EU 'essential to our future,' says Sandie Shaw as she reveals her Eurovision
Sandie Shaw, the "barefoot pop princess" who became Britain's first winner of the European Song Contest, has issued an impassioned plea for the UK to stay in the EU.
The singer, who was one of the most successful British singers of the 1960s, said the European project helped unite a continent scarred from the Second World War.
And she said that staying in the EU is crucial if Britain's music industry is to continue to thrive.
Her comments come as the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), which she is co-chair of, came out officially in support of the Remain campaign.
The singer, 69, said: "The common market was also born from this desire to make peace instead of war. It was Churchill's great vision after the war to unite Europe along with other enlightened European leaders."
She revealed that when she was first asked to represent Britain in Eurovision she initially turned down the offer because she thought it was "a really uncool thing to".
But she changed her mind after finding out what it stood for.
She said: "I discovered that the event was born after the Second World War from that intense desire shared by all Europeans to use culture and communication to bring the nations together in a creative rather than destructive way. I thought that was cool.
"The 60s consciousness was very much underpinned by this ideal. I believe that is why our generation in Britain had such a huge creative surge and worldwide young people were so enthralled by the peace movement."
Miss Shaw won the 1967 contest with her song Puppet On A String, which remains one of the best known songs to claim the title.
And she said that nearly 50 years later Europe remains crucial is Britain's music industry is going to thrive in the digital age.
She said: "The EU is currently working on the digital single market. This is essential to our future. It is the future. An artist's job is to break down barriers, tear down the walls that separate our shared humanity.
"We are intrinsically international. In order for our music industry to survive we recognise the necessity of European and global markets."
Fac said it polled its 5,000 members on the issue, and that 85% are in favour of staying in the EU.
It also said the EU is in the midst of working on copyright reform for streamed music and is unveiling its 'European digital single market' which will create the biggest single market for music anywhere in the world.
Brexit could leave British musicians out in the cold of this large and highly lucrative market, the organisation warned.
It said: "Historically, Britain has always punched above its weight in terms of exporting our music abroad. We believe the best platform to continue this success is as part of the European digital single market."