Anna Vissi

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Anna Vissi
Άννα Βίσση
AnnaVissiatAthinonArena.jpg
Anna Vissi on stage at Athinon Arena in Athens, Greece (2011).
Background information
Also known as Anna Vishy
Born (1957-12-20) 20 December 1957 (age 56)
Pyla, Larnaca District, Cyprus
Origin Larnaca, Cyprus
Genres Laïko, pop, dance, entehno, pop rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter, actress, television presenter, radio personality, businesswoman
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1973–present
Labels

Minos (1973–1978)
EMI Greece (1979–1982)
CarVi (1982–1983)
Sony Music Greece (1984–2013)
Moda/Vanilla (2005–2006) Vanilla (her own label) (2010–)

Panik Gold (2013–)
Associated acts Epikouri, Nikos Karvelas
Website www.annavissilive.com
www.fannatics.gr

Anna Vissi (Greek: Άννα Βίσση (pronounced [ˈana ˈvisi], locally [ˈanːa ˈviʃːi]); born 20 December 1957), also known as Anna Vishy, is a Cypriot recording artist and actress. Born in Cyprus, she studied music at conservatories and performed locally before moving to the professional scene in Athens, Greece in 1973, where she signed with Minos and simultaneously collaborated with other musical artists and released promotional singles of her own while studying at the University of Athens.

Vissi established herself in the recording industry by winning the Thessaloniki Song Festival in 1977 with the song "As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi" and releasing her debut album of the same name. Since the 1980s, Vissi began a nearly exclusive collaboration with songwriter Nikos Karvelas, to whom she was married to from 1983–1992 and had one child with, resulting in one of the most successful music partnerships in the nation's history. Together they created the label CarVi, which resulted in legal issues with EMI Greece, and they then moved to CBS Records Greece, which later became Sony Music Greece. Over the course of her career she has released over two dozen albums, most of which have been certified at least gold in the two countries and has also starred in three theatrical productions and briefly ventured into television and radio. Vissi experimented with different styles of music; after becoming one of the first Greek artists to introduce Western pop and dance elements into Greek laïko and entehno, she became one of the most prominent portrayers of the laïko-pop hybrid genre and culture that was thriving from the mid-1990s into the mid-2000s. She landed her biggest commercial success with Fotia (1989), followed by the double Kravgi (2000), which became the best-selling album of the 2000s decade and eighth best-selling of all time in terms of units,[1] while five others – Kitrino Galazio (1979), I Epomeni Kinisi (1985), Klima Tropiko (1996), Travma (1997), and Antidoto (1998) – have also achieved six figure sales. She has also had several radio hits, including her signature song "Dodeka". However, since her image change and turn to more commercial laïko-pop and pop that defined most of her collaboration with Karvelas, her musical works have received mixed critical reception[2][3][4] and as the 21st century progressed her popularity fell into decline.[5][6][7] However, she kept a strong fan base, sold out tours[8] and shows (as was her latest show in Rex in winter 2011–12).[9]

Since the late 1990s, Vissi has also made attempts at establishing a career abroad, most of which fell through and have had some negative repercussions on her domestic career.[5] However, she struck some success with her 2005 single "Call Me", which made her the first Greek or Cypriot artist to top the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart and has also represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980 and 2006, and Cyprus in 1982. While her performance for Cyprus remains the highest placement the country has ever received in the contest, her Greek performances were less successful.

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.[10][11][12] She has 114,000,000 total views in YouTube. In 2010, Alpha TV ranked Vissi as the second top-certified female artist in Greece in the phonographic era (since 1960), behind Haris Alexiou,[13] while Forbes listed her as the 15th most powerful and influential celebrity in Greece and fourth highest ranked singer.[14]

Biography[edit]

Childhood and origins[edit]

Anna Vissi was born on 20 December 1957, in Pyla, a village near Larnaca, Cyprus. She has been singing from a very early age, beginning formal musical studies at the age of six at a local conservatory.[15][16] At the age of twelve she entered a talent competition and won first prize.[17] Two years later, she was the main singer at Ayia Tilliria, which was also her first TV appearance.

In 1973, her family moved to Athens, Greece, where she was able to pursue her studies at the National Conservatory.[17] She would eventually appear with a number of well-known Greek singers, such as George Dalaras, Haris Alexiou, and Vasilis Papakonstantinou, in the famous nightclubs of Plaka, in Athens.[18] During this time she also studied the law at the University of Athens. Her first important collaboration, alongside George Dalaras, was with composer Stavros Koujioumtzis. Koujioumtzis composed two songs for Vissi, S' Agapo ("I Love You") and Sta Hronia tis Ipomonis ("In The Years of Patience"). She also collaborated with many important Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis (1974/1975), Georgios Hadjinassios (1974), Doros Giorgiadis (1974), Nikos Karvelas (who later became her husband; 1975) and Mihalis Terzis (1976).

Late 1970s: Career beginnings[edit]

In 1977, she went on tour with George Dalaras and Haris Alexiou, giving concerts with the most notable at the Rainbow, London (June).[17] In the same year, she released her first studio album named As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi and won the prize for best singer and best song (As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi) of the year at the Annual Song Festival of Thessaloniki (Palais des Sports).[16] In 1978 she was proposed by ERT (Greek National Television) to represent Greece at the 23rd Eurovision Song Contest. There were two candidate songs: Poso S' Agapo and O Kyrios Nobel. Finally, due to controversies between the composers of the songs, her participation was disqualified and Tania Tsanaklidou went to the contest. Her second album Kitrino Galazio was released in 1979 and produced the hit Aftos Pou Perimeno ("The one I'm waiting for"). The album reached platinum status and became the best-selling record of the year in Greece.[19]

1980–1982: Eurovision Song Contest, third and fourth album[edit]

This is the cover art for "Ta Kalitera Mou Tragoudia" in 1980
Anna Vissi (right) and her backing group The Epikouri at a photoshoot for the Eurovision Song Contest 1980

In 1980, Vissi participated in the 25th Eurovision Song Contest representing Greece with the song Autostop ("Hitch-Hike"), finishing 13th with 30 points.[17] In the same year she released her third album Nai ("Yes") reaching gold status with 50,000 units sold.[19] The album produced the hits Oso Eho Foni ("As long as I have my voice") and Methysmeni Politeia ("Drunken state"). One year later her fourth, self-titled album Anna Vissi was released, reaching gold status.[19] In 1982, she represented her native Cyprus at the 27th Eurovision Song Contest with the song she composed herself, Mono I Agapi ("Only love"), which ended fifth with 85 points scoring Cyprus its highest position to date. The songs were not released on any album or CD single until 2006, when both were released on CD single in time for Vissi's third Eurovision appearance. The English version of "Mono I Agapi", however, was released as a 7-inch single in 1982, titled "Love Is A Lonely Weekend". It's b-side I'm Gonna Be A Fool for You remains unreleased on CD.

1983–1989: Collaboration and marriage to Nikos Karvelas[edit]

In May 1983, she married Nikos Karvelas, a composer, with whom she collaborated in 1975[16] and in November she gave birth to her daughter Sofia. After their marriage, she started a close collaboration with Karvelas. Since 1975, all her releases have become gold or platinum and have included songs by Karvelas.[16] In 1986, she participated at the Cypriot National Final for Eurovision Song Contest with the song Thelo Na Gino Star ("I Want To Be A Star"), taking second place. This song is still unreleased up to date.

In 1984, Vissi left her record company EMI Greece and signed with CBS Records Greece, which later became Sony Music Greece, a collaboration that lasts until today. In March 1984, she released Na 'Hes Kardia ("If You Had a Heart"). The album was certified gold.[19] The following year her seventh album Kati Simveni ("Something Is Happening") was released which included one of her most famous songs, titled "Dodeka" ["Twelve (O'Clock)"] and reached gold status selling 80.000 units.[19] In 1986 I Epomeni Kinisi ("The Next Move") was released. The album included the hit Pragmata ("Things") and went platinum, becoming the best selling record of the year.[19] In February 1988 she released her ninth album Tora ("Now") and in December the album Empnefsi! ("Inspiration!") which went gold.[18][19]

In 1988, she made her debut as a radio producer on ANT1 Radio. Her radio program was titled after one of her songs Ta Koritsia Einai Atakta ("Girls Are Naughty") and was aired every weekend. In the same year, she participated with the song Klaio ("I'm Crying") at the Greek National Final for Eurovision Song Contest, finishing third.

In 1989, she released the highly successful studio album Fotia (Fire), being one of the first albums to feature western sounds. The lead single Pseftika ("Fake") became a big hit and the album reached platinum status, selling 180.000 copies and becoming the second best selling record of 1990.[19] She performed at "Diogenis Palace" in that same year, Athens's biggest nightclub/music hall at the time.[17]

1990–1995: Theatrical work and television[edit]

Vissi in Daimones.

In the early 1990s, she continued performing around Greece with Nikos Karvelas, with appearances at "Diogenis Palace" and then at "Rex". In November 1991, Vissi and Karvelas starred in the first Greek rock opera, Daimones ("Demons").[18] It was based on a libretto by Stavros Sideras and staged at Attikon Theater in Athens for two years. Roger Williams was the director and Anna Vissi (Queen & Rozanne), Yannis Samsiaris (Daniel), Bessy Malfa (Witch & Loa) and John Modinos (Inquisitor) were the leading actors. Daimones was played on foreign TV stations and attracted the attention of Broadway agents. Vissi described it as an "artistic achievement" in her career; however, the play received mostly negative reviews from professional critics and contributed to the relatively unsuccessful period Vissi faced in the early 1990s.[20][21] Vissi has defended the play, saying "I did something important and advanced for the Greek music scene!" but admitted that she lost a lot of money from the production. She is considering modernising and relaunching the production in the 2010s.[20] A year later, in October 1993, Vissi landed the leading role of Aphrodite, in the one-act opera Ode to the Gods by Stavros Sideras.[16] It was held only once in Limassol, Cyprus, during the celebrations for the Commonwealth Day. Then-president of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafkos Clerides, and Queen Elizabeth II, were amongst the audience.

The following years, Karvelas and Vissi released the albums Lambo (1992), Emeis (1992), Live! (1993), Re! (1994), and O! Kypros (1995), an album with traditional Cypriot songs.[18]

In 1994, she was the hostess on the ANT1 weekly TV show Me Agapi, Anna.[16] The show was cancelled and in 2008 the production company filed a lawsuit against Vissi claiming "unprofessional behavior of the singer" because the agreement was for 40 episodes and Vissi dropped out after 10 episodes.[22] The juridical conflict between Vissi and the production company appeared to come to an end when the Court of Appeal of Athens led to the final compromise of the two sides to the sum of €400,000. A sum that the singer would supposed to pay in the company against the initial sum of 2,3 millions of Euros. Ultimately Vissi was vindicated and the decision of Supreme Court ruled that €400,000 was a lot more from the amount that Vissi should actually pay and decided to give the half amount of money.[23] One year later she did a concert in Cyprus, supporting the defences of the island.

1996–1998: Klima Tropiko, Travma, and Antidoto[edit]

Music video screenshot in 1997

In February 1996, Vissi released the triple-platinum album Klima Tropiko.[24] The album featured a new sound for Anna Vissi. It has sold 105 thousand copies as of 2009.[6] After giving more than 40 concerts all over Greece, she started winter appearances at club "Chaos". In February 1997, Vissi won three Greek Music Awards: Best Female Singer, Best Interpretation, and Biggest Airplay Song.[17]

In April 1997, Vissi released Travma which went gold in twelve days and triple platinum in six months, eventually selling 170 thousand copies.[6][19][25]

For the winter of 1997–1998, Vissi made appearances at club Gazi. On New Year's Eve, by invitation of the Mayor of Athens, she performed in the Parliament Square in front of more than 20,000 people, an event which was broadcast on TV all over Greece and Cyprus.[18] In March 1998, Vissi broke a record, winning seven Greek Music Awards for her album Travma.

A couple of months later, a new CD single was released with the songs "Crush", "Mavra Gyalia" and "Eleni", as well as a re-release of her multi-platinum album Travma, with a bonus CD containing songs from previous albums, only in Australia.

Vissi and Karvelas performing at Asteria in 1998.

In April 1998, Vissi released her album titled Antidoto, which sold more than 80,000 copies in just a week, breaking all previous records to that point.[18][24] The album eventually achieved triple platinum status, having sold 130 thousand copies as of 2009.[6] During the summer of 1998, Vissi presented a show at club "Asteria".

Later that year, Vissi gave a charity concert at the Presidential Palace in Cyprus, with the presidential orchestra of the Russian Confederacy (Telethon) and continued with two concerts in London, in February 1999 (Forum Music Theatre, Palladium Theatre). Shortly after, there was also a mini-tour in the USA, giving concerts in Los Angeles, Atlantic City, Chicago, Boston and New York (Madison Square Garden).[18] The Los Angeles Times wrote: "A performance so charismatic, so filled with sheer magnetic talent... expect big things from this potential new international star",[18] while the New York Times wrote: "With raised arms and delicately stepping feet, she was no unapproachable, packaged pop diva, but an irrepressible entertainer".[18]

In New York City, Vissi performed a mini-concert for her fans at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. This performance was part of a series of events hosted by the Virgin Megastore, promoting some of the world's biggest stars, with Vissi being the only Greek singer to receive this honour. The event was promoted throughout the tri-state area by KTU (radio station) and was part of "Anna Vissi day" at the biggest Virgin Megastore in the USA.

2000–2001: Everything I Am and Kravgi[edit]

Followed by a short break from music, in April 2000 Vissi performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, at the so-called "millennium show," singing in front of people from Sony International, marketing managers from Europe, and fans from the United Kingdom.[26]

On 13 May 2000, she performed as a special guest star in her native Cyprus, at the 49th annual Miss Universe Pageant which took place at the Eleftheria Stadium in Nicosia. She sang for the very first time her song "On a Night Like This",[27] a song later made famous by Australian singer Kylie Minogue and included in Minogue's album Light Years.

Some months later, her first international single was released titled "Everything I Am", containing the original version and three remixes of the song (Almighty Mix, Eiffel 65 RMX, Groove Brothers Remix), and a song with both Greek and English lyrics called "Moro Mou, No Tomorrow". She also filmed her first music video of a song off that single, directed by Antti Jokinen (Solar films, Finland), that cost 80,000,000 drachmas (US$310,000).

Apart from the English-language single, she also released the Greek-language single "Agapi Ipervoliki" on an EP of the same name containing six new songs.[28] It became triple platinum and finally settled at four-times platinum.[18][19][25] To promote the single, she started appearances at "Asteria" club with Karvelas and the boy band ONE, with Shaun Fernandez as the choreographer.

In September 2000, she gave a charity concert at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, in front of 12,000 people, with ONE and a group of dancers from Sony International. She sang songs from the very beginning of her career to her then-current career (1973–2001).

At the same year, she released her internationally distributed English-language album Everything I Am, which although started as ambition effort to launch an international career.[27] It contained twelve songs by Russ Ballard, Mark Taylor, Graham Stack, Steve Torch, Paul Stanley, Tina Shafer, Julian Harris, Danielle Gerber and Nikos Karvelas. Producers of the album were Brian Rawling, Ric Wake and Peter Asher.[27] A week after its release in Greece, the album reached gold status (20,000+ copies), while Australia, South Africa, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, Finland, Norway, and Asia started to promote it with little success.[29]

In November 2000, Kravgi was released.[30] It was a double album with 24 new songs and included a duet with Katy Garbi. It reached 3× platinum status in one month, setting a record,[31] and eventually went 7× platinum, having sold 175 thousand copies (350 thousand units) as of 2009,[1][6] making it the best-selling album of the 2000s decade and the eighth best-selling of all time in terms of unit sales in Greece.[1] Petros Dragoumanos, however, an independent recording industry researcher and author of the video albums Guide to Greek Discography, argues that Despina Vandi's Gia (2001) has sold 200 thousand copies (400 thousand units)[32] rather than the reported 170 thousand.[1][6]

Some months later, she started appearances with Garbi and ONE at "Fever",[33] while she accepted the invitation of the Mayor of Athens to perform in the Parliament Square, at the celebrations of the 2001 New Year's Eve.

Just before Easter, a second single off her international album was released.[34] It was called "Still in Love with You" and contained remixes (Radio Edit, Soda Club Radio Mix, Soda Club Mix, Soda Club TV track), with production by Brian Rawling.

On 6 June 2001, she was the main singer in a production in Bucharest (Unirii square, nearby river Dambovitei) along with the No Smoking band and the cinema director and producer Emir Kusturica. The concert (2001, Peace Odyssey) included a multimedia show, opening with a water screen. More than 150,000 people were present. Kusturica along with producer and director Angelos Hadjiandreou undertook the artistic direction of the event, marrying music with the most modern expression of art.[35]

Three months later, on 5 September 2001, she gave a concert in Cyprus (GSP Stadium), singing in front of more than 18,000 viewers, for more than three hours where she was awarded for the seven-times platinum Kravgi.[36]

2002–2004: Mala, Chi, and Paraksenes Eikones[edit]

In early 2002, Vissi starred in the musical Mala – I Mousiki Tou Anemou, based on a true love story that took place during World War II in Auschwitz, between Mala Zimetbaum and Edward Galiñski.[37] The play, which was staged at Pallas Theatre in Athens, it was written by Karvelas, directed by Giannis Kakleas and was accompanied by a symphony orchestra conducted by Giorgos Niarhos. Mala premiered on 19 January. The production and Vissi's performance was received tepidly by critics and its commercial performance was mediocre.[38][39] The musical was also shown on Mega Channel a year later. An album containing the songs performed at the play was also released and charted,[37] reaching gold status in Greece and platinum in Cyprus.[19]

In late 2002, Vissi released the album Chi, which was produced by George De Angelis.[40] Shortly after, the album was featured on CNN's Music Room, where they talked about how the album reached number one in Greece.[41] The album quickly reached number one on the IFPI charts, and was certified 2x platinum.[36] In the winter of 2002–2003, she was working at "Fever" club in Athens, performing with Yiannis Parios.[42]

In May 2003, Vissi performed with Nikos Karvelas and Irini Merkouri at "Boom" in Thessaloniki, Greece.[43] On 15 July 2003, Vissi gave a concert at "A Plaz Voulas/Apollonies Aktes", with special guest star Nikos Karvelas.[44]

In September 2003, Vissi gave another concert in Cyprus, at the Tzirion Stadium in Limassol, to celebrate her 30-year-old career. At the same year, she was awarded with a prize for her whole contribution from the Cyprus Paralympic Organization, while a square in Larnaca was named after her. She also met and talked with the president of the Republic of Cyprus, in the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia.

Just before 2004, on 5 December 2003, Vissi released the double album Paraksenes Eikones which went 2x platinum in six months.[18][45] 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.[45]

2004–2005: Call Me and Nylon[edit]

On 31 March 2004, Vissi performed in the Liberty Square in Nicosia, at a concert part of the celebrations for Cyprus's entry at the European Union, after an official invitation from the Republic of Cyprus. In May 2004, she went on a small tour in England and the United States,[46] with Labis Livieratos (with whom she collaborated in the early '90s), while in July, her album Paraksenes Eikones was re-released with a bonus CD single called Remixes 2004, which went gold.

On 29 August 2004, Vissi performed at the closing ceremony of the XXVIII Olympiad, in Athens.[47][48] She then gave a concert in Cyprus on 3 September, at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, where she sang for the first time her new English song called "Call Me".

Vissi performing in a club in the United States, part of her promotional tour for "Call Me".

On 20 December 2004, Vissi released a live album and DVD,[19] which went platinum in its first week of release.[49] It sold 40 thousand copies.[6] After that concert, she moved to the United States, for the preparation and promotion of her single "Call Me". In the United States, the single was released by Moda Records, which, during its collaboration with Vissi, was called Vanilla/Moda Records.[18] It features twelve remixes, and went to number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Music Club Play chart and number two on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart.[50] Vissi then performed at the legendary Copacabana in New York for the KTU PartyGras. During the winter and through to the summer of 2005, she went around to clubs as part of her Mini-USA Tour to promote "Call Me". Some of the clubs included "Central", "Mirage", "DNA", "The Sound Garden" and "Studio 9".

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".[51] 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.[52] In August 2005, Anna took to the stage of the "Coca-Cola Sound-Wave", which was held in Mykonos.[53] There she sang her new English song Lie and surprised fans and media by appearing on stage with half her head shaved.[53] This performance was considered by many her comeback to the Greek music scene after being absent for more than a year.[53]

On 27 September 2005, Vissi released a new Greek album titled Nylon.[54] The album went platinum within 24 hours of its release and peaked at number one on the IFPI Greek Top 50 albums chart,[55] selling 40 thousand copies.[6] Shortly after, in October 2005, the album was released as a dual disc, the first ever to be released in Greece.[18][56] The dual disc version featured special footage from her and Nikos Karvelas in the studio. In the album, there is a song featuring the lead singer of the Greek hip-hop band Goin' Through called Erota I Polemo ("Love or War").[54] The album is different from other albums Vissi had released up to then, with a more rock feel to it, as well as a mix of other genres including rock, dance, ballads and hip-hop.[57] On 24 November 2005, Vissi started performances at "Votanikos" club in Athens, Greece with Goin' Through, Dimitris Korgialas and Despina Olympiou, which lasted until March 2006.[58]

2006–2007: Eurovision Song Contest and World Tour[edit]

Greek national broadcaster ERT chose Vissi to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006.[59] There were four candidate songs, which she sang during a song selection show on 14 March 2006 at "Votanikos" club.[60] 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.[61] Two of the competing songs, were composed by Nikos Karvelas, namely "Everything" and "Who Cares about Love", with Vissi herself penning the lyrics to "Everything".[62] The third song, "A Beautiful Night", was written by composing group Pigassos, while the last song, "Welcome to the Party", was written by Greek composer Dimitris Kontopoulos.[63] "Everything" was selected as the entry song of Greece, winning 47.79% of the votes.[64] The day after the final, Vissi filmed the song's music video.[65] Her previous record label, Minos EMI, released a CD single of her two prior Eurovision entries "Autostop" and "Mono I Agapi", shortly after.

After the filming of the song's music video was completed, Vissi embarked on a promotional tour across Europe starting on 12 April 2006 with Russia.[66] She also visited Malta, Cyprus, Albania, Serbia & Montenegro, Romania, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, and ended her tour on 10 May 2006 in Israel.[66]

On 19 April 2006 she released a CD single for her Eurovision entry "Everything". It featured the original version of "Everything" and a remix of it by DJ Valentino and Christodoulos Siganos. She then also re-released Nylon as Nylon: Euro-Edition, which includes all of the songs from her album Nylon, as well as the entry song "Everything" in original, remixed and karaoke version.[66] Euro Edition also contains the three other Greek Eurovision Preselection songs: "Beautiful Night", "Who Cares About Love" and "Welcome to the Party", which has entered the playlist of American satellite radio station "Sirius Beat".[67]

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 favourites during the pre-contest period, she only managed to get 9th place with 128 points (hers was one of the two pre-qualified entries to finish in the top 10, the other being Romania).[68] The other eight songs were all qualified from the semi-final. Finland won the contest with the rock band Lordi and their song Hard Rock Hallelujah. In interviews prior to the contest, she had stated that if there was anyone she would like to lose to, it would be the Finnish entry. Lordi had also expressed their liking of the Greek song in interviews, too.

Following the contest, "Everything" was released in Finland on 24 May 2006, by Sony BMG Finland. It had already been released in Sweden and it peaked at 24. It featured a different cover, than the original single. The dual disc version of Nylon was also re-released with the Eurovision single.[69] Vissi gave a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on 27 May 2006.[69] She also had a concert on 8 September 2006 at G.S.P. Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, which kick-started her Greek mini-tour.[70] The tour was called The Best of Anna Vissi 2006 and was covered by Alpha TV.

In the fall of 2006, she embarked on a Greek mini-tour, performing around Greece in sold-out concerts, as well as Cyprus with Goin' Through.[71]

In the beginning of 2007, Vissi moved to Los Angeles, United States to start work on an English album. In February 2007, she accompanied longtime friend Patricia Field to the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, United States.[72]

Vissi performing in Amsterdam in 2007.

Vissi also embarked on a world tour in January 2007. She travelled to Australia with Konstantinos Christoforou and had three concerts in Melbourne and Sydney, and from 10 April 2007 through 1 May 2007,[73] she toured North America. Along with Takis Zacharatos, she performed in Chicago, New York City, Atlantic City, Connecticut (Foxwoods), Los Angeles, Montreal, and Toronto.[74][75] Vissi continued her tour in October 2007 with a European mini-tour. The concerts included Amsterdam and Brussels with her concert in Paris being cancelled without an explanation. During the tour, she stated that she was only halfway through her world tour.

In September 2007, Sony BMG released a compilation titled The Essential Anna Vissi in select markets. The album contains seventeen tracks, including some of Vissi's biggest hits. It also includes the previously leaked, but unofficially released English song Is it Safe?.

In November 2007, she held a special charity concert in London for the "Oinoussian Benevolent Fund". It was held at the "Royal Opera House" in Covent Garden with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and she raised £250,000, excluding the entrance tickets costing £200.[76][77]

2008–2009: Apagorevmeno[edit]

On New Year's Day, Vissi kicked off the new year by holding a big concert in Larnaca, Cyprus.[78] Vissi spent a large portion of 2007 and 2008 recording her new English album. In an interview with fans, Vissi talked about the album, describing it as "a rock album with unbelievably nice songs, that some of the biggest people in the USA music industry worked on. It is an album that could only be made in the USA, that represents who I am, and I believe that this album will be a big plus in my career so far."[79] It was revealed that the album will be released in the first half of 2009.[79]

In February 2008, Vissi signed to Maple Jam Music Group for the management of the release of her upcoming Greek and English albums.[80][81] In April 2008, MAD TV hosted a competition for its "Greek Week" in which visitors to their website were able to vote for their ten favourite Greek music videos, with the winners being showcased in a special "Greek Top 30 Countdown" on 20 April. Vissi was the most nominated artist with thirteen music videos, and managed to secure the number one position with Treno, while Agapi Ipervoliki came in at number four when the top 30 were announced.[82]

On 28 June 2008, Vissi posted the song "Diri Dakta", that had been recorded previously, on her official MySpace profile for her fans; the song did not appear on her new album.[83] Later in the year, on 4 October 2008, Vissi held a charity gala at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

A bonus track from the Greek album was released on 29 October 2008, along with its music video.[84] The song, titled To Parelthon Mou ("My Past"), is the title track to the Greek film Bank Bang, released in December 2008. The music video for the song was filmed on 22 October 2008, at The Mall Athens.[85] With Cosmote sponsoring the album, three songs from the album were released on 26 November 2008, exclusively on the Cosmote online music store.

Vissi's Greek album Apagorevmeno was released on 9 December 2008, including songs by Patrick Leonard, Adam Cohen, Kara DioGuardi, Glen Ballard, Dan Wilson, Yiannis Kefonedes and Vissi herself. The production of this album was done by Vissi herself, Greg Ladanyi, Patrick Leonard, CJ Vanston and Yiannis Kefonedes.[85][86] It was the first album since 1983 not to include any songs and, generally, any input by Nikos Karvelas. The reason she gave for this in an interview with "Down Town" magazine was that the two had got tired of each other, but clarified that this did not rule out a collaboration in the future.[87] The album was certified gold in the first week of release, and reached number one on its second week on the charts before settling at 2x platinum status.[19] In August 2009, Apagorevmeno became the first album to have four top 10 singles on the official Greek download chart by Billboard since the launch of the chart.[88] As of April 2009, the album has sold 27 thousand copies.[6] As with Nylon, it was cited as a relative commercial failure by Eleftheros Typos[6] and furthered the commercial decline Vissi had faced in the 2000s.[5][6] Although this was partially due to hardships faced by the Greek music industry including piracy, the financial crisis,[89] and changing musical tastes,[32] leading to a general decline of the laiko-pop scene and image-based singers,[6] in an article about the "golden trio" of Greek pop, consisting of Vissi, Despina Vandi, and Sakis Rouvas, Anna Vlavianou of To Vima noted Vissi as having "the most vociferous" decline of the group. She cited several reasons for this, such as Vissi's unsuccessful result at Eurovision and long absences from Greece in pursuit of a career abroad at a relatively advanced age, leading to her losing a portion of her established Greek fanbase.[5] Additionally, while in previous years the supposed rivalry between Vissi and Vandi drew heavy media attention, with the public curious as to who would come out on top, she cited Elena Paparizou as replacing both artists as top contemporary female in the latter half of the decade.[5] Haris Simvoulidis of Avopolis also alleged that on Apagorevmeno Vissi appeared to be attempting to catch up to her contemporaries, Paparizou and Peggy Zina.[90]

On 24 February 2009, Vissi re-newed her contract with Sony Music Greece.[91]

Vissi had originally planned to start appearances at "Athinon Arena" in February 2009, as part of her comeback and for promotion of the new album,[92] however, she decided to hold a big concert in Athens during the summer, instead, while she did not rule out a summer tour around Greece.[93] The tour began in July 2009 and all appearances were sold out throughout Greece. The tour ended with a concert at GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 25 September 2009; overall, the tour was a success for Vissi,[94] who had not performed for the Greek audience in four years.

On 16 November 2009, Apagorevmeno was re-released as Apagorevmeno+ with 3 new songs and two remixes in special ecological packaging.

Vissi performing at Athinon Arena in 2010 during The Fabulous Show.

Vissi started appearances at "Athinon Arena" on 6 November 2009 with Greek band Ble, Yiorgos Sambanis, Mario, Vera Boufi, Elissavet Spanou, Michalis Zeis and DJ Dim Trik. The show was named "The Fabulous Show", after her then-latest single, Fabulous, which was included in Apagorevmeno+. The show marked the big comeback of Anna Vissi in the nightlife of Athens after four years of absence[95][96][97][98][99] and received great reviews.[100][101][102] Vissi was on stage for almost 4 hours[103] every Friday and Sunday until closing night on 20 March 2010. Although the show was fully crowded in its first few performances,[104] it was negatively affected by the financial crisis and did not meet attendance expectations overall, despite being highly anticipated and receiving an extensive promotional campaign.[105] After the run in Athens the show moved to Thessaloniki[106][107] on 3 April 2010[108] with spectacular opening night attendance.[109]

2010–2011: English-language album, Agapi Einai Esi, and Oso Eho Foni[edit]

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 9 October 2010, Vissi released the single "Agapi Einai Esi". The music and lyrics are by Nikos Karvelas, the song being their first collaboration in four years. On 24 October, she released a three-track CD single titled "Agapi Einai Esi" packaged with newspaper "Real News" nationwide,[110] while on 19 December she released the new studio album Agapi Einai Esi.

Vissi and Sakis Rouvas performing at Athinon Arena in 2011.

For the winter season 2010–11, Vissi teamed up with Sakis Rouvas for a concert series at Athinon Arean called Face2Face, beginning on 15 October,.[111][112] This marked their first appearance and collaboration since they both appeared together at club Chaos in 1996, as well as being Vissi's second year in a row appearing at Athinon Arena.[111][113] The show extended to 19 March, (as Rouvas was scheduled for surgery prior to his Easter solo shows[114][115]) and was the most successful show of the season.[116][117] In late December 2010, Vissi launched a songwriting contest for amateur writers to submit songs to her, which lasted until mid-February 2011.[118]

Vissi will be debuting a documentary called "Oso Eho Foni" on Alpha TV on 30 March 2011.[119][120] Described as a rockumentary by Vissi, she first confirmed she was filming with director and friend Christine Crokos in July 2010.[121] The show, which Vissi has stated is not a reality show, will focus on Vissi's everyday life and include footage from the last three years, including her proceeds recording album, practising with Rouvas for the Face2Face show, and meetings with Jean Paul Gaultier and Dave Stewart.[122][123] Vissi performed a charity concert at the OACA stadium on 15 April 2011 to raise money to save the amateur league Panathinaikos football team. Vissi herself did not get paid but the cost was estimated at 100 thousand euros. The tickets printed were for the stadium's entire capacity of 20 thousand, although the team's managers only expected 10–12 thousand Panathinaikos fans to attend, which would result in a 200 thousand euro profit which would be enough to pay the athletes to the end of May. In the end, there were less than five thousand attendees and the concert actually ended up placing the team 60 thousand euros in debt.[124][125][126][127][128] On 27 April, Vissi gave a charity concert for the Sophia Foundation in Nicosia.[123][129][130][131] In May 2011, Vissi will be embarking on a North American & Canadian tour.[132] [133] On May in interview in Los Angeles said that she will do a concerts in Germany and Cyprus.[134] On 15 June, Vissi start the European Tour and the first concert will take place in Limassol and on 17th in Bucharest.[135]

In September 2011 Vissi performed a mini-Cypriot tour titled Etsi Apla, performing four concerts.[136][137][138] On 5 November 2011 Vissi performed in Stuttgart, Germany.[139] On 12 November, Vissi was awarded by Hellenic Charity Ball who recognised the brightest arts and entertainment luminaries in the Greek-American community.The ceremony take place in San Francisco.[140]

On 5 December, premiered exclusively released on Rythmos FM the first song 'Mono an trelatho' ("Only if I go crazy").[141][142][143]

Late 2011–2012: Dodeka, Tirannieme, and Summer 2012[edit]

The cover of Anna Vissi's cd single "Tiranniemai" (I'm suffering) released in 2012

On 16 December 2011, Vissi started appearing at club REX in a concert series titled "Dodeka" with Mairi Linta. The show is very successful and a lot of Greek celebrities and thousands of fans visit Rex every weekend to watch the best Vissi's show in all the '00s.[9] On 20 February, premiered on Rythmos FM the song "Ora na fevgo" ("Time to go").On 21 March, premiered on Rythmos FM the song "Mia nixta to poli" ("One night the most").[144][145] On 28 March, released the music video for "Ora na fevgo".[146][147][148] On 27 May, premiered on Dromos FM the song "Tiraniemai".[149] On 28 June released the music video for "Tiraniemai". The song reached the top Greek charts and Greek Airplays and came first in Greek iTunes charts.On 12 July, premiered on Lampsi FM the song "Venzini". On 20 July, she released the five-track CD single Tiraniemai packaged with magazine "Tiletheatis" nationwide. The CD single features "Tiraniemai", a remix of "Tiraniemai", "Ora na Fevgo", "Mia Nihta to Poli", "Venzini", a remix of "Venzini" and the two music videos for "Ora na Fevgo" and "Tiraniemai". On August she began her 'Summer 2012' Tour in Greece.[8]

Late 2012–2013: LAV, Access All Areas, Daimones Remake[edit]

[pls add information here about song "Δεν είναι ψέμα"] On 26 October 2012, Vissi started appearing at club Kentro Athinon in a concert series titled "LAV" with Nikos Zoidakis and Demy.[150][151]

On late November 2012, Sony Music in co-operation with Minos-EMI released Access All Areas, a 5-CD compilation to mark Anna's 40-year musical career. The compilation included 84 songs from her first album As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi through her latest EP Tiraniemai. A 64-paged book accompanied the cds with previously unreleased photos of Anna by Christine Crokos. The release was a limited one, with initially only 500 numbered copies being issued in both Greece and Cyprus. All 500 copies were shipped on just three days, and the compilation was released on March 2013 with further 750 copies. The compilation reached no 3 on the official Greek IFPI charts.[152]

Vissi released a Christmas song "Kala Christougenna" (Merry Christmas) to her fans as a gift from her official website on 13 December.[153][154] and on her birthday, (20 December) she released a new song called "Protimo" (I prefer) written by Nikos Karvelas.[155][156][157] On Valentine's Day, she released her new song I Pio Megali Apati Ine O Erotas (The Biggest Fraud Is Love). It is a ballad with only piano music and is also written by Nikos Karvelas.

On 22 March the rock opera Daimones premiered at Theater Pallas with 15 actors-dancers and 16 musicians and continued with huge success until 2 June.[158] 10,000 tickets have been sold up before the premier,[159][160][161][162] while, according to Elliniki Theamaton (the production company of Daimones) a total of 53,000 tickets have been sold until June, and was the biggest hit of the year![158][163] On the final day, Vissi announced that Demones will re-open on 5 October, for 10 more shows.[158] [163]

On 1 April 2013 after the great economic crisis in Cyprus, Anna Vissi among other 49 artists appeared in Nicosia in a concert with the aim to help people in need by requesting clothes, food and medicine instead of tickets.[164][165] Vissi sung her own songs "Sta Hronia Tis Ipomonis", "As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi" and "Dodeka" as well as the songs "Hrisoprasino Fillo" and "To Yiasemi".[166]

Vissi appeared on a similar-purposed concert in the city of Larnaka in 27 May, singing among other artists in front of an audience of 30,000 people, singing Dodeka, To Yiasemi, Tillirkotissa and Ta Rialia (Cypriot traditional songs), Den Ine Psema and Antonis Remos' Dio Psemata.[167][168] During that concert Vissi and Antonis Remos announced their plans to star together next winter in Athens.[168]

In July 2013, Vissi gave 3 sold out concerts in Cyprus The hugely successful tour was called "Anna Me Pathos" (Anna With Passion) and Anna visited Limassol on 27 July,[169] Larnaca on 29 July[170] and Nicosia on 30 July. She also gave a sold out concert in London's Koko club[171] and appeared in Brussels Bozar for a charity concert [172]

In November Daimones were released as 2CD and 2DVD boxest with TV magazine Tileheatis. The album sold 80.240 in its first week making the magazine the number 1 magazine of the week and achieving 7% raise of its usual sales.[173]

2013–2014: New Record Label, new songs and new show with Antonis Remos[edit]

In November 2013 it was announced that Vissi signed with record label Panik Records in its new label Panik Gold. The first song, and first single off the forthcoming album "I Kathimerinotita Mas" (Our Daily Routine) was released in mid November 2013 and became the most popular single on the i-tunes daily charts on the first day of its release[174][175] helping it to make a no2 debut on the weekly Official Greek I-Tune Charts[176] and the official Greece digital songs chart by Billboard.[177] It was also the most played song in Greece on its very first week of release.[178]

In 20 December, Vissi's new show "Ena I Kanena" (One Or Nothing) with Antonis Remos opened with great success in Pantheon Theatre in Athens.[179] Two new songs from the forthcoming album were presented there: "Instagram" and the duet with Antonis Remos "Ena I Kanena".[180]

In 20 January 2014, it was announced that Vissi was voted as the best female artist of the past 15 years from the audience of the no1 music station in Cyprus, Super FM.[181][182]

The same day "Ena I Kanena" was officially released on the radios in Greece and Cyprus,[165] as the second single off Anna's upcoming studio album, which is expected on mid-February.

On 24 January, "Ena I Kanena" was released as digital single and by 28 January, both versions of the song available on i-tunes (radio version and the original longer version) were on the two top positions of the Greek iTunes Chart,[183][184][185] and on 6 February, it debuted at number 1 of the official digital singles chart[186]

In Cyprus the song peaked at the top spot of the most popular radio stations[187][188]

A third single Kaliteres Meres (Better Days), written by Nicos Karvelas and produced by Alex Leon was released in April 2014,[189] and Panik Records announced in Facebook that the new album will follow shortly.

In 11 April,the first application created for a Greek artist, the Fannatics Live App! was released.[190]

In July 2014, the Rector of the University of Bolton, Professor Dr. George Holmes awarded Honorary Doctorate in Arts to Anna for her contribution to music.

Personal life[edit]

In the beginning of the 1980s Anna Vissi met Nikos Karvelas and a few years later, in 1983, they got married. They have a daughter named Sofia Karvela. The couple later got divorced, but remain good friends up to date, while Karvelas also writes most of Vissi's songs.

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes and Awards
1994 Me Agapi, Anna
(With Love, Anna)
Herself/Host Variety show
2011 Anna Vissi: Oso Exo Foni
(Anna Vissi: As Long As I Have Voice)
Herself/Host First 'Rockumentary' (autobiography) ever to air in Greece / Cyprus
Theater
Year Title Role Notes and Awards
1991 Daimones
(Demons)
Queen/Rozanne First Greek Rock Opera
1993 Ode to the Gods Aphrodite One Act Opera
2002 Mala – I Mousiki Tou Anemou
(Mala – The Music of the Wind)
Mala Zimetbaum Opera
2013 Daimones
(Demons)
Queen/Rozane
Cinema
Year Title Role Notes and Awards
2013 Alice's Birthday
(Genethlia tis Alikis)
Captain/Grandma of Tolo Greek dubbing voice

Tours[edit]

  • 20 Years Live Tour (1993)
  • Klima Tropiko Tour (1996)
  • Travma World Tour (1997)
  • World Tour Europe & USA (1998–1999)
  • Kravgi Australian Tour (2003)
  • 2004 World Tour (2004)
  • Best of Anna Vissi Tour (2006)
  • 2007 World Tour (2007)
  • Apagorevmeno Summer Tour (2009)[191]
  • Australian Tour (2010)[192][193]
  • World Tour USA,Canada & Europe Tour (2011)[132]
  • Etsi...Apla Unplugged Live Cyprus Tour (2011)
  • Greek & American Summer Tour (2012)
  • Anna With Passion Tour (Cyprus) (2013)
  • American & Canada Tour (2014)[194]
  • Ena I Kanena Tour (with Antonis Remos)(Greece-Cyprus) (2014)

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Elpida
with Sokrati
Elena Paparizou
with My Number One
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
1980
2006
Succeeded by
Giannis Dimitras
with Feggari Kalokerino
Sarbel
with Yassou Maria
Preceded by
Island
with Monika
Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest
1982
Succeeded by
Stavros & Konstantina
with I Agapi Akoma Zi