Alexandra Stan

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Alexandra Stan
Photograph of Alexandra Stan
Stan during a performance in Sofia (2012)
Born Alexandra Ioana Stan[1]
(1989-06-10) June 10, 1989 (age 27)
Constanța, Romania[2]
Residence Constanța, Romania[3]
Occupation
Years active 2009–present
Net worth US $6 million (est. 2016)[6]
Musical career
Genres Electronic[2]
Labels
Associated acts

Alexandra Ioana Stan (born 10 June 1989) is a Romanian singer and songwriter. Born in the city of Constanța, she made her worldwide breakthrough with her 2011 single "Mr. Saxobeat", which was written and produced by Marcel Prodan and Andrei Nemirschi. They had previously discovered her at a karaoke bar in 2009 and offered her a contract with their own label, Maan Records. "Mr. Saxobeat" was preceded by the singer's debut recording, "Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)" (2009), which rose Stan to fame in her native country. "Mr. Saxobeat" quickly achieved commercial success in her native Romania and then abroad, reaching the number one spot in a total of ten countries. The singer's follow-up single, "Get Back (ASAP)" (2011), reached the top ten in Finland and Romania, and the top 20 in other European territories. Saxobeats, her debut studio album, was made available for purchase that same year.

Following an alleged physical altercation with Prodan in 2013, Saxobeats was reissued under the title Cliché (Hush Hush), featuring three singles intended for her postponed second studio album. Unlocked was finally released in August 2014 and was aided by six singles. "Dance" (2014), one of them, peaked at number 25 on the Japan Hot 100, while "Cherry Pop" (2014) became the most-sought ringtone on Recochoku within two hours. The singer's third studio album, Alesta, saw its release in March 2016. It spawned a collaboration with Romanian singer Inna and American reggaeton performer Daddy Yankee on "We Wanna" (2015), which reached the top 60 in multiple territories.

Life and career[edit]

1989–2009: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Alexandra Ioana Stan[1] was born on 10 June 1989 in the city of Constanța, Romania, where she studied at the Traian Secondary School and the Faculty of Management Andrei Șaguna.[4] From a very young age, she showed special interest in music.[4] In 2003, 15-year-old Stan was invited to sing for the first time on a televised show.[12] She participated in various music-related contests, including the Mamaia Music Festival.[4] In 2009, the singer was discovered by Romanian producers and songwriters Marcel Prodan and Andrei Nemirschi at a karaoke bar in Constanța; they offered her a record deal with their own label, Maan Records, and she also recorded a promotional single called "Show Me the Way" that year.[13] Stan rose to major fame in Romania with the release of her debut single, "Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)" (2009), which failed to achieve much success although it was aided by heavy radio airplay.[4] The song's low-budget and provocative music video was generally criticized and was not received well by the audience.[4]

2010–2013: Saxobeats and hiatus[edit]

Stan performing at the Austrian Sports Personality of the Year in 2011.

In 2011, Stan made her international breakthrough with "Mr. Saxobeat".[4] The song first experienced success in Romania, where it claimed the number one spot for eight consecutive weeks on the Romanian Top 100.[2] "Mr. Saxobeat" eventually became commercially acclaimed worldwide, topping the record charts in nine other countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland and Turkey),[4][14][15][16] also becoming the first Romanian song to reach number one on the German Singles Chart since O-Zone's "Dragostea Din Tei" (2004).[17][A] The recording was certified Gold and Platinum in multiple countries and sold almost almost one million copies in less than a year.[19] At the 2011 Romanian Music Awards, Stan and "Mr. Saxobeat" won distinctions for Best Song and Borderbreaker, while also being nominated for Best Dance and Best Female.[20][21] Additionally, the singer was nominated for Best European Act at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards after winning Best Romanian Act, where she was nominated alongside Romanian rapper Guess Who, rapper Puya, singer Smiley and band Fly Project.[17][22] She eventually lost Best European Act to German recording artist Lena Meyer-Landrut.[23]

After the success of "Mr. Saxobeat", Stan released the follow-up single "Get Back".[4] It experienced major recognition, reaching the top ten in Finland and Romania, and the top 20 in other European countries.[17] In early 2012, another single "1.000.000" with German rapper Carlprit was made available for purchase,[24] and her debut studio album titled Saxobeats was released in August 2011 to French digital stores.[25] The record featured eight tracks plus five remixes[17] and was first available in Europe and then in Canada and the United States on 25 October 2011 through Ultra Records.[17] Saxobeats experienced commercial success in Japan, selling more than 68,000 copies in that territory.[26] In June 2012, Stan released a new single titled "Lemonade",[17] which charted in countries like Bulgaria, Japan and Italy.[27][28][29] For her international achievements in 2011, Stan won a European Border Breaker award along with Inna that year.[30] The singer's next single releases, "Cliché (Hush Hush)" (2012) and "All My People" (2013), reached number 11 and 50 on the Japan Hot 100, respectively.[28]

Stan's announced second studio album should have been released in September 2013, but was postponed following an alleged violent incident between her and Prodan, her then-impresario.[5] Her three already-released singles "Lemonade", "Cliche (Hush Hush)" and "All My People" were included on a reissue of Saxobeats, titled Cliché (Hush Hush) (2013).[5] The reissue charted within the top 60 in Japan and sold about 6,000 copies there.[31][32] In November 2013, Stan launched an anti-domestic violence campaign called "Nu bate! Mai bine cântă!".[33]

2014: Unlocked and comeback[edit]

Stan performing in Osaka, Japan during her Unlocked Tour (2014).

After a short career hiatus, Stan released her comeback single, "Thanks for Leaving", in April 2014.[34] About the recording, she expressed that "[she's] glad that [she] was able to express many feelings and emotions through the song and the music video".[35] The song peaked at number one in Ukraine on FDR's pop component chart,[36] and experienced minor success in Italy and Romania.[37][38] Following this, she unveiled another single called "Cherry Pop" in May 2014.[39] It entered the Japanese Hot 100 at number 64 and became the most-sought ringtone on Recochoku within two hours.[28][40] The singer's third single following her hiatus, "Dance", was released two months later, reaching number 25 in Japan.[28] Unlocked, Stan's second studio album was made available for purchase in August 2014 to Japanese digital retailers,[41] where it charted within the top 20[31] and sold more than 17,000 copies.[42]

Two more singles were released from Unlocked, "Give Me Your Everything" (2014) and "Vanilla Chocolat" (2014), a collaboration with Romanian rapper Connect-R.[43][44] While "Vanilla Chocolat" was aided by a selfie video,[43] the latter one aroused controversy for a scene of its music video where Stan is wearing a robe with masonic symbols inscribed on its back.[45][46] Unlocked was supported by the Unlocked Tour, where Stan was accompanied by Romanian dance group StanBoyz.[47] Later in 2014, the singer sang Cher's "Strong Enough" (1999) translated in Catalan for Spanish annual charity event La Marató.[48] She also made appearance as a special guest at Spanish Carnival of Las Palmas.[49]

2015–present: Alesta and other projects[edit]

In June 2015, Stan released "We Wanna" in collaboration with Inna and American reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee.[50] The track reached the top 30 in Argentina,[51] Poland[52] and Turkey,[53] and the top 60 in Italy,[54] Romania[55] and Slovakia.[56] In parallel with her music career, she was as well involved in volunteering for ecological and humanitarian causes at Expo 2016 in Antalya, Turkey, where she planted a tree named after her.[57] Following the release of Dorian's "Motive" (2015), a song for which Stan provided guest vocals,[58] she won a trophy at the Celebrity Awards.[59] In addition to that, the singer won a nomination at the Elle Style Awards România for Best Pop Artist.[60] In November 2015, a new single called "I Did It, Mama!" was made available for purchase.[61] The track reached the top ten in Romania,[62] aided by a music video in which Stan portrays a goddess surrounded by different types of men, including models, rugby players, motor bikers and dancers.[61]

In March 2016, Stan released her third studio album, Alesta,[63] and toured Japan in order to promote the record.[64] The album debuted at number 34 on the Japanese Albums Chart,[31] and featured a collaboration with Swedish-Congolese singer Mohombi on "Balans" (2016).[65] Later that year, Stan made her fashion debut with "Alesta X Bershka", a clothes line available for sale in Japan. It consists of a silver backpack—worth $40—that can be also used as a handbag, as well as of a gray dress—worth $60—that can be also used as a sweatshirt.[64] On 22 April 2016, the singer opened The Back To Life Easter Festival 2016 held in Cairo, Egypt with her 2011 single "Mr. Saxobeat".[66] In June 2016, Stan released the fourth single from Alesta, "Écoute", in collaboration with Romanian band Havana.[67] A video to accompany the song was filmed in Obârșia-Brezoi, a city which the singer used to visit in her youth.[67] Later that year, Stan became a member of G Girls, a girl band, together with Antonia, Inna and Lori.[68] Their debut single, "Call the Police" was released in June 2016[69] and reached number six in Poland.[70]. Meanwhile, Stan was invited as a special guest at a basketball tournament in native Constanța.[71] A music video was eventually filmed in the same city for the fifth release off Alesta, "Boom Pow" (2016).[72] In November 2016, Stan announced her appearance at parade "Dumnezeu nu face politica" through Facebook, and expressed her support towards the LGTB community.[73] That same month, British recording artist Ellie Goulding praised the singer's "Mr. Saxobeat" and Inna's "Hot" (2008) during two separate Twitter posts, to which both reportedly thanked in the comments.[74] A music video for "9 Lives", the final single from Stan's album, was released in January 2017 and featured Bulgarian rapper Jahmmi.[75] The singer also recorded a cover version of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (1984) later that month, stating that she is a fan of the song.[76]

Artistry[edit]

Music artists such as Madonna (right) and David Guetta (left) have influenced Stan.[78]

When interviewed at the EBBA 2012, she stated that her music is influenced by "the bunch of nationalities" in her hometown Constanța.[79] In another interview she listed Michael Jackson, Madonna, Adele, Rihanna, David Guetta, Sia and Robbie Williams as influences.[78] AllMusic classified her music in the electronic genre.[2] Stan's first studio album, Saxobeats (2011), featured hi-NRG, dance, electronic, house and eurodance music[80][81] alongside saxophone hints in some songs.[82] When interviewed, the singer confessed that, "I consider saxophone a very hot and sexy instrument which is also very used in my region."[3] The use of the instrument in her songs has become her signature sound.[77] Unlocked (2014) approaches dance, techno, pop, R&B and europop,[83][84][85] and has been regarded as an evolution in her artistry.[86] The album also featured "Thanks for Leaving" (2014), which served as the first ballad released in her career.[87]

Public image and personal life[edit]

Stan has been named one of "the most successful Romanian products" along with Inna.[88] During a review of the singer's debut studio album, Saxobeats (2011), Mike Schiller from PopMatters called her "the sort of young upstart pop diva that it's hard to hate, yet hard to take seriously."[82] Stan frequently receives media attention for her "sexy" public appearances and photo shootings.[89][90][91] Her music video for "I Did It, Mama!" (2015) aroused controversy for a scene in which the singer and a background dancer are miming sexual intercourse and oral sex, with publications Cancan and Click! writing that this could have been a reason for the clip to be banned in Romania.[92][93]

When interviewed, the singer stated that she believes in God and that she has her own religious principles, describing herself as an "untraditional Christian".[94] As of August 2011, she lives in her hometown Constanța.[3] During her court case with Prodan, he and others testified that Stan had "more than a professional relationship" with him, although denied by the singer.[95][96] In 2016, it was announced that Stan had been in a relationship with Bogdan since 2014, about which she confessed, "They say that the most beautiful and sincere relationships start from a friendship. It was the same thing with us. We have been knowing each other for many years, we were friends and, without realizing it, our relationship went to another stage. It is a relationship based very much on trust and communication. Bogdan is the person with which I can talk about everything."[97] During her appearance on Romanian talk show Răi da Buni in February 2017, the singer said that "there are a bunch of women that [she] would want to kiss. Antonia would be one of them. Sometimes, girls are so beautiful that [she wants] to kiss them."[98]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2011 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards Best Romanian Act Alexandra Stan Won [17][22]
Best European Act Nominated
Romanian Music Awards Best Song "Mr. Saxobeat" Won [20][21]
Best Dance Song Nominated
Border Breaker Alexandra Stan Won
Best Female Nominated
European Border Breakers Award Romanian Border Breaker Won [30]
Los Premios 40 Principales 2011 Best International Song "Mr. Saxobeat" Nominated [99]
2012 Balkan Music Awards World breakthrough Alexandra Stan Won [100]
Romanian Music Awards Best Female [101][102]
Best Album Saxobeats Nominated
2013 Elle Style Awards România Best Pop Artist Alexandra Stan [103]
Japan Gold Disc Award Best New Artist Won [104]
Romanian Music Awards Best Female Nominated [105]
RRA Awards Radio România Junior "Lemonade" [106]
2015 Celebrity Awards Successful woman Alexandra Stan Won [59]
Elle Style Awards România Best Pop Artist Nominated [60]
2016 [107]
2017 Glamour Beauty Awards Best VIP Make-up [108]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ O-Zone were originally from Moldova.[18]

References[edit]

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