Alexander Rybak went on to win the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in May 2009 with a landslide victory. He finished with a grand total of 387 points, breaking the previous record of 292 points.
“Fairytale” became a major hit in Europe and was # 1 on most European I-tunes charts the following week. It had more than 10 million hits on YouTube within a few weeks.
Alexander Rybak – A musical missionary
Alexander Rybak’s phenomenal journey began at the tender age of five. His little family of three had moved from Belarus and settled at Nesodden, a short ferry trip from Norway’s capital Oslo. Natasja and Igor, his parents, were both professionally trained musicians and teaching their son the violin and piano was the most natural thing in the world. Alexander practiced like a top athlete, his endurance being quite rare in a society preoccupied with other leisure activities and sports. Soon it became apparent that he had to choose between his two instruments and he decided to go with the violin (he still plays the piano, but just as a hobby). Alexander continued to practice, as well as playing concerts with his family and other musical friends. At a very young age he debuted on the stage and many noticed Alexander’s talents. He enrolled at The Barrat Due Academy when he was 10 and suddenly he met other young people with the same passion for music and realized that he was not the odd one out.
From the very beginning Alexander studied the great masters, but was also preoccupied with thinking «outside the box». He began playing jazz and popular standards as well as pop hits. He had composed music since he was a young boy because his father Igor had taught him that one day he could earn money from it. His violin took him to many far flung places including Russia, The United States and China, while he was a member of different orchestras. Born with a competitive streak, Alexander soon joined Pop Idol Norway, but it proved an unsuitable platform for his unique talent. A year later he joined another talent competition «Kjempesjansen» with a broader approach to music and use of instruments. With his own composition “Foolin’” Alexander won the hearts of the Norwegian nation!
A director at one of Oslo’s biggest theatres cast Alexander in a production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. His performances lead to a multitude of rave reviews and he was awarded a Hedda, the highest acclamation a stage actor can achieve in Norway. In between all his engagements, Alexander also found time to travel like fiddlers did back in the day, playing for food and lodging in some of the valleys and islands of Norway. On one of these trips, he came up with an idea to write a song called “Fairytale” and when the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation contacted him one day in late 2008, he had a plan. This was just the beginning…
Alexander Rybak went on to win the 54th Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia in May 2009 with a landslide victory. He finished with a grand total of 387 points, breaking the previous record of 292 points scored by Lordi in 2006 and scoring 169 points more than runner up from Iceland. Alexander sang “Fairytale”, the song he wrote walking in the mountains on the Norwegian west coast, a song inspired by Norwegian folk music. He performed together with the modern folk dance company Frikar Dance Company.
“Fairytale”, became a major hit in Europe and was # 1 on most European I-tunes charts the following week. It also reached top 3 on the European chart, #1 in Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia and #2 in Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands and Alexander’s performance from the Eurovision Song Contest had more than 10million hits on YouTube within a few weeks.
Alexander Rybak released his debut album “Fairytales” shortly after, and by August 2009 the album has been released in more than 25 European countries including Scandinavia, Russia/CIS, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, France and Greece. The “Fairytales” album has sold nearly half a million copies to date across Europe. The album has been top 3 since it was released in Norway, peaking at #1 for a number of weeks, reaching triple platinum within two months. It has also sold to Gold in Sweden and Double Platinum in Russia, where Alexander in mid August 2009 was #1 on the Russian Billboard charts.
The second single from “Fairytales” released in Norway was “Funny Little World”, which entered the Norwegian charts at #2 only beaten by Fairytale at #1. This is the first time in history that a Norwegian artist has had the two top chart positions in Norway.
Since the Eurovision Alexander Rybak has toured Europe playing over 100 shows for more than 300.000 people, He has also done major TV-shows in Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, including the Nobel Peace Concert -being exposed for millions of viewers worldwide.
In December 2009 a documentary about his year since the Eurovision win in Moscow was released in Norway. “Fairytale The Movie” takes Alexander around Europe and shows his life as a budding pop star.
Alexander Rybak's new album has been released in summer 2010.