Ruth Lorenzo was no stranger to musical talent contests when she sang for her home country of Spain in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest; six years previously, she had made her way to the U.K., where she competed in the fifth season of The X Factor. A fully fledged diva, her powerful, pitch-perfect delivery was a hit with judges and fans alike, and she finished in fifth place.
Born Ruth Lorenzo Pascual on November 10, 1982 in Murcia, she began singing from a very early age, mimicking opera diva Montserrat Caballé and songs from the musical Annie. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was ten, and she was encouraged in her singing by her school teachers. She took numerous singing and dance classes and performed in am-dram productions of The Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady. When she was 16, her family moved back to Spain, and it was at this time that she seriously considered music as a career. She tried out for the Spanish TV talent contest Operación Triunfo, but failed to make it past the auditions. She then formed a band and toured around Spain for several years, but the band split up without making it big. Finally she took a job with the holiday resort company Polaris World, where she worked both in PR and as a performer in the resort's hotels.
It was her U.K. X Factor exposure in 2008 that finally paved the way for her Spanish success. In 2009 she signed to Virgin EMI and spent the next two years writing for a debut album, but eventually parted ways with the label over creative differences and decided to go independent. Her debut single, "Burn," performed with her band the Raspberry Pattern, was crowd-funded through the IndieGoGo website. Released in 2011, it went to number 16 in Spain. It was also released in the U.K. but failed to chart. The singles "The Night" and "Love Is Dead" followed in 2013. Neither of these charted either, but her extensive touring throughout Europe had made her sufficiently popular that she was voted the Spanish people's favorite to represent them at Eurovision. Her entry, the epic bilingual ballad "Dancing in the Rain," saw her finish the contest in 10th place. The song was a hit in Spain, entering the singles charts at number five. It was also scheduled to appear on her long-awaited debut album, Planeta Azul, which was set for release by Roster Records in 2014. ~ John D. Buchanan