Elena Paparizou </br> Έλενα Παπαρίζου
Elena Paparizou performing in Kalamata as part of her Arhizei To Party tour on 2 July 2008.
Background information
Birth name Elena Paparizou
Also known as Helena Paparizou
Born 31 January 1982 (1982-01-31) (age 35)
Borås, Västergötland, Sweden</small>
Origin Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Laïko, pop-folk, pop, dance
Occupations Singer, songwriter, model
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1999–present
Labels Sony Music Greece, Bonnier Amigo, Moda, AATW
Associated acts Antique

Elena Paparizou (Greek: Έλενα Παπαρίζου, pronounced [ˈɛɭ.ɛ.na pa.paˈɾi.zu]; born 31 January 1982) often known internationally as Helena Paparizou, is a Greek singer, occasional songwriter, and former model who was born and raised in Sweden. She began her career in 1999 as a member of the duo Antique, as well as working briefly as a model for a Swedish-Greek brand. Antique was targeted towards the Greek diaspora and sang traditional material in mixed Greek and English. After rising to recognition in Greece following their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001, they witnessed moderate success until Paparizou embarked on a solo career in 2003 and released her debut album Protereotita (2004), with emphasis on more pop sounds in addition to laïko. Paparizou then won the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 for Greece for the first time in the contest's history, with the song "My Number One", something which significantly contributed to her career. Following the Eurovision success, her album was certified double Platinum and received two Arion Music Awards, while she also briefly attempted a career beyond Greece with English-language material to mild success. Her three subsequent albums Iparhi Logos (2006), The Game of Love (2006), and Vrisko To Logo Na Zo (2008) all reached Platinum sales and received some accolades (although to a lesser extent), with the former receiving another Arion. Her fifth studio album, Giro Apo T'Oneiro will be released in March 2010. She has been certified for the sales of at least 150,000 albums and a further 50,000 singles by IFPI Greece.

Early life

Elena Paparizou was born on 31 January 1982 in Borås, Västergötland, Sweden, the youngest child of Greek immigrant parents Georgios and Efrosini "Froso" Paparizou. Her father is from Volos, while her mother is from Karditsa. She has a sister named Areti, known as "Rita" and a brother Konstantinos, known as "Dinos".[1] In 1985, the family moved to Greece to live in Volos with relatives because Paparizou suffered from asthma and her lungs could not endure the cold Scandinavian climate, returning after two years when the problem was resolved, thereon living in the town of Örgryte, Gothenburg.[1] Because of this early move, Paparizou spoke Greek as a first language. As a child, she did not hang out with many Swedish children[2] and attended a Greek-language school.[1] Throughout childhood, she continued suffering from breathing problems, was once rushed to the hospital because of them, and felt like she had left her body at least twice when she was younger.[2] She continues to suffer from the issue and often carries an inhaler onstage for when she loses her breath.[2]

File:Antique Paparizou Panagiotidis.jpg

Paparizou became interested in the arts at a young age and her parents soon involved her in singing, dancing, and acting training in combination with her academic studies at school. At age seven she began lessons in piano, ballet, and traditional dances. She performed for the first time in front of a Greek audience at age 11 singing Christos Dantis' "Moro Mou". By age 13, Paparizou had realized she wanted to become a singer and decided to take a serious approach in preparation for it, her first experiences being with Greek music.[2] At the age of 14, Paparizou formed her first group Soul Funkomatic with three Hispanic teenagers and only played hip hop music, and saving money to record songs; two years later the group disbanded.[2] On 29 October 1998, 13 of Paparizou's close friends died in the Gothenburg nightclub fire during a hip hop party that left 63 people dead and more than 200 injured. Paparizou had begged her mother to let her go to the party, but was not allowed to attend.[3] After losing her friends, Paparizou decided to abandon singing, and she started classes at the Art Performing School where she studied theater, acting, television, and directing.

Recording career

1999–03: Antique era

In 1999, some DJ friends of her brother's asked her to make a demo of the Notis Sfakianakis hit "Opa Opa".[3] Paparizou told them that the lyrics are for a man, so she asked to sing it with childhood friend Nikos Panagiotidis,[3][4] whom she had met through her siblings at a Greek diaspora celebration in Stockholm.[1] At that time, some record producers were undergoing a project to sign a duo consisting of a male and a female that would sing covers of traditional Greek hits oriented towards the Greek diaspora of Sweden, finally coming in contact with Paparizou, who recommended Panagiotidis;[1] they formed Antique and were signed to newly-formed indie label Bonnier,[5] settling on the name because it left an impression of being "classic" and "timeless".[1] Paparizou admitted that Greek music had been something of an acquired taste for her, and that the name "Antique" was probably a reflection of her childhood impression of it being something rather distant and old-fashioned; something that she only really associated with her summer holidays in Greece.[2] Their debut single "Opa Opa" became a hit amongst the Greeks in Sweden and eventually entered the top ten in Sweden and Norway,[6] making them the first act to enter into the Swedish top five with a song sung in Greek.[5] Their later singles "Dinata Dinata","Follow Me", and "Moro Mou" also charted well.[5]

Despite being relatively unknown in Greece, the duo entered the national final to be Greece's representatives in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 in Copenhagen, Denmark with the song "(I Would) Die for You", written by Nikos Terzis with lyrics by Antonis Pappas, placing joint first, but being named the winners by default as they had won the public vote.[1] The song placed third in the actual contest with 147 points; although equaled by the 2004 entry, it was the best placing Greece had ever received until Paparizou won the contest as a solo artist in 2005. The song went on to become their biggest hit in Greece, reaching Platinum status, while it peaked at number three in Sweden, and charted elsewhere. Antique's success in the contest led to them earning recognition in Greece and working there for the rest of their career. In continuation, they recorded four studio albums that achieved mild success, performed a small European tour, and collaborated with artists such as Katy Garbi and Slavi Trifonov. Following their course as Antique, Paparizou and Panagiotidis decided to pursue solo careers, although Paparizou maintained that the duo had not disbanded, but rather was taking a break.

2003–05: Solo development, Protereotita, and Eurovision

Elena Paparizou

Paparizou performing in Chicago, Illinois in September 2005.

After Antique disbanded in 2003, Paparizou signed a solo recording contract with Sony Music Greece and released her debut single "Anapandites Kliseis", written by singer-songwriter Christos Dantis.[7] The single was a double A-side with "Treli Kardia" and peaked at number one on the Greek Top 50 Singles Chart, eventually earning a Gold certification. The video of "Anapandites Kliseis" won her a MAD Video Music Award for Best Dance Video out of two nominations, while she performed a duet of the song with Dantis at the ceremony. During the winter of 2003-2004, Paparizou appeared as an opening act for Antonis Remos and Giannis Spanos at the Stadio Piraios nightclub.[8] On 25 August 2004, she released her debut solo album, Protereotita from which "Anditheseis", "Katse Kala", and "Stin Kardia Mou Mono Thlipsi" were released as singles, earning mild radio success; however, the album earned her her first Arion for Best Female Pop Singer out of three nominations, and also won two MAD awards for Best Female Video ("Katse Kala") and Best Direction for (Giorgos Gavalos for "Treli Kardia") out of six nominations. Originally, the album received mixed reviews and earned only mild success, however both critical and commercial reception improved after Paparizou's Eurovision win the following year; to capitalize on the success, it was reissued as Protereotita: Euro Edition in single and double disc format, while it was released as a compilation in some European countries as My Number One and spinning off three singles ("My Number One", "The Light in Our Soul, and "A Brighter Day"), peaking at number one, three, and 24, respectively in Sweden, and charting to lesser extent elsewhere.[9] However, the album itself was not overly successful, peaking at number 13. "My Number One" charted in a number of countries and was released in the United States by Moda Records with remixes in August 2006, peaking at number eight on the Bilboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.[10] The Euro Edition became Paparizou's first album to reach number one and earned her another Arion for Best Female Pop Singer, with "My Number One" peaking at number one on the Singles Chart, being certified Platinum, and becoming her first number-one airplay hit, while "The Light in Our Soul/To Fos Sti Psyhi" peaked at two. Paparizou released a new CD single "Mambo!", peaking at number one on both the Singles Chart for 10 weeks and gaining Platinum status, as well as the airplay charts, remaining her most successful single to date. The CD single itself was the second highest-selling single of the year, surpassing her Eurovision-winner "My Number One". She performed "My Number One" at the MAD VMAs in 2005 and in 2006 was awarded three honors for Best Pop Video ("The Light in Our Soul"), Best Video by a Female Artist ("My Number One"), and Artist of the Year ("Mambo!"). The album was reissued for a third time as Protereotita: Euro Edition + Mambo! in November, marking its fifth release; it was finally certified double Platinum in 2006, recognizing over 60,000 copies sold, while it reached Platinum status in Cyprus. In 2007, Paparizou was awarded with a European Border Breaker Award at the Midem Festival in Cannes, France for the international editions of her debut album, recognized by the European Union as one of the year's ten new artists to have success with their debut albums abroad.[11] In promotion of the album, Paparizou was the opening act to the spring 2004 season show at Thalassa, sharing the stage with three other young artists, Apostolia Zoi, Nino, and Thanos Petrelis, followed by performing as the opening act at Fever for Sakis Rouvas and Giorgos Mazonakis for the winter season.

File:Paparizou esc2005 final.jpg

Paparizou ended up spending more time in Greece, and after a long selection process led by national broadcaster Hellenic Radio and Television (ERT), she was internally selected as Greece's representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev, Ukraine after approaching the network.[12] Paparizou had not been an original choice of the broadcaster, who had been trying to secure a high profile artist and thus she was viewed as a possible back-up when the other deals were not materialized.[13] She expressed that at the time, noone had wanted her to participate in Eurovision.[14] The song "My Number One", composed by Dantis with lyrics by him and Natalia Germanou, was chosen by both the jury vote and televote in the Greek national final as the entry, defeating "Let's Get Wild" and "OK"; the fourth song, "The Light in Our Soul", was disqualified due to being released prior to the deadline. Although her first name had previously always been spelled "Elena", Paparizou chose to promote herself as "Helena" as her Eurovision appearance approached, citing for it to stand out from other names that are popular in other countries; thus the spelling with the H has since been used on all non-Greek promotions and releases,[15] although she has since stated that she prefers to be known as "Elena".[16] Paparizou went on tour across Europe to promote the song and performed it on 21 May wearing a dress designed by Roberto Cavalli, with choreography by Fokas Evangelinos, and backing vocals provided by Alex Panayi, winning the contest for Greece for the first time in history with 230 points and tyeing the record for most "12 points" (10) received in a single contest up to that point. The Eurovision success significantly contributed to her career as a new artist and opened up new performance opportunities. On July 14 she performed at the birthday gala of Princess Victoria of Sweden where during her performance of "The Light in our Soul", Paparizou ascended from the stage to greet the royal family. When she reached King Carl XVI Gustaf, instead of a handshake he got up to embrace Paparizou, causing controversy for putting his hand on Paparizou's back, lower than what is socially acceptable. The Royal Court later issued a statement that his hand slipped.[17] She subsequently toured Europe, performing in all countries that gave her 12 points, while a brief tour of North America and Australia for the Greek diaspora with Nikos Kourkoulis followed. She also became the ambassador of the Greek Ministry of Tourism. Paparizou stated that should she ever consider doing anything Eurovision orientated again it would have to be for her birth country of Sweden,[18] since she already had her turn with Greece. After serving as an opening act on numerous occasions, Paparizou performed as a main act at Fever for the 2005-2006 season.

2006–07: Iparhi Logos and The Game of Love

Helena Paparizou with Pashalis Terzis

Paparizou performing with Paschalis Terzis at Iera Odos in 2006.

Paparizou's second album, Iparhi Logos, was released in Greece on 12 April 2006 to good critical reception. In promotion, Paparizou performed the title track at the Arion Music Awards. The album, a two disc set, contained both previously released material and live recordings from her MAD Secret Concert held in December 2005 in honor of her Eurovision win, being the first edition of the series. The album peaked at number one in both Greece and Cyprus and generated three hit singles ("Iparhi Logos", "Gigolo", and "An Ihes Erthi Pio Noris"), being certified Platinum after seven months for 40,000 copies and also reaching Platinum in Cyprus. A cover of Celine Dion's "Just Walk Away" was released as a promo single, while the Greek version of "Mambo!" was also included. Paparizou won MAD VMAs for Best Video by a Female Artist ("Gigolo") and Best-Dressed Artist in a Video ("An Ihes Erthi Pio Noris") out of five nominations and also opened the show singing "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" and "Min Fevgeis"[19][20]; the album was also nominated for two Cyprus Music Awards in 2007, where she also performed.[21] The album was reissued in February 2007 as Iparhi Logos: Platinum Edition to include Paparizou's number one hit "Mazi Sou", one of two songs she contributed for the soundtrack of the television series of the same name, "Fos" from the Barbie kai I Dodeka Vasilopoules soundtrack released in 2006, and her newest hit single, a cover of Voula Georgouti's rebetiko "Min Fevgeis", which reached number two.[22] Prior to the reissue, the singles were also released on the EP single Fos, which reached number 1 on the Greek Top 50 Singles Chart and was certified Gold, making it her fourth consecutive number-one hit on that chart.[23]. On May 20, 2006, Paparizou opened the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens with "My Number One" and later performed "Mambo!" to promote her song internationally, however, ERT ran commercials during the performance and thus it was not broadcast in many nations. Paparizou's song "Heroes" was the official song of the 2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, where it was performed at the event. The single was released in Sweden and Finland, becoming her second number-one hit in the former.

Following Eurovision, Paparizou expressed interest in beginning an international career and her debut English-language album The Game of Love was released on 25 October 2006 and was followed by releases in 14 countries covering Europe and South Africa by April 2007, although this was much less than had been expected in hopes of kicking off an international career.[24][25] In Greece and Cyprus, the album went to number one and received Platinum certifications. "Teardrops", a number-one hit, was released as the first Greek single from the album, as "Mambo!" and "Gigolo" were previously released on Iparhi Logos, as was much of the album's material. The album failed to chart in many countries, peaking at 18 in Sweden and becoming her least successful album there since Antique's debut Mera Me Ti Mera. Thus her label cancelled many of the foreign releases. "Mambo!" charted in Sweden at number 5 and became Gold, while it was also released in five other countries and promoted by others. A new video was filmed for the song that was targeted towards a broader audience.[26] The song charted in a few countries, but its success was limited outside of Sweden, with no official European release date being announced. The single failed to make any impact on any major market. It was also planned to be released in the United States by Moda, however, as it and the others from The Game of Love did not earn much success outside of Sweden, the release of "Mambo!" in the US became an aborted project. The third international single was planned to be "The Game of Love" and was scheduled for a April 2007 release but was cancelled due to the album's lack of success, and also since her latest "Gigolo" was not overly successful, peaking at number 11, her second lowest charting single in Sweden, and failing to chart well elsewhere.

As of early 2007, Paparizou became the spokesperson of Nokia Greece, her previous sponsor, and released the song "Ola Ine Mousiki" in October 2007 for promotion. She also collaborated with retailer Plaisio and released a limited edition MP4 player called "MP4 Total Helena" (2GB) by Turbo-X, containing a special compilation and music videos,[27], being additionally released as "TH4" MP4 in 2008 to include her new album material and exclusive content.[28] She released a cover of Blind Melon's "3 Is a Magic Number" in Sweden as part of a television advertisement for a mobile phone company; it peaked at number 18,[29] while she also was featured on TV presenter Nikos Aliagas' song "I Zilia Monaksia", a cover of the Pascal Obispo hit "L'envie d'Aimer", for his album project Rendez-Vous. She also released the song "To Fili Tis Zois" for the soundtrack of the film of the same name, reaching number one for five weeks and was nominated for four MAD VMAs, winning Best Pop Video, while she won Artist of the Year for "Mazi Sou", while "I Zilia Monaxia" also picked up a nomination, totalling six nominations in 2008.[30][31] The single was the first digital single to be certified Gold in Greece since the marketing trend became popular in 2006.

2008–2009: Vrisko To Logo Na Zo

Πλατινένιος Βρίσκω Το Λόγο Να Ζω 2

Paparizou receiving the platinum certification for Vrisko To Logo Na Zo.

Paparizou released her fourth album, Vrisko To Logo Na Zo on 12 June 2008.[32][33] The album generated three top ten singles ("Porta Gia Ton Ourano", "I Kardia Sou Petra", and "Pirotehnimata") with "I Kardia Sou Petra" reaching number one, while the last single "Ise I Foni" failed to chart. The video of "Pirotehnimata" won Paparizou three MAD VMAs, including Best Pop Video, Female Artist of the Year, and Video of the Year. Paparizou promoted a more rock-inspired image for the album, which differed from her previous pop/laïko style. However, the album received mixed reviews and most criticized the transformation, the general consensus being that Paparizou was following a current trend and that the album did not embody rock beyond a superficial level.[34][35] The album was certified Gold in its first week,[36] eventually peaking at number one and being certified Platinum after three months, being over all the second most successful album of the year; in Cyprus it underperformed, peaking at two and was certified Platinum.[37][38] Paparizou performed a remix of "Porta Gia Ton Ourano" as well as a duet with hip hop group Stavento of their hit "Mesa Sou" at the MAD Video Music Awards 2008. Both songs were released as digital downloads and promo singles in promotion of Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, and also won awards for Best Pop Video and Artist of the Year for "To Fili tis Zois" out of six nominations. Paparizou collaborated again with Stavento who, along with Manos Pirovolakis, performed as guest acts on her To Party Arhizei tour, her first major tour around Greece in support of the album. It was a moderate success with an overall attendance of 195,000 people over 29 stops and one sold out venue. The album was reissued as Vrisko To Logo Na Zo: The Deluxe Edition on December 22 and featured a bonus DVD of the tour titled Live in Concert, which was also available individually.[39]

Paparizou was featured on the soundtrack to the Swedish film Arn- Riket vid vägens slut where she contributed her first Swedish-language songs "Allt jag vill" and "Genom krig och kärlek".[40] On 23 October 2008, she held a concert at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania attended by approximately 10,000 people.[41][42] While on October 30 she started appearances once again with Paschalis Terzis at club Iera Odos 30 with Pirovolakis as the opening act; the show extended until April 2009.[43] On 14 May Paparizou moved to club Thalassa: People's Stage for the summer season with 15 50 and Stavento; after a brief intermission, the show was resumed with the latter being replaced with Loukas Giorkas.[44] [45] [46] In April, Paparizou released the song "Tha Mai Allios" as a digital single, which also served as the advertisment for soft-drink Ivi's new advertisement campaign featuring Paparizou.[44][47][48] The song won Paparizou an MTV Europe Award for Best Greek Act and thus she was nominated in the preliminary round of Best European Act which she came 6th[49][50]. Originally, the song was supposed to be released on the second reissue of Vrisko To Logo Na Zo that would include additional duets and songs from her 2009 MAD Secret Concert, which was held in May;[51] however, plans were changed with Paparizou now planning to release her fifth studio album in early 2010.[52] Following the release of Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, Paparizou stated that she would soon begin work on a new English language album with a release slated for 2009,[53][54] however, those plans did not materialize because of her father's sudden death.

2010: Giro Apo T'Oneiro

Paparizou's fifth studio album Giro Apo T'Oneiro will be released on March 15[55] and focuses on pop, rock, and ethnic genres. The album will be possibly a similar style to Iparhi Logos, being a double album with songs from her second MAD Secret Concert.[56] The first single titled "An Isoun Agapi" (If you were love), a mid-tempo song composed by Giorgos Sabanis, with lyrics by Niki Papatheohari, will be released to radio stations on February 25, 2010.[57] The album will include an ethnic dance track called "Thalassa" featuring Giorgos Sampanis. The photo shoot for the new album taken by Dimitris Skoulos took place in mid-February, and features Paparizou posing in front of a white background.[57] A contest is currently being held with the winners appearing in her new music video that will also serve as an advertisement for the soft-drink Ivi.[58]

Musical style and performance


Paparizou's musical roots are in traditional Greek music; however, as a child, she considered these genres to be distant and old-fashioned and only associated them with her summer holidays in Greece. In her teenage years, she began listening to a broad range of music including soul, funk, and hip hop, however, her biggest musical influences were female pop singers such as Madonna, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, and Janet Jackson. Later on, she also cited frequent collaborator Paschalis Terzis for teaching her to be a better vocalist on a technical level. Paparizou has also stated that she was a big fan of the Eurovision Song Contest for years before she first participated in 2001.

Music and voice


Following Antique's distinct style of blending traditional Greek music with Nordic disco sounds, with her debut solo album Protereotita, Paparizou focused on more pop sounds in addition to laiko and the songs were directed towards the club market; however, Giorgos Mastorakis of Music Corner stated that despite the image change, the album was not too different than what the public had become used to from Antique, being described as "pop moments (with keen laiko ... 'garnish')." In addition, the album contained many writers from both Greece and Sweden, which –according to Mastorakis– led to the album's sound to be varying. The more stylistically interesting songs from the album included the title track which followed a more R&B style, while the song "Katse Kala" was described as having an "original sound."[59]

Following her Eurovision win, Paparizou witnessed increased popularity and was often promoted more as a pop singer by the media. In his review of the Euro Edition of Protereotita, Pavlos Zervas of Music Corner was higly impressed with the album and believed that its contemporary style could potentially be an international hit, supporting the singer moreso in English-language recordings; he stated that the song "The Light in Our Soul" was very reminiscent of Celine Dion's songs, while "Let's Get Wild" brought Anastacia to mind.[60] In his review of Iparhi Logos, Zervas even went as far as to say that apart from Sakis Rouvas, the nation's primary pop performer, Paparizou was the only artist supporting the pop/dance genre so well in Greece, adding that anything that she chose to sing at the moment would become a hit. He used Paparizou as an example that big name producers like Giorgos Theofanous and Phoebus are not needed to create hits. Material-wise, he maintained that the numerous covers were the album's strong point, while "Gigolo" was characterized by "witty" lyrics in an overall pattern that followed her hit "Mambo!" and previous hits, adding that in her covers of "Don't Speak" and "Just Walk Away" she was vocally the strongest.[61] Nevertheless, he considered that the laiko material on the album contradicted the pop ones and made her overall sound less focused.

Paparizou's first English-language album The Game of Love was anticipated amongst Greek consumers and featured a fairly similar sound to Iparhi Logos, with over half of the album's material being taken from the aforementioned album. Zervas also reviewed this album, saying that it contained many different styles such as dance, hip hop, slow jams, and latin, following a typical recipe of American music, with "Somebody's Burning" being reminiscent of Beyonce Knowles and "Carpe Diem" of Shakira. Zervas believed that international female pop singers did not have much above Paparizou, saying that the album's success would depend solely on promotion efforts, although internationally affiliated record companies were less impressed. Zervas' impression was that while he believed in the material's potential, he thought that if Paparizou continued her current trends and performance style at laiko nightclubs ambitions for an international career would come to a disappointment.[62]

For Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, her fourth album, Paparizou minimized the laiko influences and promoted a more pop/rock sound and image; in contrast with her first three albums that followed a similar approach of blending laiko and dance-pop songs. While she had previously penned a couple of songs on each prior album in collaboration with other songwriters, Vrisko To Logo Na Zo was the first album in which she also contributed musically. The overall album concept was given generally mixed reviews; Evianna Nikoleri of Music Corner commented that on its positive notes, Paparizou was at her best vocally compared to previous works, while adding that the album was carefully crafted and had a good European-like production. The rock elements of the album were thought to be minor, with some occasional guitar riffs, while she maintained that Paparizou was following the current trend of pop/laiko female singers promoting a rock image, something that she credited Despina Vandi for commencing; she also alleged that Paparizou was attempting to follow the styles of current international female pop stars.[62]

Critics have argued whether pop or laiko material best suits the artist vocally; both Mastorakis and Zervas of Music Corner maintained that she was passable in both, with Zervas praising her vocal abilities in the dance-pop genre. Nitro magazine criticized Paparizou's musical abilities overall, saying that she "has simply a pretty face, while the voice behind that belongs to a less pretty singer."[63] In some works, mainly Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, Paparizou's vocals have been criticized for excessive yelling, especially with high notes, notably in the songs "Ise I Foni" and "Den Tha 'Mai 'Do", with Nikoleri of Music Corner saying that the idea that yelling is synonymous with singing well was doing her voice injustice. While some critics have said that her material's lyrics flow fell, they have also criticized them as being trivial, focusing on typical love clichés; Nikoleri stated that while songs like "I Kardia Sou Petra", "Kita Brosta", "Pios" grab attention, not a single song escapes from the typical love themes of 'you left and I want you back,' 'I love you but I will get over you,' etc," citing it as an area for improvement.[62] Similar to Antique's work, all of Paparizou's albums have included a sizable amount of covers and translations.


File:Elena Paparizou (cafe).jpg

Paparizou established a public image described as that of the "Greek every-girl" or the "girl next door," making her an icon for teenage girls.[64] However, E! Entertainment Television also described her as "sultry," ranking her at number 16 on their 25 Sexiest Women and 25 Sexiest Pop Divas of 2008,[65] making her one of only two Greek celebrities —along with Kostas Martakis— to ever be featured on one of the network's lists. She made hot pants her signature look, showcasing her legs as her most prominent physical feature.[66] In 2009, she admitted to having undergone breast augmentation surgery after wishing to do so for many years.[67]

In promotion of the album Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, Paparizou promoted a more rock-inspired image than she had previously been associated with, appearing more aggressive in dark tones in both wardrobe and make-up.[68] The look was completed with multiple new piercings, including her ear cartilidge, tongue, and most notably, her nostril, wearing a wire chain to connect it to her earlobe. Evianna Nikoleri maintained that Paparizou was following the current trend of pop/laiko female singers promoting a rock image, something that she credited Despina Vandi for commencing. Makis Kalamaris of Avopolis also agreed that this new image was more so for mainstream success rather than artistic expression, but added that Paparizou, knowing her limitations, was slowly easing into it rather than suddenly presenting this rock persona, adding that she was probably the only case of a Greek female singer being able to imitate trends of international females without singing in skiladiko clubs and at the same time cloning herself into Madonna, which made her stand out against the current mainstream scene.[69] Paparizou's make-up artist Giannis Marketakis has stated that while their relationship began strictly professionally, they have since become like siblings, further saying that Paparizou always gives input on her look and fashion, and follows fashion trends closely.[68] In The Game of Love, Paparizou gives credit to Al Giga, her stylist, for making her love fashion and herself, while she also acknowledges Roberto Cavalli —who has provided the majority of her wardrobe since Eurovision 2005— for his input.[70]

In 2008, Paparizou, who was known for her slim figure, was scrutinized for her weight gain during the 2007–08 season when she took a break from performing. Paparizou openly stated that she had gained 10 kg (22 lbs), however she had already lost 7 (15) of them.[71] She had previously stated that she gains at least that amount every time she goes on break, adding that it would have been possible for her to gain up to 15 kg (33 lbs).[72] As she had first stated in 2006, she was dissatisfied with discriminative ideals towards both men and women and threatened to put on weight the following year.[72][73] This was followed by another weight gain in 2009; her new image distanced her from the one she became known with circa Eurovision 2005.[74] As the media became more concerned with her weight Paparizou expressed her disapproval of this, stating "I am a singer, not a model."[75] In her 2010 video shoots it was reported that Paparizou asked only for close-up shots due to this issue.[76]

Personal life

Paparizou at one point during her youth she followed Buddhism, but eventually began following the Greek Orthodox religion once again as she believes it suits her better.[14] She has been involved in a long term relationship with fellow Swedish-born Greek Toni Mavridis,[77] whom she was introduced to as a musician by a friend of her sister's at a restaurant called Mykonos when she was only 17, while Mavridis is 11 years her senior.[1][3] Mavridis became an impresario for Antique and has written songs on all of Paparizou's solo albums, while he also serves as her manager. Mavridis had approached Paparizou for only one month before their relationship commenced and she left her parents' home to live with him in Stockholm. The two had a traditional Greek engagement celebration with their relatives on December 24, 2000 and have been engaged since;[1] however, Paparizou has said that Mavridis has never officially proposed to her and that she would prefer that he do this in the Western tradition of going down on one knee.[78] They bought a home together in the Athens suburb of Glyfada in 2006.[3][79] Mavridis has suggested the idea of the two getting married in Las Vegas, Nevada,[80] while Paparizou has also already chosen a koumbara, her good friend Roxani.[3] On many occasions, Paparizou has commented on starting a family with Mavridis; in Celebrity, Paparizou was quoted as saying "I believe that family is the most natural thing, the thing I want in my life. And what is my preference? To not have kids so I can continue my career? One day it will end. I cannot be on stage everyday, like I am now at 25,"[81] while in Nitro she said "No [Mavridis is not my first relationship], but I think he is my last. He is the person I want to have kids with. I think he is the best father they could have. If I don't have kids with him, then I will adopt." [3]

Paparizou's father died suddenly on December 25, 2008 of a heart attack during the family's Christmas Day celebrations.[82] Paparizou stopped her performances at Iera Odos to be with family in Sweden before resuming her show. She later stated her belief that her father would have lived had the ambulance been prompt, blaming medical incompetency.[14] She has been suffering from depression since, citing it as the second occurrence since she was a teenager.[83]



  • My Number One and Mera Me Ti Mera Tour (with Nikos Kourkoulis) (2005)
  • To Party Arhizei (2008)
  • Upcoming Tour—TBH (2010)

Concert series

  • Studio Piraios (opening act for Antonis Remos) (2003–04)
  • Thalassa (with Apostolia Zoi, Nino and Thanos Petrelis) (2004)
  • Fever (opening act for Sakis Rouvas and Giorgos Mazonakis) (2004–05)
  • Fever (with Giorgos Tsalikis and Christos Pazis) (2005–06)
  • Iera Odos 30 (with Paschalis Terzis and Nino) (2006–07)
  • Odeon (with Paschalis Terzis and Nino) (2007)
  • Iera Odos 30 (with Paschalis Terzis and Manos Pirovolakis) (2008–09)
  • Thalassa: People's Stage (with Stavento and 15:50) (2009)
  • Thalassa: People's Stage (Pt.2) (with Loukas Giorkas and 15:50) (2009)


See also


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Έλενα Παπαρίζου". (Greek) Elena Paparizou's Biography on Alpha TV's "Kafes Me Tin Eleni Menegaki". Alpha TV, 17 April 2008. Retrieved on 23 April 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Kazoni, Sonia (May 2008). "Έλενα Παπαρίζου: Baby Tiger". Nitro Magazine: p. 248.  Template:Gr icon
  4. "ΒΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΚΟ Ελενα Παπαρίζου".  MAD TV. Retrieved on 2 February 2008 Template:Gr icon
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  6. Staff (2000-09-24). "Antique "Opa Opa" (song) Charts". SwedishCharts. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
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  10. Staff (November 4, 2006). "Dance/Club Play Songs, Week of November 04, 2006". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2009. 
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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
with Mia Krifi Evesthisia
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
(As Antique)

Succeeded by
Michalis Rakintzis
with S.A.G.A.P.O.
Preceded by
Sakis Rouvas
with Shake it
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Anna Vissi
with Everything
Preceded by
with Wild Dances
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with Hard Rock Hallelujah

ast:Elena Paparizou

az:Elena Paparizu bs:Helena Paparizou bg:Елена Папаризу ca:Helena Paparizou da:Helena Paparizouet:Élena Paparízoueo:Elena Paparizou fa:هلنا پاپارازیوhr:Helena Paparizou id:Elena Paparizou is:Helena Paparizouka:ელენა პაპარიზუ lv:Helena Paparizou lt:Helena Paparizou hu:Élena Paparízu mk:Елена Папаризу nah:Elena Paparizouja:エレナ (歌手) no:Elena Paparizoupt:Helena Paparizou ro:Elena Paparizou ru:Папаризу, Елена simple:Elena Paparizou sl:Helena Paparizou sr:Елена Папаризу sh:Helena Paparizu fi:Helena Paparizou sv:Elena Paparizou tr:Elena Paparizou uk:Єлена Папарізу

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