ARTIST 101: Jonida Maliqi

This Artist 101 guide contains everything you need to know about Albania’ representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Jonida Maliqi.

Who is Jonida Maliqi?

Jonida Maliqi is a 36-year-old Albanian singer, television host, businesswoman, philanthropist and fashion icon who won Albania’s national selection show for Eurovision, the 57th edition of Festivali i Këngës and will represent her country at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel with her song “Ktheju tokës”.

Born in Tirana, Jonida’s fate was decided early, as a young child, when her talent was discovered by Albanian pianist Nora Çashku, who advised the little girl’s mother to enrol her daughter at the music school. Thus, Maliqi spent four years studying violin there and joining the Cultural Children’s Centre, where she performed at several festivals as soon as at the age of 9. Later on, she learned to play the guitar and appeared at the Festivali i Këngës for the first time when she was just 13. She returned in 1997. However, her professional career didn’t begin until 1999, when she was placed second on the show with “Do Jetoj Edhe Pa Ty“.

After the success, Jonida continued participating at the festival for another three consecutive years and won numerous awards in the industry. As a singer, in 2006, she starred in the Albanian version of The Ten Commandments: The Musical as Bithia and released her debut studio album “Nuk Të Pres”. She has appeared on the Albanian version of the Dutch TV-series I Love My Country, starred in the musical “Romeo and Juliet”, and co-hosted the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars. She really focused on being a television personality, as in 2016, she also appeared as a coach on the fifth season of The Voice of Albania. However, her love for singing won eventually, when she made a huge comeback to music with her song “N’Errësirë”. In 2018, she arrived home at Festivali i Këngës once again, winning it with a banger that is “Ktheju tokës”.

We can state that Jonida is multi-talented, as she is really successful in whatever she starts to do. She now owns an exclusive haute couture boutique in Tirana and is a massive charitable person.

When is her birthday?

Jonida’s birthday is on March 26, 1983.

What is her most popular song?

To date, her competing entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest “Ktheju tokës” is Jonida’s most popular number.

“Ktheju tokës” was written and composed by Eriona Rushiti, and according to her, “it’s for anyone who has to return to their identity, to their originality, to their land, to search deep in their roots for the best and to return to the human feelings, where life gets a meaning.” Jonida has a personal connection to this number, as her sister Xhilda also left Albania.

Where can you follow her?

Jonida can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and you can also listen to her songs on Spotify.

What do you think of Jonida and her song “Ktheju tokës”? Do you think Albania has a chance of winning Eurovision 2019? Let us know on Twitter at @CelebMix!

Written by Alexandra Nagy

I'm Alexandra from Hungary, now living in the UK, and writing is not just my hobby - it's my passion. I'm a writer/journalist addicted to music, travelling, football, movies & books, proudly supporting Derby County Football Club.
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