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Lena Meyer-Landrut

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Lena Meyer-Landrut
1LIVE Krone 2015-3795.jpg
Lena Meyer-Landrut at 1liVE Krone 2015
Background information
Also known asLena
Born (1991-05-23) 23 May 1991 (age 27)
Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany
GenresPop, indie pop[1]
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
Years active2010–present
LabelsUSFO, Universal Music Germany
Websitelena-meyer-landrut.de

Lena Johanna Therese Meyer-Landrut[2] (German: [ˈleːna]; born 23 May 1991) is a German singer-songwriter. She represented Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo winning the contest with the song "Satellite". With her three entries from the German national final Unser Star für Oslo (Our Star for Oslo), Meyer-Landrut set an all-time chart record in her home country by debuting with three songs in the top five on the German singles chart. Both "Satellite" and her first album My Cassette Player debuted at number one in Germany. The single has been certified double Platinum, and the album has been certified five times Gold for sales of over 500,000 units. Meyer-Landrut represented Germany for the second consecutive time in the Eurovision Song Contest at Düsseldorf in 2011 with the song "Taken by a Stranger", placing 10th.

Meyer-Landrut performed as part of the interval act during the second semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. In September she released the single "Stardust" from the album of the same name which was released on 12 October. A second single, "Neon (Lonely People)", was released in March 2013. At the 2013 Echo Awards that same month, she won the Best National Video award for "Stardust". Following her No One Can Catch Us Tour she was one of three judges on the show The Voice Kids.

In 2014 and 2015 Meyer-Landrut returned as a judge on the second and third season of The Voice Kids. In March 2015 she released the single "Traffic Lights" and the fourth studio album on which it appears, Crystal Sky, in May. The single from her yet to be released album Gemini, "Lost in You", was released in April 2017. She also appeared on the fourth season of the German TV show Sing meinen Song - Das Tauschkonzert (Sing My Song – The Exchange Concert).

Meyer-Landrut has also voiced characters in several audiobooks and an animated film Tarzan (2013 film). She has been a brand ambassador for L'Oréal hair coloring and skin care products.

Early life[edit]

Lena Meyer-Landrut was born in Hanover, Germany,[3] on 23 May 1991.[4] She is the granddaughter of Andreas Meyer-Landrut, the Estonian-born West German ambassador to the Soviet Union in Moscow from 1980 to 1983 and 1987 to 1989,[5][6] and Hanna Karatsony von Hodos who was born in Bratislava, Slovakia of Hungarian nobility.[7] She grew up as an only child,[5] and started taking dancing lessons at the age of five; initially doing ballet and later practising various modern styles, including hip-hop and jazz dance.[8] Meyer-Landrut grew fond of singing and appeared as an extra in a number of German television series,[5] though she never received any formal acting or vocal training.[9] In June 2010 she graduated from IGS Roderbruch Hannover, a comprehensive school, receiving her Abitur diploma.[10]

Career[edit]

2009–2011: Unser Star für Oslo and Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Meyer-Landrut decided to take part in the talent show Unser Star für Oslo (Our Star for Oslo), a newly created national television programme to select the German entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo.[9] The show was organised by public broadcaster ARD and private television station ProSieben, as well as entertainer, music producer and former Eurovision entrant Stefan Raab. From 4,500 entrants, Meyer-Landrut was picked as one of the 20 contestants for the show. Asked about her motivation to apply, she said, "I like to test myself. I wanted to see how I am perceived, and I wanted to hear what people with knowledge have to say about it. I personally can't judge myself at all."[6]

After her first appearance, performing "My Same" by British singer Adele, Meyer-Landrut received much praise from the show's jury panel and was instantly considered the favourite.[9] The following week, Adele's "My Same" entered the German singles chart at number 61.[11] Meyer-Landrut reached the final of Unser Star für Oslo, mainly performing lesser-known songs by international artists The Bird and the Bee, Kate Nash, Paolo Nutini and Lisa Mitchell. Of her eight cover performances, five of the original songs subsequently charted in Germany, with all but "Foundations" reaching their peak chart position.[12][13][14][15] In the final, on 12 March 2010, Meyer-Landrut sang three songs specifically written for the contest, "Bee", "Satellite" and "Love Me". Through televoting the audience chose "Satellite", written by American Julie Frost and Dane John Gordon, to be her designated song in the event she won the show. In a second round of voting Meyer-Landrut was chosen as Germany's entry for the 55th Eurovision Song Contest, beating the last remaining contestant, Jennifer Braun.[16] The music video for "Satellite" was shot during the night of the final and premiered on German television stations four days later.[17]

Throughout the show, Meyer-Landrut was seen as the clear favourite.[18] One day after winning Unser Star für Oslo, her three songs from the finals topped the German iTunes Store sales chart,[19] making her the first singer to accomplish this.[20][21] "Satellite" sold over 100,000 downloads in its first week, becoming Germany's fastest-selling digital release ever.[22] Her three songs entered the top five of the German singles chart reaching positions one, three and four. No artist had achieved this since the charts were first established in Germany in 1959.[21] "Satellite" was certified gold after the first week and platinum after the fourth week of its release.[22][23] The song remained at number one for five consecutive weeks in Germany.[24]

While competing at Unser Star für Oslo, Meyer-Landrut continued to attend school. The last show was held one month before the start of her final exams.[5] Following them she released her debut album, My Cassette Player, on 7 May 2010.[25] Produced by Stefan Raab, it includes the singles "Satellite", "Love Me" and "Bee", as well as two cover songs and eight unreleased titles. Meyer-Landrut is credited as a co-writer for the lyrics of five songs.[26] The album debuted at number one on the German albums chart.[27] It peaked at number one on the Austrian albums chart, and at number three on the Swiss albums chart.[28][29] "Satellite" has been certified double Platinum, and the album has been certified five times Gold for sales of over 500,000 units.[24][30][27]

Following her success in Germany Meyer-Landrut said she would enjoy pursuing a singing or acting career,[6] but explained, "I'm not fixated on doing music my whole life."[31] She said she originally planned to study acting after graduating school, but now is unsure "if time allows".[31] She said her musical influences include Adele, Kate Nash, Vanessa Carlton, as well as the singer Clueso, and German pop rock band Wir sind Helden.[32]

Representing a "big four" country, Meyer-Landrut automatically qualified for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. Germany received a wild card during the running order draw, allowing the German representatives to choose the country's position for the final. They chose position 22 out of the 25 spots. Meyer-Landrut arrived in Oslo one week before the show and completed five rehearsals of her song "Satellite". Before the final, she was considered one of the favourites. Bookmakers regarded her as the second favourite behind Azerbaijan's Safura, while Google projected she would win based on search volume in the participating countries.[33] According to Norway's Aftenposten she received the most media attention of all the participants.[34]

The final was held on 29 May 2010 at Oslo's Telenor Arena. Appearing fourth from last, Meyer-Landrut wore a simple black dress and performed on a bare stage with four backing singers. Her pared-back presentation was a break from recent Eurovision trends, as it did not feature any choreography, dancers or an elaborate stage show.[35] "Satellite" received a total of 246 points, giving Germany its first win since 1982, and the first victory as a unified country.[36][37] The song won over Turkey's entry "We Could Be the Same" with a margin of 76 points, the second largest in Eurovision history, second only to Alexander Rybak's margin of 169 points in the 2009 contest. (It would later be eclipsed by Loreen's victory in 2012, sporting a margin of 113 points). "Satellite" was awarded the maximum of 12 points nine times and received points from all but five countries.[37]

Lena on stage in Düsseldorf

The BBC called "Satellite" the first "contemporary pop hit Eurovision has produced in decades," ushering in "a new era for the annual music jamboree".[38] Meyer-Landrut's victory received much attention in Germany and the show was seen by 15 million viewers on German television (a 49.1 percent market share).[39] She returned to Hanover the following day, where she was greeted by 40,000 people.[40] In June, "Satellite" regained the top spot on the German singles chart for one week and also peaked at number one in Denmark,[41] Finland,[42] Norway,[43] Sweden[44] and Switzerland.[45] It also topped the European Hot 100 singles chart—the first Eurovision song to do so.[46][47]

In June 2010 in the German dubbed version of the computer-animated film Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage, Meyer-Landrut provided the voice for the character originally spoken by Isabelle Fuhrman.[48]

In January 2011, the TV-Show Unser Song für Deutschland was held and Meyer-Landrut's 2011 Eurovision song was determined via televoting.[49] The twelve songs Meyer-Landrut performed during that show were recorded on her second studio album Good News, which was released on 8 February 2011. The album reached Gold status in Germany within one week after its release.[50] On 18 February 2011, the Unser Song für Deutschland final was held. It was decided through televoting that Meyer-Landrut would perform the entry "Taken by a Stranger" in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011.[51]

In April 2011, she went on her first German tour of the largest concert halls in Berlin, Hanover, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Leipzig, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne,[52] though the concerts were not sold out.

In May 2011, Meyer-Landrut attempted to defend her title for the second consecutive time in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest at Düsseldorf.[53] She was the third winner to do so, and the first in over 50 years.[54] She sang the song "Taken by a Stranger", placing 10th.[53] She also appeared in the opening performance of the show, less than an hour before she took the stage to represent Germany.

2012–2013: Stardust and The Voice[edit]

On 24 May 2012, Meyer-Landrut performed as part of the interval act during the second semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. She was joined by the five Eurovision winners from 2007 to 2011, which included Marija Šerifović, Dima Bilan, Alexander Rybak, and Ell & Nikki. Meyer-Landrut, Marija, Dima and Alexander performed their winning song entries accompanied by traditional Azeri instruments, and were joined by Ell & Nikki for a rendition of "Waterloo".[55]

Lena Meyer-Landrut at the Echo music award 2013

In late July and early August she went on a promotion tour, Lenas Wohnzimmer (Lena′s Lounge), which took her to Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin. She performed several of her new songs.[56]

Meyer-Landrut announced on her Twitter account that "Stardust" would be the first single from her new album of the same name on ! August. The single was released on 21 September[57] and was certified Gold for selling 150,000 copies.[58] The album was released on 12 October and debuted at number two on the German Albums chart.[59] Since October 2012 she has performed the theme song in the opening credits of Sesamstraße, the German version of Sesame Street accompanied by Elmo on trumpet.[60] She covered the Pippi Longstocking song "Sjörövar Fabbe" ("Seeräuber-Opa Fabian") for the compilation album Giraffenaffen in November 2012.[61]

On 18 January 2013, it was announced that the second single from Meyer-Landrut's album would be "Neon (Lonely People)". The music video for it was shot in early February, by director Bode Brodmüller in Rathenau-Hallen. He also directed the video for her first single from the third album, "Stardust". Lena's video for "Neon (Lonely People)", her sixth single, premiered on Universal Music's website on 1 March. It was released on 15 March, and the video was uploaded to Meyer-Landrut's Vevo channel on YouTube. The single is different from the original version on her Stardust album. It is a remixed, slightly faster dance song. Meyer-Landrut attended the 2013 Echo Awards on 21 March. She was nominated for two categories—Best National Video for "Stardust", and as Best National Female Artist. She won the Best National Video award,[62] but lost the Best Female National Artist award to singer Ivy Quainoo.[63]

Meyer-Landrut went on a club tour through thirteen German cities starting in Stuttgart on 2 April 2013 and finishing in Offenbach am Main on 21 April. The final concert was streamed live via the Internet.[64] The No One Can Catch Us Tour name was taken from a line on her first single from the album, Stardust. In April and May 2013 she was one of three judges on the show The Voice Kids alongside Tim Bendzko and Henning Wehland.[65]

Her seventh single, "Mr. Arrow Key", the third single from Stardust, was released on 17 May 2013. It was written by Lena, Linda Carlsson and Sonny Boy Gustafsson, who also produced the track.[66] Lena was president of the German jury (including Carolin Niemczyk, Alina Süggeler, Tim Bendzko and Florian Silbereisen)[67] and the spokesperson for Germany, revealing the countries voting results at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 final on 18 May.

In July 2013, it was announced that she would be the German voice of Jane in the motion capture animated film Tarzan 3D, which was released in German cinemas in February 2014.[68][69] In the same month she dubbed the voice of three characters in the two audiobooks Giraffenaffen – Wir sind da! (Giraffe-monkeys – We are here!) and Giraffenaffen – Die Schatzssuche (Giraffe-monkeys – Treasure hunt), which were both published in October 2013.[70]

Meyer-Landrut re-united with her Eurovision mentor Stefan Raab in October 2013 when she was featured on "Revolution", a single released by Raab's band Dicks on Fire.[71] In June 2013, this song was used for a video promoting the Doosh shower head Doosh, invented by Stefan Raab. In it Lena poses as Lara Croft in the shower. In 2013 she became a L'Oréal hair coloring and skin care products brand ambassador.[72]

2014–2015: Crystal Sky[edit]

From March to May 2014 she returned as coach for the second season of The Voice Kids along with Henning Wehland (from the band Söhne Mannheims) and Johannes Strate (from the band Revolverheld).[73][74]

Meyer-Landrut began principal work on her fourth studio album Crystal Sky in 2014. Taking her sound further into the electro and dance pop genre, she worked with the English production and songwriting team Biffco, and the Berlin-based collective Beatgees on most of the album.[75] In November 2014, one of their collaborations, the children's song "Schlaft alle" (Sleep all), appeared on the compilation album Giraffenaffen 3.[61] The same month, Meyer-Landrut's rendition of the Aladdin song "A Whole New World" was included on the compilation album I Love Disney.[76]

From February to April 2015 Meyer-Landrut reprised her role as a coach on the third season of The Voice Kids[77] along with singers Johannes Strate and Mark Forster. After four press concerts in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, and Cologne from late February to early March 2015 she released Crystal Sky's first single "Traffic Lights" to radio in March 2015.[78] It reached the top twenty of the German Singles Chart.

Crystal Sky was released in May 2015. It marked her fourth consecutive album to reach the top two of the German Albums Chart. But it was less successful in Austria and Switzerland, where it failed to reach the top twenty on both music markets' charts.[79] In September 2015, Meyer-Landrut released "Wild & Free", the theme song for the motion picture Fack ju Göhte 2 as a single.[80] The song peaked at number eight on the German Singles Chart, becoming her highest-charting single in three years.[81]

2016–present: Only Love, L and Sing meinen Song[edit]

In December 2016, Meyer-Landrut revealed on her Twitter account her forthcoming fifth studio album would be called Gemini and that she had already began working on it.[82] In April 2017, Meyer-Landrut released a new song called "Lost in You".[83] It was released on 14 April,[84] and reached number 58 on the GfK Entertainment Charts.[85] In November 2017 Meyer-Landrut stated via YouTube that she scrapped the album, because she was not happy with it. [86]

Meyer-Landrut participated in the fourth season of the German TV show Sing meinen Song - Das Tauschkonzert (Sing My Song – The Exchange Concert).[87] In the third episode on 6 June, when the other artists performed Lena's songs, she premiered a new song "If I Wasn't Your Daughter".[88] German press instantly discussed the song's content, which refers to Lena's relationship with her father who left the family when she was two. She has had no contact with him for more than twenty years.[89][90] The song peaked at number 35 on the German charts.[91]

In August 2017, Lena collaborated with the German hip hop group Genetikk where they recorded the single Lang lebe die Gang. It was her second single with German lyrics after her cover version of Durch die Nacht by Silbermond from the television show Sing meinen Song in May 2017. In June 2018, she collaborated with DJ Topic and Spanish super star Juan Magán at the single Sólo Contigo.

In October 2018 it was revealed, that Lena will return as coach for The Voice Kids 2019.

In November 2018, Lena released her first single Thank You from her upcoming fifth studio album Only Love, L. The album will be released on 5 April 2019.[92]

Media image[edit]

Meyer-Landrut has been noted for her unconventional way of handling the press,[93] which has been labelled "aloof" as well as "quick-witted" and "intuitive".[93] She usually refuses to answer questions about her private life, including her family, friends and personal beliefs, sometimes calling questions "stupid" or responding with counterquestions instead.[93] This has drawn praise as well as criticism, including allegations of being arrogant[94] and disrespectful.[95]

Meyer-Landrut's demeanour has been described as "carefree",[96] and "laid-back and self-effacing".[97] She has been said to possess an "adequate youthful megalomania," to "cultivate her forwardness" and to stand for "unadorned genuineness"[96] and "sincerity".[95] She has also been described as giving "infatuation a rhythm" and blurring the "fine line between puppy love and psychotic obsession" in her song "Satellite".[98] Her vocals have been both praised[99] and criticised.[99] In an attempt to explain Meyer-Landrut's success, her appearance has been called a "mix of loveliness, professionalism and a little craziness".[100] She has also been lauded for her stage presence[100] and charisma.[101]

Appearances on Unser Star für Oslo[edit]

Meyer-Landrut at Hanover's New City Hall with Mayor Stephan Weil after winning Unser Star für Oslo, March 2010
Show Song Original artist
1st show "My Same" Adele
3rd show "Diamond Dave" The Bird and the Bee
4th show "Foundations" Kate Nash
5th show "New Shoes" Paolo Nutini
Quarterfinal
(6th show)
"Mouthwash"
"Neopolitan Dreams"
Kate Nash
Lisa Mitchell
Semifinal
(7th show)
"Mr. Curiosity"
"The Lovecats"
Jason Mraz
The Cure
Final
(8th show)
"Bee"
"Satellite"
"Love Me"
Jennifer Braun / Lena Meyer-Landrut
Jennifer Braun / Lena Meyer-Landrut
Lena Meyer-Landrut
Jennifer Braun and Meyer-Landrut both sang different versions of "Bee" and "Satellite" in the final

Awards and nominations[edit]

Results[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 Eurovision Song Contest 2010 "Satellite" 1st
Comet Best Newcomer Herself Nominated
Goldene Henne Award Reader's award of the SuperIllu magazine: Rock/Pop/Schlager
Goldene Henne Honor Award Ambassador of Charm Won
SWR3 New Pop Festival Newcomer of the Year Herself
1LIVE Krone Best Artist
Best Single "Satellite"
Bravo Otto Best Singer Herself Nominated
2011 Goldene Kamera Best Music National Won
Echo Best National Newcomer
Best Female National Artist
Radio Echo for "Satellite" "Satellite" Nominated
Single of the Year
Album of the Year My Cassette Player
Comet Best Female Artist Herself Won
Best Song "Satellite" Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Best German Act Herself Won
Best European Act
Best Worldwide Act Nominated
1LIVE Krone Best Single "Taken By a Stranger"
Eurovision Song Contest 2011 10th
2012 MTV Germany Jahresvoting 2011 Queen of Pop Herself Won
Echo Best Video "Taken by a Stranger" Nominated
Best Female National Artist Herself
1LIVE Krone Best Single "Stardust"
Bravo Otto Best Singer Herself
2013 Echo Best Female National Artist
Best Video "Stardust" Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Singer Germany, Austria, Switzerland Herself Nominated
Radio Regenbogen Award Listeners Award
Goldene Henne Award Reader's Award of the SuperIllu magazine – Music
MTV Europe Music Awards Best German Act Won
Best Central Europe Act
Best World Wide Act Nominated
2015 MTV Europe Music Awards Best German Act Won
1LIVE Krone Best Female Artist Won
Bravo Otto Best Singer Won[102]
2016 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards Favourite Star (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) Won
Radio Regenbogen Award National Female Artist Won
Echo Rock/Pop Female National Artist[103] Crystal Sky Nominated

Film and television[edit]

Year Film Role Note
2010 A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures Shelly German voice-dub
2014 Tarzan 3D Jane German voice-dub
2016 Trolls Poppy German voice-dub
2019 Wonder Park June German voice-dub
TV Show Role Note
2011 Bundesvision Song Contest 2011 Herself – Co-presenter
2012 Durch die Nacht mit … Casper Herself arte documentary
2013 The Voice Kids Herself – Judge/Coach Kids Version
2014
2015
2016
2019
2017 Sing meinen Song - Das Tauschkonzert Herself - Participant

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

English
German

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Norway Alexander Rybak
with "Fairytale"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
2010
Succeeded by
Azerbaijan Ell & Nikki
with "Running Scared"
Preceded by
Alex Swings Oscar Sings
with "Miss Kiss Kiss Bang"
Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest
2010, 2011
Succeeded by
Roman Lob
with "Standing Still"
Preceded by
Italy Marco Mengoni
Best European Act in the MTV Europe Music Awards
2011
Succeeded by
Russia Dima Bilan