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December 2016



Era Istrefi announced as winner of 2017 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA)

Today, Albanian singer Era Istrefi was announced as the tenth winner of the 2017 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), the European music awards for emerging artists. Istrefi was surprised at Top Albania Radio.

Born in Pristina, Istrefi debuted in 2013 as simply Era with her single ‘Mani Per Money’. Blending pop and reggae in the style of early Rihanna, the track charted in Albania and Kosovo, as did the follow-up ‘E Dehun’. Third single ‘Njo Si Ti’ charted in Belgium, but international recognition truly happened in 2015 when the single ‘Bon Bon’ became an overnight viral sensation, reaching an astonishing 133 million views on YouTube alone. Now preparing her debut album, Istrefi signed with Ultra/Sony.

Earlier, Alan Walker (no), Jaakko Eino Kalevi (fi), Namika (de), Walking on Cars (ie), Hinds (es), Jain (fr), Filous (at), Natalie La Rose (nl) and Dua Lipa (gb) were also announced as winners of an EBBA. A total of ten EBBA winners have now been announced. The Awards Ceremony will take place on 11 January 2017 in Groningen, as part of the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival.


EBBA celebrate new and border-breaking artists who create today and tomorrow’s music. From Adele (United Kingdom) to Christine & the Queens (France), the EBBA winners represent some of the standout European sounds of recent years. Other previous winners include Stromae, Gabriel Rios, Hozier, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons, Aurora, Disclosure, John Newman, C2C, Tokio Hotel, The Script, Years and Years, Robin Schulz, Carnival Youth, MØ and Selah Sue.

From the group of enthusiastic gig-goers out on the weekend to the industry dedicated to making the music you love, Music Moves Europe. EBBA are one of the EU’s ways of celebrating European popular and contemporary music by bringing the artists, the industry and the fans together to celebrate European music.
Every year, 10 European artists receive an EBBA to recognise their success in countries other than their own.

This success is measured by:

The European Border Breakers Charts, launched earlier this year and compiled by Radiomonitor, rank tracks from around Europe based on airplay abroad.
To be eligible for the 2017 awards, the artists must have achieved border-breaking success with their first international release in Europe between 1 August 2015 and 31 July 2016 and come from a country participating in the EU’s Creative Europe programme.
The EBBA, now in their 14th year, are an EU Prize, organised by Eurosonic Noorderslag in partnership with the European Commission (Creative Europe) and the European Broadcasting Union, with support from Buma Cultuur, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Province of Groningen, the City of Groningen and Music Week.

Public choice

One of the winners will receive a Public Choice Award based on votes cast on the EBBA website from the end of November 2016 to Christmas. Up to ten voters, chosen at random from different countries, will be invited to the award ceremony: each will be able to bring a friend and the flight and hotel costs will be taken care of.

EBBA ceremony

The winners will receive their award in a ceremony hosted by TV personality and musician Jools Holland at the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival in Groningen, Netherlands, on January 11, 2017. The ceremony will feature performances by the winning acts.