Anna Vissi life and biography

Anna Vissi picture, image, poster

Anna Vissi biography

Date of birth : 1957-12-20
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Pyla, Larnaca, Cyprus
Nationality : Greek
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-03-05
Credited as : Singer, actress, received 32 Platinum and 11 Gold certifications

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Anna Vissi, known as Anna Vishy in Cypriot Greek, is a Greek-Cypriot recording artist and actress. Anna rose to fame in the 1980s, captivating listeners with her mesmerizing voice and her powerful stage presence.

She released her first album in 1984 and reached the peak of her talents in the 1990s, turning out hits with her collaborator and former husband, songwriter and producer Nicos Karvelas. In 1997 the Cyprus-born beauty swept the Greek Music Awards. Recorded on her gold, platinum, and triple-platinum-selling albums are pop hits, love ballads, and even the occasional rock opera. Although she sings most passionately in her native Greek, Vissi has recorded songs in English, and in the early 2000s made her first attempts to become an international star with "crossover" appeal. In 2001 she released Everything I Am, which critics lauded as a first step toward worldwide renown for the Greek pop chanteuse.

Born in Cyprus on December 20, 1957, Vissi, one of three daughters, had an early sense of her calling to a life in music. "[W]hen you feel it when you are a child, it is going to happen," she told Susan Chenery of the Australian. "When I was five years old, I had visions." Aware of her child's budding talent, Vissi's mother enrolled her at the Cyprus Conservatory when Vissi was only six years old. At age 12, lying about her age to enter a singing contest for teenagers, she won first prize, attracting the attention of local talent scouts. Within two years, Vissi's mother decided to relocate the family to Athens, Greece, where her daughter would be able to find more opportunities.

Vissi signed a contract with Sony Music at age 14, making her recording debut on a Greek singers' compilation album. She sang a song by the renowned songwriter and pop star Nicos Karvelas. The pair worked together throughout Vissi's teens, and their collaboration blossomed into a romance chronicled in detail by the Greek media. The couple wed in 1983, when Vissi was 26.

In addition to penning hit songs for Vissi, Karvelas also wrote Greece's first rock opera, Demons, for his wife. While their professional relationship would last, their marriage would not, however. After seven years, and the birth of a daughter, Sofia, the pair divorced. To the confusion of fans, Vissi and Karvelas continued to live together for the sake of their musical collaboration. "When you're a wife to somebody there are sometimes problems, you know, and you're not able to see the person fairly," Vissi told Graham Simpson of Sydney, Australia's Sunday Telegraph Magazine. "We respect each other more now, I would say. Working with Nicos is a joy and we remain good partners and best friends."

Vissi's 1996 album Klima Tropiko was a runaway success in Greece, rising to platinum status in a few months. On the heels of this album, the singer's tour of Greece led to a new club built expressly for Vissi. She presented a series of three-hour shows at the club--all of them sell-outs. On New Year's Eve, the mayor of Athens invited Vissi to perform in celebrations at Parliament Square, which drew a crowd of some 20,000. And in February of 1997, Vissi swept the Greek Music Awards, taking all of the major honors, including Best Female Singer.

In 1997 Vissi released Travma (Wound), which reached triple-platinum status. The same year, the Greek superstar released her first English-language single, "Forgive Me This," recorded with producer Ric Wake, of Celine Dion fame. Although it was a hit in Europe, the song did not fare as well in a more international market. Vissi blamed its limited success on her lack of expressiveness in a non-native tongue. "It was a different experience and I found it a bit difficult to be the same singer as I am singing in Greek," she told Freya Grant of Sydney's Daily Telegraph. "Singing in English, I find that I can't have that same passion. People who know me really well immediately notice that."

Vissi kept at it, however, looking to infuse her English-lyric music with the same Hellenic passion. It was not a disregard for English music that was holding her back. Indeed, American singers Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin were early inspirations for the Greek songstress. Later, Vissi looked to Madonna as a style icon, incorporating that megastar's ability to constantly reinvent herself with a new image and a new physical appearance. "I wasn't trying to mime Madonna," Vissi told Chenery of the Australian, "but I respected her energy. She gave me a lot of courage."

In early 1999--following her popular 1998 release Antidoto (Antidote)--Vissi performed two sold-out shows in London, and held her first mini-tour in the United States, with shows in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and other cities. American audiences took notice of her charisma, and music critics lauded her magnetic stage presence. "With raised arms and delicately stepping feet, she was no unapproachable, packaged pop diva, but an irrepressible entertainer," noted the New York Times, at quoted by Sony Music online.

Also in the late 1990s, Vissi set out to record her first English-language album, Everything I Am. She spent two years abroad--in London, Los Angeles, and Nashville--recording and producing the songs with various collaborators. The result was a classic pop album that mixed high-energy dance tracks ("On a Night Like This," "Everything I Am") and moody, bluesy ballads ("Way Out," "No More the Fool," "No Tomorrow"). What made the album unique was its incorporation of Hellenic sounds--some songs included the bouzouki, a popular string Greek instrument--and its characteristically Greek passion and flair.

Upon Everything's 2001 release, Vissi performed "On a Night Like This" at the Miss Universe pageant in Cyprus, before a television audience that numbered in the millions. The song wowed listeners, especially in Australia, where the popular singer Kylie Minogue included her own version of it in the album Light Years. Meanwhile, music critics around the world looked to Vissi as perhaps the next big "crossover" star.

Just before 2004, on December 5, 2003, Vissi released the double album Paraksenes Eikones which went 2x platinum in six months. This was Vissi's first album since 1981's Anna Vissi that included songs written by other composers besides Nikos Karvelas. The album produced many hits. To promote the album, she started appearing at "Diogenis Studio" for the winter season 2003–2004, with Konstantinos Christoforou, Nino and girl band Hi-5.

On December 20, 2004, Vissi released a live album and DVD, which went platinum in its first week of release. It sold 40 thousand copies. After that concert, she moved to the United States, for the preparation and promotion of her single "Call Me".In July 2005, Vissi returned to Greece and released "Call Me" as a CD single by Sony BMG, along with a new English-language song titled "Lie". The single reached number one on the IFPI singles charts and achieved gold certification. In that same month, Vissi started recording her new Greek album.

On September 27, 2005, Vissi released a new Greek album titled Nylon.The album went platinum within 24 hours of its release and peaked at number one on the IFPI Greek Top 50 albums chart, selling 40 thousand copies.

Greek national broadcaster ERT chose Vissi to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. There were four candidate songs, which she sang during a song selection show on March 14, 2006 at "Votanikos" club. The Greek viewers used televote and SMS messages along with a panel of judges to choose the song Vissi would sing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006.During the contest, Vissi performed in the 16th spot of the night and appeared alone on stage, wearing a Jean-Paul Gaultier outfit. Although she had been one of the favorites during the pre-contest period, she only managed to get 9th place with 128 points .

On November 16, 2009, Apagorevmeno was re-released as Apagorevmeno+ with 3 new songs and two remixes in special ecological packaging.It is known that Vissi has been working on an English-Language album since 2008. At first it was supposed to be released in 2009 but Vissi wanted to finish her concert series in Athinon Arena prior to releasing the album. Vissi stated in an interview that the works in her English-Language album are still on and that this album will feature Karvela's English songs, too. The album has now a tentative 2011 release date.

On 20 February premiered released on Rythmos FM the second song "Ora na fevgo" or "Time to go" from the album who will release in 2012.

Through a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Vissi has influenced several of the nation's younger generation of female artists. She has won six Arion Music Awards, 15 Pop Corn Music Awards, and nine MAD Video Music Awards. Vissi has received 32 Platinum and 11 Gold certifications from IFPI Greece and has become one of the country's best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 9.5 million records worldwide and is also one of the country's top earning artists.

In 2010, Alpha TV ranked Vissi as the second top-certified female artist in Greece in the phonographic era (since 1960), behind Haris Alexiou, while Forbes listed her as the 15th most powerful and influential celebrity in Greece and fourth highest ranked singer.

Studio albums:
-As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi (1977)
-Kitrino Galazio (1979)
-Nai (1980)
-Anna Vissi (1981)
-Eimai To Simera Kai Eisai To Hthes (1982)
-Na 'Hes Kardia (1984)
-Kati Simveni (1985)
-I Epomeni Kinisi (1986)
-Tora (1987)
-Empnefsi! (1988)
-Fotia (1989)
-Eimai (1990)
-Emeis (1992)
-Lambo (1992)
-Re! (1994)
-O! Kypros (1995)
-Klima Tropiko (1996)
-Travma (1997)
-Antidoto (1998)
-Everything I Am (2000)
-Kravgi (2000)
-X (2002)
-Paraksenes Eikones (2003)
-Nylon (2005)
-Apagorevmeno (2008)
-Agapi Einai Esi (2010)
-Upcoming Album (2012)

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