With her song, 'Chains On You', Athena Manoukian was chosen to represent Armenia in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.
An international jury, AMPTV jury and public televote awarded a combined total of 168 points to Athena Manoukian who went on to win the Armenian national selection Depi Evratesil 2020. In the competition, she was followed by ERNA who came in 2nd with 120 points and Vladimir Arzumanyan in 3rd with 118 points.
Athena's selection comes after she participated in the Greek national selection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest back in 2008. Armenia's Eurovision 2020 song, Chains On You, was revamped after the national selection to launch the official music video of her entry. "We had only 2 weeks after Depi Evratesil to revamp the song and shoot the music video, and after days and nights of rehearsals and preparations, I’m very excited to share the result of our work. It is truly a joy working alongside such a professional team and believe me, we have a lot more surprises coming up!" she said. The music video proved to be extremely popular and has gathered over 3 and a half million views.
Athena wrote Chains On You which she also composed alongside DJ Paco, with the later reconstructed version made by Armenian singer-songwriter, Artem Valter.
Who is Athena?
The Armenian-Greek singer won first prize at an international talent contest which marked her earliest experience in the music industry. The now 25-year-old released her first single, Party Like A Freak, with DJ Kas in 2011. The music video was a hit, collecting over 1 million views on YouTube.
This paved the way to her being nominated twice at the Greek Video Music Awards. Her success-streak continues with other hits including I Surrender, Na Les Pos M'agapas, and especially XO, which was a hit in both Greece and Armenia.
Athena also collaborated on the song Palia Mou Agapi as a songwriter, which was performed by Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou for The X Factor UK.
READ MORE: Athena's participant profile
With a quote from her Eurovision 2020 song, Athena expressed her joy on her Instagram page after revealing that the official music video for Chains On You garnered millions of views on YouTube: "I was staring at you while sitting next to you, I think I got a juice, I started thinking how my name would sound to you. So you were walking towards me and I knew I should believe, I would be the one that’ll really make you feel like a boss."
You can follow Athena on the following social media platforms:
Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Armenia's first Eurovision entry Without Your Love performed by Andre was back in 2006 and reached 8th in the Grand Final. Although the country has not won the Contest yet, it has reached the Grand Final on 10 occasions, most recently in 2017 when Artsvik competed with Fly With Me which finished in 18th place.
In 2008, Armenia's Sirusho won the Marcel Bezençon Fan Award for her song Qélé, Qélé and the country won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 when Vladimir Arzumanyan performed Mama. Armenia then went on to host it in Yerevan the following year.
The national selection show Depi Evratesil (Armenian: Դեպի Եվրատեսիլ; "Towards Eurovision") was launched by the Armenian broadcaster AMPTV for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, and the same format was used again in 2018 and 2020.
READ MORE: Armenia's country page
In 2019, Armenia was represented by one of the country's biggest stars, pop-soul singer, record artist and songwriter Srbuk with the song Walking Out. The country performed in the second Semi-Final where it finished in 16th place.