She’s a two-time winner of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen who also won Eurovision 1999 with her English-language number “Take Me To Your Heaven”.
And on Saturday Charlotte Perrelli — that’s @LaPerrelli to all of her fans on social media — returns to Sweden’s biggest stage with the self-penned ballad “Mitt Liv”.
Stepping away from her schlager and dance band roots, the 42-year-old stunner will perform on stage with her guitar — a move that prompted her to trim her notoriously long and decorative nails.
Ahead of the contest, she said: “It’ impossible to play guitar if they are not much shorter. No glamour!”
Melodifestivalen head honcho Christer Björkman recently told SVT that the song marks the next chapter of Charlotte’s musical life, and it appears that that will be a reward in itself.
Speaking to SVT she said this contest will not be like her previous three efforts.
“It is fun and relaxed this time,” she said. “I do not feel that I have a song that will directly compete for the win. I have other reasons [for being here].”
Charlotte, who famously divorced her ex-husband after learning he was cheating on her during Eurovision 2008, has been through a lot over the past decade, but she’s emerged unscathed and stronger than ever.
She’s now in a happy relationship with Anders Jensen and gave birth to their first child together in 2013.
The lyrics of “Mitt Liv” suggest she’s looking past the haters — who have criticised everything from her looks to her endorsements to her personal life — with renewed strength.
“I wake up with a feeling of concern for those talking about how I look,” she sings. “But who gives them the right to judge…Nobody can push me down and laugh out loud when they say my name/ For my life is mine and no one else’s.”
What is your favourite Melodifestivalen song from Charlotte Perrelli?
We won’t be able to hear Charlotte’s Melfest entry until Saturday, so for now let’s take a walk down memory lane. Which of her past three entries still gets you going?
Could it be her 1999 Eurovision winner “Take Me To Your Heaven”? Originally performed as “Tusen och en natt” (Swedish for “One Thousand and One Nights”), the upbeat number sees her asking her lover to take her to heaven by loving her. Her pink-and-purple outfit is iconic — so much so that Eurovision 2016 host Petra Mede wore it during the famous “Love Love Peace Peace” interval.
Out of the light like a star, like a hero…Charlotte’s 2008 entry remains a Euroclub staple. It only placed 18th at Eurovision — and had to be saved from semi-final elimination by the jury. But the song has aged well and its staging — which saw Charlotte emerge from grey before singing in technicolour fabulosity — remains as striking nearly a decade on.
In interviews Charlotte has said that her 2012 entry “The Girl” is her favourite, and she remains confused about why Sweden didn’t get it. Plenty of Eurovision fans agree. A full-on schlager club number, the foot-tapping ditty included some over-the-top staging that saw Charlotte wearing a pink spiked leotard and a pair of vertiginous heels. At one point she stood in front of an LED projection screen and grew digital wings. Sadly the song didn’t take flight and Charlotte was eliminated.
We’d be remiss not to mention Charlotte’s other Melodifestivalen song, which she performed as the interval act during Melodifestivalen 2016. It wasn’t a competing song, but her “Här står jag” — a cover of Helene Fischer — shot to #1 on the Swedish iTunes charts anyway and re-established her as one of the fandom’s most beloved characters.
Are you excited for Charlotte’s 2017 song reveal? Do you love the lyrics? And which of her earlier songs still makes you move? Let us know in the comments box below.