Åse Kleveland

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Åse Kleveland
Aase Kleveland 17Mai Eidsvoll.jpg
Åse Kleveland. Norwegian Constitution Day, 2007
Photo: Harry Wad
Background information
Birth name Åse Maria Kleveland
Born (1949-03-18) 18 March 1949 (age 66)
in Stockholm, Sweden
Origin Sweden, Norway
Genres Popular music, vispop
Occupation(s) Musician, politician, leader
Instruments Singer, guitarist
Years active 1965–present
Associated acts Ballade!

Åse Maria Kleveland (born 18 March 1949 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Norwegian singer and politician.

A well-known folk singer and traditional guitarist in Norway, she was appointed Minister of Culture in Norway from 1990 to 1996, representing the Labour Party under the Gro Harlem Brundtland administration. She was also president of the Swedish Film Institute from 1999[1] to 2006.

In June 2007 she became Chairman of the Board of Human-Etisk Forbund, the Norwegian humanist organization.

Personal life[edit]

Kleveland was born in Sweden to Olaf Kleveland, a civil engineer from Norway, and Eva Hansson, a bookkeeper from Sweden. Her father had fled from Norway to Sweden in 1943 due to the Nazi occupation; he had family members in Sweden with whom he could live. She and her family moved to Romerike, northeast of Oslo, in 1957,[1] where her father got a job working at the Institute for Atomic Energy.[2]

In a 1977 interview, she describes how her parents shared equally in the household chores, and that she and her then-husband Svenolov Ehrén, a Swedish artist, did the same.[3] She is currently married to film director and cinematographer Oddvar Bull Tuhus.

Kleveland is fluent in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, French and Japanese. She studied Law at the University of Oslo.[1][4]

Musical career[edit]

As a singer, she is famous for her very dark, soulful voice. Besides singing, she also plays the guitar and has composed songs in the singer-songwriter tradition. In addition to her solo career, she was also part of the vispop group Ballade!.

She began playing classical guitar at eight and two years later she debuted in a radio show.[1] Her first bout as a singer of vispop was on an Erik Bye show when she was 13; Her first album was released in 1965.[1] With her second album in 1966[1] she was one of the pioneers ushering in the new vispop genre, a blend of traditional folk song and pop. This led to a series of engagements in Paris—and a period of commuting between these Paris performances and her secondary school in Lillestrøm, north of Oslo. At age 17 she conducted a major tour of Japan which included several TV shows and the release of four singles in Japanese.[1][3] She released her final solo album in 1973[1] and has released thirteen singles for the Scandinavian and German markets.[1]

In 1966, she represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest with the entry "Intet er nytt under solen" (There's Nothing New Under The Sun), finishing in third place. She broke a tradition expected of female performers at the time in that she was the first woman to not to wear a dress, instead going for a pantsuit.[5]

She had a long association with the Norwegian Association of Musicians, first holding the office of secretary from 1979 to 1983,[1] then as their leader from 1983 to 1987.[1] She was also the President of the Musicians' Union from 1983 to 1986 and their Vice-President from 1986 to 1987.[1]

In 1986, she hosted the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Norway in Bergen following Bobbysocks' victory in 1985, having previously introduced the Norwegian entry on camera at the Eurovision Song Contest 1980.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Åse Kleveland Curriculum Vitae at the Wayback Machine (archived March 18, 2005)
  2. ^ Dagbladet: Interview med Åse Kleveland
  3. ^ a b Efjestad, Einar (1977). "KJ spør, trubaduren Åse Kleveland svarer...!". Kriminal Journalen (in Norwegian) (Oslo) 1977 (3): 10–11, 45. 
  4. ^ she was finishing the second part (2. avd.) of the Norwegian Law degree program in 1976/77
  5. ^ 1966 Eurovision contest notes
Political offices
Preceded by
Eleonore Bjartveit
Norwegian Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
Turid Birkeland
Media offices
Preceded by
Kirsti Sparboe
with "Karusell"
Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Kirsti Sparboe
with "Dukkemann"
Preceded by
Sweden Lill Lindfors
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
Succeeded by
Belgium Viktor Lazlo