Love them or hate them, you’ve definitely heard of them. Here are five Maltese pop cultural icons who’ve made us feel… something!
When we think of Hollywood, we can think of loads of people who have affected pop culture. Marilyn Monroe, Tim Burton, Kim Kardashian – yes, her too! However, I believe that we also have people who have changed our pop cultural history books, and this is my list:
Eileen Montesin’s spirit is undying. Throughout her decades-spanning career, she has given us Undercover, Dejjem Tiegħek, Becky and now, Becky: The Return. She has also been the ultimate Eurovision Song Contest commentator – providing us with a commentary that literally split opinions into two. Her most iconic moment, however, will always be her ‘Ara Doris! Hellooooo!’ moment during the Carnival parade in 2006. That moment, for us Maltese, is the same as when Madonna kissed Britney or when Justin Timberlake unwittingly revealed Janet Jackson’s boob. Never stop being you, Eileen!
Ira Losco has, single-handedly, made us believe that we, too, could one day have a rock star to boast about. Yet, while her career has definitely consolidated itself, her biggest and best moment will forever be the Eurovision of 2002, when she blew on a fistful of glitter. Europe erupted into a frenzy of cheers that day, and Malta was united behind her. For that brief moment, she was our very own 7th Wonder, and we’ll never forget it, Ira!
Freddie Portelli… Where to begin? He is our version of Elvis Presley; the heartthrob that never was; the man who still manages to draw the crowds even though he hasn’t had a hit in years. Yet, Freddie Portelli doesn’t need any more hits because Mur Ħallini is so special and so iconic to the Maltese that it is on par with the National Anthem. Actually, scrap that. I know a lot of people who don’t know the lyrics to the National Anthem but know the lyrics to Freddie’s song. Freddie is king.
Clinton Paul is a rebel. He is so unconventional in fact, that one cannot help but question everything about the world for the duration of each of his videos. When Clinton Paul gave us the music video for Rebellion – now, sadly, no longer available on YouTube (Why, Clinton? WHY?!) – he unleashed a beast. Quotes of ‘let’s capture a picture of it’ and ‘I’m a rebellion’ can still be heard whispered in conversations all over Malta. More than that, however, we all get super excited when Clinton releases a new music video – although, sadly, none have been as good as Rebellion.
Moira Palmier and Francesca Fenech Conti are the brains behind The Salott, The Kċina and the RUBS groups, and they have literally changed the way Maltese society interacts. The comments on that page can verge on the incredulous, but what’s most fascinating is that everyone seems to know about the page. The posts go viral not just through social media, in fact, but through word of mouth. And that, my friends, is quite the feat!
Of course, there are many other people who deserve to be on this list. Hector Bruno and George Micallef gave us Jessie u Bessie. Charlene Victoria Mula’s song became Malta’s first viral YouTube video with Tort ta’ Min, and some user’s comment on it (‘Torta min? Torta int!’) also deserves a mention.
These people have – with the help of TV, radio and social media – managed to break down our political and religious boundaries and have united us in loving or hating them. They have done the impossible, and for that, we owe them!
Who else would you have added to Evelyn’s list?
Let us know in the comment section below.