Thursday, 31 March 2011

Manuel Carrasco

Manuel Carrasco (born Januari 15 1981 on Isla Christina) is a Spanish pop singer. He rose to fame during his participation in the second edition of Operación Triunfo where he finished 2nd. In the final episode of Operación Triunfo the three most popular artists of the show each sang three songs before an "expert" jury eliminated one song for each singer. The televoting public then eliminated another song for each singer, leaving one song by each of the singers. The public had a week to televote for their favorite. The three songs Manuel sang were Santa Lucía, Sueña Con Ese Momento and Viviré, Moriré which came 3rd in the Spanish pre-selection.

In 2004 Manuel participated in the Latin American song festival II Festival Mundial de Canción in Puerto Rico were he finished 1st with his own song Dibujar Tu Olvido.

He has released four very successful albums.
His first album Quiéreme was released shortly after the shows in 2003 and sold more than 200,000 copies. His latest album was released in 2008.

Manuel is still very popular and successful in Spain and Latin America.

ESC 2011, semi-final 2 - Bulgaria

Poli Genova (born on February 10 1987 in Sofia) is a Bulgarian singer.

As a child Poli was a member o the children group Bon-Bon, founded in 1995. A couple of years later she became the host of the TV show Bon-Bon which became a media phenomenon. Her voice and charming smile are trademarks of Bon-Bon.

Poli graduated from The National Music School focusing on clarinet. Poli is involved in many music and charity projects and is very popular in Bulgaria. In 2005 and in 2006 Poli took part in the Bulgarian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest as a member of the group Melody. In 2005 they came 9th with the song Otkriy Me Sega and in 2006 they came 4th with Love That You Can't See.

In 2011 Poli participated again in the Bulgarian pre-selection, as a solo artist, and won with the song Na Inat.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 2 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Edin Dervišhalidović, born in Sarajevo on September 12 1962, stage name Dino Merlin, is a Bosnian singer-songwriter and musician. He is a popular singer/songwriter in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is also popular in the other countries such as Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, and Slovenia.

Dino founded the band Merlin in 1983 and has been its singer and songwriter since. With the band, he has recorded 5 studio albums.

Dino began his solo career under the name Dino Merlin in 1991 and recorded also five studio albums.

Dino Merlin wrote the first national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina called Jedna si, Jedina. He has also took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Millstreet in 1993,Dino is the author of Sva bol svijeta which was the Bosnian entry that year, and in Jerusalem in 1999,singing Putnici with Béatrice, a French singer. Dino Merlin has also taken part in other big European festivals, such as Copenhagen in 1996 and Turkovision in 1997.

In 2011 Dino was chosen to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina one again in the Eurovision Song Contest. In Düsseldorf he will sing the song Love In Rewind.

ESC 2011, semi-final 2 - Belgium

Witloof Bay is a Belgian Vocal Band.

In 2005 six friends who all shared the love for jazz, pop, a capella and beatbox decided to perform as a group. They took their inspiration from The Real Group, Take 6, The Swingle Singers and The Singers Unlimited. The band sing both in English and French. The band members come from all parts of Belgium: Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels. They won the Belgian national final with the song With Love Baby.

ESC 2011, semi-final 2 - Belarus

Anastasiya Vinnikova was born on April 15 1991 and is a Belarussian singer. Anastasiya was chosen to represent her country in Düsseldorf. The first song she would sing was Born in Bielorussia but the song didn't follow the rules. So the composers had to write a new song and that song is I love Belarus.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 2 - Austria

Nadine Beiler (May 27, 1990) is an Austrian R&B an pop singer. Nadine grew up in Tyrol in Austria and started singing on weddings and parties.Nadine won the 3rd season of the Austrian casting show Starmania in 2007. In 2011 Nadine won the Austrian national final for the Eurovision Song Contestwith the song The Secret Is Love.

Omar Naber

Omar Naber (July 7 1981, Ljubljana, Slovenia), born Omar Kareem Naber, is a Slovenian singer and songwriter.

In 2004 won Omar Naber the talentshow Bitka Talentov. After that he became a famous rock singer in Slovenia and some other Eastern European counties.

He participated three times in EMA, the Slovenian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2005 he sung his self-composed song Stop (1st), in 2009 he paticipated again with I Still Carry On (2nd) and in 2011 he tried to represent Slovenia with the song Bistvo Skrito Je Očem.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Turkey

Yüksek Sadakat is a Turkish rock band and consists of: Kenan Vural - vocal, Serkan Özgen - guitar, Kutlu Özmakinacı - bass, Uğur Onatkut - keyboards and Alpay Şalt - drums. The band was formed in 1997 but became popular in early 2005 with their album Yüksek Sadakat. The bass player used to be the editor of a music magazine called Blue Jean. Their music is a mix of pop rock with powerful beats utilizing Turkish instruments, keyboard and guitar solos. The name of the band is a literal translation of the term High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) into Turkish.

In January 2011 it was announced that the band will represent Turkey in Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song Live It Up.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Switzerland

Anna Rosselini, born on April 20 1987 in Basel, is a Swiss singer. She will represent Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song In Love For A While. Anna studied at the Jazz school in Basel and was ammeter of several bands. Currently she's a member of the pop soul trio Anne Claire. In December 2010 she won the Swiss national final.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Serbia

Danica Radojčić (born May 27 1989 in Serbia) is professionally known by her stage name Nina. Nina is a Serbian singer and will represent Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song Čaroban. In Düsseldorf Nina will sing the English version of the song called Magical.

Nina began playing the piano at age six. Nina finished both elementary and secondary musical school but she entered pharmacy at the University of Belgrade. She has been performed in various clubs with her band Legal Sex Department. Nina cites Duffy, Muse and other pop and alternative artists as her major influences.

In January 2011 the Serbian broadcaster announced that the three members of the Kovač family, Kornelije, Aleksandra and Kristina would compose one song each that would compete to represent Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. It was confirmed that Kristina Kovač had chosen Nina, then an unknown singer, to perform her song Čaroban. Kovač discovered Nina thanks to YouTube.On 26 February Nina was chosen as the Serbian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf with more than 15.000 SMS votes.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hazell Dean

Hazell Dean is a British pop singer who had lots of success in the 1980's. She is best known for the top ten hits Searchin' (I Gotta Find a Man), Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go) and Who's Leaving Who. She has also worked as a songwriter and producer.

In 1976 and 1984 she participated in the UK national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1976 she sung I Couldn't Live Without You For A Day which came 8th and in 1984 she sung Stay In My Life which came 7th.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - San Marino

Senhit Zadik Zadik, known as Senit, was born on October 1 1979 in Bologna and is an Italian singer. She will represent San Marino in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011.

Senit was born and raised in Bologna by her Eritrean parents and started her career in musicals like Fame, The Lion King and Hair in Switzerland and Germany. In 2002 she returned to Italy and claimed to fame in the Italian music business releasing her debut album in 2006 and her second album in 2007 with a couple of hit singles. In 2009 she released her third album.
In 2011 Senit was chosen to represent San Marino in Düsseldorf with the song Stand By.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Russia

Alexey Vladimirovich Vorobyov, better known as Alexey Vorobyov, is a Russian singer and actor who was born on January 19 1988. He sings in English and Russian. He competed in the Russian pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 with the song New Russian Kalinka which came 5th, in 2009 he competed again but he came 4th with the song Angelom Byt. In 2011 he was chosen to represent Russia with the song Get You. He will perform it under the stage name Alex Sparrow, which is the translation of his Russian name to English.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Portugal

Homens da Luta is a Portuguese improvisational comedy and musical street show, composed by brothers Vasco Duarte Nuno Duarte. Their songs are a parody of songs sung at the time of the period after 1974 Carnation Revolution, and the characters played are caricatures of the revolutionary singers at the time.They often use the term "Luta" (struggle) to invoque the slogans that became famous during the revolutionary era.One of their most popular songs is E O Povo, Pá?

In 2010 Homens da Luta wanted participate in the RTP Song Festival 2010, with the song Luta Assim Não Dá but their song was disqualified due to not following the rules of the Festival, nor the international ESC.

In 2011, they ran for the contest again with the song A Luta é Alegria which was written by Vasco Duarte. They were in sixth place after the regional juries gave their votes but after the televoting they ended up in first place, winning a trip to Düsseldorf. They will represent Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. Since the group are comedians and not singers, and because their victory was also based on popular support rather than the selected jury, there were some negative reactions.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Croatia

Dari Kinzer is a Croatian singer who was born in Germany on May 29, 1988. She will represent Croatia at the ESC 2011 in Düsseldorf with the song Celebrate. Originally the song was called Lahor and the first English version called Break A Leg. Daria grew up in Vienna were she studied management and theater. Daria played in musicals like Chicago, Cats, Hair and Beauty and the Beast . She participated in the Croatian national final of 2011 and won with the song Lahor which is translated to Celebrate.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Poland

Magdalena Tul, born on April 29 1980 in Gdańsk, is a Polish pop singer. Magdalena started her career as a twelve year old and had her first part in 2000 as an actress and singer in the Musical Metro and she played in many other musicals like Grease and Cats. Magdalena had a couple of hits in Poland. In 2005 Magdalena tried to represent Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest but her song didn't made it through the internal selection. In 2011 she tried again with the song Jestem and she won so she will represent Poland in Düsseldorf. Magdalena is singing her entry in Polish.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Norway

Stella Nyambura Mwangi, also knowns as STL, was born on September 1 1986 in Nairobi. Stella Mwangi is a Norwegian/Kenyan singer, songwriter, rapper and pianist. She started her career when she was just eight years old. Stella writes a lot of her music about the situation in her home country Kenya and also about discrimination both Stella and her family had to go through after moving to Norway in 1991. Her work has been used in several movies and TV-series. She has won several awards and in 2011 she won the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix with the song Haba Haba, The song is already a big hit in Norway.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Malta

Glen Vella (born May 14 1983) is a Maltese singer.

Glen Vella debuted in the Maltese pre-selections for the ESC 2005 with the song Appreciate which came 6th. In 2008 he tried again but he stranded in the semi-final with the song Loved By you which he sung together with Maltese singer Pamela. In 2009 Glen was a member of the band Q, they failed to get to the Maltese final with the song Live For Today.

In 2010 Glen participated as a solo singer with the song Just A Little More Love which finished 2nd and finally in 2011 Glen won the Maltese national final with the song One Life.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Lithuania

Evelina Sašenko (July 26 1987 in Rūdiškės) is a Lithuanian-Polish singer who studied singing at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Evelina started her music career as a child and won several prizes at children festivals. In 2009 Evelina participated in the Lithuanian opera contest Triumfo Arka gaining fame and recognition.

In the 2010 Lithuanian national final for the ESC Evelina Sašenko reached the 3rd place with the song For this I'll pray. In 2011 she won the Lithuanian national final with the song C'est Ma Vie and she will be the Lithuanian representative in Germany.

Monday, 21 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Iceland

Sigurjón's Friends are an Icelandic band, founded after the sudden death of Sigurjón Brink. Originally Sigurjón was meant to be the singer of the song Aftur Heim. Just before the semi-final of the Icelandic pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest Sigurjón passed away and his family decided, on reflection that they would like for the song to remain in the competition, that it should be performed by Sigurjón's Friends: Gunnar Ólason, Vignir Snær Vigfússon, Pálmi Sigurhjartarson, Matthías Matthíasson, Hreimur Örn Heimisson and Benedikt Brynleifsson. The friends won very unexpectedly.

Sigurjón Brink

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Hungary

Kati Wolf, born as Katalin Wolf on September 24 1974, is an Hungarian singer. Kati studied music and singing and was member of a couple tribute- and jazz bands. In 2010 she participated in the Hungarian X-Factor were she came 6th.

She was chosen to represent Hungary in Düsseldorf with the song What About My Dreams. The song will be sung in English and Hungarian.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Greece

Greece will be represented in Düsseldorf by Loukas Giorkas and Stereo Mike and their song Watch My Dance.

Loukas Giorkas was born in Larnaca, Cyprus on October 18, 1986. Loukas is a Greek-Cypriot singer and the winner of the first season of the Greek version of the X Factor. In 2009 he released his first album which attained gold status. He studies Biology.

Loukas Giorkas

Mihalis Exarhos was born in Piraeus, Greece in 1978 and is better known by his stage name Stereo Mike. Stereo Mike is a Greek hip hop artist and he won the MT EMA Award in the Best Greek Act category.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Georgia

Eldrine is a Georgian rock band which was founded last year and consists of Tako Vadachkoria, Mikheil Chelidze, Irakli Bibilashvili, David Changoshvili, Tamar Shekiladze and Beso Tsikhelashvili. They participated in the Georgian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song One More Day and they won.

Shortly after the national final the singer and founder of the band, Tako, was replaced by Sopho Toroshelidze. This decision was made without explanation and is a bit strange because Tako was the founder of the band and the bands name is her nickname.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Finland

Axel Ehnström, better known as Paradise Oskar, is a Finnish singer-songwriter and was born on October 23, 1990.

He won the Finnish national final for the ESC 2011 with the song Da Da Dam.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Azerbaijan

Nigar Jamal was born on September 1, 1980 and is an Azeri singer who's currently living in London. She studied economics and management and graduated in 2001. Nigar took part in the Azeri national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 were she won the right to represent Azerbaijan in Düsseldorf. She will sing the song Running Scared together with Eldar Qasımov. Eldar was born on June 4, 1989, is an Azeri singer and the great-grandson of a very famous Azeri actor couple. He studied music and piano. In Düsseldorf they will perform as Ell and Nikki.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Armenia

Emmy, born as Emmy Benjanyan on April 12 1984 is an Armenian singer.

Emmy is considered to be one of Armenia's most popular singers, being labelled as pop princess and Armenian pop icon. After her first single in 1993 Emmy became very popular in Armenia and she still is. Emmy also runs Emmy-B Production Center, a music-production company searching for new young talents in Armenia.

In 2010 Emmy participated, together with Mihran, in the Armenian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest with the son Hey Let Me Hear You Say which finished 2nd.

In 2011 Emmy was invited to sing four songs in the Armenian pre-selection. The song Boom Boom won and is the Armenian entry in Düsseldorf.

ESC 2011, semi-final 1 - Albania

Aurela Gaçe (October 16, 1974) is an Albanian singer who lives in New York.

She won the Albanian Song Festival Festivali i Këngës in 1999, 2001 and in 2010.

In 2010 Aurela won Festivali i Këngës with the song Kënga Ime. At the Eurovision Song Contest of 2011 she sings Feel The Passion which is the English version of the song.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Linda Bengtzing

Linda Birgitta Bengtzing, March 13, 1974 Gullspång, Sweden is a Swedish pop singer famous for her participation in the fourth season of the Swedish Fame Factory and for her entries at Melodifetivalen 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Linda grew up in Gullspång, in the west of Sweden. In 1987 and 1989 she released two unsuccessful singles and then disappeared from the music industry for fifteen years.

In 2004 Linda took part in the fourth season of Fame Factory, after that her song Alla Flickor was selected for the Swedish pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. In the final Linda came last, scoring 15 jury points but no points at all from the telemeters. The single reached no. 8 in the Swedish chatters and a few months later she released Diamanter which reached no. 32 in the charts.

In 2005 Linda appeared again in Melodifestivalen. Her song Jag Ljuger Så Bra, originally written for Jessica Andersson, came 7th in the final but reached no. 2 in the Swedish charts. In 2007 Linda released together with singer Markoolio the song Värsta Schlagern, a parody on traditional Melodifestivalen entries. The song is rumored to have been entered into Melodifestivalen 2007.

In 2008 Linda participated again at Melodifestivalen with the song Hur Svårt Kan Det Va which came 5th in the final. The song got ni points at from the telemeters.

In 2011 Linda participated one more time at Melodifestivalen, this time she tried to represent Sweden with the song E De Fel På Mig but unfortunately it came last in the final.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Helena Vondráčková

Helena Vondráčková  is a Czech singer whose career has spanned five decades.

Helena Vondráčková (born June 24 1947, Prague) is a Czech singer, writer and musicalstar whose career has spanned five decades. She's a big star in Japan, Russia, Czech Republik and Slovakia.

In 1970 Helena represented Czechoslovakia at the World Popular Song Festival with the dreamy song Ostrovy Pokladů which finished 16th in the Grand Final. In 1979 Helena represented Czechoslovakia once again at the W.P.S.F but this time she stranded in the semi-final with the song Když Zabloudiš, Tak Zavolej. The song was a huge hit for her in Japan and in Czechoslovakia.

In 1977 Helena won the Intervision Song Contest in Poland with the song Malovaný Džbánku.

In 2007 she wanted to represent the Czech Republik at the Eurovision Song Contest but her song Samba was disqualified before the Czech pre-selection. Then she came with Ha Ha Ha but her manager didn't want her to participate so she didn't.

Py Bäckman

Py Marie Elisabet Ulrika Bäckman Wennborn, better known as Py Bäckman (July 5, 1948 Stockholm), is a Swedish musician. She's a singer and a songwriter of pop and rock for musicals and films. She also plays piano and harmonica. Py made her television debut in 1957 and started performing in public parks after that. In 1973 she began touring across Europe as a leadsinger of Swedens rock group NQB. Py wrote music for films and translated musicals like Evita and Garbo. Py released many singles and albums and is still popular in Sweden.

Py participated three times in Melodifestivalen, which is the Swedish pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1979 she sang Var Det Här Bara Början? which came 7th, in 1992 she sang Långt Härifrån which finished 5h and in 2010 Py came last in the fourth semi-final with the song Magisk Sjärna.

Py also wrote for other artists. For example Stad I Ljus for Tommy Körberg. This song won the Swedish national final for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 and came 12th in Dublin. During the dress rehearsal of the contest in Dublin Py had to sing the song instead of Tommy because he had a throat infection and wasn't able to sing a all. During the live show Tommy fortunately could sing the song himself.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders is a dutch tattoo artist and singer. Ben won the dutch talent show The Voice Of Holland.
Ben Saunders (born July 9 1983 England) is an English singer who won the first-ever title of the Dutch singing competition series The Voice of Holland broadcast on RTL 4. The final of 2010-2011 season was held live on 21 January 2011. Saunders is also a tattoo artist. He is  known as Tattoo Ben.

Saunders is of British origin. He is the younger brother of Dean Saunders who on 22 January 2011, won the title of the third season (2010–2011) of the Dutch music competition Popstars, notably only a day after Ben's victory on The Voice.

Brothers Ben and Dean Saunders both started applying to talent competitions early like for the series Daddy's Wish. They also took part in 1998 in Life is like a box of chocolates program.

In 2000, Dean and Ben Saunders both took part in RTL 4's Alles voor de band: Follow that dream. They were part of the band Follow That Dream (F.T.D.) (that included besides the two brothers Vanessa Eman, Rosa Vuik, Linda van Toornburg and Peter van der Meer. The band was signed to Dino Music record label.

Their debut single the self-titled Follow That Dream was released in November 2000 reaching #25 in the Dutch Top 40. 6 months later, the band split after the great popularity of the rival Starmaker show.

On February 15, 2003 the Saunders brothers took part in the 2003 Dutch national final for the ESC in Riga, Latvia. They performed the song Stand As One in the third heat under the name The Brothers getting just 10 points and finishing with 3% of the popular vote as seventh out of 8 participants.

In 2010, Ben Saunders applied to The Voice of Holland singing competition proving to be very popular with both judges and the voting public, after singing in his audition Use Somebody from Kings of Leon. Ben was coached by Roel van Velzen. In the final, he sang his number one single, his cover version rendition of If You Don't Know Me by No" and duetted with Welsh singer Duffy on her song Warwick Avenue and won by 59% of the votes against runner-up Pearl Jozefzoon.

Saunders has charted with 4 different songs in the top 15 of the Dutch charts, including attaining #1 position with his single Kill For a Broken Heart.