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Alexander Rybak

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Alexander Rybak is an all-around musical talent -- a singer, songwriter, composer, violinist, pianist, and arranger -- from Norway who rose to international chart-topping success in 2009 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with "Fairytale." Born on May 13, 1986, in Minsk, Belarus, he is the son of a classical pianist and a classical violinist. When he was four years old, his family left what was then the Soviet Union and moved to Norway. At age ten he began studies at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. In 2009, after winning several awards, among them the 2004 Anders Jahre Culture Prize and the 2009 Melodi Grand Prix, he represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest with his song "Fairytale." Written and composed by Rybak, "Fairytale" not only won the contest; it also set a new record with 387 points, the most ever garnered in Eurovision history. Shortly after winning the Eurovision Song Contest, "Fairytale" was released as a single and hit number one in numerous countries, among them Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, and Greece. In addition, the song hit the Top Ten in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany. Several months later, Rybak made his full-length solo album debut with Fairytale (2009) on EMI. Released in over 25 different countries around the world, Fairytale was a commercial blockbuster, topping the Norwegian charts and going three times platinum in terms of sales; moreover, it reached number one in Russia and the Top Five in Sweden and Finland. Written largely by Rybak and sung in English, the album includes the follow-up singles "Funny Little World," a Norwegian chart-topper, and "Roll with the Wind," a Top Ten hit. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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