event won by the unique teaming of three separate performers, Estonian vocalist Tanel Padar, Aruba-born Dave Benton, and the Estonian hip-hop boy band 2XL. Their winning entry, appropriately, was titled "Everyone." Of the three, Padar was the most established. The brother of popular singer Gerli Padar, he was born on October 27, 1980, and emerged on the local scene following victory in the TV talent show Kaks Takti Ette in 1999. The following year, he was one of the backing vocalists when his girlfriend, singer Ines, represented their homeland at Eurovision, before Padar himself took center stage in 2001.

Compatriots 2XL are better known as Soul Militia -- the name was temporarily changed for the contest. Lining up as Lauri Pihlap (Lowry), Sergei Morgun (Semy), Kaido Põldma (Craig), and Indrek Soom (Ince), the group had been around since 1997 and, as a three-piece (Ince quit in 2004), appeared at the Estonian Eurovision qualifiers in 2007. Their albums include 2002's On the Rise and 2004's Silence Before the Storm. Dave Benton was the veteran of the team. Born on January 31, 1951, Benton moved to the U.S. in 1971, where he became an in-demand drummer, working with the Drifters, Tom Jones, the Platters, and Billy Ocean, among many others. He relocated to the Netherlands in the 1980s, where he met his Estonian-born wife, Maris, while on a cruise. The couple settled in Estonia in 1997.