In just a few weeks she’ll compete at Melodifestivalen 2017 — five years after she won the competition before winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku.
But despite her hectic rehearsal schedule Loreen recently found the time to deliver an ethereal and enigmatic cover of “Up Where We Belong” for the annual Together Against Cancer gala that aired earlier this month on TV4 in Sweden.
“Up Where We Belong” — originally sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes — featured prominently in the final moments of the film “An Officer and a Gentleman” 35 years ago. It topped the charts in the United States and performed well across Europe, Canada and Australia, in addition to winning an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Original Song made for a motion picture.
That might intimidate lesser artists, but not Loreen. She called on Swedish cellist Linnea Olsson to perform alongside her and together they took the song to a completely different world.
The original is a pop-rock ballad that acted as an encore to a hard-fought romance. Loreen’s version is decidedly lower key — and more mysterious and moving. Linnea’s melancholic strings provide a stirring backdrop for Loreen’s breathy vocals.
The gala benefitted those fighting cancer and featured other Swedish singers such as Magnus Carlsson, Tommy Nilsson, and Sabina Dbumba.
Loreen at Melodifestivalen 2017
Fans are in a flurry of excitement, as the Swedish star will perform the song “Statements” during the fourth semi-final of Melodifestivalen in Skellefteå.
When asked by wiwibloggs whether she felt pressure to repeat the explosive success of “Euphoria”, Loreen said: “We don’t have time to worry about the win…It is all about the music.”
Loreen — surname Talhaoui — rocketed to fame after winning Eurovision 2012 in Baku with the song “Euphoria”, earning a record number of douze points in the process. The song went on to top the charts in 18 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Sweden and Russia. Since her win, Loreen has released a number of tracks including “We Got the Power”, “Paperlight (Higher)”, “My Heart is Refusing Me” and “I’m In It With You”.
At Eurovision 2016 Loreen made a special appearance at the Eurovision Party held at Tele2 Arena before the Grand Final at the neighbouring Globe Arena. She sang a few of her lesser-known tracks before regaling the crowd with “Euphoria”.
Linnea Olsson is a Swedish singer and multi-instrumentalist. She is known internationally as a cellist and a former member of the band Isildurs Bane. She has released two albums and traveled with superstar Peter Gabriel on his Back to Front tour.
For more information on how to donate to Tillsammans Mot Cancer, visit cancerfonden.se.