As Eurovision 2023 came to an end with a Grand Final in Liverpool, Sweden took the leading spot as singer-songwriter Loreen, who has Moroccan roots, became the first woman to win the coveted annual contest twice.
The Swedish singer whose real name is Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaou garnered a total of 583 points for performing her intense electro ballad, “Tattoo”. A favorite of the bookies, the Stockholm-born artist led the voting all night and cruised to an easy victory to become the first woman to have won the title twice – the male artist to hold this accolade is Ireland’s Johnny Logan.
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Loreen’s previous win at Eurovision occurred almost a decade ago in 2012 with her chart-topping song “Euphoria”. Not only was the song highly popular in Sweden, but it achieved the rare feat of remaining in the top 20 of the UK Official Singles Chart for weeks after the contest.
While this may have catapulted her to greater stardom in Sweden, Loreen was a household name for quite some time before her first Eurovision win. Born in 1983 to Moroccan parents she shot to fame in 2004 when she was just 20 years old, her appearance in the Swedish reality competition Idol where she came in fourth place became the crucial start of this journey.
Following her time at Idol, the singer released her first single “The Snake” with Swedish music duo Rob’n’Raz. In the year that followed, not only did Loreen become a segment producer for several Swedish reality shows but she eventually also took part in Melodifestivalen – the song competition that determines Sweden’s representative to Eurovision. Her song “My Heart Is Refusing Me” became a hit on the Swedish Singles Chart, peaking at number nine.
In 2012, her first album Heal topped the charts in Sweden and ended up achieving a platinum record status with its mix of synth-driven ballads and dance songs. Along with her chart-topping music, Loreen is also known for being a vocal supporter of human rights. Not only has the Swedish national spoken up against human rights abuses on various platforms but in 2013 she was also appointed as the ambassador of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan.