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Get to know Kristian Kostov, Bulgaria's rising star

08 April 2017 at 12:00 CEST
Kristian Kostov, Bulgaria's representative at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Diliana Florentin, Virginia Records
Kristian Kostov will represent Bulgaria in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Beautiful Mess. At 17 years old he is the youngest participant in the competition this year but already has a wealth of experience. The song was written by the same team behind Bulgaria's entry last year, If Love Was A Crime, performed by Poli Genova, which secured the country's best ever placing in the contest.

The selection of Kristian follows the theme of the contest this year, Celebrate Diversity, since his father is Bulgarian and his mother is from Kazakhstan. He started his musical journey at the age of 6. After going solo when he was 11 years old, he took part in many competitions, but the first big boost for Kristian’s career was his 2014 appearance on Russia’s The Voice Kids, where he was mentored by for Eurovision Song Contest winner Dima Bilan. Kristian recalled the experience fondly: "Dima is a great guy and he was the one who inspired me to reach the final and give my best week after week. Without him it would have been impossible for me to do it."

In August 2015, Kristian left Russia to take part in Season Four of the X Factor Bulgaria, where he finished as a runner-up. His Bulgarian debut, Ne si za men, was released by his record label Virginia Records, topping the official national airplay chart for two weeks. It was followed by an English version, You Got Me Girl. Kristian's next single, Vdigam Level, was a number one hit for 14 weeks and has now received almost six million views on YouTube.

For most of April Kristian has been on a promotional tour taking in London, Tel Aviv where he was the first artist on the dance floor at the opening reception of Israel Calling. Yonight he will appear at Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam.