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Alexander Rybak


Alexander Rybak

Alexander Rybak
Rybak performing in 2009
Background information
Birth name Alexander Igoryevich Rybak
Born (1986-05-13) 13 May 1986
Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
Genres Pop, folk, adult contemporary, soft rock, crossover, Baroque pop, indie pop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, violinist, composer, pianist, actor, model, presenter/host
Instruments Vocals, violin, piano
Years active 2006–present
Associated acts Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Frikar

Alexander Igoryevich Rybak (Russian: Алекса́ндр И́горевич Рыба́к, tr. Aleksandr Igorevich Rybak) or in Belarusian Alyaxandr Igaravich Rybak (Belarusian: Алякса́ндр І́гаравіч Рыба́к, tr. Alyaksandr Iharavich Rybak; born 13 May 1986 in Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union) is a Belarusian-Norwegian[1] singer-composer, violinist, pianist, writer, actor and presenter/host. Representing Norway in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia, Rybak won the contest with 387 points—the highest tally any country has achieved in the history of Eurovision—with "Fairytale", a song he wrote and composed. His debut album, Fairytales, charted in the top 20 in nine European countries, including a No. 1 position in Norway and Russia.


Rybak has been a student at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo since the age of 10. Due to his success in the Eurovision Song Contest, he took a break from his bachelor's degree studies at the institute, but in 2011, he returned to his studies and in June 2012, he graduated from Barratt Due Institute of Music as bachelor in Violin.[2][3]

  • Full scholarship at the English summer-school "Meadowmount School of Music", 2003 – given to three students in the world every year.
  • High School (Videregående) at Rud Music, Dance and Drama.
  • Bachelor in executive violin at Barrat Dues Musikkinstitutt, 2012. Grade A at final exam.


In 2004, Rybak was awarded the Anders Jahre Culture Prize.[4] In 2005, he entered the Norwegian version of Idol, Idol: Jakten på en superstjerne, reaching the semifinal. In 2006, Rybak won Kjempesjansen (“The Great Opportunity”), a talent competition hosted by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), with his own song, "Foolin".[5] Rybak has collaborated with artists such as a-ha's lead singer Morten Harket and Arve Tellefsen. In 2007, Rybak played the fiddler in Oslo Nye Teater's production of Fiddler on the Roof and won the Hedda Award for this role.[5]

Eurovision 2009

Rybak after he had won Eurovision 2009

Rybak won the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia, with a record 387 points, singing "Fairytale",[6] a song inspired by Norwegian folk music. The song was composed and written by Rybak[7] and was performed together with the modern folk dance company Frikar. The song received good reviews with a score of 6 out of 6 in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet,[5] and, in an ESCtoday poll, he scored 71.3%, making him the favourite to get into the final.[8]

In the Norwegian national heats, Rybak achieved a clean sweep, gaining the top score from all nine voting districts and ending with a combined televote and jury score of 747,888, while the runner up, Tone Damli Aaberge, received a combined score of 121,856 (out of a total population of less than 5 million)[9]

The song competed in the second semi-final and won a place in the Eurovision final.

Rybak later won the Eurovision final with a landslide victory, receiving votes from all the participating countries (except Norway, which was not allowed to vote for itself). Rybak finished with a total of 387 points, breaking the previous record of 292 points scored by Lordi in 2006 and scoring 169 points more than the runner-up, Iceland.

After Eurovision, film and the first album

Rybak and a dancer from Frikar, at a concert in Norway, September 2009

Rybak's first album, Fairytales, was released after his Eurovision win. Rybak also co-stars as Levi in the film Yohan directed by Grete Salomonsen, which was released in March 2010.[10] Rybak also went on a tour in Norway with former Norwegian Eurovision winner Elisabeth Andreassen, something that had been decided before his Eurovision win and participation. He and Frikar also toured Norway and Europe in 2009. In a December 2009 performance of his hit "Fairytale" at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, held at the Oslo Spektrum, Rybak shared the stage with nine other acts.[11] Too EMI Norway has just released a film entitled Fairytale, the movie, directed by acclaimed Norwegian director, Rune Langlo, documenting the journey of Alexander Rybak since claiming the top prize for Norway in Moscow.[12]

In 2009, he recorded the theme song, called "I Don't Believe in Miracles/Superhero", for the Russian action movie Black Lightning produced by Timur Bekmambetov.[13]-


Rybak performing in 2011

On 30 January 2010, Rybak performed one of his new singles, "Europe's Skies", in national final, Euroviisut 2010, to select the 2010 Finnish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. On 12 March 2010, Alexander Rybak performed his Eurovision 2009 winning song "Fairytale" on UK TV show Eurovision: Your Country Needs You. In April 2010, Rybak released a new song, featuring Opptur, called "Fela Igjen".[14] Alexander released his second album on 14 June 2010, called No Boundaries. It was not as successful as his first album, so far it has peaked at number 7 in Norway, number 8 in Sweden and 32 in Finland. On 7 January 2011, Rybak was one of twelve contestants on the next Swedish season of the dancing show Let's Dance (Swedish version of television franchise Strictly Come Dancing), in the show Rybak danced to win the competition against other Swedish celebrities.[15] Rybak made it to the Top 4 before being voted off on 11 March, having received the lowest scores from both juries and the voting public.[16] In 2011 he released the album Visa vid vindens ängar, a collaboration with Mats Paulson whom he describes as "a legend and a great friend"

On December 11, 2011, he appeared as musical guest on X Factor (Romania).[17]


In 2012 he released a new music video for his Russian song "Strela Amura".[18] "Strela Amura" is the Russian version of Oah which is one of his previous singles released in 2010. The music video was shot in Kiev, Ukraine. Alexander said: "For me the main thing is what is going on inside a person, not the events around them. The video for the song “Strela Amura” is about me, about my life, which consists of the airports and hotels. You give happiness to others, and you are left alone yourself."

On 30 May 2012 he released a duet with Paula Seling called "I'll Show You".[19] Seling placed third at the 2010 Eurovision. The song had already been promoted on Romanian television and radio. The German label Capsounds has signed the song and will be promoting it throughout Europe.[20]

A new single by Rybak titled "Leave Me Alone" was released worldwide on 12 October 2012. The premiere of the music video was also released shortly after the single which was on 23 October. The release of the Russian version of the song "Dostala" was on 12 November [21] "Leave Me Alone" is about a particular female fan who has been stalking him in various ways for quite some time. The new track which will be released during the day is co-written by David Eriksen who is well-known to fans of the Eurovision Song Contest for writing "Butterflies" for Tone Damli Aaberge which was the runner-up to Rybak in the 2009 Melodi Grand Prix.

Rybak released a Christmas album on 23 November 2012 entitled Christmas-tales. Recording started spring 2012.

Rybak performed a song for the 2014 How To Train Your Dragon 2 soundtrack, entitled "Into a Fantasy".[22]

National Finals

Alexander Rybak has also composed entries for national finalists for Eurovision. In 2013, Rybak composed an entry for Melodi Grand Prix called "I'm With You" sung by Annsofi Pettersen, placing fourth in the Norwegian national final.[23] In 2014, he composed an entry titled "Still Here" for Franklin Calleja in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2015 [24] which placed 5th. He also composed an entry for the Belarusian group "Milki" titled "Accent." [25]

Personal life

Rybak was born on 13 May 1986, in Minsk, Belarus—which at that time was the Belarusian SSR in the Soviet Union. When he was 4 years old, he and his family moved to Norway.[26] Rybak was baptized and raised in the Orthodox religion.[27] At the age of five, Rybak began to play the piano and the violin.[26] His parents are Natalia Valentinovna Rybak, a classical pianist, and Igor Alexandrovich Rybak, a well-known classical violinist who performs alongside Pinchas Zukerman.[28] He stated "I always liked to entertain and somehow that is my vocation".[5] Rybak bought a new apartment and lives now at Aker Brygge (Oslo, Norway). Rybak speaks Norwegian, Russian and English fluently, and has performed songs in all three languages.

In 2010, several incidents of uncontrolled anger caused commentators to question whether Rybak has an anger control problem. During the trials for the ESC 2010 finals in Bærum, Rybak became so infuriated when a sound technician was not doing what he wanted that he smashed his own hand, breaking his fingers. Also, during trials for Swedish television in June 2010, he smashed his violin on the floor. His appearance was then canceled. According to his manager, Kjell Arild Tiltnes, Rybak does not have an issue with aggression. Tiltnes stated that "as long as he abreacts on objects and on himself, I see no reason for this to be something that he needs help dealing with." Rybak said, "I never raised my voice before, and that's why I did what I did. I'm just a human being—and perhaps not the glossy image many believe. So it was good to get out frustrations so I could go on. It's only me that goes beyond the same."[29][30]

He is also best known as a long-time fan of Real Madrid C.F., especially for Colombian star James Rodríguez.




Year Film Role Notes
2009 Fairytale – The Movie Himself Documentary about Alexander Rybak after his ESC-Victory
2009 Some Sunny Night - Live in Lillesand Ketil Moe Musical
2010 Yohan Levi Film
2010 How to Train Your Dragon Hiccup Animated Movie (Norwegian dubbed version)
2010 Mumintrollet - Kometen Kommer Mumin Animated Movie (Norwegian dubbed version)
2014 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Hiccup Animated Movie (Norwegian dubbed version)

Music videos

Year Title Director
2006 "Foolin"
2009 "Fairytale" Video Workshop AS
"Roll With The Wind" Bård Røssevold
"Funny Little World" Ligistfilm
"Ya Ne Veryu v Chudesa"
2010 "Fela Igjen (feat. Opptur) Tommel Opp Film
"Oah" Lars Kristian Flemmen
"Europe's Skies" Alexander Filatovich
"Небеса Европы (Russian version of "Europe's Skies")" Alexander Filatovich
2011 "Небасхіл Еўропы (Belarusian version of "Europe's Skies")" Alexander Filatovich
2012 "Стрела Амура (Strela Amura - Russian version of "Oah")" Alexander Filatovich
"Leave Me Alone" Alexander Filatovich
"Dostala (Russian version of "Leave Me Alone") Alexander Filatovich
2013 "5 to 7 Years" Joakim Kleven
2014 "Into a Fantasy" Olav Stubberud & Tone Lise Asphol


  • Winner of "Sparre Olsen - competition for young classical musicians", in 2000 and 2001.
  • Winner of ”Anders Jahres Culture-Award” 2004.
  • Winner of TV- talent-competition "Kjempesjansen” 2006.
  • Winner of the ”Hedda-Award” to the “Newcomer of the year in Norwegian Theater”, 2007, for the title role in ”Fiddler on the Roof” at Oslo Nye Teater.
  • Winner of “Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix” 2009, with the highest score of all times.
  • Winner of “Eurovision Song Contest” 2009, with the highest score of all times.
  • Winner of “Australian Radio Listeners Award” for European musicians, 2009.
  • Winner of the “Marcel Bezencon Press Award” at Eurovision 2009.
  • Winner of Russian Grammy for ”Newcomer of the year” 2010.
  • Winner of Norwegian Grammy-awards: "Spellemann of the Year” 2010.
  • Winner of ”International Russian Name Award” in Moscow 2011.
  • Winner of ”Countrymen of the Year”. Belarus 2013


The song "Into a Fantasy" is played during the ending credits to the movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 in the Slavic and European countries. Rybak is the Norwegian voice of Hiccup.


  1. ^ Hansen, Kjeld-Willy (9 May 2009). "Rybaks ukjente fortid i Larvik" (in Norwegian).  
  2. ^ "Alexander Rybak Main Stage".  
  3. ^ Pedersen, Pål Fredrik (14 May 2009). "Rybak ble stor stjerne" (in Norwegian). Norway:  
  4. ^ "Anders Jahres kulturpris 2004 til Ingvar Ambjørnsen og Geir Kjetsaa" (in Norwegian). 30 June 04. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d Espen Hansen, Tom (9 February 2009). Being a big favourite makes me nervous' — met with Alexander Rybak"'". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  6. ^ Klier, Marcus (21 February 2009). "Norway: Alexander Rybak to Eurovision". ESCtoday. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Schacht, Andreas (7 February 2009). "Norway: Alexander Rybak and Ovi to final!". Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Klier, Marcus (7 February 2009). "Third semi final results Norway: Another two acts chosen for the national final". Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "Norway: Alexander Rybak to Eurovision". Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "MAlexander til filmen" (in Norwegian). 28 July. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "Rybak stars at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert". Archived from the original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "Fairytale, the movie available on DVD". Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "They said it would kill my career" Rybak: "I listened only to myself",, 2 January 2010
  14. ^ "Twitter / Alexander Rybak: Ladies and gentlemen: Alex". Twitter. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "De tävlar i Let's dance | Let's Dance | TV | Nöjesbladet | Aftonbladet". Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Alexander Rybak ute etter dommerslakt - VG Nett". Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "VIDEO! Alexander Rybak - show incendiar pe scena X Factor!" (in Romanian).  
  18. ^ "Strela Amura / Arrow of Cupid | Alexander Rybak - International Fansite". 5 January 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Premiere! Alexander Rybak & Paula Seling, "I’ll show you". Show "Neatza cu Razvan si Dani". 30.05.2012 | Alexander Rybak - International Fansite". 30 May 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Alexander Rybak & Paula Seling duet is officially out | Alexander Rybak - International Fansite". 7 August 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Article: Alexander Rybak Releases New Single 12.10.2012. | Alexander Rybak - International Fansite". 12 October 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b Horne, Birte Njøsen (7 October 2006). "Alexander Rybak" (in Norwegian). 
  27. ^ """Alexander Rybak: "A – national mix. (in Russian). А вы крещеный? Да. Я православный. Однако я больше верующий, чем религиозный. ("Have you been baptized? Yes. I'm Orthodox. However, I am more a believer than religious.") 
  28. ^ Biography: April 2009 Alexander Rybak, EMI Music, Germany
  29. ^ Pettersen, Jonas (22 June 2010). "Knuste fiolinen i raseri foran hundrevis av tilskuere".  
  30. ^ Hildrum, Alf. "Rybak knuste fiolinen på scenen i raseri" (in Norwegian). TV 2. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 

External links

  • Official homepage
  • Official Facebook Page
  • Fan web-site(Russian) of Alexander Rybak
  • Alexander Rybak Official International Fan site (English and Russian)
  • Alexander Rybak PR in Republic of Ireland
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dima Bilan
with "Believe"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with "Satellite"
Preceded by
Maria Haukaas Storeng
with "Hold On Be Strong"
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Didrik Solli-Tangen
with "My Heart Is Yours"
Preceded by
Espen Lind
Recipient of the Spellemannprisen
as This year's Spellemann

Succeeded by
Karpe Diem
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