Rona Nishliu

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Rona Nishliu
Rona Nishliu performing at a jazz concert in Pristina, Kosovo
Background information
Born (1986-08-25) 25 August 1986 (age 37)
Titova Mitrovica, SFR Yugoslavia
(present-day Mitrovicë, Kosovo)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • radio personality
  • philanthropist
Years active2004–present

Rona Nishliu (born 25 August 1986) is a Kosovo-Albanian singer and songwriter.[1] She came to international prominence after representing Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she placed fifth and achieved the best placement for Albania to date.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

2004–2012: Early life and beginnings[edit]

Rona Nishliu was raised in her birth town Mitrovica, but moved with her family to Pristina at the age of thirteen due to the political situation in her hometown. In 2004 she entered "Ethet e së premtës mbrëma" (Friday night's fevers), a similar show to Idols. She successfully passed the first rounds and entered the live shows, where she finished Top 5. After the show, she worked on Radio Blue Sky in Prishtina as a presenter.[3]

In 2004, Rona teamed up with Vesa Luma and Teuta Kurti to enter the 43rd edition of Festivali i Këngës, for a chance to represent Albania in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest with "Flakareshë". The trio were qualified for the final night held on 18 December 2004 but lost to Ledina Çelo who was declared the winner.[4]

2012: Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Nishliu represented Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan after winning the national selection on 29 December 2011 with the entry "Suus".[5] She is the first singer from Kosovo to represent Albania in the contest. Because of the Qafa e Vishës bus tragedy, RTSH deferred the first semi-final by more than two hours on 22 May, resulting in low ratings during Nishliu's appearance.[6] Albania used its jury votes to vote for the other 17 countries in the semi-final, and it used the jury votes again on 26 May.[6] RTK also did not air highlights from the first semi-final due to the bus crash. She ended up winning fifth place in the final with 146 points; Albania's best result to date.[7] She received Albanian citizenship on 12 January 2012.[8]


Nishliu was committed to her humanitarian work immediately after Eurovision. She became a member of a project called "Bonu cool, mos bjer shpullë" (Be cool, don't slap!), a project that raises gender awareness. She released a song especially for this occasion called "Se vetëm zemra flet saktë" (Because only the heart speaks right) which speaks against adolescent gender violence, produced and penned by Rona herself.[9] The song is part of a wide public awareness campaign led by the Kosovo Gender Studies Centre. It was supported and financed by the European Union.[10]

On 18 September 2014, Rona Nishliu held a concert in Belgrade, Serbia to promote the Kosovar culture, part of the "Mirëdita, dobar dan" festival.[11][12] She received a standing ovation from the public.[13][14]

In 2017, she became a coach on the sixth series of The Voice of Albania.[15]

Public image[edit]

In Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, she is known as a pop singer/musician. The audience in Pristina and Tirana know her also as an experimental jazz singer. Her interpretation is characterized with nuances of soul music influences as well. Her vocal range and interpretative power are her strongest points.[16]


Nishliu is depicted for her humanitarian spirit, taking part in numerous humanitarian concerts for the people in the need. While being a student, she organised few Humanitarian Concerts, including the one entitled to help displaced Kosovo Albanian families of Mitrovica living in poverty. In 2009 she took place as a guest lecturer in UNDP Kosovo's activity on Awareness Raising on the Importance of Volunteerism for the Youngsters in Vushtrri. She is an activist of the National Association of Autism in Kosovo, she is also a Chairperson of the Institute for Sustainability and Development of Youth in Kosovo.[16]



  • "Flakareshë" (Slap) (with Vesa Luma and Teuta Kurti)
  • "Të lashë" (I left you)
  • "Shenja" (The sign)
  • "Eja" (Come)
  • "Veriu" (The north)
  • "A ka arsye?" (Is there any reason?) (ft. Bim Bimma)
  • "Shko pastro pas saj" (Go after her)
  • "Zonja Vdekje" (Mrs. Death)
  • "Suus"
  • "Se vetëm zemra flet saktë" (Because only the heart speaks right)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Kënga Magjike

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2006 "Shenja" TV Klan Prize Won
2009 "Humbja" Best Vocal Won

Poli Fest Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 "Veriu" First Prize Won

Video Fest Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2008 "Shko pastro pas saj" Best Pop Nominated

Festivali i Këngës

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2011 "Suus" First Prize Won
Best Interpreter Won

Eurovision Song Contest 2012

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2012 "Suus" Contestant 5th


  1. ^ "Rona Nishliu Biografia" (in Albanian). Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  2. ^ "ESC 2012 Final Results". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  3. ^ Radio Blue Sky
  4. ^ "Vesa Luma, Teuta Kurti & Rona Nishliu – Flakareshë". Retrieved 17 September 2014 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Rona Nishliu to represent Albania in Baku". 29 December 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Albania to broadcast tonight's Semi-final deferred | Eurovision Song Contest – Baku 2012". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Grand Final | Eurovision Song Contest – Baku 2012". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Artistët nga Kosova me pasaportë të Shqipërisë" (in Albanian). Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  9. ^ Nuhiu, Rinor. "Rona Nishliu releases a new single!". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013.
  10. ^ Sahiti, Gafurr. "Rona Nishliu releases new music video". ESCToday.
  11. ^ Komarčević, Dušan (20 September 2014). "Festival "Mirdita – Dobar dan": Dijalog kroz umetnost (Serbian)". Radio Slobodna Evropa.
  12. ^ "Zëri i Rona Nishliut jehon në Beograd për një botë pa paragjykime".
  13. ^ "Feature: Kosovo singer makes breakthrough with performance in Belgrade". Archived from the original on 28 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Express 25.09.2014 – Miredita, Dobar Dan!". YouTube.
  15. ^ "Rona Nishliu to join 'The Voice of Albania' as a coach". 11 October 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Rona Nishliu's official ESC profile". Retrieved 29 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by