The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place on Saturday 13 May. One of the favorites for the win is Loreen representing Sweden.
But who is Loreen ? Let’s give her a spotlight.
Loreen (Lorine Zineb Noka Talhaoui), is a Swedish singer of Moroccan descent. She was born on October 16, 1983 in Åkersbergabeter, Sweden, as the eldest of six children in a liberal Muslim family. When Loreen was six years old, her parents divorced and the children moved to Västerås with their mother.
Pop Idol, Melodifestivalen and Eurovision Song Contest
In 2004, Loreen took part in the Swedish version of Pop Idol where she placed fourth.
Loreen in 2004
Seven years later, in 2011, Loreen took part in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest. She did this with the song “My Heart is Refusing Me”. She placed fourth in the semi-finals, so she did not advance directly to the final, but was allowed to participate in the second chance round. However, she still failed to do so.
A year later, Loreen took another chance. With the song “Euphoria” she made it easily to the final, which she convincingly won.
At the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, which was held in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, Loreen was then allowed to represent her home country Sweden. During the second semi-final on May 24, 2012, she managed to qualify for the grand final which she won two days later, on May 26, 2012, with 372 points. It marked the fifth Swedish victory in the history of the Eurovision song contest.
In the weeks after her win, “Euphoria” became a big hit in many European countries. Loreen was number 1 in eleven countries. “Euphoria” eventually even became the most successful and longest recorded Eurovision hit in history in the Netherlands. Loreen’s debut album “Heal” was released on October 22, 2012. It contained eight new songs and three already released songs. The single “My Heart is Refusing Me” was also included, in a new international version.
Ride, Melodifestivalen and Så mycket bättre
In April 2014, Loreen went on a tour called XIV. On this tour she performed some of her new songs, including “Jupiter Drive” and “Dumpster”.
The long-awaited second album “Ride” was released in 2017 but it was not very successful. That year Loreen participated again in Melodifestivalen with the song “Statements”. However, she failed to qualify for the final.
In 2020, Loreen participated in the Swedish TV show “Så mycket bättre” (Swedish for ‘So much better’). This program is based on the Dutch show “Beste Zangers” (‘Best Singers’).
Loreen then sang in Swedish for the first time. The success of her performances led to the announcement of a Swedish-language album that Loreen would be working on. The first single, Sötvattentårar (Swedish for ‘Freshwater Tears’), was released in March 2021.
In 2021, Loreen made her acting debut in the movie “Vinterviken”. In this she plays a Moroccan mother with a teenage son. She was inspired by her own mother for this role.
Return to Melodifestivalen and the Eurovision Song Contest
At the beginning of 2023, Loreen took part in Melodifestivalen for the fourth time. She did this with the song “Tattoo”. Her performance in the preliminary round was disrupted by climate activists, forcing it to be shut down. Immediately afterwards she was allowed to perform her entry again and she managed to qualify for the final. On March 11th, she won the final, making her the Swedish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
Will she manage to win the Eurovision Song Contest, just like in 2012? We’ll know on Saturday.