Festivali i Këngës

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Festivali i Këngës
Location(s)Tirana, Albania
Years active1962–present
Organized byRadio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH)

Festivali i Këngës (Albanian: [fɛstiˈvali i ˈkəŋɡəs]; transl. "Festival of Song"), also referred to as simply FiK, is an annual music competition in Albania organised by the national broadcaster Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH). Broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1962, it has also determined the country's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest since 2004.

Various singing presentations have been used throughout its history, beginning with radio-only interpretations in the first few years, then expanding to live performances, playback, remakes, and duets featuring other singers. The winners have traditionally been selected by a jury. However, other voting methods have also been applied, such as televoting or regional juries. At times, the head juror has carried twice the voting power of other jurors.

Vaçe Zela holds the record for most victories in the competition with eleven wins followed by Tonin Tërshana with four wins and Aurela Gaçe, Manjola Nallbani, and Elsa Lila with three wins. The most recent winner is Elsa Lila, who won the 61st edition of the contest.


Vaçe Zela performing at the 11th edition of Festivali i Këngës in 1972.

The first edition of Festivali i Këngës took place on 21 December 1962 at the High Institute of Arts in Tirana and was won by Vaçe Zela performing the song titled "Fëmija i parë".[1][2] The contest's entries was, under communism, strictly centered around light music.[3] It developed over time, starting with neutrally themed entries to becoming a tool for the governing Communist Party of Albania in promoting its ideals.

The 1972 edition was a turning point for the contest, in which dictator Enver Hoxha prosecuted the organisers of Festivali i Këngës 11 after declaring them "enemies of the public". They were accused of endangering the country with "immoral aspects" in their songs and performances. Following this development, the ruling Communist Party imposed numerous sanctions on the contest's creativity, with a strict censorship on anything deemed inappropriate by the government. This ranged from limiting the type of clothes artists could wear, to restricting their range of movement while performing. The main organisers of the show were accused of conspiring against the country and corrupting its youth.[4][5]

After the 1972 edition, the contest underwent a period of extreme pressure and censorship. The songs were highly monitored and the topics were generally related to the country's development or the government and its main figures. This oppression continued until 1984 when the dictator died. The following year, the change in lyrics was very abrupt and censorship began to relax. Nertila Koka and Anita Bitri quickly became known for their songs about love, while Parashqevi Simaku, Irma Libohova and Morena Reka also engaged the youth with progressively more liberal political entries year after year. Rock groups such as Tingulli i Zjarrtë had a considerable impact with the message of their songs and the introduction of rock music to the Albanian music scene, a genre which has endured successfully to this day and can easily be spotted even in modern FIK entries, many of which feature electric guitars. This was a planned liberalisation that had the silent consent of the Communist Party leadership all along, primarily as a result of their realisation that the days of Communism in Eastern Europe were coming to an end. The general public however was less aware of the imminence of such changes to the political order, making the performances have a puzzling effect that provoked both outrage and hope. Although Albania was the last country in Eastern Europe to part with communist rule in 1992, FIK entries were ringing the bells of change already by 1988.

After the fall of communism during the early 90s, Festivali i Këngës had a temporary boost in both quality and diversity. The winning songs reflected the transitional period that the country was undergoing. The 1991 winner, Ardit Gjebrea - "Jon", and the 1992 winner, Osman Mula's entry sung by Aleksandër Gjoka, Manjola Nallbani & Viktor Tahiraj titled "Pesha e fatit" (The weight of fate) had an immigration and freedom theme, which coincided with the state of affairs in Albania at the time. During this period, the contest was also introduced to the word God for the first time. Prior to that, religion was illegal and the word God was not allowed to be pronounced in public. The participation of Albanian singers from outside the country's borders was also an addition to the history of the festival during this decade. Before that, the country was in a period of isolation. The clothing and performances of the singers became more extravagant as time went by, with singers such as Bleona Qereti, Ledina Çelo and Adelina Ismajli being among the most notable trendsetters of the new era.

In 1996, the stage of Festivali i Këngës welcomed newcomer Elsa Lila, who won the contest with "Pyes lotin" (I ask the tear) in 1996 and again the following year with "Larg urrejtjes" (Away from the hatred) in 1997. These songs mirrored the country's difficult reality following the collapse of the pyramid schemes, an event which wreaked havoc all throughout Albania. Despite the difficult times, Festivali i Këngës never stopped its broadcast and went ahead as scheduled during the final weeks of December, as it has done for every year since its inception.

In 1998, Albërie Hadërgjonaj became the first Kosovar-Albanian singer to win the contest with the ballad "Mirësia dhe e vërteta" (Goodness and truth). The song had a humanitarian anti-war message and is often referred to locally as a song for Kosovo, relating to the 1998–1999 war.

Up until 1999, Festivali i Këngës was the biggest music event in Albania. Its popularity began to waver after the introduction of other competitions such as Top Fest and Kënga Magjike, which were more liberal with their entry and singer selections, and eventually began to produce higher ratings. However, with Albania's introduction to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, Festivali i Këngës quickly began producing a greater degree of national and international interest. In addition, other competitors were lost to Top Fest, a festival which started a few years later as a reality series on Top Channel leading to a Spring finale. The festival received a boost of audience when another talented newcomer touched the stage of FIK in 2003, idol winner Anjeza Shahini. She had recently won the "Ethet e së Premtes Mbrëma" (Albanian Idol) talent show a few months prior to competing in FIK and was popular with the public for her voice and stage presence.

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Anjeza Shahini won the 42nd edition of Festivali i Këngës, placing hopeful professional singer Mariza Ikonomi in second place. Mariza boycotted the stage when the results were announced in a sign of disappointment. Much was at stake in this edition, as the winner would be the first ever representative of Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest.[6] Anjeza went on to sing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, landing herself in 7th place with the song "The Image of You". Ever since, a more international interest around the festival has emerged, with Eurovision fans from Europe and beyond increasingly following the contest through live internet streams and satellite feeds. Every year, hashtags related to Festivali i Këngës have trended on Twitter in many European countries during the live final. Festivali i Këngës is usually the first national selection process of the Eurovision season, where countries reveal their competing entries for the main contest in May. Due to it commonly being held around Christmas week, Eurovision fans refer to this time period as "FIKmas".[7][8][9]

Albania's Eurovision journey has produced many memorable entries and performances by both established and emerging musicians. Its best result to date has been by Kosovo-Albanian singer Rona Nishliu with the song "Suus", ranking 2nd in the semi-final and 5th in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.[10]

Year Artist(s) Song Final Semi
Place Points Place Points
2004 Anjeza Shahini "The Image of You" 7 106 4 167
2005 Ledina Çelo "Tomorrow I Go" 16 53 Automatic qualifier
2006 Luiz Ejlli "Zjarr e ftohtë" Failed to qualify 14 58
2007 Frederik Ndoci "Hear My Plea" 17 49
2008 Olta Boka "Zemrën e lamë peng" 17 55 9 67
2009 Kejsi Tola "Carry Me in Your Dreams" 17 48 7 73
2010 Juliana Pasha "It's All About You" 16 62 6 76
2011 Aurela Gaçe "Feel the Passion" Failed to qualify 14 47
2012 Rona Nishliu "Suus" 5 146 2 146
2013 Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko "Identitet" Failed to qualify 15 31
2014 Hersi Matmuja "One Night's Anger" 15 22
2015 Elhaida Dani "I'm Alive" 17 34 10 62
2016 Eneda Tarifa "Fairytale" Failed to qualify 16 45
2017 Lindita "World" 14 76
2018 Eugent Bushpepa "Mall" 11 184 8 162
2019 Jonida Maliqi "Ktheju tokës" 17 90 9 96
2020 Arilena Ara "Fall from the Sky" Contest cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Anxhela Peristeri "Karma" 21 57 10 112
2022 Ronela Hajati "Sekret" Failed to qualify 12 58
2023 Albina & Familja Kelmendi "Duje" 22 76 9 83


  • In the early editions of Festivali i Këngës, each song would be interpreted two or three times by different singers. However, only one of the versions sung would be declared the winner.
  • In 1980, it has been rumoured that the government intervened in the selection of the winner, giving the victory to "Shoqet tona ilegale" (Our illegal friends) by Vaçe Zela instead of "Njerëzit e agimeve" (People of the mornings) by Alida Hisku. While the first is a song honouring undercover friendships among partisans during the time of the national liberation of Albania from Nazi forces, the latter makes strong references to intellectual awakening and enlightenment ideas, as evidenced by its lyrics: "The generations have long dreamed of an awakening like this, with the sun in their hearts, with the light in their eyes, among mornings of fire, new generations grow, they plant like the wheat, new days to come"; concepts deemed strongly in contrast with the philosophy of Enver Hoxha's dictatorship.
  • In 1987, it was said that Kozma Dushi with the song "Lot me ty o djalë" (Hey boy we cry with you) was set to be declared the winner, however minutes before the jury made their decision, the wife of the country's ruler, Nexhmije Hoxha, declared that she did not want that song to win, so another song was chosen to win.
  • In 1994, Mariza Ikonomi became the youngest singer to compete in the festival at the age of 12, in a duet with Françesk Radi and their song "Telefonatë zemrash" (Phone call of hearts).
  • In 1995, the song "E Doni Dashurinë" (Do you want love) by Luan Zhegu & Ledina Çelo was reported to be the most applauded song in Festivali i Këngës history to date, a total applause time of 7 minutes and 11 seconds.
  • In 1998 the first Kosovar-Albanian singer, Albërie Hadërgjonaj with the song "Mirësia dhe e vërteta" (Goodness and truth), was declared the winner.
  • In 1999, the song "Apokalipsi" (The Apocalypse) by Irma & Eranda Libohova was initially declared the winner instead of Aurela Gaçe's "S'jam tribu" (I'm not a tribute) due to a miscalculation in jury votes.
  • In 2016, hologram technology was used to bring back a performance by Vaçe Zela as a tribute, almost three years after the iconic singer's death.


  • In 1963, Besnik Taraveshi was the first singer to be prosecuted by the Communist Dictatorship, ahead of many to come throughout the history of the festival. This was due to his interpretation and mispronunciation of a word in the song "Djaloshi dhe shiu" (The boy and the rain).
  • In 1964, head of the jury Llazar Siliqi decided that no first place will be awarded, due to the low quality of the songs. Instead, "Dritaren kërkoj" by Vaçe Zela was awarded second place, and two other songs awarded third place.
  • In 1972, Enver Hoxha deemed the organisers of Festivali i Këngës 11 "Enemies of The People", a name given to all the subjects who he considered a danger to the country. Unluckily, many of them were prosecuted after being accused of endangering the country's mentality by introducing an immoral aspect to the show, and plotting against the government by influencing the Albanian youth at the time. RTSH general director at the time Todi Lubonja, together with the festival's director Mihal Luarasi and singer Sherif Merdani were sentenced and would remain imprisoned for sixteen years until 1989, while many of the others involved were banned from working in television and/or were deported to remote Albanian cities.[4][5] The claims were out of context and these punishments were used as an example and a statement for future organisers. There is a whole book dedicated to this event: Festivali i Njëmbëdhjetë (The 11th Festival), written by Skifter Këlliçi.
  • In 1997, Alma Bektashi had a wardrobe malfunction on stage when her dress fell off, revealing her breast. The cameras managed to avoid the incident, however the audience received a full view of the incident.
  • In 1999, Irma & Eranda Libohova left the Palace of Congresses early, thinking that their song "Apokalipsi" (The Apocalypse) would not win. The song was initially declared as the winner, although a miscalculation in the jury votes announced the following day by head juror Vaçe Zela, revealed that Aurela Gaçe's "S'jam tribu" (I'm not a tribute) had won instead.
  • In 2003, singer Mariza Ikonomi, who was eager to represent Albania for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest, left the venue in sign of protest when it was announced that her entry "Mbi urë" (Over a bridge) had ranked 2nd, losing to Anjeza Shahini's "Imazhi Yt".
  • In 2004, the producers of the song "Nesër shkoj" filed a lawsuit against Ledina Çelo because she had signed contracts with a phone company without previously consulting them. She was also accused of not attending the conferences set up the producers and that she had not rehearsed the song enough. The suit was dropped within the week that it was filed.
  • In 2006, Greta Koçi was so disappointed from her 5th placing with the song "Eja zemër" that she burst out in tears, while her mother faced off the festival's 7 member jury with allegations of corruption and incompetence.
  • In 2007, Blero dropped out of the competition, claiming that he was asked for a large amount of money in exchange of a victory by an anonymous caller. He also claimed that the first three positions were already decided by the organisers prior to the event. The jury and the festival administration replied in a press statement that it was Blero who had asked for the first prize by sending an SMS which stated that he would withdraw if his victory was not guaranteed.
  • Also in 2007, Manjola Nallbani accused the festival authorities that they had sabotaged her song. Her voice was not heard at all in the hall, instead the public only heard the orchestra and the playback. This was confirmed by the general director of the festival Zamira Koleci. Nallbani declared that she would no longer participate in this event and called certain organisers mafiosos.
  • The 2007 edition also provoked a huge public reaction and massive press attention after the song "Jeta kërkon dashuri" (Life needs love) by Flaka Krelani and Doruntina Disha placed second, prompting corruption accusations about the jury, namely Gjergj Xhuvani and Alban Skënderaj. These two judges did not give any points to this song, while four judges awarded it maximum points and Rudina Magjistari awarded it the second highest points. General Director Zamira Koleci in a press interview called the two judges "gangsters and racists" after their boycott of the song from the Kosovo Albanian singers. Edmond Zhulali, composer of the song and artistic director of FIK, submitted a request to the RTSH council for the jury's votes to be disqualified. The council however turned down this request after 2 hours of debate.
  • In 2013, an alleged change in the contractual agreement between the festival and Kosovo model Diellza Kolgeci, the previously assigned female host for FIK 52, led to Diellza withdrawing from her hosting duties just days before the live show. She stated that the original terms of her contract included the costs of lodging and other amenities for her personal assistant, however the modified version did not include such expenses, citing a suspicious lack of funds in the festival's budget following a change of directors. The festival responded to the controversy by airing a satirical ad featuring male host Enkel Demi appearing upset at the news of Diellza's withdrawal, and three replacement female hosts, model Marinela Meta, Miss Albania 2011 Xhesika Berberi, and actress Klea Huta. The girls cheer him up by saying that they would be more than willing to co-host the show with him and that they can't wait for the rehearsals to begin. In response, Diellza utilized some prominent newspapers in Albania to state that it would be impossible to replace her, as well as to clarify that she would not be willing to compromise her values over one show. She said that if enough notice had been given to her about the changes in the contract, she could easily book 10,000 hotel rooms for her assistant through her large base of connections. She expressed respect for the festival's history however, despite her disagreements with the current staff. Meanwhile, Enkel appeared to have a humorous take on Diellza's high standards, saying that his diet had been affected by her presence, referring to her demands for lean meats covered in lemon juice.
  • In 2014, the contest's organizers ran into some high-profile problems when it came to successfully booking their guest singer for their interval act. After Conchita Wurst's refusal earlier in December due to a busy schedule, Alexander Rybak, who initially accepted FIK's offer to perform, also pulled out at the last minute after his composed entry in the Belarusian national final failed to secure a victory. He stated that the combination of this disappointment, along with some misunderstandings with FIK's authorities, forced him to make this unusual cancellation. Reaction by fans was mixed, as some decried unprofessionalism, while others appeared more empathetic. FIK organizers ultimately relied on jury members Genc Dashi and Rona Nishliu to fill in for Rybak, as Dashi improvised on the guitar, while Nishliu paid tribute to Vaçe Zela, who had died earlier in February. It was also rumored that the opening act of the grand final, consisting of a well-liked violin reprise of past FIK entries, was the organisers' ironic response to Rybak's last-minute cancellation.
  • In 2015, Edea Demaliaj's song "Era" (The wind), composed by Adrian Hila and written by Pandi Laço, was disqualified by the festival's directors, despite being included in the initial list of competing entries. Hila expressed his discontent when interviewed on the TV show Oktapod, contesting the board's decision to disqualify his song simply because its lyrics were written by the host of FIK 54 Pandi Laço. Meanwhile, singer Edea Demaliaj dropped out of the competition after finding herself without a song. Her replacement was Orgesa Zaimi, whose entry had not qualified during the internal pre-selection stage.
  • Also in 2015, Eneda Tarifa's victory reignited allegations of bias and corruption by the jury and the festival's organizers, as media and critics attributed Tarifa's win to her close friendship and joint business venture with FIK's current artistic director Elton Deda, rather than on her merit versus the competition. The jury's integrity had previously been questioned when 22 entries, rather than the planned 18, were qualified for the grand final, raising suspicions that certain singers had passed on to the final based on name recognition rather than song quality. Adding more to the scrutiny was the fact that, instead of revealing the full set of votes from every juror, the festival regressed to its old practice of mentioning only the top ranked songs in the final, circumventing any individual responsibility for potentially compromised jurors in the process. The controversial victory of Eneda Tarifa brought to the forefront an old spat that the singer had once had with Albanian LGBT rights defender Kristi Pinderi, when he had publicly challenged Tarifa's moral standards after she had lashed out against Conchita Wurst's triumph in Eurovision 2014. At the time, Tarifa had initially complained that music itself had been eclipsed by Conchita's win, but in a subsequent statement she elaborated that the Eurovision Song Contest was not spreading the correct set of values to its European audience, and that certain LGBT groups were lobbying for attention and exposure in this contest. Her fragmented reaction, along with her concerns on how to explain “Conchita” to her family, were dismissed by Pinderi as embellished homophobia on her part. In a heated media exchange, he challenged Tarifa's intellect along with her diploma in Social Works, while recalling an old interview as a journalist for his previous employer where he was left with the impression that “she was either not very smart, or she did not know how to properly articulate smart things”.
  • In 2016, there was controversy over the festival's decision not to follow through with the announced 60% jury and 40% public voting ratio during the final. Instead, the public vote counted only for 1/13th of the final result. Under a 60/40 split, Lindita would have tied with Ylli Limani at 120 points, requiring tie-breaking procedures to determine the winner. It is worth noting that Lindita received votes from 11 jurors compared to Limani's 7, and received top scores from 5 jurors compared to Limani's 1. In addition, Lindita won the jury vote by scoring twice as much as Limani (80 points v. 40 points), while Limani won the public vote by scoring twice as much as Lindita (10 points v. 5 points). A 60/40 ratio would have required that the public vote be worth 8 times the vote of 1 member from the 12-member jury.
  • Also in 2016, Ledina Çelo's see-through dress on the first semi final made waves throughout the Albanian media as criticism ensued due to the family-oriented nature of the festival's audience. Her hosting abilities were also heavily criticised. Journalist Dasara Karaiskaj, known for her pointed humor, lamented the situation by commenting that Çelo must have read the script "through her ass".
  • In 2017, singer Kastro Zizo claimed that his song was politically censored by RTSH due to its lyrics. RTSH stated that the decision was made by the preselection jury, which could qualify only 22 out of the 70 entries that were submitted, leaving no space for politics to play a role. After posting the lyrics in full, Kastro maintained that the lyrics were penalized for portraying the increase in migration that has come as a result of the policies of the current government, blaming RTSH bureaucrats for the occurrence. Former prime minister Sali Berisha also expressed his views, comparing the jury's decision to Hoxha's censorship over the festival during the 1970s. A few days later, singer Klajdi Musabelliu made a similar complaint, stating that he was shocked to learn that his migration-themed entry did not pass preselection. Since Musabelliu also works for an opposition party, his disqualification from the FIK semi finals quickly became politicised as well.


Year Edition Hosts Venue Director
1962 Festivali i Këngës 1 Margarita Xhepa and Luigj Gurakuqi Jr. ILA Venue Luigj Gurakuqi Jr.
1963 Festivali i Këngës 2 Vera Zheji and Skifter Këlliçi
1964 Festivali i Këngës 3 Drita Bardhi and Vangjel Heba
1965 Festivali i Këngës 4 Drita Bardhi and Bujar Kapexhiu
1966 Festivali i Këngës 5
1967 Festivali i Këngës 6 Albert Minga and Drita Bardhi
1968 Festivali i Këngës 7 Drita Bardhi and Roland Trebicka
1969 Festivali i Këngës 8 Elisabeta Vasili and Kiço Fotiadhi National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga
1970 Festivali i Këngës 9 Adriana Fishta and Mevlan Shanaj
1971 Festivali i Këngës 10 Edi Luarasi and Viktor Zhusti Mihallaq Luarasi
1972 Festivali i Këngës 11 Edi Luarasi and Bujar Kapexhiu
1973 Festivali i Këngës 12 Flutura Çangu and Pandi Siku Albert Minga
1974 Festivali i Këngës 13 Arta Dade and Esat Teliti
1975 Festivali i Këngës 14 Rezarta Malaj and Kastriot Caushi Mevlan Shanaj
1976 Festivali i Këngës 15 Rezana Celiku and Ilir Bibolli Albert Minga and Osman Mula
1977 Festivali i Këngës 16 Zerina Kuke and Ilir Bibolli Osman Mula
1978 Festivali i Këngës 17 Zerina Kuke and Ndriçim Xhepa
1979 Festivali i Këngës 18 Mimoza Tafaj and Pirro Kita
1980 Festivali i Këngës 19 Silvana Braçe and Dhimitër Gjoka
1981 Festivali i Këngës 20 Ndriçim Xhepa and Anisa Markarian
1982 Festivali i Këngës 21 Dhimiter Gjoka and Dhurata Kasmi
1983 Festivali i Këngës 22 Ndriçim Xhepa and Matilda Makoçi
1984 Festivali i Këngës 23 Elvira Diamanti and Artan Imami Albert Minga
1985 Festivali i Këngës 24 Yllka Mujo Vera Grabocka
1986 Festivali i Këngës 25 Ema Ndoja
1987 Festivali i Këngës 26 Silvana Braçe
1988 Festivali i Këngës 27 Ina Gjika
1989 Festivali i Këngës 28 Luiza Xhuvani Palace of Congresses
1990 Festivali i Këngës 29 Leon Menkshi and Kristi Rrapo Osman Mula
1991 Festivali i Këngës 30 Leon Menkshi, Ema Andrea and Rudina Magjistari Vera Grabocka
1992 Festivali i Këngës 31 Dritan Boriçi, Fjoralba Shehu, Sokol Balza and Rudina Magjistari Leonard Gjata
1993 Festivali i Këngës 32 Silvana Braçe, Ndriçim Xhepa and Juela Meçani Leonard Gjata and Mishel Koçiu
1994 Festivali i Këngës 33 Reiz Çiço and Doris Petrela Vera Grabocka and Mishel Koçiu
1995 Festivali i Këngës 34 Osman Mula
1996 Festivali i Këngës 35 Ardit Gjebrea, Valbona Çoba and Rudina Magjistari
1997 Festivali i Këngës 36 Adi Krasta, Vilma Papajani, Hygerta Sako and Monika Zguro Leonard Gjata
1998 Festivali i Këngës 37 Gazmend Gjoka, Inis Gjoni, Hygerta Sako and Luigj Gurakuqi Jr. Petrit Bozo
1999 Festivali i Këngës 38 Adi Krasta, Inis Gjoni, Hygerta Sako and Klodiana Maliqi
2000 Festivali i Këngës 39 Erion Mustafaraj and Ornela Bregu Leonard Gjata
2001 Festivali i Këngës 40 Alban Dudushi and Ornela Bregu
2002 Festivali i Këngës 41 Adi Krasta and Ann Francis Vata Pali Kuke
2003 Festivali i Këngës 42 Adi Krasta and Ledina Çelo
2004 Festivali i Këngës 43 Leon Menkshi and Hueyda El Saied
2005 Festivali i Këngës 44 Soni Malaj and Drini Zeqo Leonard Gjata
2006 Festivali i Këngës 45 Adi Krasta, Vesa Luma and Ermela Teli Pali Kuke
2007 Festivali i Këngës 46 Elsa Lila and Pirro Çako
2008 Festivali i Këngës 47 Elsa Lila, Julian Deda and Gentian Zenelaj
2009 Festivali i Këngës 48 Alban Skënderaj and Miriam Cani Osman Mula
2010 Festivali i Këngës 49 Jonida Maliqi, Josif Gjipali and Mirela Naska Bojken Lako
2011 Festivali i Këngës 50 Hygerta Sako, Enkeleida Zeko and Nik Xhelilaj Martin Leka
2012 Festivali i Këngës 51 Enkel Demi and Floriana Garo Petrit Beçi
2013 Festivali i Këngës 52 Enkel Demi, Xhesika Berberi, Marinela Meta and Klea Huta Petrit Bozo
2014 Festivali i Këngës 53 Turjan Hyska, Floriana Garo and Liberta Spahiu Bledi Laço
2015 Festivali i Këngës 54 Pandi Laço and Blerta Tafani
2016 Festivali i Këngës 55 Ledina Çelo and Kasem Hoxha Rezart Aga
2017 Festivali i Këngës 56 Adi Krasta Pali Kuke
2018 Festivali i Këngës 57 Viktor Zhusti and Ana Golja Inva Mula
2019 Festivali i Këngës 58 Alketa Vejsiu Vera Grabocka
2020 Festivali i Këngës 59 Blendi Salaj and Jonida Vokshi Sheshi Italia (Open-Air) Pali Kuke
2021 Festivali i Këngës 60 Ardit Gjebrea, Isli Islami, Jonida Maliqi, Kelvi Kadilli and Xhemi Shehu Palace of Congresses Redi Trenu
2022 Festivali i Këngës 61 Arbana Osmani Eduart Grishaj


A complete list of the winning entries performed at Festivali i Këngës since its inauguration in 1962.

Year Edition Artists
winning version (w)
Song Composers
music (m) / lyrics (l)
1962 Festivali i Këngës 1 Vaçe Zela (w), Qemal Kërtusha "Fëmija i parë" Abdulla Grimci (m) / Dionis Bubani (l)
1963 Festivali i Këngës 2 Nikoleta Shoshi (w), Rita Vako "Flakë e borë" Tish Daija (m) / Llazar Siliqi (l)
1964 Festivali i Këngës 3 Vaçe Zela (w), Nikolin Gjergji "Sot jam 20 vjeç" 1 Llazar Morcka (m) / Dionis Bubani (l)
Vaçe Zela (w), Klotilda Shantoja "Dritaren kërkoj" Tonin Harapi (m) / Llazar Siliqi (l)
1965 Festivali i Këngës 4 Tonin Tërshana (w), Rita Vako "Të dua o det" Tonin Harapi (m) / Mark Gurakuqi (l)
1966 Festivali i Këngës 5 Vaçe Zela (w), Ramiz Kovaçi "Shqiponja e lirë" Pjetër Gaci (m) / Ismail Kadare (l)
1967 Festivali i Këngës 6 Vaçe Zela (w), Gaqo Çako "Këngë për Shkurte Vatën" Ferdinand Deda (m) / Ruzhdi Pulaha (l)
1968 Festivali i Këngës 7 Vaçe Zela (w), Ramiz Kovaçi "Mësuesit hero" Limoz Dizdari (m) / Dritero Agolli (l)
1969 Festivali i Këngës 8 David Tukiçi (w), Rozeta Doraci "Dhuratë për ditëlindje" Nikolla Zoraqi (m) / Fatos Arapi (l)
1970 Festivali i Këngës 9 Vaçe Zela (w), Liljana Kondakçi "Mesnatë" Shpëtim Kushta (m) / Fatos Arapi (l)
Gaqo Çako (w), Ema Qazimi "Shtëpia ku lindi partia" 2 Nikolla Zoraqi (m) / Agim Shehu (l)
1971 Festivali i Këngës 10 Sherif Merdani (w), Tonin Tërshana "Kënga e nënës" Agim Prodani (m) / Agim Shehu (l)
1972 Festivali i Këngës 11 Tonin Tërshana "Erdhi pranvera" Pjetër Gaci (m) / Fatos Arapi (l)
1973 Festivali i Këngës 12 Vaçe Zela (w), Ema Qazimi "Gjurmët e arta" Kujtim Laro (m) / Lirim Deda (l)
1974 Festivali i Këngës 13 Alida Hisku (w), Petrit Dobjani, Valentina Gjoni "Vajzat e fshatit tim" Enver Shëngjergji (m) / Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1975 Festivali i Këngës 14 Alida Hisku (w), Ema Qazimi "Buka e duarve tona" Kujtim Laro (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1976 Festivali i Këngës 15 Vaçe Zela (w), Avni Mula "Nënë moj do pres gërshetin" Avni Mula (m) / Hysni Milloshi (l)
1977 Festivali i Këngës 16 Vaçe Zela (w), Shpresa Spaho "Gonxhe në pemën e lirisë" Limoz Dizdari (m) / Robert Shvarc and Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1978 Festivali i Këngës 17 Gaqo Çako (w), Ema Qazimi and Liljana Kondakçi "Këputa një gjethe dafine" Limoz Dizdari (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1979 Festivali i Këngës 18 Zeliha Sina and Liljana Kondakçi (w), Afërdita (Laçi) Zonja "Festë ka sot Shqipëria" Agim Prodani (m) / Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1980 Festivali i Këngës 19 Vaçe Zela (w), Myfarete Laze "Shoqet tona ilegale" Agim Prodani (m) / Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1981 Festivali i Këngës 20 Ema Qazimi (w), Liljana Kondakçi "Krenari e brezave" Feim Ibrahimi (m) / Gjoke Beci (l)
1982 Festivali i Këngës 21 Marina Grabovari (w), Luan Zhegu "Një djep në barrikadë" Avni Mula (m) / Hysni Milloshi (l)
1983 Festivali i Këngës 22 Tonin Tërshana (w), Liljana Kondakçi "Vajzë moj, lule moj" Luan Zhegu (m) / Adelina Balashi (l)
1984 Festivali i Këngës 23 Gëzim Çela and Nertila Koka (w), Bashkim Alibali "Çel si gonxhe dashuria" Vladimir Kotani (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1985 Festivali i Këngës 24 Parashqevi Simaku "Në moshën e rinisë" Vladimir Kotani (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1986 Festivali i Këngës 25 Nertila Koka "Dy gëzime në një ditë" David Tukiçi (m) / Gjoke Beci (l)
1987 Festivali i Këngës 26 Irma Libohova and Eranda Libohova "Nuk e harroj" Agim Krajka (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1988 Festivali i Këngës 27 Parashqevi Simaku "E duam lumturinë" Pirro Çako (m) / Agim Doçi (l)
1989 Festivali i Këngës 28 Frederik Ndoci, Manjola Nallbani and Julia Ndoci "Toka e diellit" Aleksander Peçi (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1990 Festivali i Këngës 29 Anita Bitri "Askush s'do ta besojë" Flamur Shehu (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
1991 Festivali i Këngës 30 Ardit Gjebrea "Jon" Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Xhankarlo Milone and Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1992 Festivali i Këngës 31 Aleksandër Gjoka, Manjola Nallbani and Viktor Tahiraj "Pesha e fatit" Osman Mula (m) / Alqi Boshnjaku (l)
1993 Festivali i Këngës 32 Manjola Nallbani "Kur e humba një dashuri" Vladimir Kotani (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
1994 Festivali i Këngës 33 Mira Konçi "Të sotmen jeto" Shpëtim Saraçi (m) / Alqi Boshnjaku (l)
1995 Festivali i Këngës 34 Ardit Gjebrea "Eja" Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1996 Festivali i Këngës 35 Elsa Lila "Pyes lotin" Valentin Veizi (m) / Enrjeta Sina (l)
1997 Festivali i Këngës 36 Elsa Lila "Larg urrejtjes" Valentin Veizi (m) / Alqi Boshnjaku (l)
1998 Festivali i Këngës 37 Albërie Hadërgjonaj "Mirësia dhe e vërteta" Luan Zhegu (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1999 Festivali i Këngës 38 Aurela Gaçe "S'jam tribu" Adrian Hila (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
2000 Festivali i Këngës 39 Rovena Dilo "Ante i tokës sime" Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Rovena Dilo (l)
2001 Festivali i Këngës 40 Aurela Gaçe "Jetoj" Adrian Hila (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
2002 Festivali i Këngës 41 Mira Konçi "Brënda vetes më merr" Shpëtim Saraçi (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2004 Festivali i Këngës 42 Anjeza Shahini "Imazhi yt" Edmond Zhulali (m) / Agim Doçi (l)
2005 Festivali i Këngës 43 Ledina Çelo "Nesër shkoj" Adrian Hila (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2006 Festivali i Këngës 44 Luiz Ejlli "Zjarr e ftohtë" Klodian Qafoku (m) / Dr. Flori (l)
2007 Festivali i Këngës 45 Frederik and Aida Ndoci[15] "Balada e gurit" Adrian Hila (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2008 Festivali i Këngës 46 Olta Boka[16] "Zemrën e lamë peng" Adrian Hila (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2009 Festivali i Këngës 47 Kejsi Tola[17] "Më merr në ëndërr" Edmond Zhulali (m) / Agim Doçi (l)
2010 Festivali i Këngës 48 Juliana Pasha[18] "Nuk mundem pa ty" Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Pirro Çako (l)
2011 Festivali i Këngës 49 Aurela Gaçe[19] "Kënga ime" Shpëtim Saraçi (m) / Sokol Marsi (l)
2012 Festivali i Këngës 50 Rona Nishliu[20] "Suus" Florent Boshnjaku (m) / Rona Nishliu (l)
2013 Festivali i Këngës 51 Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko[21] "Identitet" Bledar Sejko (m) / Eda Sejko (l)
2014 Festivali i Këngës 52 Hersjana Matmuja[22] "Zemërimi i një nate" Genti Lako (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
2015 Festivali i Këngës 53 Elhaida Dani[23] "Diell" Aldo Shllaku (m) / Viola Trebicka and Sokol Marsi (l)
2016 Festivali i Këngës 54 Eneda Tarifa[24] "Përrallë" Olsa Toqi (m&l)
2017 Festivali i Këngës 55 Lindita Halimi[25] "Botë" Klodian Qafoku (m) / Gerald Xhari (l)
2018 Festivali i Këngës 56 Eugent Bushpepa[26] "Mall" Eugent Bushpepa (m&l)
2019 Festivali i Këngës 57 Jonida Maliqi[27] "Ktheju tokës" Eriona Rushiti (m&l)
2020 Festivali i Këngës 58 Arilena Ara "Shaj" Darko Dimitrov (m) / Lindon Berisha (l)
2021 Festivali i Këngës 59 Anxhela Peristeri "Karma" Kledi Bahiti (m) / Olti Curri (l)
2022 Festivali i Këngës 60 Ronela Hajati "Sekret" Ronela Hajati (m&l)
2023 Festivali i Këngës 61 Elsa Lila "Evita" Elsa Lila (m&l)

Recurring winners[edit]

As of 2022, Vaçe Zela holds the record for the highest number of wins having won the contest eleven times followed by Tonin Tërshana with four wins, Aurela Gaçe and Manjola Nallbani with three wins respectively.

Artist Victories Years
Vaçe Zela 11 1962, 1964(x2), 1966, 1967, 1968
1970, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1980
Tonin Tërshana 4 1965, 1971, 1972, 1983
Manjola Nallbani 3 1989, 1992, 1993
Elsa Lila 3 1996, 1997, 2022
Aurela Gaçe 3 1999, 2001, 2011
Gaqo Çako 2 1970, 1978
Alida Hisku 2 1974, 1975
Nertila Koka 2 1984, 1986
Parashqevi Simaku 2 1985, 1988
Frederik Ndoci 2 1989, 2006
Ardit Gjebrea 2 1991, 1995
Mira Konçi 2 1994, 2002


  1. ^ In 1964, the song "Margjelo" by Klotilda Shantoja and Nikolin Gjergji won the competition, however, this entry was disqualified after it was discovered that it had been heard by the public prior to the official dates of the festival. The default winner then became the second ranked entry "Dritaren kërkoj" by Vaçe Zela although RTSH also awarded a symbolic first prize to Vaçe Zela's "Sot jam 20 vjeç" at a later time. In 1970, two songs were awarded the first place; "Mesnatë" by Vaçe Zela and "Shtëpia ku lindi partia" by Gaqo Çako.
  2. Elhaida Dani won Festivali i Këngës 53 with the song "Diell" and was planning on performing an English-language version of the song at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. However, in February 2015 it was announced that the song's songwriters decided to withdraw the song, and Dani would perform a different song titled "I'm Alive" in the contest.


  1. ^ Vatra e kulturës (in Albanian). Shtëpija Qëndrore e Krijimtarisë Popullore, 1962. pp. 11–12.
  2. ^ Marash Hajati (1998). Dera e prapme e shtypit: kujtime (in Albanian). Logoreci, 1998. p. 159. ISBN 9789992760307.
  3. ^ Nicholas Tochka (1 November 2016). Audible States: Socialist Politics and Popular Music in Albania. Oxford University Press. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-0-19-046783-8.
  4. ^ a b "Të gjithë të ndëshkuarit e Festivalit të 11-të.(All the prosecuted after the 11th festival)". Transcribed article by Skifter Këlliçi (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Ja "kokat e prera" në art e kulturë, pas Festivalit të 11-të". Transcribed article by Skifter Këlliçi (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  6. ^ "All about Albania". eurovision.tv. Eurovision.tv. 14 July 2012. Anjeza Shahini carried her nations debut hopes, and ended up delivering a very respectable 7th place in the Final.
  7. ^ Luis Fuster (5 December 2018). "It's FiKmas time! RTSH reveals running order of Festivali i Këngës 2018". wiwibloggs.com. Wiwibloggs.
  8. ^ "Festivali i Këngës 58 artists revealed". escxtra.com. 25 October 2019.
  9. ^ Martin Faulkner (23 December 2018). "Albania kicks off the 2019 season with "Ktheju tokës"". escgo.com.
  10. ^ "Countries: Albania at Eurovision.tv". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 December 2019. The Albanian national broadcaster Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH) uses the long-standing Albanian song contest, Festivali i Këngës, to select the Albanian Eurovision Song Contest entry.
  11. ^ "Festivali 42 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Radio Televizioni Shqiptar. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Istanbul 2004: Participants–Anjeza Shahini". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Eugent Bushpepa me "Mall" shpallet fitues i Fest '56". rtsh.al (in Albanian). Radio Televizioni Shqiptar. 24 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Lisbon 2018: Participants–Eugent Bushpepa". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Festivali 45 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Festivali 46 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Festivali 47 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Festivali 48 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Festivali 49 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Festivali 50 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Festivali 51 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Festivali 52 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Festivali 53 i Këngës në Radio". festivali.rtsh.al (in Albanian). Festivali i Këngës. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Eneida Tarifa fituese e Fest 54". rtsh.al (in Albanian). Radio Televizioni Shqiptar. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Lindita Halimi fiton Fest '55". rtsh.al (in Albanian). Radio Televizioni Shqiptar. 24 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Eugent Bushpepa me "Mall" shpallet fitues i Fest '56". rtsh.al (in Albanian). Radio Televizioni Shqiptar. 24 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Jonida Maliqi fiton Fest '57". rtsh.al (in Albanian). Radio Televizioni Shqiptar. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Festivali i Këngës at Wikimedia Commons