I’m sitting down here, but hey you can’t see me? We can, Lene Marlin!
Twenty years ago, nineteen year old Norwegian singer Lene Marlin Pederson had a big chart hit with her second single “Sitting Down Here”. She had topped the Norwegian singles chart the previous year with “Unforgivable Sinner”, but it was “Sitting Down Here” that would give her a top ten hit all across Europe, ‘down under’ and further afield. She would top the chart with her debut album “Playing My Game”, but what happened after that and where is she now?
With “Unforgivable Sinner”, Tromsø born singer and songwriter Lene Marlin got a number one single with her first release in her home country as well as reaching the top in Italy and the top five in Sweden (the song peaked at No.13 in the UK). Lene released her debut long player the following August (1999) which would receive a triple Platinum certification in Norway and a Platinum disc in both France and the UK. The album was a top ten hit across much of Europe and In New Zealand. The second single “Sitting Down Here” followed in September that year reaching No.2 in Norway, No.5 in the UK and becoming a sizable hit in over a dozen other countries globally.
Lene released just one more track from the album, “Where I’m Headed”, before taking some time to deliver her next project, entitled “Another Day”, some four years later. The album was preceded by the single “You Weren’t There”, which gave Lene her second chart topper in her home country and her third number one in Italy. It fared less well elsewhere, stalling at No.31 in the UK and missing the chart completely in Germany and many other parts of Europe. “Another Day” would top the Norwegian album chart and peak at No.3 in Italy, becoming a more moderate ‘hit’ elsewhere. The title track and “Sorry” were later released as independent singles but both sadly registered little support. A more conventional gap of two years existed between “Another Day” and her next album “Lost In A Moment”, which was delivered in June 2005. The album featured the single “How Would It Be?”, which made No.11 in Norway and No.16 in Italy. Neither “What If…” or “Sit Here” charted anywhere.
Lene made a return to the top ten in 2009 with the singles “Here We Are” and “Worth It”, a duet with fellow Norwegian singer Aleksander With, making No.3 that year. “Here We Are” was the first single from her fourth studio album “Twist The Truth”, which peaked at No.3 in Norway and completed a big comeback for her in her home territory. In 2013, Lene released a greatest hits album and achieved three more singles chart entries including “Engler i sneen” (Angels In The Snow) a duet with Kurt Nilsen, the winner of the 2003 Norway Pop Idol contest, which made No.7 and, to date, is Lene’s last Norwegian chart showing. Lene’s success in 2009 can perhaps be traced to her new found career as a songwriter. She wrote the title track to Rihanna’s 2007 album “Good Girl Gone Bad”, which has sold over nine million copies worldwide as well as writing songs for many home grown and emerging artists.
Lene has presented TV shows and given lectures about music in recent years as well as opening up about her struggles with depression and suicide as a result of her success and fame she had to contend with at the beginning of her career. Lene made a return this year (2019) to the public eye when she became a judge on the Norwegian series of The Voice, however, to date, there are no plans to record and release music for herself. Perhaps someday soon, Lene will bless us all with her sweet and angelic vocals, just as she did at the very end of the last century…