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News 05 Aug 16

Kosovo's Istrefi Tastes Sweet Success With 'Bonbon'

Pristina-born singer Era Istrefi is rapidly going viral worldwide, after her greatest hit attracted more than 121 million YouTube page views.

BIRN
Soon after being released, ‘Bonbon’ made it in the Top 100 in the UK, Canada, France and Germany. Photo: Facebook.

Twenty-two-year-old Era Istrefi surely never imagined that her song "Bonbon", released earlier this year, would get 121,759,485 views on YouTube - a figure that is rising daily.

Although the song is mostly sung in Albanian, it soon became popular internationally, prompting many to compare Era’s voice and performance to such mega pop stars as Rihanna and Sia.

The top comment below her YouTube video notes "that awkward moment when you realize this is not Rihanna and this is not English".

Soon after its release, "Bonbon" made it into the Top 100 in the UK, Canada, France and Germany.

Following this huge success, Istrefi signed a contract for 1.5 million US dollars with two global music giants, Ultra and Sony Music, in February.

Era’s other record-breaking hit is the reggae-soaked "Mani per Money" or "Crazy for Money".

She outraged some conservative Serbs when she made a music video in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Pristina two years ago, with some accusing her of dancing there half-naked.

Era is the second Kosovo Albanian to conquer the world music stage – after Rita Ora, whose family left for the UK when she was a baby.

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