Lili Ivanova performing at BG Radio Music Awards
|Born||24 April 1939|
|Origin||Kubrat, Razgrad Province, Bulgaria|
Lili Ivanova (Bulgarian: Лиляна Иванова Петрова) (born April 24, 1939 in Kubrat) is a renowned Bulgarian singer. In tribute to her contribution to the culture of the country, she is often referred to as the "Prima of Bulgarian popular music". Her best known songs are "Панаири", "Щурче", "Стари мой приятелю", "Ветрове", "Без правила", "Детелини", "Осъдени души", "Наше лято", "За тебе бях", "Хризантеми", "Camino" and her Russian hit "Забудь обратную дорогу".
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Music style and voice
Lili Ivanova started her career singing popular Italian, French and Russian hits. However, she soon redirected her creative work to performing Bulgarian songs. The singer's music style is distinctive, characterized with strong meaningful lyricism and a constant innovation. Her music in the 1960s and 1970s was marked by complex and rich orchestrations, dramatic transitions between quiet and loud moments, often played with a brass band, string orchestra and electric guitars, with accents of piano or Hammond organ, backing vocals (sometimes choral) and a reverberation to the voice of the performer. Subsequently, with the style going out of fashion, the singer began performing music composed with electronic musical instruments. After 2000, Lili Ivanova is accompanied at her live performances by several musicians - mainly pianist, violinist, guitarist and a saxophonist. The singer has repeatedly stated the importance of the songs' lyrics and the message they convey to the public. Throughout her career she has shown interest in experimenting with new sounds and has expanded her repertoire with compositions in the styles - rock, soul, rhythm and blues, Balkan ethno and jazz.
Lili Ivanova has recorded and released 35 albums and 29 singles altogether in Bulgaria, USSR, Romania, Turkey, Germany, Spain and other countries. There aren't exact statistics on the number of sold copies of her albums. According to Alexander Yosifov, ex-director of Balkanton from 1968 to 1986, Lili Ivanova's albums in store for the Soviet Union always reached a circulation of over 1 million. The Italian Magazine L'Europeo stated that she has sold more than 10 million copies in the USSR. However, due to the Socialist system in Bulgaria, she has never received any income from the sales of the records, beside a monthly salary equal for all famous singers at that time.
Concert performances and tours
Lili Ivanova has had over 11 000 concerts and many tours abroad, mainly in the former USSR (and Russia in the 1990s). She has performed successful concerts in Germany, Cuba, Japan, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, etc. as well as several tours in the US and Canada singing for Bulgarian immigrants there.
The "Prima of Bulgarian popular music" is the first singer from the Eastern Bloc with a concert in the renowned music hall Olympia, Paris. She is also the first Bulgarian performer with a concert in the newly built Armeets Arena in Sofia, gathering 15 000 people (the venue normally can hold up to 14 000) on 22 November 2012.
Awards, nominations and honours
- 1966 - Slovakia - Bratislava - First prize for performance of the song "Adagio", Festival "Golden Key"
- 1967 - Poland - Warsaw - First Prize, Estrada music festival
- 1968 - Spain - Barcelona - First award for performance of the song "Да вярвам ли", Estrada music festival
- 1969 - France - Cannes - "Golden Plate" (awarded for selling over 1 million albums in an year), “Trophy MIDEM” - International Festival of Vinyl Records and Music Books."
- 1970 - Brazil - Rio de Janeiro - Third Prize, Pop Song Festival. The festival took place at the stadium “Mara Kazinyo” with capacity of 30 000 people. Аn European singer was a precedent to win the prize.
- 1970 - Greece - Athens - "Golden Plate" Festival pop song, Olimpiada de Musica Pop
- 1973 - Japan - Tokyo - Third prize for performing the song "Панаири" of Toncho Rusev, Yamaha World Popular Song Festival. The festival was held in Imperial Garden Theater, 609 songs from 35 countries were performed. 31 participants from 15 countries were admitted to the final.
- 1973 - France - Paris - First award "Grand Prix" for performing the song "Стъпки" by Toncho Rusev, Pop Music Festival
- 1974 - Bulgaria - Sunny Beach - First award, Golden Orpheus
- 1982 - Bulgaria - Sunny Beach - First award, Golden Orpheus
- "Melody of the Year" - Lili Ivanova won awards in 1968, 1970, 1974 and 1977
- 1996 - Bulgaria - Sunny Beach - "Golden Orpheus" prize for a Lifetime Achievement
- 1999 - Bulgaria - "Stara Planina" Honour, rewarded by the President of Bulgaria in recognition of Lili Ivanova and her achievements for Bulgarian culture and popular music.
- 2006 - A star on the Bulgarian Walk of Fame
Lili Ivanova was awarded with a golden vinyl plate from Balkanton for selling 2 millions albums for an year (there are only 5 such golden plates in Bulgaria). She returned it back publicly in an act of a protest after Balkanton lowered the criteria for getting such a recognition in 1990.
- Original autobiography
- Official website - Albums
- Interview with Alexander Yosifov
- Olympia, Paris - Concert
- Armeets Arena Concert
- MIDEM Award
- Brazil Award
- Yamaha Award
- Lili Ivanova Golden plate
- Lili Ivanova's official website(EN)
- Official YouTube Channel
- Official Facebook profile
- Russian fan site