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Hanna

Meet Hanna, the down-to-earth rock diva

On the surface, Finland’s entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Hanna’s ”Leave Me Alone” is just as melodic and catchy as the best Eurovision pop should be. Underneath, it’s a straight-ahead rock song complete with aggressive lyrics and a mean guitar solo.

”I know it’s not your typical Eurovision entry”, says Hanna, who co-wrote the song’s lyrics. ”But the important thing is that I believe in it. After all, the Eurovision Song Contest is about the songs, not about the singers”.

But of course, the competition is about the singers, too. And one thing Hanna can certainly do is sing.

Growing up in Eastern Finland near the Russian border, Hanna started her career by singing in local rock groups by night and driving a forklift truck at a paper mill by day. Her lucky break came in 2004 when she took part in the TV talent show ”Idols”, the Finnish version of the international hit format ”Pop Idol”. It didn’t take the Finns long to fall in love with this talkative, friendly, and completely unpretentious small-town girl with the big voice. In other words, Hanna won ”Idols” and signed with Sony BMG because she sang like a true diva but acted utterly unlike one.

At 25, Hanna is now a veteran of the Finnish music scene, the country’s best-selling English-language solo artist, a huge concert favourite, and one of Finland’s best-loved celebrities. Even after her Gold and Platinum albums and countless hit singles she still continues to grow musically: on her new album ”Lovers”, which also features ”Leave Me Alone”, she co-wrote most of the songs.

With ”Leave Me Alone” and the Eurovision Song Contest, it’s time for the rest of Europe to get to know the un-diva-like rock diva.

”By now, Finns probably have a pretty good idea about who I am, both as a singer and as a person”, Hanna says laughing. ”I don’t think I’m going to be changing anytime soon.”
Hanna’s Finnish fans certainly hope so.