This summer, in 'The Unforgettables', we highlight memorable artists who performed at Eurovision after the turn of the millennium. Today, we turn to Alexander Rybak, who won the contest in 2009 with his song 'Fairytale'.
Alexander is still very young when he enters the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with Fairytale, a song written and composed by himself. With Fairytale, Alexander becomes a household name across Europe after winning the Grand Final. With a total of 387 points, his victory marks the highest recorded score in the history of the contest at that time. The song went on to top the charts in many European countries, and his album Fairytales was released in 25 countries.
Return to Eurovision
Like many other Eurovision stars, Alexander also returns to the contest. He opens the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo and hands over the trophy to the winner of that year: German singer Lena Meyer-Landrut.
And in 2016 he appears at Eurovision again, during the Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest participating as part of the well known interval act Love Love Peace Peace in Stockholm.
How to write a song
Almost ten years after his first participation, Norway's most recent winner returns to the Eurovision Song Contest after winning the national selection, Melodi Grand Prix. He travels to Lisbon with That's How You Write A Song, which happens to be the 1500th Eurovision song.
Other landmark songs in the history of Eurovision include the Swiss entry in 1963, T’en Va Pas by Ester Ofarim, the contest’s 100th entry. L’amour De Ma Vie, Luxembourg’s entry in 1986 by Sherisse Laurence, was the 500th, and Ireland's Brian Kennedy sang Every Song Is A Cry For Love as the 1,000th song.
Alexander's That's How You Write A Song qualifies for the Grand Final in Lisbon, where he ranks 15th, scoring 144 points. Just like Fairtyle he wrote and composed the song himself.
Life after Eurovision
The Norwegian singer is well-known for his violin and his classical music background, which comes to play when Alexander performs at Virtuos, Norway's national selection for Eurovision Young Musicians. His advice for the winner, Birgitta Elisa Oftestad: "Listen to your teacher to gain professional weight, be patient, and do not forget to cultivate your specialties. And of course, always write down your ideas!"
And right now? Alexander is enjoying the lovely Norwegian summer.