Alexander Igoryevich Rybak, or in Belarusian Alyaxandr Iharavich Rybak (born 13 May 1986), is a Belarusian-Norwegian singer-composer, violinist, pianist and actor. 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 under the old voting system—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 made a return to Eurovision in 2012 and 2016, playing the violin during both interval acts. He represented Norway again in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, with the song "That's How You Write a Song".
Rybak in 2018
|Birth name||Alexander Igoryevich Rybak|
|Born||13 May 1986|
Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, USSR
Rybak was born in Minsk, Byelorusian SSR, Soviet Union. His family immigrated to Norway when Alexander was young and he became a student at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo at the age of 10. As a result of his success in the 2009 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 the Institute with a Bachelor of Music in violin performance.
In 2004, Rybak was awarded the Anders Jahre Culture Prize presented to him by Viktoriya Rybak at the annual culture festival in Madrid, Spain. 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". Rybak has collaborated with artists such as a-ha's lead singer Morten Harket and Arve Tellefsen. In 2007, Rybak played the fiddle in Oslo Nye Teater's production of Fiddler on the Roof and won the Hedda Award for this role.
Rybak won the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia, with a record 387 points, singing "Fairytale", a song inspired by Norwegian folk music. The song was composed and written by Rybak and was performed 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, and, in an ESCtoday poll, he scored 71.3%, making him the favourite to get into the final.
In the 2009 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 only 121,856 (out of a total population of less than 5 million)
The song then competed in the second semi-final and won the place in the Eurovision final. Rybak later won the Eurovision final with a landslide victory, receiving votes from all the other participating countries. 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 albumEdit
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. 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. 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.
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". On 8 June 2010, Rybak released the first single from his second album "Oah". A music video was made for the single. It was directed by Lars Kristian Flemmen, produced by Eirik Heldal and shot by Martin J. Edelsteen. It is filmed in a university or college. He also recorded and released a Russian version of this song called "Strela Amura" (Russian: Стрела Амура, Cupid's arrow). 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. 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. 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).
In 2012 he released a new music video for his Russian song "Strela Amura". "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". 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.
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  "Leave Me Alone" is about a particular female fan from Israel (but speaks Russian like many others there) 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. In October 2013, he released a new music video called "5 to 7 Years". This was a gift he made for his fans after reaching 600,000 followers on Facebook.
He took part in The Hit, a live TV show on Norwegian broadcaster NRK on 10 October 2014. Rybak performed "What I Long For", a song written by Elisabet Mjanger. In spring 2015, he took part in the Russian TV show Odin v Odin, where the participants impersonated legendary artists. The premier episode was broadcast on 8 February; 16 shows aired on Sundays during spring 2015. The last show (recap) was broadcast on 31 May.
After the 14th show, Rybak was placed 6th and therefore was not among the five who automatically went to the final. However, the judges said that he deserved a place in the final and made an exception. In the final results, he was the runner-up. With the televoting results, he took a clear second place with 32.1% of the votes. In early June 2015, he released a new Russian single entitled "Котик"/"Kotik". The music video of this song which was filmed in Moscow, Russia, and it was released on 3 June 2015.
On 12 June, a new Norwegian song "Blant Fjell" (Among Mountains) was released. This is a song from the CD that follows his upcoming Norwegian audiobook "Trolle og den magiske fela" ("Troll and the magical fiddle"). His audiobook was released on 29 September 2015. Rybak also performed as a part of the interval act for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, in a musical number satirising Eurovision songs.
In January 2018, it was revealed that Rybak would be taking part in the Norwegian national selection Melodi Grand Prix 2018, to represent Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, with the song "That's How You Write a Song". He qualified for the finals on 10 May. In the final, on 12 May 2018, Rybak finished in 15th place.
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. In 2014, he composed an entry titled "Still Here" for Franklin Calleja in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2015  which placed 5th. He also composed an entry for the Belarusian group "Milki" titled "Accent", which placed 4th.
Rybak was born 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 Nesodden, Norway. Rybak was raised in the Orthodox religion. At the age of five, Rybak began to play the piano and the violin. His parents are Natalia Valentinovna Rybak, a classical pianist, and Igor Alexandrovich Rybak, a well-known classical violinist who performs alongside Pinchas Zukerman. He stated "I always liked to entertain and somehow that is my vocation". 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. Rybak has also performed in Belarusian and, with Elisabeth Andreassen, in Swedish.
Mental health problemsEdit
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 cancelled. 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."
In 2018 and 2019, Rybak struggled a lot with an unidentified illness, which led him to cancel several performances. His illness and touring schedule put a strain on his long-term relationship with his girfriend, a graphic designer from Oslo, which ended in late 2018. To Ukrainian newspaper KP, Rybak said he was initially diagnosed with fatigue-related problems after his second Eurovision participation. Already during Eurovision 2018, Rybak had health problems. He even received special permission to carry a backpack with medicines with him in the press centre. During a visit to Slovakia, Rybak revealed that he was undergoing tests to see whether he had certain food allergies. At that time, he had already cut sugar from his diet.
In October 2019, Rybak declared he was hypochondriac, stating "all people above 20 have their own battle with something". Rybak stated working in a group for his children's musical Trolle og den magisken fela has helped him. For this production, he temporarily moved to coastal city Kristiansand.
|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: The Child Wanderer||Levi||Film|
|2010||How to Train Your Dragon||Hiccup||Animated Movie (voice, Norwegian dubbed version)|
|2010||Moomins and the Comet Chase||Moomin||Animated Movie (voice, Norwegian dubbed version)|
|2014||How to Train Your Dragon 2||Hiccup||Animated Movie (voice, Norwegian dubbed version)|
|2019||How to Train Your Dragon 3||Hiccup||Animated Movie (voice, Norwegian dubbed version)|
|2019||Trolle and the Magic Fiddle||Trolle||Musical|
- 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
- Winner of Melodi Grand Prix 2018
The song "Into a Fantasy" is played during the ending credits to the movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 in European releases. Rybak provided the Norwegian voice-over for the animated character Hiccup.
- Hansen, Kjeld-Willy (9 May 2009). "Rybaks ukjente fortid i Larvik" (in Norwegian). Østlands-Posten. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
- "Alexander Rybak Main Stage". The Norwegian Opera and Ballet. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- Pedersen, Pål Fredrik (14 May 2009). "Rybak ble stor stjerne" (in Norwegian). Norway: TV 2 (Norway). Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- "Anders Jahres Humanitære Stiftelse – Pressemeldinger | sandefjord | skipsreder | vestfold | prisvinnere". 4 March 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Espen Hansen, Tom (9 February 2009). "'Being a big favourite makes me nervous' — esctoday.com met with Alexander Rybak". esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- Klier, Marcus (21 February 2009). "Norway: Alexander Rybak to Eurovision". ESCtoday. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
- Schacht, Andreas (7 February 2009). "Norway: Alexander Rybak and Ovi to final!". eurovision.tv. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- Klier, Marcus (7 February 2009). "Third semi final results Norway: Another two acts chosen for the national final". escfans.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Norway: Alexander Rybak to Eurovision". Esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Alexander til filmen – Yohan". 4 March 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Rybak stars at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert". Esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Fairytale, the movie available on DVD". Esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "They said it would kill my career" Rybak: "I listened only to myself" Archived 24 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, esctoday.com, 2 January 2010
- "Twitter / Alexander Rybak: Ladies and gentlemen: Alex". Twitter. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "De tävlar i Let's dance | Let's Dance | TV | Nöjesbladet | Aftonbladet". Aftonbladet.se. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Alexander Rybak ute etter dommerslakt – VG Nett". Vg.no. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "VIDEO! Alexander Rybak – show incendiar pe scena X Factor!" (in Romanian). Antena 1. 11 December 2011.
- "Strela Amura / Arrow of Cupid | Alexander Rybak – International Fansite". AlexanderRybakNews.com. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Premiere! Alexander Rybak & Paula Seling, "I'll show you". Show "Neatza cu Razvan si Dani". 30.05.2012 | Alexander Rybak – International Fansite". AlexanderRybakNews.com. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Alexander Rybak & Paula Seling duet is officially out | Alexander Rybak – International Fansite". AlexanderRybakNews.com. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Article: Alexander Rybak Releases New Single 12.10.2012. | Alexander Rybak – International Fansite". AlexanderRybakNews.com. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Into a Fantasy (From How to Train Your Dragon 2) – Single". iTunes.
- "Gorka Hrabrost". YouTube.
- "Eurovision 2018 Results: Voting & Points". eurovisionworld.com. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "[LIVE] Norway: Melodi Grand Prix 2013 final – ESCDaily.com – The latest Eurovision 2016 news from across Europe and Australia". ESCDaily.com – The latest Eurovision 2016 news from across Europe and Australia.
- "Franklin Calleja". TVM. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014.
- William Lee Adams. "Belarus: Alexander Rybak reveals MILKI's EuroFest song "Accent"". Eurovision 2016 Predictions, Polls, Odds, Rankings – wiwibloggs.
- Horne, Birte Njøsen (7 October 2006). "Alexander Rybak" (in Norwegian). nrk.no.
- "Alexander Rybak: "A – national mix"". chas-daily.com (in Russian). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
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.")
- Biography: April 2009 Archived 20 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine Alexander Rybak, EMI Music, Germany
- Заміроўская, Тацяна (24 January 2012). "Тацяна Заміроўская: "Сьвята маргінальнасьці і цуд дыпляматыі"" (in Belarusian). Budzma Belarusians!. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- Pettersen, Jonas (22 June 2010). "Knuste fiolinen i raseri foran hundrevis av tilskuere". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- 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.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Alexander Rybak|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexander Rybak.|
- Official homepage
- Official Facebook Page
- Alexander Rybak Official International Fan site (English, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian and German)
- Alexander Rybak PR in Republic of Ireland
|Awards and achievements|
| Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Maria Haukaas Storeng
with "Hold On Be Strong"
| Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "My Heart Is Yours"
with "Grab the Moment"
| Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Spirit in the Sky"
| Recipient of the Spellemannprisen
as This year's Spellemann