Zara Maria Larsson (pronounced [²sɑːra ma²riː.a ˈlɑːʂɔn]; born 16 December 1997) is a Swedish singer and songwriter. She first gained national fame for winning the 2008 season of the talent show Talang, the Swedish version of Got Talent, at the age of 10. Larsson signed with the record label TEN Music Group in 2012 and released her debut EP album, Introducing, in January 2013. The single "Uncover" topped the charts in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. By February 2013, "Uncover" was certified platinum by Universal Music Sweden. In July 2013, Introducing was certified triple platinum in the country. Larsson also signed a three-year contract with Epic Records in the United States in April 2013. She performed at the opening and closing ceremonies in France for UEFA Euro 2016.
Larsson was born at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm County, Sweden to Agnetha and Anders Larsson. In an interview with Svenska Dagbladet, she said that she was born "dead" due to a lack of oxygen from nuchal cord. She has a younger sister, Hanna, who is also a singer and a member of the band Hanna & Andrea.
In a 2015 interview, Larsson said that she was accepted into the Adolf Fredrik's Music School, but declined because she did not want to sing in a choir.
2008–11: Career beginnings
Larsson won the 2008 season of Talang, the Swedish adaptation of Got Talent, at the age of 10, winning 500,000SEK. "My Heart Will Go On", originally sung by Celine Dion, was later released as Larsson's debut single.
2012–14: Breakthrough with 1
Larsson signed with TEN Music Group in 2012 to record her debut extended play. Larsson's debut EP, Introducing, was leaked on 9 December 2012 through a preview of "Uncover" on YouTube. The five-song album was released on 21 January 2013. "Uncover" was released as the album's lead single. It peaked at No. 1 on both the Sverigetopplistan and DigiListan charts, as well as reaching No. 1 in Norway and peaking at No. 3 in Denmark, and by 25 February 2013 the song was certified platinum in Sweden by Universal Music Sweden. The song entered the Svensktoppen track lists. In July 2013, at Sommarkrysset in Gröna Lund, she received a triple platinum award for Introducing.
On 27 March 2013, Larsson's next EP was revealed through a preview of "She's Not Me (Pt. 1)". The five-song EP, Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself, was released on 5 July 2013. The double-single "She's Not Me" (consisting of "She's Not Me (Pt. 1)" and "She's Not Me (Pt. 2)") was released on 25 June 2013. On 3 April 2013, Larsson revealed on her blog that she had signed a three-year contract with Epic Records in the United States. On 1 October 2014, Larsson released her debut studio album 1, including the songs "Uncover", "Bad Boys" and "She's Not Me" (Part 1 & 2). The album went Platinum in Sweden. Larsson was an opening act for British singer Cher Lloyd's I Wish Tour.
2015–present: So Good and international success
On 5 June 2015, Larsson released her debut single "Lush Life" from her second studio album. The song became her second number 1 single and was certified four times platinum in Sweden. The song reached the top 5 in Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom.
On 22 July 2015, Larsson collaborated with Grammy-nominated British singer MNEK and released her second single called "Never Forget You". The song reached No. 1 in Sweden, No. 5 in the United Kingdom, No. 3 in Australia, No. 1 in Sweden's Top 50 Music Charts (based on weekly YouTube popularity) and it also hit No. 1 on Sweden's Spotify charts. The song sold platinum in Sweden after two weeks.
In February 2016, Tinie Tempah released a single titled "Girls Like", featuring Larsson. Larsson was featured in the official song of UEFA Euro 2016, David Guetta's "This One's for You".
On 1 September 2016, Larsson released her third single titled "Ain't My Fault", which will be part of her upcoming album. On October 22, 2016, Larsson was named one of Time Magazine's "30 Most Influential Teens of 2016".
On 11 November 2016, Larsson released "I Would Like" as a promotional single for her upcoming album .
In January 2017, Larsson released a new single titled, "So Good", which features vocals from American rapper Ty Dolla Sign, as the fourth single from her second album with the same title, which was released on 17 March 2017. The album features new collaborations with WizKid & Clean Bandit titled Sundown & Symphony respectively.
Personal life and views
Larsson, a self-proclaimed fan of Beyoncé, identifies as a feminist and models herself an "activist" after the singer. She attributes her openness of opinion on social media and within interviews to her parents, claiming: "Both my parents are very educated when it comes to social issues and being woke about what's going on in the world, and they've been very supportive of me having a voice".
Larsson has grown increasingly vocal with her impressions of other artists and industry workers with whom she works and admires. While she has high praise for performers such as Beyonce, she is equal in her opposing views of such producers as Dr. Luke, of whom she does not have "good memories".
In an April 2016 interview, Larsson said that she was: "not really a bitter person. In my personal life, I would just feel like, I will always be cool with everyone."
Larsson's remarks and opinions towards men have drawn attention in both the public and media, a few of which have garnered criticism. Some followers have even taken to calling her a "man-hater"; which Larsson says she "happily [is]", stating: "It doesn't really hurt men if I hate them."
After learning that a man had committed a sexual assault during her set at Sweden's Bråvalla festival in July 2016, Larsson went on social media via Twitter to not only condemn the act but what was seen by many as her "blaming all men for the attacks". Larsson confirmed the statements, saying: "It's not hard to be generalized. It's hard to feel insecure at a festival where you just want to go to have fun and enjoy. But you can't, because of men."