Jelena Karleuša

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Jelena Karleuša
Jelena Karleuša
Background information
Birth name Jelena Karleuša
Also known as JK, Diva
Born (1978-08-17) 17 August 1978 (age 35)
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Genres Pop, electropop, dance, Turbo-folk
Occupations Singer, television personality
Years active 1995–present
Labels Grand Production, Heaven Music, City Records

Jelena Karleuša Tošić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јелена Карлеуша Тошић; born 17 August 1978), professionally known under her maiden name Jelena Karleuša and initials JK, is a Serbian pop singer, and former columnist. She rose to fame with her debut turbo-folk album Ogledalce (1995), and has since gained popularity in all of the former Yugoslavia. She is married to football player, Duško Tošić, with whom she has two daughters.

Early and personal life[edit]

Jelena Karleuša was born on 17 August 1978[1] to Serbian father Dragan, a senior police officer,[2] and a of mixed Slovene and Serbian ethnicity mother Divna. Her maternal grandfather was from Ptuj, Slovenia and her maternal grandmother from Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[3] She was born and raised in Fontana, Novi Beograd, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (in modern-day Serbia), but did not finish college. In 2004, Karleuša married Bojan Karić, the son of Serbian businessman Sreten Karić. They divorced after two months.

In 2008, Karleuša married Serbian football player Duško Tošić.[4] On 7 September 2008, she gave birth to their first daughter, Atina, named after the Greek goddess Athena. Their second daughter, Nika, was born on 7 September 2009, and named after the Greek goddess of victory Nika.


She began her singing career as a turbo folk singer in the mid-90s and gained popularity with her debut album, Ogledalce (Mirror, 1995), selling more than 10,000 copies in Serbia and Montenegro. Later, she started singing pop music exclusively. She has since had several #1 hits, most of which were written by Marina Tucaković. Jelena has released nine studio albums, which charted in Serbia, Montenegro and neighboring countries such as Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria and Greece. Her biggest hits are: "Ženite se momci" (Get Married Boys), "Ko ovu dramu režira" (Who Is Directing This Drama?), "Zovem se Jelena" (My Name is Jelena), "Gili, gili" (Tickle, Tickle), "Ludača" (Crazy Woman), "Nije ona, nego ja" (It's Not Her, It's Me), "Još te volim" (I Still Love You), "Manijak" (Maniac), "Samo za tvoje oči" (For Your Eyes Only), "Moj dragi" (My Darling), "Slatka mala" (Sweet Little Girl), "Ide maca oko tebe" (The Kitty Walks Around You), "Nisi u pravu" (You're Wrong), "Casino", "Tihi ubica" (Silent Killer), "Testament" (Will), "Jedna noć i kajanje" (One Night and Regret), "Baš je dobro biti ja" (It's Really Good Being Me), "Ko ti to baje" (Who Is Charming You), "Insomnia", "Muškarac koji mrzi žene" (A Man Who Hates Women), "Nova religija" (New Religion), "Krimi rad" (Criminal Work, featuring Teča), "So" (Salt, featuring Nesh), "Sodoma & Gomora" (Sodom and Gomorrah), "Pucaj u ljubav (Ne vredi)" (Shoot My Love (Not Worth It)), and "Savršen zločin" (Perfect Crime).

Tenth studio album, Diva (2012)

Karleuša's single, "Insomnia", featuring Mirza Hamzić, was downloaded 1.5 million times from her website, just a day after its official premiere on 30 December 2009, the final night of the reality show Big Brother. It was the remake of the song "Dance Pe Chance" from an Indian movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. "Insomnia" became the third most viewed video on YouTube, with over four million viewers for two weeks.[5] Karleuša's second single, "Muškarac koji mrzi žene" (A Man Who Hates Women), was released on 4 January 2011. Her third single "Nova religija (Plava Šeherezada)" (New Religion (Blonde Scheherazade)) was premiered on 26 June 2011. During the performance she belly danced and painted herself in light brown color.[6] The studio album featuring all these songs, Diva, was released on 11 June 2012.

Ten months after the release of Diva, Karleuša performed guest vocals on Ferrari, a single by Karleuša's Krimi rad collaborators Teča and Nesh.

Other activities[edit]

In 2006, Karleuša launched her own fashion brand, named JK Wear.[4] The collection included dresses and other accessories. In 2010, she was guest star on the reality show Big Brother All Stars VP for two days.[7] The same year, it was rumoured Karleuša would start her political career,[8][9] as she openly supported the ideas of Zoran Đinđić and Čedomir Jovanović.[9]

In 2010, Karleuša began writing her own column for the Serbian newspaper Kurir, in which she criticized and mentioned Serbian celebrities such as politicians Boris Tadić, Čedomir Jovanović and Ivica Dačić, and singers Lepa Brena and Svetlana Ražnatović.[10] She stopped writing it in November 2010 as she was "afraid for her own security".[11][12] Her column drew criticism, with some people stating she was just trying to draw attention.[13] Karleuša is known for supporting LGBT persons and has received numerous awards as a gay icon. In its November 2013 issue, W magazine featured Karleuša in an article about idols outside the USA. Jelena's PR is Zoran Birtašević since 2007.


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

As featured artist[edit]

  • Ferrari (released 16 April 2013) with Teča & Nesh


  • Ogledalce (1995)
  • Najbolja drugarice (1995)
  • Ženite se momci (1996)
  • Sad smo stranci postali (1996)
  • Preživeću (with Dejan Miličević) (1998)
  • Gili gili (1999)
  • Ludača (2001)
  • Samo za tvoje oči (2002)
  • Manijak (2003)
  • Slatka mala (2005)
  • Upravo ostavljena (2006)
  • Tihi ubica (2008)
  • Mani se (with Gale) (2009)
  • Insomnia (Dark version) (2010)
  • Insomnia (Light version) (2010)
  • Muškarac koji mrzi žene (2011)
  • Krimi rad (2012)
  • So (2012)
  • All about diva (2010)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
1998 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Album of the Year "Vestice vile" Won
1999 Golden Melodies Album of the Year "Zovem se Jelena" Won
1999 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Album of the Year "Gili, gili" Won
2000 Golden Melodies Best Female Dance Singer Won
2001 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Best Female Dance Singer Won
2002 Golden Melodies Album of the Year "Ludaca" Won
2003 Beovizija 2003 Album of the Year "Samo za tvoje oci" Won
2004 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Best Female Musician Won
2005 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Album of the Year "Magija" Won
2005 Serbian Grammy's The Duet "Ne smem da se zaljubim u tebe" Won
2006 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Best Female Singer Won
2008 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Album of the Year "JK Revolution" Won
2009 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Best Female Pop Singer Won
2010 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Song of the Year "Insomnia" Nominated
2010 GayEcho Annual Gay Icon Awards 2010 Gay Icon of the Year[14] Won
2010 Loud & Queer Annual Awards 2010 LGBT person of the Year[15] Won
2011 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Best Female Folk Singer[16] Nominated
2011 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Best Female Pop Singer[17] Won
2012 Music Festival at Vrnjacka Banja Album of the Year "Diva" Won


  1. ^ "Maloljetnik se zbog ljubavi prema Jeleni Karleuši isjekao skalperom". Nezavisne Novine. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Tarlac, Goran (15 April 2003). "Turbo Folk Politics". Balkan Reconstruction Report (CEEOL). ISSN 1214-1615. 
  3. ^ "Jelena Karleusa @ Slovenia - 24ur Ekskluziv". YouTube. September 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Official Biography of Jelena Karleuša
  5. ^ "JK "Insomnia" ruši rekorde". Trač 4 January 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "JK u kući Velikog Brata snimila spotove". Trač 3 May 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Jelena Karleuša u epizodi stoka i drugi". Trač 22 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Jelena Karleuša ulazi u politiku?". Trač 20 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Učiteljica Karleuša se oprostila od estradnih đaka". Trač 8 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "JK prestaje sa pisanjem kolumne?". Trač 1 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Karleuša napisala poslednju kolumnu". Trač 4 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "JK u svojoj kolumni: Ovakva sam od osiromašenog uranijuma". Trač 26 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Jelena Karleuša gej ikona godine". Scandal. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "JK dobila nagradu za LGBT licnost godine". Opera-17. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "Oskar popularnosti: Sportisti vladaju". Mondo (Mobile Telephony of Serbia). 1 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "13. Oskar popularnosti u Bosni i Hercegovini prošao bez skandala". 26 February 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 

External links[edit]