Greta Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman revealed as surprise Eurovision star
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is now a household name, but it turns out her mum is also a celebrity — for very different reasons.
Years before her daughter became a world-famous climate crusader, Greta Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman was also a huge celebrity in her own right.
Ernman is a renowned Swedish opera singer — and back in 2009, she also performed in the fabulously camp Eurovision song contest in Moscow, Russia.
The 48-year-old mother of two sang a catchy Europop-opera hybrid called La Voix — or “the voice” — which has amassed millions of views on YouTube.
During her performance, Ernman donned a Frozen-esque platinum blonde hairdo and a dramatic white gown complete with feathers at the bottom.
She was supported by five black-clad back-up singers and ended up in 21st place.
The song — which contains both English and French lyrics — went on to enjoy significant success in Europe, coming in at No. 2 in Sweden’s singles chart.
However, as far as Eurovision goes, it was something of a flop, becoming Sweden’s second lowest Eurovision placing since I morgon är en annan dag, which placed 22 in 1992.
It was also the second time the country failed to place within the top 20.
Sweden has a strong Eurovision track record, with global superstars ABBA launching their pop careers after winning the contest in 1974 with their hit Waterloo.
While Ernman is well known in her home country as a successful mezzosoprano, her Eurovision debut has not been widely known by the wider world until now after footage of her act began circulating on social media and the story was picked up by a number of media publications.
This is actually Greta Thunberg's mother. Couldn't make it up.pic.twitter.com/J6OOlic3jh— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) April 24, 2019
Her 16-year-old daughter Greta Thunberg has recently emerged as one of the world’s leading climate change activists after founding the global “school strike for climate” movement.
Last month, she famously addressed the UN Climate Action Summit in New York with tears streaming down her face as she chided world leaders with the repeated phrase “How dare you” in an emotional appeal for action.
US President Donald Trump later shared a video of her speech on Twitter and appeared to take a swipe at the teen.
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” he wrote above a video of a visibly distressed Ms Thunberg.
But the Swedish schoolgirl took it in her stride, changing her Twitter bio soon after to describe herself as: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
Ms Thunberg has been named as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019 by Time magazine and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Earlier this year, the teen — whose father Svante Thunberg is also a well-known actor, as was her paternal grandfather Olof Thunberg — spoke to the The New York Times about her early exposure to fame.
“That’s one of the pros of having a famous mother … I’m quite familiar with the media and how it works,” she said.