|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2011)|
|Born||May 26, 1981|
|Genres||Contemporary Laika, Pop, dance|
|Labels||Sony BMG Greece (2002-2009)
Merkouri was born and raised in Ilion, Athens to a Greek father and a Romani mother. She began showing interest in being a singer at a very young age and at the age of seven she would mimic all the singers she would see on television.
2001 - 2003: Debut Album & Meine Mazi Mou Apopse
Irini Merkouri signed a contract with Sony Music Greece and recorded her first solo album Na Fysai I Anixi in November 2001. As part of this album she sang a duet with Antonis Remos titled "Dio Mas" and a Greek version of the French song "Si Tu Ouvres Tes Bras" titled "Iparhi Kai Theos". The album included a total of twelve songs including the hits "Syntelia" and "Foties Anapste".
In June 2003, Merkouri released her second studio album, titled Mine Mazi Mou Apopse (Stay With Me Tonight). It consisted of 12 songs and included a remix of "Syntelia" which topped the airplay charts for 3 consecutive months. The album also included the hits "Ematha Na Zo Horis Esena" and "Meine Mazi Mou Apopse".
2004: Sarbel & Palirroia
In June 2004, Merkouri released her third studio album, titled Palirroia, which contained 15 new songs. The first single to hit the airwaves was "Ela", a song with a mix of both modern laika and ragga elements. The second single, "Pou Na Fantasto" became the first video clip of the album and was a big hit at clubs throughout Greece. The third single, "Krata Me Ksana", was written by Takis Damashis of C:Real and with his help Merkouri won the Arion Award for "Best Pop Singer".
2005 - 2009: Aneta, Argises, & "Nai"
The year 2006 brought Merkouri's fifth studio album, titled Argises (You Were Late). It contained 13 new songs including the hits "Pame Gi'Alla" and "Miso Lepto" which became a video clip. Christos Pazis performs a duet with Merkouri called "Argises".
Merkouri finished off 2007 with the release of a CD single titled "Nai" (Yes). It contained two songs "Nai" and "Kane Ena Tsigaro". "Nai" was made into a video clip, and the single reached the second place on the IFPI Singles Chart for Greece.
Shortly after, Merkouri recorded a new album in the studio with Sony BMG Greece. After internal disagreements with Sony BMG, Merkouri reportedly severed ties with label in 2009, and it is unknown what will happen with the unreleased material. Merkori signed with newly established label E.DI.EL. in 2009, which later re-branded to 4Music. In mid-2009, Merkouri digitally released the song "Parakseno Agori".