The Norwegian entry in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest Hold on be strong is nominated in the Hit of the year category of the annual Spellemann music awards. The song, which was written by Mira Craig and performed by Maria Haukaas Storeng, is only the second Eurovision Song Contest entry ever to be nominated for an award following the 1995 winning song Nocturne.
Maria told newspaper VG that the nomination was completely unexpected and that she is very excited about it: "For me, the Spellemann awardhas always been something holy, it is really fantastic to be a part of it. This is a good start for 2009." The award show is scheduled for 24th January and it will be held at the Spektrum in Oslo, the venue of the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest and the recent Norwegian national finals.
Hold on be strong did not only win the Norwegian national final Melodi Grand Prix by a landslide, it was also a commercial success reaching the top of the single charts and staying in the top20 for more than five months. At the Eurovision Song Contest, Maria finished fourth in the first semi final and fifth in the final getting 182 points. She will also co-host the 2009 edition of Melodi Grand Prix with Per Sundnes.