Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Thomas G:son

Thomas Gustafsson (born February 25 1968) is a Swedish composer and musician from Skövde, Västergötland, Sweden. He is much more known nationally and internationally as Thomas G:son, his artistic name. Since 1998, Thomas has worked full time as a songwriter for the company G:songs. In addition to writing and composing songs for a living, he plays the guitar in a hard rock band. Thomas G:son is mostly known for the more than 60 songs he has written for national finals of eight different countries for the Eurovision Song Contest. He wrote song for the ESC pre-selections of Sweden, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Romania and Belgium. He has also reached the Eurovision Song Contest five times, twice for Sweden (2001 and 2005), once for Norway (2007), once for Spain (2007), and once for Denmark (2010).

Melodifestivalen entries (Sweden)
  • Natten är Min Vän - Cleo Nilsson (1999), 8th place
  • Lyssna Till Ditt Hjärta (Listen To Your Heartbeat) - Friends (2001), 1st place (5th at ESC 2001)
  • Vem é Dé Du Vill Ha? - Kikki, Lotta & Bettan (2002), 3rd place
  • Ingenting är Större än Vi - Arvingarna (2002), 6th place (semi-final)
  • Världen Utanför - Barbados (2002), 4th place
  • What Difference Does It Make? - Poets (2002), 3rd place (semi-final)
  • Hela Världen För Mig - Sanna Nielsen (2003), 5th place
  • C'est La Vie - Hanson, Carson & Malmkvist (2004), 10th place
  • Tango Tango - Petra Nielsen (2004), 4th place
  • Säg Att Du Har ångrat Dig - Anne-Lie Rydé (2004), 4th place (semi-final)
  • Långt Bortom Tid Och Rum - Mathias Holmgren (2005), 4th place (semi-final)
  • As If Tomorrow Will Never Come - Katrina & The Nameless (2005), 3rd place (semi-final)
  • Så Nära - Anne-Lie Rydé (2005), 5th place (semi-final)
  • Evighet (Invincible) - Carola (2006), 1st place (5th at ESC 2006)
  • Ge Mig En Kaka Till Kaffet - Östen med Resten (2006), 6th place (semi-final)
  • Idag & Imorgon - Kikki Danielsson (2006), 10th place
  • Innan Natten är över - Kayo (2006), 6th place (semi-final)
  • When Loves Coming Back Again - Jessica Folcker (2006), 7th place (semi-final)
  • Silverland - Roger Pontare (2006), 4th place (semi-final)
  • Amanda - Jimmy Jansson (2007), eliminated in Second-Chance Round
  • Samba Sambero - Anna Book (2007), 9th place
  • Här För Mig Själv - Maja Gullstrand (2009), 8th place (semi-final)
  • Du Vinner över Mig - Mikael Rickfors (2009), 5th place (semi-final)
  • Show Me Heaven - Lili & Susie (2009), eliminated in Second-Chance Round
  • Thursdays - Lovestoned (2010), 6th place (semi-final)
  • I'm In Love - Sanna Nielsen (2011), 4th place
  • E De Fel På Mig - Linda Bengtzing (2011), 7th place
  • Something In Your Eyes - Jenny Silver (2011), eliminated in Second-Chance Round
  • Run - Anders Fernette (2011), 8th place (semi-final)
Melodi Grand Prix entries (Norway)
  • Din Hånd I Min Hånd - Kikki, Lotta & Bettan (2003), 4th place
  • Anyway You Want It - Ingvild Pedersen (2003), eliminated in semi-final
  • Absolutely Fabulous - Queentastic (2006), 3rd place
  • Ven A Bailar Conmigo - Guri Schanke (2007), 1st place (18th in ESC 2007 semi-final)
  • Rocket Ride - Jannicke Abrahamsen (2007), 2nd place
Euroviisut entries (Finland)
  • Who Cares About A Broken Heart? - Johanna (2002), 5th place
  • Say You Will, Say You Won't - Ressu (2002), 4th place
  • I Can't Stop Loving You - Kirsi Ranto (2004), 10th place (semi-final)
  • Till The End Of Time - Arja Koriseva (2004), 10th place
Misión Eurovisión entries (Spain)
  • I Love You Mi Vida - D'NASH (2007), 1st place (20th in ESC 2007)
  • Piénsame - Anael (2008), eliminated in online-voting
  • Te Prefiero - Baltanás (2008), eliminated in online-voting
  • Nada Es Comparable A Ti - Mirela (2009), 4th place
  • Amor Radical - Rebeca (2009), eliminated in online-voting
  • Perfecta - Venus (2010), 4th place
  • Recuérdame - Samuel & Patricia (2010), 5th place
  • En Una Vida - Coral Segovia (2010), 2nd place
  • Beautiful Life - Jose Galisteo (2010), 7th place
  • Abrázame - Lucía Pérez (2011), 2nd place
Eirodziesma entry (Latvia)
  • Heaven In Your Eyes - Elina Furmane (2006), 8th place
Selecţia Naţională entry (Romania)
  • Lovestruck - Indiggo (2007) (disqualified)
The girl duo Indiggo ,which was going to perform the song Lovestruck, was disqualified because they didn't turn up in time for a rehearsal. Additionally, an instrumental version of the song was not sent in time to the TV company.

Piosenka dla Europy entries (Poland)
  • Viva La Musica - Man Meadow (2008), 3rd place
  • Love Is Gonna Get You - Man Meadow (2009), 6th place
Eurosong entry (Belgium)
  • Addicted To You - Tanja Dexters (2008), 5th place (semi-final)
Dansk Melodi Grand Prix entry (Denmark)
  • In a Moment Like This - Chanée & Tomas N'evergreen (2010), 1st place (4th in ESC 2010)
  • Let Your Heart Be Mine - Jenny Berggren (2011), 8th place
  • 25 Hours A Day - Le Freak (2011), 4th place
Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2010
  • Allt Jag Vill Ha - Josefine Ridell (2010), 11th place

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Patrick Fiori

Patrick Fiori (born as Patrick Jean-François Chouchayan on September 23 1969 in Marseille, France) is a French singer.

Patrick was born to an Armenian father (Jacques Chouchayan) and a Corsican mother (Marie Antoinette Fiori) in Marseille, France. When he was only 12 years old, he was offered his first role in the musical La Légende Des Santonniers. At the age of 17, he recorded his first single, entitled Stéphanie.

In 1993 Patrick was chosen to represent France at the ESC with the song Mama Corsica which was written by François Valéry. The song was performed in French and Corsican and came 4th in Millstreet.

The following year, his first album was released, entitled Puisque C'est L'heure. His successful audition for the musical Notre Dame de Paris enabled him to originate the role of Phoebus both onstage and in the recording studio. With Daniel Lavoie and Garou, he recorded the successful song Belle. The following year, Patrick signed a contract with Sony and recorded his 3rd album Prends Moi. Patrick finally decided to end his role in Notre Dame de Paris in the year 2000 in order to dedicate more time to his fourth album, Chrysalide. Two years after, his fifth album was released and most recently, the album Les Choses De La Vie in 2008. His 2007 single 4 Mots Sur Un Piano was number one in the French charts for 2 weeks.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Elpida Karayiannopoulou, born October 1, 1950 in Spercheiada is a Greek singer who was one of the most successful singers in Greece in the 1970s and 1980s.

Elpida began her singing career in 1970 when she became the singer of an orchestra and recorded an album with them.

In 1972 Elpida participated in the Thessaloniki Music Festival with the song Den Ton Eida and was introduced to the public. In that same year she represented Greece at the World Popular Song Festival in Japan with the song Mh Teaae which made it into the Grand Final.

In 1973 Elpida recorded her first solo album and was chosen as the most popular singer in Greece.

In 1974 elpida represented Greece once again at the W.P.S.F with the song Min Ipohoris which came 4th and won a Special Award and an Outstanding Song Award.

In 1975 Elpida won the Viña del Mar Festival in Chile Pos Pes Mou Pos. She received various awards such as the Reward of Interpretation"in Poland, and a reward for television in Bulgaria. She also made a lot of television appearances in Latin America, Spain, Germany, UK, Holland, the Scandinavian Countries and made several television appearances in Israel.

In 1979 elpida won the Greek national final for the ESC with the song Socrates. At the ESC in Jerusalem she came 8th.

In 1986 Elpida represented Cyprus at the ESC in Bergen with the song Tora Zo which came last. It is rumoured that Elpida hated the song and she refused to sing it in Bergen. Just before the show she dicided to sing the song herself. It is said that one of the backing vocals was appointed to replace Elpida.

After the ESC Elpida released several successful albums. In 1997 she released her last album which was a compilation. Elpida released 17 albums in her 25-year recording history.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Dima Bilan

Dima Bilan, born as Víktor Nikoláevich Belán, December 24 1981, is a Russian actor and singer who is very popular in Russia.

At school Dima took part in performances, recited poems and sang songs. He graduated from Gnesins Musical College as a classical vocal performer. Dima made his debut at the Russian/Latvian festival New Wave in 2002. In 2003 dima released his debut album Nochnoy Huligan which was a success. In 2004 and 2005 he also released albums.

In 2005 Dima participated at the Rusian pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Not That Simple, which came 2nd.

In 2006 Dima was chosen internally to represent Russia with the song Never Let You Go which came 2nd at the ESC in Athens. Also in 2006 Dima received two Awards at the World Music Awards in London and he won awards for Best Artist and Best Song of the year at MTV Russian Music Awards.

In 2008 Dima participated again at the Russian pre-selection for the ESC with the song Believe. Dima won and represented his country in Serbia. During his performance Dima was accompanied by Hungarian violinist Edvin Marton and olympic and world champion figure skater Evgeni Plushenko. Dima won the contest receiving 272 points.

In 2012 Diam participated again at the Russian national final. This time he sang the song Back to the Future, together with Yuliya Volkova, which came 2nd.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

And the conductor is......

ABBA & Sven-Olof Walldoff

The website www.andtheconductoris.eu provides it's visitors with full-scale biographies of all conductors who were involved in the ESC between 1956 and 1998.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Stefan Ludik

Stefan Ludik (born April 5, 1981) is a Namibian misician, actor and former cricketer from Windhoek City. He was the first contestant to represent Namibia in the reality television program Big Brother Africa. He was a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler who played for the Namibia Under-19s in 2000.

He competed in the first series of Big Brother Africa, where he first became famous. He is now a popular Afrikaans singer. Stefan covered the Finnish entry of 2009, Lose Control.

Interval acts - 1965: Mario del Monaco

Mario del Monaco (July 27, 1915 - October 16, 1982) was an Italian tenor and is regarded by his admirers as being one of the greatest dramatic tenors of the 20th century.

Mario was born in Florence to a musical upper-class family. As a young boy he studied the violin but had a passion for singing. He graduated from the Rossini Conservatory at Pesaro.

Mario's career began in earnest with his debut in 1940 in Milan. He sang in Italy during the Second World War and married, in 1941, Rina Filipini. In 1946, he appeared at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for the first time. During the ensuing years he became famous not only in London but also across the operatic world for his powerful, metallic voice.

Mario sang at the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1951 to 1959, enjoying particular success in dramatic parts. He soon established himself as one of a quartet of Italian tenor "superstars" who reached the peak of their fame in the 1950s and '60s.

Del Monaco made his first recordings in Milan in 1948. Later, he released several albums and appeared in many operas and concerts.

In 1965 Mario sang during the Interval act of the ESC in Naples. Mario del Monaco sang two Italian songs in old Neapolitan style. The orchestra was conducted by Maestro Gianni Ferrio.

In 1975 he retired from stage. He died in 1982 in Mestre as a result of nephritis.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Junior Eurovision - Andranik Aleksanyan

Andranik Aleksanyan (born May 6 1998 in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine) is a Ukrainian singer and songwriter of Armenian descent.

He attends a studio at Zaremba College of Music and studies under N.N. Reshovskaya. Since 2006, he has taken an active part in concert programs and contests and has been awarded many certificates of appreciation for his contributions to the development of the Armenian and Ukrainian cultures, as well as for the high artistic level of his performances. Andranik represented Ukraine in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Kiev, finishing in fifth place with the song Try Topoli, Try Surmy.

Andranik Aleksanyan suffers from a rare disease, achondrodysplasia, which is a congenital defect in the growth of bones.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Mariza Koch

Mariza Koch is a Greek folk music singer who has recorded 18 albums since starting her career in 1971. Mariza Koch was born in Athens in 1944 but lived in her mother's hometown in Santorini from a young age.

In an off-beat but original way Mariza Koch began her musical career in 1971 with an album titled Arabas. It consisted of a collection of traditional Greek folk songs blended with unusual beats from traditional and modern electronic instrumental sounds. On the other hand Mariza's unique vocals became the center piece of the music which on more than one occasion needed no accompaniment. No matter what one called it, the album was a resounding success. More albums followed with the sound eventually mellowing back into the original folk sounds of the past, where traditional instruments are used in there entirety. Mariza's most recent album included elements of traditional Greek music and Jazz Fusion. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Mariza the 29th top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era since 1960.

In 1976 Mariza was chosen to represent Greece at the ESC with the song Panaghia Mou, Panaghia Mou (My Lady, My Lady) which came 13th.

The song was composed by Mariza herself with lyrics by Michael Fotiades. Panaghia Mou, Panaghia Mou was the second entry to represent Greece in the ESC after its debut in 1974. Greece had not taken part in the preceding Contest in 1975 in protest of Turkey's debut and its invasion of Cyprus in July 1974. The song was an outcry against the Turkish foreign policy.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Nicke Borg

Niklas Roger "Nicke" Borg, born on April 3 in Nässjö is a Swedish singer, guitarist and since 1989 a member of the sleaze rock band The Backyard Babies. Over the years they have released five albums and won a Swedish Grammy. They are popular in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

Nicke released several solo albums and got his own radio show on radio station Bandit Rock Stockholm.

In 2011 Nicke participated in the Swedish pre-selection for the ESC, Melodifestivalen, where he came 8th with the song Leaving Home.

Cathal Dunne

Cathal Dunne, born in 1953 in Cork, is an Irish singer. He is most famous for representing Ireland in the 1979 ESC with the song Happy Man. He has since gained a following as Cahal Dunne, performing traditional Irish songs in the United States, where he now lives.

In 1974 Cathal graduated from University College Cork and Montfort College of Performing Arts after studying music. That same year he won the Castlebar Song Contest with the song Shalom. In 1975 he represented Ireland at the World Popular Song Festival with his own composition Lover, Not a Wife which didn't reach the Grand Final. In 1976 he participated in the Irish national final for the ESC with the song Danny which came 4th. During these years he played with his backing band, Stateside (and later, The Formula), on the Irish club circuit.

In 1979 Cathal entered his own composition Happy Man into the Irish pre-selection for the ESC. Competing against former Irish ESC entrants Tina Reynolds and Red Hurley and future winner Johnny Logan, he won the contest easily. Performing in Jerusalem at the final in March, he achieved a respectable fifth place with 80 points. The single went on to sell well in Europe and reached No.3 in the Irish charts. The song was produced by Nicky Graham.

In February 1982 he played some concerts in Michigan in the United States. These tempted him to move there permanently and the following year, Cathal emigrated from Ireland. Since then, he has made a name for himself as a singer of traditional Irish ballads and has released a number of albums.

Cathal now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Kathleen and son, Ryan

Al Bano & Romina Power

Al Bano and Romina Power were an Italian pop music which was formed by Al Bano Carissi (May 20, 1943), an Italian singer, actor and winemaker and Romina Francesca Power (October 2, 1951), an American-born singer and actress. Al Bano met Romina during the filming of the movie Nel Sole in 1967 and they Married on July 26, 1970 in Cellino San Marco.

Al Bano made his debut in 1966 and became very popular. Romina played in several musicals during her childhood and sang in Mexiacan Mariachi bands. As a couple they made seven films, based on their songs, between 1967 and 1983. Romina released three solo albums between 1969 and 1974 while Al Bano recored many successful singles and albums.

In 1975 Al Bano and Romina released their first album as a duo which was followed by numerous others. In 1976 the duo represented Italy at the ESC with the Italian/English song We'll Live It All Again which came 7th.

In 1982 the duo had their biggest hit with Felicita which came 2nd at the Festival di Sanremo. The song broke Italian records and became a hit all over the world.

In 1984 they won the Festival di Sanremo with the song Ci Sarà And in 1985 they represented Italy once again at the ESC where they came 7th with the song Magic Oh Magic.

In 1986, Al Bano and Romina Power signed a contract with WEA and published the album Sempre Sempre, which confirmed their international success.

In 1987, the album Libertà! was published. The couple's daughter Ylenia sang a duet with her mother Romina in "Abbi fede". The album sold well in Italy and across Europe. The same year they participated at the Festival di Sanremo 1987 with the song Nostalgia Canaglia. In 1989 they participated once again at the Festival di Sanremo with the song Cara terra mia.

In 1991, Al Bano and Romina Power again participated in the Festival di Sanremo, this time with the song Oggi Sposi. In the same year, they celebrated 25 years of their joint artistic careers with an anthology which included their most popular songs. They also wrote their autobiography, entitled Autoritratto dalla A alla R and released a video entitled the same.

In 1993, their album Notte e giorno was published.

After their daughter Ylenia Carrisi disappeared in January 1994 in New Orleans, Al Bano and Romina cancelled all of their concerts and dedicated all their time to the search of their daughter. Police efforts yielded no results.

In 1995, the couple released their last album Emozionale, followed by a video version, Una Vita Emozionale.

In 1996, Al Bano participated in the Sanremo Music Festival, singing È La Mia Vita. In 1997 he released a solo album Concerto Classico, while his wife recorded a CD with her son Yari and composer Maurizio Fabrizio, though this CD has never been released. She also had a part in the television mini-series The Return of Sandokan and in 1998, she published a book about her father, entitled Cercando mio padre.

In 1999, Al Bano announced their separation in an open letter to the weekly magazine Oggi, in which he explained reasons for their break-up. In 2008, Romina moved to USA (Arizona) while Al Bano was living in Cellino San Marco.

Al Bano still tours all over the world. He is a constant on Italian television and has a large number of fans who follow his career very closely. To date Al Bano has sold 165 million albums around the world.

In 2005 Romina was a judge in the Italian TV show Ballando con le stelle (dancing with the stars). She also organizes art exhibitions.

Paricipations of Albano and Romina at the Festival di Sanremo:

1982: Felicita, 2nd
1984: Ci Sarà. 1st
1987: Nostalgia Canaglia, 3rd
1989: Cara Terra Mia, 3rd
1991: Oggi Sposi, 8th

Participations of Al Bano at the Festival di Sanremo:

1996: È La Mia Vita, 7th
1997: Verso Il Sole, equal 4th
1999: Ancora In Volo, 6th
2007: Nel Perdono, 2nd
2011: Amanda È Libera, 3rd

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Azerbaijan 2011

The Azerbaijani national final for the ESC 2011 was held at the Akhundov Azerbaijan State Acedemic Opera & Ballet Theatre in Baku. Before the final there was a semi-final and 7 quarter-finals. The final was solely to select the singer to represent Azerbaijan at the ESC. The winners, Nigar Camal and Eldar Qasimov were chosen by an "expert" jury who decided to send a duet to the ESC. After the singers were known the song was chosen by an internal committee. They chose for Running Scared which won the ESC 2011.

Nigar Jamal was born on September 1, 1980 and is an Azerbaijani singer who's currently living in London. She studied economics and management and graduated in 2001. Eldar was born on June 4, 1989, is anAzerbaijani singer and the great-grandson of a very famous actor couple. He studied music and piano.