Michael Rice will captain the UK’s ship at Eurovision 2019. Find out more about the singer with our 10 Things About…Michael Rice!
1. Michael Rice was born on 25 October 1997 in Hartlepool and is an English singer.
2. He taught himself to play piano from YouTube videos after his Mum bought him a keyboard but was forced to curtail his love of performing after being bullied at school for singing.
3. He came to the attention of the public after a busking video of him singing a Years & Years song amassed over a quarter of a million views. Michael credits his nanna with helping make this happen as she accompanied him where ever he went.
4. That YouTube video led him to audition for, and eventually win the BBC entertainment show ‘All Together Now’. Michael gave most of his £50,000 winnings to his mother to invest in her waffle and crepe business in Hartlepool.
5. Michael is passionate about the subject of anti-bullying. To promote awareness of the issue, he recorded a single called ‘Bruised’ which saw him work with CeCe Sammy and Ben Ofoedu of the group Phats and Small and toured a number of UK schools to promote it and talk about the subject.
6. Michael always watched Eurovision while growing up and believes it’s a brilliant platform for countries to showcase their music.
7. His favourite winners have been Salvador Sobral and Måns Zelmerlöw.
8. Michael competed in the UK Eurovision 2019 selection show ‘Eurovision: You Decide’. In the duel round he was up against Holly Tandy with the song ‘Bigger Than Us’. He was selected by the judging panel to advance to the next round where he won the public vote against Jordan Clark and Kerrie Anne. Michael notes that his ‘version of ‘Bigger Than Us’ is such an epic, big song with a big key change and harmonies, and I think the lyrics resonate with everyone’.
9. ‘Bigger Than Us’ was written by (among others) John Lundvik who competed in this year’s Melodifestivalen for Sweden. His song ‘Too Late For Love’ made it to the final of the Swedish Eurovision selection show and is one of the favourites to win the contest.
10. On winning ‘Eurovision: You Decide’ Michael said: ‘From the start, I always thought everyone else was so much older than me and had so much more experience, working on cruise ships or whatever, and I just honestly didn’t think it was me, so when they called my name out, I thought, ‘Are they joking? They must have got it wrong or something. But honestly, I’m just so thrilled. It’s going to be a crazy experience.’