The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 sees Mika – real name Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. – host alongside Italian stars Alessandro Cattelan and Laura Pausini. Some fans may wonder why he hosts and his nationality. Express.co.uk takes a look at the star and her roots.
What is Mikhail’s nationality?
The Eurovision Song Contest kicked off in Turin, Italy, with pop star Mika as one of the hosts for this year’s show.
He is best known for his track Grace Kelly and his album Life in Cartoon Motion.
Mika was born in the 1980s in Beirut, Lebanon to a Lebanese-American mother while his father was an Israeli-American.
The family moved to Paris during the war before settling in London, which may explain their excellent French.
READ MORE: Why is Mika hosting Eurovision? Star explains his role of “humility”
Speaking of his inspirations, Mika said he listens to “everything” from Joan Baez and Dylan, to Serge Gainsbourg and Flamenco.”
He said his tastes had become “more eclectic” with age, nevertheless, his go-to artists remained the same and included the likes of Prince, Sir Elton John, Michael Jackson and Harry Nilsson.
In recent years, Mika has been a judge on The X Factor Italy as well as a coach on The Voice France, hence his now international presence.
He also topped the charts in France with his song Boum Boum Boum and will once again be featured on The X Factor Italia.
On why he was hosting Eurovision, he said: “I did television in Italy.
“I learned to speak Italian just because I had this opportunity to go and do The X Factor in Italy.
“I learned in a few months, luckily my Italian is better now, the irony of it all is that I’m going to do Eurovision, the biggest TV show Italy has ever had to put on, and everything is in English.”
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be available to watch on catch-up on BBC iPlayer