Tamara Todevska will represent North Macedonia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with her song “Proud”. It’s an emotional ballad with a strong feminist message.
North Macedonia’s broadcaster MRT selected Tamara internally, similar to previous years. Hopes rest on Tamara to turn around the Balkan country’s rather unfortunate record in the contest. It has achieved only one qualification in the last 11 editions, namely Kaliopi in 2012.
However, things are looking up and Tamara could be the turning point for North Macedonia. As the contest draws near, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Tamara Todevska. Let’s do this!
1. She comes from a very musical family
Looking at her origin, it is no surprise that Tamara is one of the best-known performers in North Macedonia. Her older sister Tijana Dapčević is also a famous singer, particularly in Serbia. Both were raised in Skopje. But the family’s musical heritage runs even deeper. Their father is a music teacher at the Academy of Music in Skopje and their Serbian mother is an opera singer.
2. She has lots of Eurovision experience
Tel Aviv won’t be the first time Tamara has hit the Eurovision stage. In fact, it will be her fourth appearance at the contest. Although this will be her first attempt as a solo artist. Aged just 18, she provided backing vocals for Toše Proeski in 2004, finishing 14th. In 2008, she was part of Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian and ended up tenth in the semi-final. However, a now obsolete rule allowed the juries to select the last qualifier. Tamara & Co. were ditched in favour of Sweden’s Charlotte Perrelli. In 2014, she provided backing vocals for her sister Tijana.
3. Her career started over 20 years ago
Tamara made her first TV appearance before some of her fellow 2019 contestants were even born. Together with her sister Tijana, she published the song “Igra luda” in 1997. Aged 12, she performed it on national TV. Her breakthrough came in 2003 with “1003”. She entered it in the Montenegrin festival Sunčane Skale, finishing second. Tijana had won the festival the year previously, while Kaliopi would go on to win it in 2009. Tamara has released two albums and lots of singles since then.
4. Family means a lot to her
Tamara isn’t just a pop star. She’s also a mother and regularly posts pictures of her children on Instagram. She married Aleksandar Dimitrovski in 2015, a former national-team basketball player. Her daughter Hana was born in 2016 and her son Daren in December 2018.
5. Her daughter is the inspiration behind “Proud”
In an Instagram post in February, Tamara explained the meaning behind “Proud”. She doesn’t want her daughter to grow up in a society where girls are expected to “put something sexy on” or aren’t girly enough. She was told her whole life that she wasn’t good enough and walks and acts like a man. As a mother, her responsibility is to bring positive change to her children’s lives.
“Today, as I look at my daughter, I want her to grow up in a world where people will not judge her, tell her how to act, smile and move. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to follow the rules to be accepted. I want her to be whoever she wants to be and most importantly, be proud of who she is. That’s the least I can do for her.”
6. Is she cursed to be second?
Like Finland’s 2018 singer Saara Aalto, Tamara seems to have an odd connection with the runner-up spot. She came second in the Sunčane Skale 2003. Then, in 2007, she finished second in Skopje Festival, which was then North Macedonia’s selection for Eurovision. She returned to the festival in 2014. Despite topping the jury vote, her ballad “Brod što tone” fell painfully short once more. Furthermore, she is the second daughter and has two albums and two children.
7. She recorded a song with Daniel Kajmakoski
Thanks to the televote, Daniel Kajmakoski beat Tamara at Skopje Fest 2014. As a result, he got to represent the then Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at Eurovision 2015. They might have been competitors during the festival, but shortly afterwards they collaborated on the heartwarming Christmas song “Za mig”.
8. She’s performed in North Macedonia’s biggest indoor arena
In 2015, Tamara held a solo concert at the Trajkovski Sports Center. This is the biggest arena in all of North Macedonia and boasts a capacity of up to 12,000 people. Other artists to play there include 50 Cent, OneRepublic and Enrique Iglesias. She was (of course) the second female singer from North Macedonia to perform a solo concert there.
9. Singing isn’t her only talent
Earlier this year, Tamara got to flex her comedic and acting muscles with a cameo in the Macedonian sitcom Преспав. A pregnant Tamara checked in at a hotel and started singing with the receptionists until her baby Daren interfered.
10. Sweden’s Carola was her role model
Sweden secured its third victory in 1991. Somewhere in Skopje a young Tamara was enthralled by Carola’s performance. Afterwards, she told her parents that she wanted be just like the schlager queen. Eurovision was the main reason for her to pursue a singing career.
How do you think Tamara will fare at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below.
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