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Alexander Rybak (Alyaksandr Rybak, , born 13 May 1986 in Minskmarker, Soviet Unionmarker) is a Norwegianmarker singer-composer, violinist, pianist, writer, and actor of Belarusian descent. 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.

Alexander's early life

Rybak was born in Minskmarker, which at the time was in the Belarusian SSR in the Soviet Unionmarker. When he was 4 years old, he and his family moved to Norwaymarker. At the age of five, Rybak began to play the piano. His parents are Natallia Valiantsinauna Rybak, a classical pianist, and Igor Aliaksandravich Rybak, a well-known classical violinist who performs alongside Pinchas Zukerman. Alexander Rybak stated "I always liked to entertain and somehow that is my vocation". He currently lives in Nesoddenmarker in Norwaymarker.

Early career

Alexander at the ESC 2009
Rybak has been a student at the Barratt Due Institute of Musicmarker in Oslo since the age of 10. Due to his success in the Eurovision Song Contest, he is currently taking a break from his Bachelor's degree studies at the Institute. In 2004, Rybak was awarded the Anders Jahre Culture Prize. In 2005, he entered the Norwegian version of Idol, reaching the semifinal. In 2006 Rybak won Kjempesjansen (The Giant Chance), a talent competition hosted by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporationmarker (NRK), with his own song "Foolin'". Alexander Rybak has collaborated with artists such as a-ha's lead singer Morten Harket and Arve Tellefsen. As of 2007, Rybak has played the fiddler in Oslo Nye Teater's production of Fiddler on the Roof and won the Hedda Award for this role.

Eurovision 2009

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 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 and in an ESCtoday poll he scored 71.3%, making him the favourite to get into the final.

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.

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). He 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 runner up Iceland.

2009: after Eurovision, film and the first album

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. Rybak also went on tour with former Norwegian Eurovision winnerElisabeth Andreassen, something that had been decided before his Eurovision win and participation. In May 2009 Rybak was accused of plagiarising Turkish singer-songwriter Yalın's "Bit Pazari" for his song "Fairytale". Soon after he was accused of plagiarising a well-known song by the Russian composer Kirill Molchanov for his song "Abandoned" . The latter accusations fell on deaf ears when it was revealed that Rybak in his album had in fact credited Molchanov as composer of the melody used in the song.



Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications Sales
NORmarker SWEmarker GERmarker RUSmarker DUTmarker SWImarker AUTmarker IRE FINmarker DENmarker EU ICEmarker CYPmarker BEL BEL POLmarker
2009 Fairytales 1 2 16 1 29 65 46 91 4 15 18 5 9 62 13 7
  • NORmarker: 3x Platinum
  • RUSmarker: 2x Platinum
  • SWEmarker: Gold
2009 Winter Fairytales - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


  • A Wallonia
  • B Flanders


Year Single Chart positions Album
NORmarker SWE POLmarker UK IRE FINmarker GREmarker DENmarker DUT RUS SPAmarker AUTmarker AUS GER EU BEL BEL
2009 "Fairytale" 1 1 15 10 2 1 1 1 2 1 35 10 67 4 3 4 1 Fairytales
"Funny Little World" 1 4 23 2
"Roll With the Wind" 10 31


Year Film Role Notes
2009 Yohan: The Child Wanderer Levi
2009 Fairytale - The Movie Documentary about Alexander Rybak after his ESC-Victory


  1. Biography: April 2009Alexander Rybak, EMI Music, Germany

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