Rybak still riding high after Eurovision victory

Bookmark and Share

Much of the euphoria has died down, but Norway’s new singing star Alexander Rybak remains on a roll. He’s now so popular around Europe that the release of his album has been moved up, and he’s barely had time to sleep since winning the Eurovision Song Contest two weeks ago.

Rybak’s new album, named after his winning song “Fairytale,” wasn’t supposed to come out until next week. Demand is so high, not least overseas, that the album will be released in Germany on Friday and therefore also in Norway.

Rybak has spent much of this week in Germany, performing live before enthusiastic crowds and for a live TV show seen by an estimated 3 million viewers. Before that he performed at several concerts in Norway and finally got his first day off in weeks on Sunday. He went to a circus in Cologne.

His manager insists the 23-year-old sensation isn’t exhausted. “It’s all going so well,” Kathrine Synnes told newspaper VG. “He’s in great shape.”The song “Fairytale” — which he composed, wrote the lyrics for and sings while playing the violin — has shot up to 10th place on the British hit singles list and has broken records for downloads off the Internet. The song is so popular that newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad actually ran a story aimed at helping people who can’t stop humming it, to get it off their minds.

Rybak’s popularity has also boosted the need for security around him. He had agreed to play a long string of relatively small concerts around Norway long before he won top honors at the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow on May 16. Now the concert organizers are being asked to bring in extra security personnel to control eager crowds, not least young teenage girls who are among his most enthusiastic fans.

Rybak will be back in Norway later this week and hits the road for concerts in Sarpsborg, Odal, Sotra, Nesodden, Fauske, Lillestrøm, Måløy and Tynset in June. He’ll tour around the country in July as well and even hold a classical performance on the main stage of Oslo’s Opera House in August. He has studied classical piano and violin since he was a child.