Bleona: How I Became the Madonna of Albania

Euros of Hollywood's star gives the scoop on her prestigious nickname.

Euros of Hollywood star Bleona is a big name in her native Albania. A former child star turned pop superstar who packs large stadiums throughout Europe, Bleona now has her sights set on the American music market. She has already worked with huge names like Timbaland and David Foster in her quest, and her fame and notoriety has earned her the nickname "The Madonna of Albania." And now, as she gets set to make her debut on our new show, her profile is only going to get bigger.

"People often compare me to [Madonna] because of the level of determination, style of music, my high-energy live performances, and the influential personality," Bleona tells The Dish about the moniker, which started when she was performing in an Albanian music festival in 1996. Up until that point, people had known her as a child star. "I wore a big black shawl and halfway through, I took it off to reveal a pair of patent leather blue pants. People went crazy," she explained. "I wasn't anymore the cute little star kid—I was now famous for being rebellious. Critics thought I was a completely out of line and started calling me 'crazy' just like that 'Madonna of America,' because I always followed my own direction creatively."

Though Bleona is flattered by the comparison, she is quick to point out that she has no desire to be anyone other than herself. "As much as I respect and admire Madonna, I am NOT the ‘next Madonna.’ I am the first Bleona," she says.

The pop star also reveals that Bravo's own David Foster was the mega-name producer who encouraged her to move to Los Angeles, after hearing her perform a rendition of Lionel Ritchie's "Hello." "He said, 'I think you need to move to LA and record your first English album and I will help you get this done!'" Bleona reveals. Now that she's here, she's gearing up to release her first English-language album, which will be the 9th studio album of her career.

"I think nothing is impossible… If something is important enough to you, you will find a way; if it's not, you will find an excuse," Bleona says of the attitude that's led her to success. "The only thing standing between you and your goal is your bulls**t story you keep telling yourself [of] reasons as to why you can't achieve the goal."

Will Bleona make it in the USA? Watch Euros of Hollywood, premiering Monday at 10/9c, to find out!

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