Former child prodigy tipped to win Eurovision for the tiny island nation of Malta

Destiny stands against glowing orange lights with her hands on her waist

Malta is the bookies’ favourite to win Eurovision 2021, represented by child prodigy-turned-bona fide purveyor of bops, Destiny.

Malta, a Mediterranean island nation south of Italy and north of Libya, is one of the smallest countries that competes each year in Eurovision.

It’s never won. But Destiny Chukunyere, channelling music legends such as Beyoncé, Lizzo and Aretha Franklin, is out to change that.

Long labelled a “child prodigy”, Destiny quickly became used to singing in front of cheering crowds in her youth.

She was just 13 when she won Junior Eurovision 2015 with a then-record-breaking 185 points.

Five years later, aged 18, she’s representing Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, singing in the first semi-final on 18 May.

The contest is making a triumphant return after it was pulled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, with organisers pulling out all the stops to ensure it can go ahead safely.

Destiny, 18, has done the music competition circuit, having appeared both on Britain’s Got Talent and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. (Visit Malta)

Destiny might look families to fans of Britain’s Got Talent. In 2017, she belted out Aretha Franklin’s “Think” on the reality show, drawing acclaim from acid-tongued judge, Simon Cowell.

“I’ve been waiting for someone to come out who we think can be a star,” he said after the roaring crown gave Destiny a standing ovation. “And guess who it is? You.”

Not long after, she appeared as a backing singer for Eurovision 2019’s Maltese entrant, Michela Pace.

Now, the musician is travelling from Birkirkara, a small town filled with cobble lanes and beige churches, to Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the world’s biggest music competition.

She’s set to sing her electro-swing pop song “Je Me Casse“. On first listen, it’s a buzzy number born for the dance floor.

But the song is more than a quick dose of serotonin. Its defiant lyrics bounce with female empowerment, following a peevish guy using stale pickup lines and unwanted drinks to woo a woman.

She couldn’t care less. Instead, she bats the boy away and focuses on having a good time and pursuing her dreams.

Destiny is dreaming of winning this year’s Eurovision. And considering she’s already proved to be a fan-favourite, she might just do it.

To learn more about Destiny and the LGBT-friendly haven of Malta, check out Visit Malta.