Who is Mika? Everything you need to know about the new Eurovision host

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As Europe gears up for the annual all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza that is Eurovision, one name in particular has been on everyone’s lips: that of Mika, the host on the big night.

But who is he, and more importantly, what are his Eurovision credentials? We take a look.

Who is Mika?

Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr was born on August 18, 1983. His family moved around a lot; born in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, he moved to Paris aged on. It was here that he first started to learn the piano.

His family then moved to London when he was nine, where Mika attended the Royal College of Music, and then went onto record his first album. The rest, as they say, is history.

What’s his musical pedigree?

Mika is best known for his chart-conquering song Grace Kelly, which hit the airwaves in 2007 and didn’t leave them for months afterwards. In fact, the song made it to number one within seven days, spending five weeks at the top of the charts and becoming the third biggest-selling single of 2007 – while his debut album, Life in Cartoon Motion, went onto net a BRIT Award nomination.

Italian television presenter Alessandro Cattelan, Italian singer Laura Pausini and Mika (AFP via Getty Images)
Italian television presenter Alessandro Cattelan, Italian singer Laura Pausini and Mika (AFP via Getty Images)

But he’s not just a one-trick pony. Mika has carried on making music since then, turning out hits like Big Girl (You Are Beautiful), Popular Song (featuring Ariana Grande, no less) and Relax, Take It Easy.

He even recorded the theme song for the film Kick Ass (helpfully titled Kick Ass) and his last full-length project, My Name is Michael Holbrook, arrived back in 2019. In the meantime, he’s been busy modelling, touring and collaborating with artists on singles, as well as carving out a flourishing career in Italy as a judge on the country’s X Factor show. He’s also featured in the French version of The Voice. Oh, and he performed at Coachella this year.

It’s safe to say he’s been around the block, making him the perfect host for a show that’s all about music.

What will he be doing at Eurovision?

Though the singer will be taking to the stage to perform alongside Italian co-host Laura Pausini, he will also be hosting the show with Pausini and Alessandra Cattelan. Pausini has worked as a coach on the Mexican and Spanish version of The Voice, while Cattelan is a TV and radio presenter who has previously hosted The X Factor Italy.

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