Austrian drag star Conchita Wurst, made headlines around the world when she was crowned the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Conchita’s beard and long hair was a signature look not seen on the Eurovision stage before—but now she looks like a completely different person.
In the music video for her latest single, “Hit Me,” Conchita has cut off the locks, and is now sporting platinum silver hair and beard. According to Gay Times, Tom Neuwirth, the man behind Conchita, said he was eager to create a new persona, stating that “with the bearded lady, I have achieved everything I wanted since the [Eurovision] victory, I don’t need her anymore, I have to kill her”.
Conchita first debuted the new platinum look at last year’s Life Ball in Vienna, but now she has kept the look for her new single, signaling a new era.
Conchita’s victory at Eurovision five years ago broke down barriers for LGBTQ representation in one of the world’s most viewed live events. (She received the third highest number of votes from Russia, which had criminalized the display of “gay propaganda.”)
Last year Conchita came out as HIV-positive, revealing she had been living with the disease for several years. The performer decided to share her status after being threatened by an ex. “This is actually irrelevant to the public, but an ex-boyfriend threatened to reveal this private information,” she wrote. “I don’t want to give anyone the right to cause me pain and influence my life in that way.”
“I hope to give others courage and to take another step against the stigmatization of people who, through their own behavior or that of others, have become infected with HIV,” Conchita said.