Loreen at Sommarkrysset in 2013
|Birth name||Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui|
|Also known as||Loreen|
16 October 1983|
|Labels||Warner Music Sweden|
Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui (Swedish pronunciation: [lɔˈreːn ˈsiːnɛb noːˈra talˈhavi]; born 16 October 1983), known professionally Loreen ([lɔˈreːn]), is a Swedish pop singer and music producer. Loreen represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, with her entry "Euphoria" and won the contest with 372 points. In Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in the Swedish city Malmö, Loreen sang both in the semi final and the grand final. Interested in becoming a musician, she took part in the Idol 2004 television competition, coming fourth overall. The following year she released her first single, "The Snake", with the band Rob'n'Raz and became a television presenter on TV400. While working as a segment producer and director for several Swedish reality TV shows in 2011, she released the single "My Heart Is Refusing Me" to commercial success in Sweden.
Loreen was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1983 to Moroccan Berber immigrant parents. She was raised in a liberal Muslim household, but is non-practising as an adult. Early in her life, Loreen moved to Västerås. She grew up there, and calls Västerås her hometown. She spent most of her teenage years in Gryta, a residential area in Västerås.
2004–10: Idol and hiatus
Loreen became known to Swedish audiences after taking part in the Swedish Idol 2004 competing as Lorén Talhaoui. During the qualification round, she placed third by the public vote. She would have been eliminated, but received a wildcard from the judges, allowing her to compete in the program. She finished fourth overall, and was eliminated during the eighth week. After Idol, in 2005, she released a promotional single, "The Snake", with the group Rob'n'Raz. That same year, she also presented the TV show Lyssna, broadcast by the Swedish station TV400. After a year, she took a hiatus from more visible roles, and worked as a segment producer and director for reality TV shows such as TV3's Värsta pojkvänsakademin, TV4's Matakuten and SVT's Frufritt.
|Episode||Theme||Song||Original artist||Performance order||Result|
|Audition||Free choice||"Love Is On the Way"||Billy Porter||N/A||Judges' Wildcard|
|Week 1||My idol||"If I Ain't Got You"||Alicia Keys||7||Safe|
|Week 2||Chart toppers||"Just Like a Pill"||Pink||10||Bottom three|
|Week 3||Soul||"I Wish"||Stevie Wonder||3||Safe|
|Week 4||Swedish hits||"Vill ha dig"||Freestyle||4||Safe|
|Week 5||Max Martin||"Stronger"||Britney Spears||5||Safe|
|Week 6||Cocktail||"Where Do I Begin?"||Andy Williams / Shirley Bassey||6||Safe|
|Week 7||Soundtracks||"(I've Had) The Time of My Life"||Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes||2||Bottom two|
|Week 8||Song from year born – 1983||"Thriller"||Michael Jackson||2||Eliminated|
|"Every Breath You Take"||The Police||2|
2011–13: Melodifestivalen, Eurovision Song Contest and Heal
Loreen returned to the public eye when she took part in Melodifestivalen 2011 with the song "My Heart Is Refusing Me", which she co-wrote with Moh Denebi and Björn Djupström. After placing fourth in the second semifinal in Gothenburg on 12 February 2011, she competed in the Second Chance round, but failed to qualify for the final after a sing-off with Sara Varga. The song was released on 11 March 2011 and became a hit on the Swedish Singles Chart, debuting and peaking at number 9. Following Loreen's success a year later, the song re-entered the chart, peaking at number 22 in May 2012.
In the first semifinal of Melodifestivalen 2012 on 4 February, Loreen advanced directly to the final round with her entry "Euphoria", written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström. She won the national final on 10 March with a combined total of 268 points and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The song won the competition with a total of 372 points from 40 voting countries out of 42 (Italy was the exception, and Sweden could not vote for itself). According to online betting companies, she was the favourite to win the contest. On 3 June 2012, Loreen's Eurovision-winning entry "Euphoria" charted at No. 3 on the UK Official Singles Chart, the highest chart position for a non-UK Eurovision entry since Johnny Logan's "Hold Me Now" in 1987. The single sold 62,148 copies in its first week in the United Kingdom. She is also noted for having an ongoing chart presence in the United Kingdom, remaining in the top twenty for weeks after the competition, rare for a Eurovision song. On 21 June 2012, Loreen made an appearance at the MTV World Stage in Gothenburg, Sweden. The title of her debut album, Heal, was confirmed in late August 2012. Released on 24 October 2012, Heal debuted atop the Sverigetopplistan Albums Top 60,. IT was certified platinum in Sweden during its second week, denoting domestic shipments exceeding 40,000 units. A remix version of "My Heart Is Refusing Me" was released on 8 October 2012 as the second European single from the album. On the same day, "Crying Out Your Name" was released as the fourth single in her native Sweden.
To promote the album, Loreen appeared as a musical guest on several European TV shows, including Polish talent show Must Be the Music on 21 October 2012, the second season of the Romanian version of X Factor on 18 November 2012 and the final of the third series of Dutch talent show The Voice of Holland. Loreen premiered a new single included in the reissue of her debut album in the opening of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. The song is called "We Got the Power", and was produced by Patrik Berger and written by Ester Dean, who have previously worked with Icona Pop, Rihanna and Robyn.
2014–16: Paperlight project and touring
In October 2013, Art on Ice announced that Loreen will be one of the artists performing on their 2014 tour, the concept of which is to combine live music with performances from figure skaters. The tour took place in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
In January 2014, Swedish SVT have resurrected their prize winning series Sápmi Sessions—in which well known Swedish artists travel North to meet their talented counterparts within the Sami population, and embark on a new collaboration. They will have never met before, but will have three days to write and record a whole new song together. And Loreen herself was the subject of the first episode, working with Iŋgá-Máret Gaup-Juuso and coming up with the song "Son" for her new album.
Loreen embarked on the Tour XIV in April 2014 and performed in several European countries. On 7 April, during a concert in Amsterdam, Loreen announced that "Jupiter Drive" and "Dumpster" are chosen as the next singles for her new album which will be released in August 2014. That same month, it was announced that Loreen had started planning her second studio album. She is working with producers such as Taped Rai, Ted Krotkiewski, Tobias Fröberg and Tim Denéve. In May 2014, Loreen announced her first residency show: En Euforisk Jul. The show was performed at the Moriska Paviljongen in Malmö, Sweden from 26 November and concluded on 20 December and was a Christmas show. Loreen grossed more than US$372.000 (2.885.139,00 SEK) and En Euforisk Jul was the 16th biggest selling tour by a Swedish singer in Sweden in 2014. During her visit in Montenegro in July 2014, she announced that her album will be released probably in October 2014. She headlined the Celebration of Budva Tourist Organization and the National Day event at the Jaz Beach in Budva. During an interview with Prva.rs, she says: "The new album is coming out in October and after that there will be a lot of touring. It's very different from "Euphoria", it's a lot dirtier and more hip-hop." In summer 2014, Loreen was nominated for three Rockbjörnen and five World Music Awards. Additionally, Loreen performed at the 11th Kristallen in Sweden, where she sang a cover of Rodríguez's "Sugar Man", as part of the ceremony's "In Memoriam" segment. On 20 September, Loreen performed at Eurasian Music Awards at the Central Stadium in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Loreen performed at Eurovision Gala Night at the Casino Luxembourg in Luxembourg and she confirmed that the single of her new album coming soon in March 2015. On 27 February, it was announced that Loreen's new single "Paper Light (Higher)" was released on 5 March 2015 in Scandinavia and was released worldwide on 9 March 2015.
On 22 November 2014, Loreen announced on Instagram that her new album is called Paperlight. She has been working in the studio with Kiesza. Loreen performed at the special concert show Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits in London, produced by the BBC and the EBU, which commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest. Loreen performed as interval act during the Second Chance round of Melodifestivalen 2015 on 7 March singing the lead single off of Paperlight, "Paper Light (Higher)". In May 2015, Loreen headlined the Vienna Life Ball, Europe's biggest charity event supporting people with HIV and AIDS, attending the event in a dress designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. From 21 November to 18 December 2015, Loreen jointed the Christmas tour Julgalan 2015 in Sweden along with Måns Zelmerlöw, Lena Philipsson, Miss Li, Ola Salo, Jill Johnson, Petter, Hasse Andersson, Darin and David Hellenius. In December 2015, she performed at Turn on the Lights night concert in Amsterdam.
On 11 August 2015, Loreen revealed a new single, titled "I'm In It With You" released on 14 August 2015, and received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. However, the official music video, inspired by the 1979 film Over the Edge, received generally negative reviews by fans and critics. On 17 December 2015, Loreen announced her next single "Under ytan" ("Under the Surface"), a cover of the original song by Uno Svenningsson. This was her first official Swedish-language release and was available in the Nordics on 18 December and worldwide the week later. "Under ytan" received critical acclaim but was poor commercially. In 2016, Loreen returned to Eurovision stage when she performed at the "Eurovision The Party" event that took place at the Stockholm's Tele2 Arena on the night of the upcoming Eurovision final and was broadcast via online worldwide. During an interview in Bulgaria in 2016, Loreen stated that she and her team are working "heavily" in new music and confirmed that her new album will be released later in 2016 or early 2017. This will be her first album to be released in over four years.
2016–present: "Statements" and Melodifestivalen 2017
During the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Loreen was the only entrant to meet local human rights activists. She later told reporters that "human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things." An Azerbaijan government spokesman responded critically, saying the contest should not "be politicised" and requested that the EBU prevent such meetings. Swedish diplomats replied that the EBU, Swedish TV and Loreen had not acted against the competition's rules.
In July 2012, Loreen performed at Slavianski Bazaar in Belarus, where Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko was in attendance. During her visit to the country, she met with the wife of political prisoner Ales Bialiatski, Viasna representatives and independent journalists, and in a two-hour meeting expressed her support of political prisoners and signed the petition to ban the death penalty in the country. Loreen later stated she was fully aware of the risks coming with "speaking out," including the possibility of being stopped or arrested at the airport when trying to return home.
In August 2013, she was the ambassador of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and she visited Kabul, Afghanistan, and the village Yaskin Bala in Warsaj Valley with Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. Next year, the construction of a new primary school will start in the village and the plan is that Loreen will come back and follow the work of the new school until it is constructed. "It was a great experience to meet the people of Warsaj in Yaskin Bala, both men and women. I hope to come back soon and meet my friends again," says Loreen, "Education is the most important issue, when it comes to decrease poverty and to help people taking control over their own lives," says Loreen, "I am very impressed of what SCA is doing in Afghanistan. To me, this is the right way of development efforts. I am happy to be committed in that work." For her work, Loreen was announced new patron of the World's Children's Prize in New York City, USA, and received the Crystal Globe. On 30 October 2014, she won the World's Children's Prize's Crystal Globe for the second time and met with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Queen Silvia of Sweden in a ceremony at the Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden. She wants to support the WCP—the world's largest educational programs for children about children's rights.
- Heal (2012)
- Paperlight (TBC)
Awards and nominations
|2011||Melodifestivalen 2011||First Prize||"Euphoria"||Won|
|2012||Gaygalan||The best Swedish song of the year||"My Heart Is Refusing Me"||Won|
|Eurovision Song Contest 2012||First Prize||"Euphoria"||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Swedish Act||Herself||Won|
|Best European Act||Nominated|
|Rockbjörnen||Best Female Artist||Won|
|World Music Awards||Best Female Artist||Herself||Nominated|
|Best Entertainer of the Year||Nominated|
|Premios 40 Principales||Mejor Canción Internacional en Lengua No Española||Nominated|
|2013||Grammis||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Artist of the Year||Herself||Nominated|
|Internationally Most Successful Swedish Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Gaygalan||The best Swedish song of the year||"Euphoria"||Won|
|Artist of the Year||Herself||Nominated|
|Radio Regenbogen Award||Listeners Award||"Euphoria"||Won|
|Rockbjörnen||Best Live Act||"Wonk Eurovision 2013"||Nominated|
|Best Song||"We Got the Power"||Nominated|
|Best Female Artist||Herself||Nominated|
|World Music Awards||Best Female Artist||Nominated|
|Best Live Act||Nominated|
|2014||Gaygalan||The best Swedish song of the year||"We Got the Power"||Nominated|
|Spirit Music Awards 2014||Best Album Dance/Electronic||Heal (2013 Edition)||Nominated|
|Rockbjörnen||Best Song||"Son" (feat. Ingá-Máret Gaup-Juuso)||Nominated|
|Best Live Act||September 12, 2013, Gröna Lund||Nominated|
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- WMA. "World Music Awards - World's Best Video".
- SVR (27 November 2013). "Nominera dina favoriter till QX Gaygala 2014" (in Swedish).
- Spirit Music Awards (2014). "2014 Spirit Music Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 31 January 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Loreen.|
|Awards and achievements|
Swedish House Mafia
|Winner of MTV EMA for Best Swedish Act
| Succeeded by|
Ell & Nikki
with "Running Scared"
|Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
| Succeeded by|
Emmelie de Forest
with "Only Teardrops"
|Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
| Succeeded by|