Måns Petter Albert Sahlén Zelmerlöw (pronounced [ˈmɔns ˈsɛlmɛrˈløːv]; born 13 June 1986) is a Swedish pop singer and television presenter. He took part in Idol 2005, eventually finishing fifth, won the first season of Let's Dance, and scored a hit with his 2007 song "Cara Mia", which was his entry in that year's Melodifestivalen. Zelmerlöw was the host of Allsång på Skansen from 2011 to 2013. He participated in Melodifestivalen in 2007, 2009 and won in 2015. Zelmerlöw represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song "Heroes", winning the contest with 365 points. Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 held in Stockholm.
Early life and education
Born in Lund, Måns Zelmerlöw is the son of Birgitta Sahlén, a professor at Lund University, and surgeon Sven-Olof Zelmerlöw. Zelmerlöw studied music in high school in Lund and was part of a school choir project. In 2002, he played one of the brothers in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Slagthuset in Malmö.
Zelmerlöw first entered the public eye in 2005, when he took part in season 2 of the Swedish version of Idol, which was broadcast on TV4. He came in fifth place overall, and was eliminated on 11 November after eight weeks on the show. He had placed in the bottom three once and the bottom two twice.
|Week #||Theme||Song choice||Original artist|
|Final Qualifier||N/A||"Flying Without Wings"||Westlife|
|Week 1||My Own Idol||"Millennium"||Robbie Williams|
|Week 2||80s||"The Look"||Roxette|
|Week 3||Swedish Hits||"Astrologen"||Magnus Uggla|
|Week 4||Pop Hits||"Escape"||Enrique Iglesias|
|Week 5||Disco||"Relight My Fire"||Dan Hartman|
|Week 6||Cocktail||"It's Not Unusual"||Tom Jones|
|Week 7 (1)||Rock||"Beautiful Day"||U2|
|Week 7 (2)||Rock||"The Reason"||Hoobastank|
2006: Let's Dance
In the same year, he also appeared in the Swedish version of the musical Grease, playing the lead role of Danny Zuko. As a result, Zelmerlöw signed a record deal to release an solo album with M&L Records, a division of Warner Music Sweden.
2007–08: Melodifestivalen and Stand by For...
In November 2006, it was announced that Zelmerlöw would compete in Melodifestivalen 2007, Sweden's national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, to be held in Helsinki, Finland. He competed with the song "Cara Mia" in the third semi-final on 17 February 2007 in Örnsköldsvik, and progressed to the final, which was held on 10 March at Globen in Stockholm. There his performance of "Cara Mia" finished in third place behind winners The Ark and runner-up Andreas Johnson. "Cara Mia" was released as a single and Zelmerlöw's debut album Stand by For... followed shortly after. The album reached number one in Sweden and was certified platinum by IFPI. Four singles were released from the album, all of which reached the top 50 in Sweden. Stand by For... was also released in Poland in September 2007.
On 5 October 2007, Zelmerlöw was the presenter of Lilla Melodifestivalen on SVT. He also participated in the musical version of Footloose, playing Tommy. The musical was performed in both Gothenburg and Stockholm. In 2008, he participated in the Diggiloo tour along with singers Lasse Holm, Linda Bengtzing, Lotta Engberg, Thomas Pettersson, Molly Sandén and Nanne Grönvall.
2009: Melodifestivalen MZW
On 18 November 2008, it was announced that Zelmerlöw would again compete in Melodifestivalen, this time with the song "Hope & Glory". The 2009 contest featured many former entrants, including Sarah Dawn Finer, Sofia, BWO and Amy Diamond. He took part in the second semi-final on 14 February 2009, and again progressed to the final on 14 March at Globen. "Hope & Glory" ultimately placed fourth, despite receiving the most votes from the jury.
In 2008, Zelmerlöw went back to the studio to work on his second solo album, MZW, which was released in late March 2009. It was certified gold by the IFPI and reached number one on the Swedish album charts. The album was also released in Poland. In 2009 he played a summer tour of Sweden performing songs from both albums.
2010–11: hosting Melodifestivalen and Allsång på Skansen
On 10 November 2009, it was announced that Zelmerlöw would host Melodifestivalen 2010, alongside Dolph Lundgren and Christine Meltzer. He hosted the first semi-final and the final with Lundgren and Meltzer, and the remaining semi-finals with only Meltzer. In the opening of the Second Chance round, he performed the Duran Duran song "A View to a Kill", and in the final he sang the Survivor song "Eye of the Tiger" with his fellow presenters. He also acted as Romeo in the musical Romeo and Juliet, and guest starred in the talent show Jakten på Julia at SVT, where Lisette Pagler won the role as Juliet. The musical had its premiere in December at Göta Lejon.
2013–14: Barcelona Sessions
In March 2013, Zelmerlöw revealed plans for his third studio album, Barcelona Sessions, unveiling a new single, "Broken Parts". He also performed a new track on Swedish television called "Run for Your Life". In September 2013, Zelmerlöw unveiled the second single from the new album, called "Beautiful Life", and performed another album track entitled "Parallels". The album was released on 5 February 2014, preceded by "Run for Your Life".
In the summer of 2013 Zelmerlöw presented Allsång på Skansen on SVT and revealed that he was leaving the show in the final programme on 13 August. Singer Petra Marklund replaced him.
Zelmerlöw participated as a songwriter in Melodifestivalen 2013, co-writing the song "Hello Goodbye", performed by singers Erik Segerstedt and Tone Damli. The song made it to the second-chance round. In late 2013, he had the lead role in the new version of the Swedish musical Spök along with Loa Falkman, Sussie Eriksson and Lena Philipsson.
2015–present: Eurovision Song Contest and Perfectly Damaged
In 2015, Zelmerlöw again participated in Melodifestivalen with the song "Heroes", which scored 288 points and won the final. In the same festival, he co-wrote the entry "Det rår vi inte för", which was performed by Behrang Miri, and which made it to the second-chance round.
On 11 May 2015, Zelmerlöw revealed the artwork and tracklist for his fourth studio album Perfectly Damaged, which was released on 5 June 2015. On 17 May, Zelmerlöw performed the song "Heroes" in Belgrade during the first live show of X Factor Adria.
Leading up to the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, Zelmerlöw was predicted as the winner by the majority of the betting companies. Zelmerlöw participated in the second semifinal on 21 May, where he came first with 217 points (the best score in any Eurovision semifinal and receiving the highest score from a record 14 countries) and qualified for the final. Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision 2015 final, scoring 365 points, which made "Heroes" the third-highest-scoring song in the history of the contest.
Throughout the summer of 2015, he made several appearances at music festivals in Sweden and Finland before embarking on a 17-date European tour in September. According to his Twitter and Instagram, before the European tour, he would make his way to Shanghai, China for a visit, promoting his latest album "Perfectly Damaged".
On 14 December 2015, SVT announced in a press conference that as previously revealed by Expressen, Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede would co-host the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. During the three shows Måns performed his winning song Heroes, his new song Fire In The Rain, and two musical sketches both co-wrote by Edward af Sillén, Story of ESC and the acclaimed Love, Love, Peace, Peace with Petra Mede.
In the end of January 2016, Zelmerlöw travelled to Australia and sang at Guy Sebastian's 28 date Concert Tour "You..Me..Us Tour" as a surprise guest Artist. Zelmerlöw and his band performed at two dates to the delight of Australian audiences who attended Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Gold Coast and regional Grafton to see the Guy Sebastian show.
In March 2014, while a guest on Swedish cooking show Pluras kök, Zelmerlöw commented that he considered homosexuality an avvikelse (English: deviation). On the show, he said he did not think there was anything wrong with homosexuality, but that it is not natural biologically, since it does not lead to reproduction. He later apologised repeatedly for his remarks, claiming that they were a miscommunication. After his Melodifestivalen win a year later, the incident came under international media scrutiny, prompting members of gay, Swedish and Eurovision media to come to Zelmerlöw's defence. He later said that "if I got that feeling" he would date a man.