Jonida Maliqi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jonida Maliqi
Eurovision 2019 Albania.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJonida Maliqi
Born (1983-03-26) 26 March 1983 (age 36)
Tirana, Albania
Years active1995–present

Jonida Maliqi (born 26 March 1983)[1] is an Albanian singer, television host, media personality, philanthropist, style icon and entrepreneur.[2]

Throughout her career, Maliqi has won six awards at Kënga Magjike and the first place in 2008. She is also a double winner of accolades at the Top Fest in 2006 and 2010 respectively. Maliqi played Bithia in the Albanian version of The Ten Commandments: The Musical and starred as Juliet in the Albanian theatre production of Roméo et Juliette (musical). In 2012, she was appointed as the captain of her team at the Albanian version of the Dutch TV series I Love My Country[3] whereas in 2014 she co-hosted the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars (Albanian TV series). In 2016, Maliqi appeared as a judge on the fifth season of The Voice of Albania[4] and in 2018 she became the sixteenth representative of Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest. [5]

Maliqi is regarded as one of the most popular pop singers in the Albanian speaking world and is renowned for her unique vocal, patriotism, philanthropy, fashion sense and persona. A recognised style icon, she is referred to as a fashionista by the press and regularly graces the covers of fashion magazines alongside fronting for local and international luxury brands.[6][7] Widely perceived as an influential trendsetter, Maliqi's style is consistently emulated by women.[8]

Life and career[edit]

1995-1999: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Maliqi's singing talent was discovered at an early age by the renowned Albanian pianist Nora Çashku who was impressed with her singing of a song by Parashqevi Simaku and suggested to Maliqi's mother to enroll her at the music school.[9]. The advice was taken, thus, Maliqi studied violin at the conservatoire for four consecutive years. At the age of nine, she joined the ‘’Cultural Children's Centre’’ in Tirana and participated in various festivals at home and abroad in which she progressed with great success. Later on, she began her guitar studies at Jordan Misja Artistic Lyceum, and then, at the age of thirteen, she made her debut at the Festivali i Këngës with the song “Planeti i Fëmijëve”’ in a duet with Albanian tenor Aleksandër Rrapi. The following year, Maliqi began to study canto and graduated from the Lyceum. In 1997, aged fifteen, she returned to the festival with the song “Flas Me Engjëllin Tim”, this time in a duet with Albanian tenor Kastriot Tusha. The song was dedicated to the Albanian Catholic Saint Mother Teresa and received wide acclaim nationwide. Maliqi’s professional career as a solo artist began in 1999 with the song “Do Jetoj Edhe Pa Ty“ which won the second place in the festival.[10]

2000-2005: Breakthrough[edit]

After the successful solo debut in 1999, Maliqi participates at "Festivali i Këngës" for another three consecutive years with songs “Çast“, “Ik“ and “Do Humbas Me Ty“ which placed third at the 41th edition. In 2001, Maliqi pursued studies at the Academy of Arts under the mentorship of the renowned Albanian professor Nina Mula, the mother of internationally acclaimed Albanian soprano Inva Mula. Meanwhile, her participation at various music festivals continued as she approached mainstream success. In 2003, Maliqi won "The Best Performer" category at Kënga Magjike for “Vetëm Një Natë“, whereas in 2004, she won the "Ethno Music Award" for “Nuk Kam Faj Që Robëroj“. In 2005, Maliqi announced a work on her debut album Nuk Të Pres and won the "Best Interpretation Award" at Kënga Magjike for “Papagalli i Dashurisë“.

2006-2010: Studio album[edit]

After her graduation in 2006, Maliqi starred in the Albanian version of The Ten Commandments: The Musical as Bithia, and in the same year she released her debut album Nuk Të Pres upon her birthday.[11] That year, her collaboration with Albanian pop singer Tuna (singer) spawned the hit “Forca e Femrës“ which won the "Best Female Award" at Top Fest. The performance attracted much comment due to their antics on stage that were interpreted by many as a likely titillated lesbian act. Meanwhile, some tabloids instated Tuna as "protégée in Jonida’s same-sex erotica and polymorphous sexuality".[12]. However, both artists denied the allegations about their lesbian relationship. In 2008, Maliqi returned with a new single “Njëri Nga Ata“ which entered "Kënga Magjike" and won the competition alongside the "Best Song" and the "10th Anniversary Award". In 2010, she collaborated with Albanian rap artist Big Basta and their song “Sot t'i Japim Fund“ won the "Best Pop & R&B Song" at the Top Fest.

2011-2015: Television and theatre endeavours[edit]

In 2011, Maliqi returned to "Kënga Magjike" with “Thesar pa Emër“ which won "Çesk Zadeja Award" whereas in 2012 she became the captain of her team at the Albanian version of the Dutch TV-series "I Love My Country". In 2013, she won "Jon Music Award" for “Ti“ and then was announced as a host of the first season of The Voice Kids (Albanian TV series) but withdrew, presumably due to other professional pursuits.[13]. On the same year, Maliqi starred at the musical "Romeo and Juliet" as Juliet opposite Albanian Skënderaj. In 2014, she co-hosted the fourth season of "Dancing with the Stars" whereas in 2015 she released a new song called “Jam Bërë Si Ti“ which became a huge hit.

2016- : The Voice of Albania and the Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Period between 2016 and 2018, denoted a shift in focus of Jonida as an artist to a television personality. In 2016, Maliqi appeared as a judge on the fifth season of "The Voice of Albania" between January 9, 2016 and April 16, 2016. In May 10, 2018, Maliqi released through VEVO the song “N’Errësirë” which marked a successful comeback.[14][15] On December 20, 2018, Maliqi participated and won the 57th edition of the Festivali i Këngës thus becoming Albania’s sixteenth representative at Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Ktheju tokës".[16][17] Maliqi represented Albania among forty-one competing in Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Artistry and influences[edit]

Maliqi possesses a soprano sfogato vocal range noted for a strong dark timbre with rich mezzo-soprano and contralto tessitura. Besides singing, Maliqi has the ability to play several musical instruments, notably piano and guitar which she has studied alongside canto.

Other ventures[edit]

Jonida launched her own haute couture boutique in 2009 and another shoe salon in 2017 [18]. Among her customers are various Albanian celebrities and television personalities. Maliqi does also frequently front for local and international luxury brands and has oftentimes made product endorsements and placements on her Instagram page.[19] Her range of commercial deals also includes health and beauty products.


Maliqi’s diverse charitable activities include campaigns for encouraging awareness about the breast cancer; promoting the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome, as well as consistent benefit performances at charity concerts.[20] Although Maliqi shunts publicity about her privately undertaken philanthropic work, one of her notable publicised case took place during the live broadcast of “Top Show Magazine” at Top Channel in which she surprised a girl born with Down syndrome and presented her with a new iPad.[21] Maliqi’s other charitable endeavours cover a wide range of causes.

Private life[edit]

Maliqi’s private life came under media scrutiny since her mainstream breakthrough in the early 2000s. She married the Albanian businessman, Gent Prizreni, in a private luxury wedding that was attended by renowned names of the Albanian music industry. In March 2017, the couple announced their divorce. Jonida and Gent have a son named Dan.[22]


  • Nuk të pres (2005)[23]
  • Jonida Maliqi (2013)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Festivali i Këngës

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1999 "Do jetoj pa ty" Second place Won
2004 "Frikem se më pëlqen" Third place Won
2018 "Ktheju tokës" First place Won

Kënga Magjike

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 "Vetem një natë" Best Performer Won
2004 "Nuk kam faj që robëroje" Etno Music Award Won
2005 "Papagalli i dashurisë" Best Performer Won
2008 "Njëri nga ata" First Prize Won
10th Anniversary Award Won
2011 "Thesar pa emër" Çesk Zadeja Award Won
2013 "Ti" Jon Music Award Won

Video Fest Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 "Sonte" (ft. Dj Blunt & Real) Best Collaboration Nominated

Top Fest

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2006 "Forca e femrës" (with Tuna) Best Female Won
2010 "Sot t'i japim fund" (with Big Basta) Best Pop Won

Zhurma Show Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2015 "Jam bërë si ti" Best Performer Nominated



  1. ^ "Two Things We Knew About Jonida Maliqi: Age and Surname!". Anabel Magazine. 28 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Jonida Maliqi IMDb". IMDb.
  3. ^ "Dua Vendin Tim - Cast & Crew". IMDb. 23 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Jonida Maliqi trajnere në "The Voice of Albania"". Telegraph - (in Albanian). 11 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Albania picks Jonida Maliqi and presents the first song of 2019". The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest. 23 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Jonida Maliqi's Magazine Covers".
  7. ^ "Jonida Maliqi's Official Instagram Page".
  8. ^ "Jonida Maliqi on Cosmopolitan – Strade di Milano, New York e Parigi". 7 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Jonida Maliqi Biography" (in Albanian).
  10. ^ "Festivali i 38-te ne RTSH, Vol.1 - Jonida Maliqi - Do Jetoj Edhe Pa Ty". Spotify.
  11. ^ "Jonida Maliqi's Discography". Discogs.
  12. ^ "Jonida Sapphic Sensation: Jonida & Tuna VS Madonna & Britney!". Universal Gay.
  13. ^ "Jonida Maliqi to host The Voice Kids?". (in Albanian).
  14. ^ "Jonida Maliqi Në Errësirë". MCN Radio (in Albanian).
  15. ^ "Jonida Maliqi – Në Errësirë". VEVO.
  16. ^ "Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju Tokes (Albania Official Music Video Eurovision 2019)". The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest.
  17. ^ "Ticket to Tel Aviv: Meet Jonida Maliqi from Albania". European Broadcasting Union. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Jonida Maliqi Nje Biznesmene e Zonja". CNA City News Albania (in Albanian). 26 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Jonida Maliqi's Official Instagram Page".
  20. ^ "Famous Albanian Women Come Together for a Great Cause". Class – 31 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Jonida Maliqi Surprizon Vajzën Me Sindromën Down". Tirana Post (in Albanian). 29 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Jonida Speaks for the First Time About Divorce". Anabel Magazine. 12 July 2018.
  23. ^
Preceded by
Eugent Bushpepa
with "Mall"
Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by