Mans Zelmerlow emerged Saturday as the winner of Eurovision 2015, edging out Russia's Polina Gagarina.

Austria won the right to host this year's singing contest after its representative at last year's competition, Conchita Wurst, claimed the title.

Zelmerlow's persistence paid off. The pop star had been rejected in two previous attempts to represent Sweden at Eurovision. The win, which comes 41 years after Swedish super group ABBA performed Waterloo, marks Sweden's sixth Eurovision victory.

Zelmerlow's Heroes quickly raced to the fourth spot on the UK iTunes chart.

In 2014, Zelmerlow created controversy when he said during a celebrity cooking show “it isn't equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another.”

After being crowned the winner, Zelmerlow made a reference to the comments.

“I just want to say that we are all heroes. No matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in, we are all heroes,” he said.

In comments to UK gay glossy Attitude, Zelmerlow offered an apology and an explanation.

“This entire story makes me really sad,” he said. It's been going on for a year since the show aired. I used words that weren't right… I was trying to say 'not as common' but used a word with a negative ring to it. I think homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality and have always been a LGBT friend and have always supported gay rights. So this whole incident makes me feel really sad because what has been reported is not me. And I have been apologizing ever since and will keep doing so when it goes away.”