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ESC2016 winner's press conference 01.jpg
Background information
Birth nameSusana Alimivna Jamaladinova (Crimean Tatar: Susana Alim qızı Camaladinova)
Born (1983-08-27) 27 August 1983 (age 36)
Osh, Kirghiz SSR, USSR
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2001–present
Associated actsEurovision 2016

Susana Alimivna Jamaladinova[a] (born 27 August 1983), better known by her stage name Jamala,[b] is a Ukrainian singer, actress and songwriter.[1] She represented Ukraine and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden with her song "1944".

Early life[edit]

Susana Jamaladinova was born in Osh, Kirghiz SSR, to a Crimean Tatar father and an Armenian mother.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Her Crimean Tatar ancestors were forcibly resettled from Crimea to the central Asian republic under Joseph Stalin during World War II, although her own relatives fought on the Soviet side.[8] In 1989 her family returned to Crimea.[9] Her maternal ancestors are Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh.[10] They were well-to-do peasants until her great-grandfather's land was confiscated and he was exiled to Osh where he changed his Armenian name to make it sound more Russian.[9]

Jamala speaks Russian as her mother tongue, and she is also fluent in Ukrainian and English which she learned as an adolescent. Though she wrote some songs in Crimean Tatar, she is not fluent in the language.[11]

Her parents divorced for about four years so that her mother could purchase a house in Crimea for the family under her maiden name.[9] During this period, Soviet authorities did not allow ethnic Crimean Tatars, like her father, to purchase property in Crimea.[9]


2010–15: Early work[edit]

Jamala has been fond of music since her early childhood. She made her first professional recording at the age of nine, singing 12 folk and children's Crimean Tatar songs. She entered the Simferopol Music College[12] and later graduated from Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine as an opera singer, but preferred a career in pop music.[1]

Jamala signing an autograph for a fan on the red carpet of the third annual festival of the Odessa Film Festival on 13 July 2012.

On 14 February 2010, she released her first single "You Are Made of Love" from her debut studio album For Every Heart. She released "It's Me, Jamala" as the second single on 18 October 2010. On 23 November 2010, she released "Smile" as the third single from the album. Early in 2011, she participated on the national selection show in an attempt to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Smile".[13] The song was a crowd favorite and Jamala herself managed to land a spot in the finals of the competition.[13] However, she later decided to withdraw from the competition.[14] On 12 April 2011, she released her debut studio album For Every Heart through Moon Records Ukraine. On 8 November 2012, she released "Ya Lyublyu Tebya" (Russian: «Я Люблю́ Тебя́», English: "I Love You") as the lead single from her second studio album All or Nothing.

She released "Hurt" as the second single, and "Kaktus" (Ukrainian: «Ка́ктус», English: "Cactus") was released on 6 March 2013, as the third and final single from the album. She released All or Nothing on 19 March 2013, through Moon Records Ukraine. On 25 September 2014, she released "Zaplutalas" (Ukrainian: «Заплу́талась», English: "Confused") as the lead single from her debut EP Thank You. The EP was released on 1 October 2014, through Enjoy Records. On 26 March 2015, "Ochyma" was released as the lead single from her third studio album. "Shlyakh dodomu" (Ukrainian: «Шлях додо́му», English: "The way home") was released as the second single on 18 May 2015. On 15 June 2015, "Podykh" (Ukrainian: «По́дих», English: "Breath") was released as the third single. She released her album Podykh on 12 October 2015, through Enjoy Records.

2016: Breakthrough[edit]

Jamala performing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

Jamala successfully represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "1944".[15] The song is about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 and particularly about her great-grandmother, who lost her daughter while being deported to Central Asia.[12][16][17] Jamala wrote the song's lyrics in 2014.[1] In the second semi-final of the contest, Jamala performed 14th and was one of ten participants who qualified for the grand final. It was announced later that she placed second, scoring 287 points, and won the televoting with 152 points[18] On 14 May 2016, Jamala won the competition with 534 points.[19] Jamala's song was considered by Russian media and lawmakers to be critical of the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the "ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine" in Donbass.[20][21] For this reason it has been announced that no other flags than the official country-participant are allowed in the arena for the Eurovision Song Contest. This included a ban for flags like Crimean Tatars' flags to be in audience, and only the Ukrainian flags was allowed for her Crimean Tatars' supporters.

After her win in the Eurovision Song Contest, she was awarded the title People's Artist of Ukraine by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.[22]

After winning Eurovision 2016, she has gone on to publish many songs, including "I believe in U," Which she performed at Eurovision 2017 as an interval act, along with "Zamanyly."

On 17 May 2016, Poroshenko announced that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry would be nominating Jamala for UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.[23]

On 12 October 2018, Jamala released her fifth studio album, Kryla. The title track was released as the first single on 21 March 2018. She had previously performed the track as the interval act for the 2018 Ukrainian National Selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Vidbir.

Personal life[edit]

On 26 April 2017, Jamala married Bekir Suleimanov.[24][25] Their relationship became known in September 2016, when she appeared with him at the Manhattan Short Film Festival.[24] The couple married in the Islamic Cultural Center of Kyiv using the traditional wedding ceremony Nikah.[24] Suleimanov had recently graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Department of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and is an activist of the Muslim[26] Crimean Tatar community.[24]

In November 2017, Jamala announced that she and Suleimanov were expecting their first child together.[27] On 27 March 2018 their son Emir-Rahman Seit-Bekir ogly Suleimanov was born.[28]


Jamala on a 2017 stamp of Ukraine

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
For Every Heart
All or Nothing
  • Released: 19 March 2013
  • Label: Moon Records Ukraine
  • Format: Digital download, CD
  • Released: 12 October 2015
  • Label: Enjoy! Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD
  • Released: 12 October 2018
  • Label: Enjoy! Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Thank You
  • Released: 1 October 2014
  • Label: Enjoy! Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD

Live albums[edit]

Title Details Notes
Live at Arena Concert Plaza
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Enjoy! Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD
  • Concert DVD


Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"You Are Made of Love" 2010 239 For Every Heart
"It's Me, Jamala" 35 298
"Smile" 198
"Я люблю тебя" ("I Love You") 2012 All or Nothing
"Кактус" ("Cactus") 2013
"Заплуталась" ("Confused") 2014 Thank You
"Злива" ("Shower")
(with Andrii Khlyvniuk and Dmytro Shurov)
Non-album singles
"Чому?" ("Why?")
"Очима" ("With My Eyes") 2015 Podykh
"Шлях додому" ("Way To Home")
"Подих" ("Breath")
"1944" 2016 2 54 13 64 49 40 25 129 32 46 73 289 1944
"Заманили" ("Lured")
(with DakhaBrakha)
17 199 non-album single
"I Believe in U" 2017 Kryla
"Сумую" ("I miss") 29
"Крила" ("Wings") 2018 27
"The Great Pretender"
"Самға" Non-album singles
"Solo" 2019
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Music videos
Year Song Director
2009 History Repeating Alan Badoiev
2010 You're Made of Love + (in Russian) Kateryna Tsaryk
It's Me, Jamala + (in Ukrainian) Charley Stadler
2011 Smile Maksym Ksionda
Find me John X Carey
2012 Я люблю тебя (in Russian) Serhii Sarakhanov
2013 Кактус (in Russian) Denys Zakharov
All These Simple Things Oleksandr Milov
Depends On You + (in Russian) Viktor Vilks
2014 Чому? (in Ukrainian) Denys Zakharov, Oles Sanin
2015 Я заплуталась (in Ukrainian) Anatolii Sachivko
Иные (in Russian) Mikhail Yemelianov
2016 Шлях додому (in Ukrainian) Hanna Kopylova
1944 Anatolii Sachivko
"Обещание" (in Russian) Denys Zakharov, Olena Demianenko
2017 I Believe in U Ihor Stekolenko
"Сумую" (in Ukrainian)
2018 Крила Anna Kopilova
The Great Pretender Anna Buryachkova
2019 Solo
Year Title Role
2014 The Guide Olha Levytska
2017 Jamala.UA Cameo
Polina Court lady
2018 Sky
Year Title Role
2010 The True Story about Scarlet Sails Cuban singer
Anatomy of voice. Jamala Cameo
2013 Trading Lives Cameo
2014 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Caterpillar
2016 Özüñe baq! Cameo
2017 Jamalas kamp Cameo


  1. ^ Crimean Tatar: Susana Alim qızı Camaladinova; Ukrainian: Суса́на Алі́мівна Джамаладі́нова, romanizedSusana Alímivna Dzhamaladínova; Russian: Суса́на Али́мовна Джамалади́нова, tr. Susana Alimovna Dzhamaladinova, IPA: [sʊˈsanə ɐˈlʲiməvnə dʐəməlɐˈdʲinəvə]
  2. ^ Crimean Tatar: Camala; Ukrainian: Джама́ла; Russian: Джама́ла, tr. [dʐɐˈmalə] (Crimean Tatar Cyrillic is also spelt "Джамала".)


  1. ^ a b c "When strangers are coming into your home (Russian), by Alexander Zaitsev, lenta.ru
  2. ^ "Welcome to Ukraine". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  3. ^ Editor. "Ukraine's Crimean Tatar singer Jamala promises to embarrass Putin and bring Stalin's crimes to Eurovision Song Contest". Retrieved 15 May 2016.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Журнал: день с певицей Джамалой". Vogue UA. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  5. ^ Ruban, Mariya. "Джамала: "Хочу пишне кримсько-татарське весілля"". Cегодня.UA. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015. (in Ukrainian)
  6. ^ "Джамала: Моя мама христианка-армянка, папа крымский татарин-мусульманин". UA-Report. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2015. (in Russian)
  7. ^ "http://thenordar.com/jamala-interview-public-talk/ Интервью с Джамалой на Public Talk". Арт-журнал Thenordar. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2015. (in Russian)
  8. ^ Colin Freeman (14 May 2016). "'They kill you all': why Ukrainian Eurovision winner, Jamala, angered Russia with her 1944 song". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d "'Stalin forced my parents to DIVORCE': Eurovision winner reveals how Soviet dictator tortured her great-grandmother, killing baby daughter and leaving legacy of family trauma" by Will Stewart. Daily Mail. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  10. ^ (in Russian) Сусанна Джамаладинова (Джамала): История моих армянских корней начинается с Карабаха | Центр поддержки русско-армянских стратегических и общественных инициатив. Russia-armenia.info (15 May 2016). Retrieved on 2017-12-21.
  11. ^ Худенко, Кристина (18 March 2016). Джамала: "Не могу петь в России, пока в Крыму пропадают татары" (in Russian). delfi.lv. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  12. ^ a b Veselova, Viktoria; Melnykova, Oleksandra (11 February 2016). "Crimean singer in line to represent Ukraine at Eurovision". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Ukraine: a new final!". Eurovision.tv. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  14. ^ Hondal, Victor (1 March 2011). "Ukraine: Jamala withdraws from national final". EscToday.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  15. ^ Veselova, Viktoria; Melnykova, Oleksandra (11 February 2016). "Crimean singer in line to represent Ukraine at Eurovision". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Jamala entered Eurovision-2016 national selection". QHA.com.ua. 26 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  17. ^ Eurovision: Ukraine's entry aimed at Russia, BBC News (22 February 2016)
  18. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2016 Second Semi-Final". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Ukraine's Jamala wins Eurovision 2016". BBC News. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  20. ^ Telegraph Reporters (15 May 2016). "Eurovision 2016: Furious Russia demands boycott of Ukraine over Jamala's 'anti-Kremlin' song". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  21. ^ Heidi Stephens (15 May 2016). "Eurovision 2016: Ukraine's Jamala wins with politically charged 1944". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  22. ^ Granger, Anthony (16 May 2016). "Ukraine: Jamala Awarded Title "People's Artist of Ukraine"". Eurovoix.
  23. ^ "Ukraine's Foreign Ministry to nominate Jamala for UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador". Vector.news. 16 May 2016.
  24. ^ a b c d Jamala married Seit-Bekir Suleymanov, QHA (26 April 2017)
  25. ^ Джамала вийшла заміж (ФОТО) – Львівська газета. Gazeta.lviv.ua (26 April 2017). Retrieved on 2017-12-21.
  26. ^ "Eurovision winning entry: 1944, a harrowing family tale about Stalin's deportation of Muslim Tatars". The National. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  27. ^ Knoops, Roy (30 November 2017). "Ukraine: Jamala is expecting her first baby". ESCToday.
  28. ^ Ukraine's Jamala gives birth to a baby boy, UNIAN (29 March 2018)
  29. ^ Peak positions for singles on the Ukrainian Airplay Chart:
  30. ^ "Discographie Jamala". Austrian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  31. ^ "1944". Ultratop.
  32. ^ "1944". Suomen virallinen lista.
  33. ^ "Discographie Jamala". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  34. ^ "1944". Mahasz.
  35. ^ "1944". Polish music charts.
  36. ^ Исполнитель – Jamala. Lk.tophit.ru. Retrieved on 21 December 2017.
  37. ^ "Discography Jamala: Songs". Spanish Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Discography Jamala". Swedish Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  39. ^ "Discography Jamala". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  40. ^ Forums, BuzzJack Entertainment. "Sales, W/E 26/05/2016". www.buzzjack.com. Retrieved 19 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mariya Yaremchuk
with "Tick-Tock"
Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with "Time"
Preceded by
Sweden Måns Zelmerlöw
with "Heroes"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Portugal Salvador Sobral
with "Amar pelos dois"