Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1983, Loreen -- real name Lorine Zeineb Nora Talhaoui -- first made her mark on the music scene at the age of 21.
The singer, who is of Moroccan Berber descent, appeared in the 2004 season of Swedish Idol, performing songs by artists such as the Police
, Britney Spears
, and Stevie Wonder
. Loreen battled her way to the semifinal of the competition before eventually finishing in fourth place. In 2005, she released single "The Snake" with Rob'n'Raz, before venturing into the world of television presenting with TV400 for a year. Following this, Loreen decided to take a step back behind the cameras and work in production. This break from the limelight lasted until 2011, when Loreen entered into the Melodifestivalen -- the competition that finds the Swedish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest -- with the song "My Heart Is Refusing Me." Unfortunately, this was another "nearly" moment in her career as she didn't quite make the final round of the competition. However, not to be denied, Loreen bounced back at Melodifestivalen 2012, where she won the chance to represent her country at that year's Eurovision with the song "Euphoria." Written by Thomas G:Son and Peter Boström, the track was driven along by an uplifting trance beat and showed off Loreen's powerful vocals, which took inspiration from the likes of Björk
, and Lisa Gerrard
. "Euphoria" won Eurovision 2012 and became a hit single all over Europe. In the U.K., it reached number three in the charts and stayed in the Top 20 for some time, while in some countries, including France and Germany, it went to number one. Loreen's debut album, Heal, followed in October of the same year, entering at the top of the chart in Sweden. In 2015, Loreen returned with her sophomore album, Paperlight, which featured collaborations with Kiesza
and included the singles "Paper Light (Higher)" and "I'm in It with You." ~ Daniel Clancy