Alexander Rybak


Photo: Alexander Rybak

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Biography of Alexander Rybak

Alexander Rybak is a Norwegian musician of Belarusian origin, who became famous after winning Eurovision 2009. In the final of the competition, his wonderful composition “Fairy Tale” was performed, which received a record number of votes in the history of the competition.

In the photo: Alexander Rybak

Memorable for Alexander was participation in the show “One to One”, which opened up a new facet of the artist’s talent. Reincarnation in Enrique Iglesias, when Rybak stepped back from his own open smile and turned into a constrained and cautious Spaniard, he still considers the best number that he managed to embody on the project.

Childhood and youth

Alexander was born in the spring of 1986 in the musical family of Igor and Natalia Rybakov from Minsk. Father, Igor Nikolaevich, was a violinist of the Vitebsk Musical Ensemble and the Minsk Chamber Orchestra, and mother, Natalya Valentinovna, played the piano, then became the music editor of the national television.

Alexander Rybak in childhood

Everyone in the family paid attention to the boy. From the age of two, his grandmother, music teacher Maria Savitskaya, taught her grandson folk songs, and at the age of three, Sasha impressed his father by singing a song of his own composition during a walk. After that, the father teaches the baby to play different instruments. The boy enjoyed playing music, and also loved to sing and dance.

Alexander Rybak with his father

When the head of the family was invited to work in Oslo, Sashk was four years old. After that, from Norway, the whole family again came to Minsk, where the boy began to attend a music school at the Scientific Center for Musicology. Soon the family moved to a permanent place of residence in the commune of Nesodden near Oslo. The son was sent to a music school, and the search for a path began for him. Alexander spoke about this much later in an interview:

When I first went to music school, I already started arguing with my dad and playing everything in my own way. I listened to his opinion, I understood why he insists that you need to do a lot. But I didn’t want to play classical pieces the way my dad thought was right. Whenever a person starts doing something new, it’s very difficult for him to convince others that it’s… that you can become famous with it, succeed.

Sasha liked to listen to Mozart – he, as well as Sting and the Beatles, he considered examples to follow. Soon the talented boy was noticed by teachers, he began to study at the school of music, dance and dramatic art, where he simultaneously received a secondary education. Then he received a bachelor’s degree in violin at the Oslo Academy of Music.

Violinist Alexander Rybak

Alexander turned seventeen when he became a musician in the musical Morten Harket, vocalist of the band A-ha. The young man managed to travel around Europe, America, China with tours of the Norwegian musical. In 2006, he entered the Kjempesjansen Young Talent Competition and won with his own song Foolin’.

Alexander Rybak – Foolin»

Eurovision 2009

The singer and violinist became famous all over the world after participating in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Moscow in 2009. As a citizen of Norway, he spoke for this country.

Alexander Rybak – Fairytale

His own composition Fairytale, accompanied by playing the violin, brought the singer first place with the highest score in the history of the competition – 387. The previous record was 292 points and belonged to rockers Lordi from Finland.

Alexander Rybak at Eurovision

Alexander admitted that he wrote the song after breaking up with his lover named Ingrid. He did not expect victory, because he considered his composition “too simple.” Appearing before reporters after the competition, he was very nervous, was in a semi-conscious state. And the public once and for all fell in love with this modest, but very talented boy. Further career A month after the triumph in Moscow, Rybak’s first studio album entitled “Fairytales” was released. Record stores have not seen such a rush for a long time: queues lined up for the singer’s discs. Alexander’s career took off sharply, he was invited to a variety of events. In Russia alone, the singer managed to give his concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Yekaterinburg.

In every city Rybak was met by fans

In each of the cities, fans arranged a deafening reception, meeting an idol with posters. The young man became a participant in several television programs, including “Minute of Glory”, a combined concert for the Day of the Police, “Star Factory” (Ukraine). He, along with Alexei Yagudin, represented the symbols of the Sochi Olympic Games during a concert on Red Square.

Rybak and Yagudin on Red Square

In 2010, Rybak released two new albums: No Boundaries and Heaven of Europe, and also performed in front of Estonian audiences in the popular Nokia hall. Alexander shared his feelings with the media:

If you look at my work schedule, you can easily find out that over the past year I have only had four days off, including Christmas and my birthday. Not a lot, of course, but I like to think that concerts are not hard work, but a hobby.

In 2011, the musician released the album “Visa Vid Vindens Angar”, and in 2012 the world saw the release of the last disc “Christmas Tales” to date.

In parallel with the rich creative activity, Rybak wrote songs for his colleagues, delighted admirers of his own talent with new compositions. His works are in the repertoire of the Belarusian group Milki (Accent), the Maltese performer Franklin Halley (Still Here), a participant in Eurovision in 2014.

Alexander Rybak showed his apartment in Oslo

In 2015, Rybak became the silver medalist of the Russian show “One to One!”. The singer admitted that such experiments reveal hitherto unknown facets of talent in him. Once, in the same dressing room with Alexander, who reincarnated as Eduard Khil, Ruslan Alekhno, who reincarnated as … Alexander Rybak, was getting ready. The real Rybak advised Ruslan to keep his back straight – this is very important for a violinist.

In 2018, with the composition “That’s How You Write a Song”, the performer won the final of the Eurovision selection round in Norway and got the opportunity to represent the country in the European competition for the second time. This time the singer took only the fifteenth place, and the Israeli Netta won.

Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song

The result upset the fans, but became clear in 2024, when Alexander admitted to years of dependence on antidepressants and sleeping pills. The musician posted a post about being in rehab:

In recent years, the pills have made me weak, scared, angry. They affected not only the brain, but also the muscles, stomach and general condition of the body. This addiction ruined my relationships with people, but most importantly, it almost destroyed my will to live.

Followers immediately responded in the comments with words of support, and Rybak admitted that music became part of his therapy and presented two new works: the composition Give Me Rain (about getting rid of a mental disorder) and My Whole World (about healing a broken heart).

Allegations of plagiarism

Alexander Rybak was repeatedly suspected of plagiarism. His song “Fairytale” is reminiscent of the song “Bit Pazari” by Turkish singer Hussein Yalın, and the song “Abandoned” is similar to the “Crane Song” by Kirill Molchanov.

For his song “I don’t believe in miracles” similar to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith, Alexander Rybak was even declared the winner of the Silver Galosh-2010 anti-award.

Personal life of Alexander Rybak

As for the broken heart, Alexander, a successful and popular artist, does not have a relationship with the opposite sex. Long before the triumphant performance at Eurovision in Moscow, he met with violinist Ingrid Berg Mehus, but the girl left him in 2004. {cite#First love, many things don’t work out, quarrels. And then you realize that this person is dear to you and you want to return to him. But, alas… And the melody of the song came to my mind.} After the performance of the famous “Fairy Tale”, Rybak tried to return the favor of his beloved, but very soon realized that Ingrid was using their renewed relationship for his own promotion. After that, the young man broke up with the girl completely.

Alexander Rybak and Ingrid Berg Mehus

In 2010, the musician began dating the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest of the same year, singer Lena Mayer from Germany. He supported her, participated in rehearsals, and after her victory, they maintained a warm relationship, which soon grew into something more. Lena even announced the upcoming wedding, but the couple never reached the official registration of marriage.

Alexander Rybak and Lena Mayer

Rumors began to appear that Alexander prefers men, the reason for which was the singer’s statements that Eurovision is a kind of gay parade. Rybak was bombarded with love letters from homosexuals from all over the planet, and it took him a long time to convince them that he could only treat them in a comradely manner.

Recently, the media have reported that Alexander is dating a new girl – a graphic designer from Oslo named Julia. They live together, but in an interview, the musician states that his immediate plans include neither the creation of a family nor the birth of children.

Alexander Rybak and his girlfriend Julia

In 2024, a message appeared on Rybak’s Instagram that he was going to Chicago’s Columbia College to study as a film composer.

Alexander Rybak now

The musician began 2024 by starting his own TikTok page. At first, getting used to the video format, he only answered questions from fans, but then, at their request, he presented to his fans a violin performance of a popular composition by the Russian group Korol i Shut called The Sorcerer’s Doll. Rybak is returning to an active lifestyle, although he admits that rehabilitation from drug addiction has not yet been completed.

Important events in life

  • 1990: Moving with family to Norway.
  • year 2001: Won an award at the Sparre Olsen Young Musicians Competition.
  • 2003: Became a Meadowmount School of Music Scholar.
  • 2004: Received the Anders Jares Prize for Culture.
  • 2006: Won a Young Talent Competition with his own song Foolin.
  • 2007: Received the Hedda Oslo Nye Teater Award for his performance in Fiddler on the Roof.
  • year 2009: won the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, released his first solo album Fairytales.
  • 2010: received a Grammy Award at Spellemann at the end of the year in Norway and the God of Ether Award in the Radio Hit: Foreign Artist nomination.
  • 2015: participated in the show “One to One!”.
  • 2018: participant of the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon (result – 15th place).
  • 2020: treatment for years of drug dependence.

Alexander Rybak – listen online