Over the weekend, a vegan singer-songwriter made headlines when he came in second place at Eurovision. When Imaani finished second in 1998, Britain’s Sam Ryder scored the country’s greatest performance in over 25 years (which was also the last time the UK hosted the song contest).
Ryder, who used to operate a vegan juice bar in Coggeshall, credits his rise to stardom to TikTok. In March 2020, during the UK’s first COVID-19 shutdown, Ryder began uploading musical covers on the social media network.
Elton John and Alicia Keys are just two of the celebrities that have endorsed his covers. He was the most-followed UK musician on TikTok at the end of 2020. (Ryder has about 13 million followers as of this writing.)
He also wrote his hit song Space Man during the epidemic, which he sang at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – the 66th edition of the competition, which took place on May 14.
Ryder won the jury vote with 283 points and the popular vote with 183 points.
‘Unity, Peace, Love’
The 32-year-old artist described the voyage as “incredible, incredible, rewarding journey.”
“We signed up to come and sing. We enjoy music, and I know that every single artist involved this year absolutely smashed it,” Ryder told broadcasters Scott Mills and Rylan Clark after the results were published.
“Everyone was a credit to themselves and a credit to what Eurovision is all about: unity, peace, love, togetherness, inclusivity and expression. Thank you for having us.”
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