Bilal Hassani, the French-born singer of Moroccan origin, made it to the semi-finals to represent France at Eurovision.
Rabat – With his new song, “Roi” (King), French-Moroccan Bilal Hassani ranked first place in France’s selection competition’s semi-finals on Saturday, January 12, outperforming the other three semi-finalists.
Hassani was ahead of French singer of Algerian descent Chimene Badi, Silvan Areg, and Aysat. It is all thanks to Hassani’s song that promotes love and tolerance and rejects hate and homophobia.
Although the 19-year-old singer continues to receive harsh criticism online, mainly due to his sexual orientation, he performed with exceptional confidence at the contest.
In the second week after its release, Hassani’s song Roi has already become a hit with more than 3 million views on YouTube.
Roi depicts Hassani’s love for singing from a very young age. Its music video features clips from his childhood, teenagehood, and from his life now.
As a gay person, Hassani felt alienated and looked down on by society. However, he still decided to pursue his dreams. The young singer, who said, “I’ve always been who I am” in his new song, came out as gay to his followers at age 17.
Hassani is already known for his participation in the second season of the Voice Kids, the French music talent show for children aged 6 to 15.
Eurovision, a contest held since 1956, asks each participating country to submit an original song which determines whether the candidates will make it through the contest, which aims to support youth’s musical careers.
This year, 42 countries will participate in the contest in Tel Aviv May 14-18. Bilal Hassani is competing to represent France.