Today is he final night of the European Song Contest. Part of the 26 countries that run this song contest is Albania.
With the song “Return to your land”, Jonida Maliqi will perform the second in a row after Malta which opens the spectacle. With a strong and current message of emigration, the song was very well received by the local and foreign audience, assessed positively by the critics.
.Some polls have raised the morale of the singer and the team. The show will kick off at 21:00 and will be broadcast exclusively on RTSH 1 HD, RTSH Music and Radio Tirana as well as the RTSH TANI application on mobile phones.
Jonida Maliqi (born 26 March 1983) is an Albanian singer, television host, media personality, philanthropist, style icon and entrepreneur.
Throughout her career, Maliqi has won six awards at Kënga Magjike and the first place in 2008. She is also a double winner of accolades at the Top Fest in 2006 and 2010 respectively. Maliqi played Bithia in the Albanian version of The Ten Commandments: The Musical and starred as Juliet in the Albanian theatre production of Roméo et Juliette (musical). In 2012, she was appointed as the captain of her team at the Albanian version of the Dutch TV series I Love My Country whereas in 2014 she co-hosted the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars (Albanian TV series). In 2016, Maliqi appeared as a judge on the fifth season of The Voice of Albania and in 2018 she became the sixteenth representative of Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Maliqi is regarded as one of the most popular pop singers in the Albanian speaking world and is renowned for her unique vocal, patriotism, philanthropy, fashion sense and persona. A recognized style icon, she is referred to as a fashion enthusiast by the press and regularly graces the covers of fashion magazines alongside fronting for local and international luxury brands. Widely perceived as an influential trendsetter, Maliqi’s style is consistently emulated by women
Maliqi’s singing talent was discovered at an early age by the renowned Albanian pianist Nora Çashku who was impressed with her singing of a song by Parashqevi Simaku and suggested to Maliqi’s mother to enroll her at the music school. The advice was taken, thus, Maliqi studied violin at the conservatoire for four consecutive years. At the age of nine, she joined the ‘Cultural Children’s Centre’ in Tirana and participated in various festivals at home and abroad in which she progressed with great success. Later on, she began her guitar studies at Jordan Misja Artistic Lyceum, and then, at the age of thirteen, she made her debut at the Festivali i Këngës with the song “Planeti i Fëmijëve”(Children’s planet) in a duet with Albanian tenor Aleksandër Rrapi. The following year, Maliqi began to study canto and graduated from the Lyceum. In 1997, aged fifteen, she returned to the festival with the song “Flas Me Engjëllin Tim”(Speaking with my angel), this time in a duet with Albanian tenor Kastriot Tusha. The song was dedicated to the Albanian Catholic Saint Mother Teresa and received wide acclaim nationwide. Maliqi’s professional career as a solo artist began in 1999 with the song “Do Jetoj Edhe Pa Ty“(Can live without you) which won the second place in the festival.
After the successful solo debut in 1999, Maliqi participates at “Festivali i Këngës” for another three consecutive years with songs “Çast“(Moment), “Ik“ (Go) and “Do Humbas Me Ty“(I’ll disappear with you) which placed third at the 41th edition. In 2001, Maliqi pursued studies at the Academy of Arts under the mentorship of the renowned Albanian professor Nina Mula, the mother of internationally acclaimed Albanian soprano Inva Mula. Meanwhile, her participation at various music festivals continued as she approached mainstream success. In 2003, Maliqi won “The Best Performer” category at Kënga Magjike for “Vetëm Një Natë“(Only one night). In 2005, Maliqi announced a work on her debut album Nuk Të Pres and won the “Best Interpretation Award” at Kënga Magjike for “Papagalli i Dashurisë“(Parrrot of love).
After her graduation in 2006, Maliqi starred in the Albanian version of The Ten Commandments: The Musical as Bithia, and in the same year she released her debut album “Nuk Të Pres”(I can’t wait for you) upon her birthday.That year, her collaboration with Albanian pop singer Tuna (singer) spawned the hit “Forca e Femrës“(Female force) which won the “Best Female Award” at Top Fest. In 2008, Maliqi returned with a new single “Njëri Nga Ata“ (One of them) which entered “Kënga Magjike” and won the competition alongside the “Best Song” and the “10th Anniversary Award”. In 2010, she collaborated with Albanian rap artist Big Basta and their song “Sot t’i Japim Fund“ (We end it up today)won the “Best Pop & R&B Song” at the Top Fest.
In 2011, Maliqi returned to “Kënga Magjike” with “Thesar pa Emër“(Nameless treasure) which won “Çesk Zadeja Award” whereas in 2012 she became the captain of her team at the Albanian version of the Dutch TV-series “I Love My Country”. In 2013, she won “Jon Music Award” for “Ti“ (You) and then was announced as a host of the first season of The Voice Kids (Albanian TV series) but withdrew, presumably due to other professional pursuits. On the same year, Maliqi starred at the musical “Romeo and Juliet” as Juliet opposite Albanian Skënderaj. In 2014, she co-hosted the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars” whereas in 2015 she released a new song called “Jam Bërë Si Ti“(Like You) which became a huge hit.
Period between 2016 and 2018, denoted a shift in focus of Jonida as an artist to a television personality. In 2016, Maliqi appeared as a judge on the fifth season of “The Voice of Albania” between January 9, 2016 and April 16, 2016. In May 10, 2018, Maliqi released through VEVO the song “N’Errësirë”(In darkness) which marked a successful comeback. On December 20, 2018, Maliqi participated and won the 57th edition of the Festivali i Këngës thus becoming Albania’s sixteenth representative at Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Ktheju tokës”(Return to your land).