Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra rode a wave of public support to win the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, last night with “Stefania.”
NPR reports the band’s members are all men of fighting age, and had to get temporary permits in order to leave Ukraine for the competition in Turin, Italy.
The long-running music competition, in which 40 nations compete, garnered a global TV audience of more than 180 million.
In a video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the world: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host the Eurovision Song Contest.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 15, 2022
The winning song is a melange of traditional folk music and rap. The victory marks Ukraine’s third since the country’s debut in 2003. Kalush Orchestra’s 439 fan votes is the highest number of votes ever received in a Eurovision contest, now in its 66th year.
Since the deadly, unprovoked Russian invasion began in late February, “Stefania” has become an anthem for Ukrainians with lyrics that promise, “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed.”
KALUSH Orchestra has released the official music video to their #Eurovision winning song Stefania, filmed in destroyed Kyiv suburbs – Buch, Irpin and Hostomel.
— Oleksiy Sorokin (@mrsorokaa) May 15, 2022