On March 29 1968, Massiel was asked to replace singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat as Spain's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. The original representative refused to perform unless he could sing in Catalan instead of Spanish. Nine days before the contest Massiel was on tour in Mexico. She returned to Spain, learned the song and recorded it in five languages for the jury. On April 6 in London she beat the favorite, Cliff Richard with Congratulations, by a point and won the contest. A recent documentary has accused Spain's television company TVE of bribing judges on the orders of General Franco. Her song, entitled La, la, la, was written by Ramón Arcusa and Manuel de la Calva. Some years later she performed dramatic roles in theatrical productions like A los hombres futuros, yo Bertolt Brecht (1972), Corridos de la revolución: Mexico 1910 (1976) and Antonio and Cleopatra in the early '80s. From 1966 to 1998, Massiel recorded songs of different genres for five record companies: Zafiro, Polygram, Hispavox, Bat Discos and Emasstor. Her discography includes around 50 records released as EPs, singles, LPs, CDs and compilations. In 1997 she released an album covering the music of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, in Spanish, called Baladas Y Canciones De Bertolt Brecht. Massiel married her long-time boyfriend Vinny Cremonty, an Italian movie star. They lived in Italy for four years before moving to Spain. After retiring to raise her first son, Aitor Carlos Sayas, Massiel returned in 1981 with a brand new sound and a new record label, Hispavox. Her label début, Tiempos Dificiles, was a major comeback in Spain where songs like El Amor, Hello America and covers of Mexican songs Eres (written by Jose Maria Napoleon) and El Noa Noa (written by Juan Gabriel) not only exposed Mexican talent in Spain but were very popular for the singer. Massiel would finish her pop comeback in 1983 with her career-defining record, Corazon De Hierro. Not only was this album successful in her native country, but it was also her reconciliation with Latin America. The song Brindaremos Por El was a massive hit worldwide and topped the charts in many countries. In many ways, Massiel came back to the continent that loved her so throughout the '60s.
During the '80s Massiel, due to her popularity in the local market, was an invited artist at the Festival de Viña del Mar in Chile. At the time Chile was under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Massiel after singing for an hour, received the most important prize of the festival: La Gaviota de Plata (The Silver Seagull). In her speech thanking the public for her Gaviota she said, "Thank you Chile, I would like to let you know that Patricio Manns says hello from the Andes Mountains." The public cheered and celebrated her announcement as Patricio Manns is a well know composer, poet and member of the Communist Party of Chile who was in exile in Sweden following the September 11 1973 coup d'état against Salvador Allende.
She re-recorded her Eurovision winner La, la, la in 1997, with a 'hip-hop' beat, background singers, whistling and Spanish percussion. In 1998, Massiel appeared in the film Cantando a la Vida, which profiled a winner of a European Song festival suddenly disappearing. Massiel had the lead role as Maria. Massiel sang the entire soundtrack to the film, which raked in 9,020,397 pesetas at the box office.
In 2001 Massiel fell out of the window of her second-floor flat while "trying to close the shutters"(although many speculate she fell while drunk) and was hospitalized for a short period afterwards. In 2005 she appeared on the 50th Anniversary special of the Eurovision Song Contest and sang the song that made her internationally famous. In 2007 she became a member of the Mission Eurovision jury, a show to select the Spanish song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007. She made a short comeback to music on this show, singing Busco un hombre, a song competing to be Spain's entry but to be sung by another singer. It had been 11 years since Massiel had been on stage.
Some albums and LPs: