Eleni Foureira at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 opening ceremony
7 March 1987
Eleni Foureira (Greek: Ελένη Φουρέιρα; born 7 March 1987) is a Greek recording artist, singer, and dancer. She began her music career in 2007 as a member of the Greek girl group Mystique, before pursuing a solo career after the group disbanded in 2009.
Foureira signed a solo contract with Universal Music Greece and released her self-titled debut album in 2010, which received a platinum certification in Greece. She later signed with Minos EMI, and went on to release her second and third studio albums Ti poniro mou zitas and Anemos agapis in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Both albums were well-received in Greece and Cyprus. Foureira left Minos EMI in 2015, and signed with Panik Records. Her fourth studio album Vasilissa was released in 2017.
She represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Fuego". On 8 May 2018, she qualified from the first semi-final to the grand final, where she placed second with 436 points. This is the best result Cyprus has ever achieved in the contest.
Foureira was born in Fier, Albania to Marjeta and Kristaq Fureraj as Entela Fureraj. Her mother is a seamstress, while her father works in construction. She has three siblings: Ioanna, Margarita, and Giorgos. When she was young, the family left Albania and settled in Greece due to the civil war in the country. She grew up in the Kallithea neighbourhood of Athens.
2007–2009: Early career and Mystique
Foureira began her music career as a member of the girl group Mystique. She was discovered by Andreas Giatrakos, and the group also consisted of Alkmini Chatzigianni and Maria Makri. They released their debut single "Se alli selida" in 2007, and later achieved success with the single "Min kaneis pos de thymasai" featuring Greek hip hop group NEVMA the following year. They later broke up in 2009.
2010–present: Solo career
After the break up of Mystique in 2009, Foureira signed a solo contract with Universal Music Greece, the label which Mystique was signed to as well. She later appeared on the charity program Just the Two of Us, hosted by Mega Channel. She managed to win first place along with singer Panagiotis Petrakis. Foureira released her self-titled debut studio album in December 2010, which went on to become certified platinum in Greece.[not in citation given] Afterwards, she signed with Minos EMI. Her second album Ti poniro mou zitas was released in 2012, while her third Anemos agapis was released in 2014. From 2015 to 2016, she starred as Sofia in the musical Barbarella: the 80's Musical in Athens, alongside other Greek pop stars such as Ivi Adamou and Katy Garbi. Following the release of Anemos agapis, she left Minos EMI and signed with Panik Records. She was a judge on season three of the Greek version of So You Think You Can Dance. Her fourth studio album Vasilissa was released in 2017. In 2018 after her second place at Eurovision she signed a record deal at Sony Music. In March of 2019, Eleni announced that she would be releasing her first international album expected to be released in the spring or summer.
Eurovision Song Contest
Foureira has made several attempts to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2010, she took part in the Greek national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with Manos Pyrovolakis, performing the song "Kivotos tou Noe". They placed second behind Giorgos Alkaios. In 2013, she performed "Wild Dances" with Ruslana at Eurosong 2013 – a MAD show. She later considered taking part in Eurosong 2015 - NERIT & MAD show, but ultimately did not. She once again attempted to represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "Come Tiki Tam", but was rejected by Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT). She was rejected by the broadcaster for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 again.
In February 2018, it was confirmed that Foureira would represent Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Fuego". The song was composed by Greek-Swedish songwriter Alex Papaconstantinou. On 8 May 2018, she qualified from the first semi–final to the grand final. In the final held on 12 May 2018, she finished as the runner–up to winner Netta from Israel, having received the fifth most votes from the international juries and the second most votes from the public televoting process; this marked Cyprus' best Eurovision placement in history. During the Host Broadcast press conference of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, Foureira was announced as one of the four artists from previous contests that will perform at the finals of the show, where she's set to perform the 2007 runner–up Verka Serduchka's song "Dancing Lasha Tumbai".
Since the beginning of her career, Foureira's ancestral origins have garnered intense speculation from the Greek media. As a member of Mystique, she claimed to be Brazilian. However, she later began claiming that her father was from Athens and her mother from Ioannina, although she had some Mexican ancestry as well. In 2010, reports of Foureira attempting to naturalize as a Greek citizen further increased speculation regarding her origins.
In 2013, it was reported by the Greek media that Foureira was born in Albania and that her birth name was Entela Fureraj. Foureira did not comment on the reports until 2014, when she confirmed them. She claimed that she did not reveal her origin in order to be accepted in the music industry in Greece. She continued claiming she never understood the issue, since she always felt Greek and she has received only Greek education. Andreas Giatrakos, who discovered Foureira and recruited her to join Mystique, later stated that he wanted Foureira to be proud of her origin and would not have rejected her if he knew she was born in Albania. Foureira also said that her grandfather was of Greek origin, but she was even reluctant to declare herself a Northern Epirote, because this would possibly have a negative impact on her career. She simply declared that she was born in Albania.
During the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Foureira made the Albanian patriotic eagle gesture in a photo with Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa. The image went viral in Albania and Greece, being well-received in the former but causing controversy in the latter. After the first semi-final, Foureira stated that she is taking part in a musical competition that unites people, declaring that Greece is her home country, the country she grew up in, and that she has proved that she adores Greece, sο the controversy is unnecessary.
- Eleni Foureira (2010)
- Ti Poniro Mou Zitas (2012)
- Anemos agapis (2014)
- Vasilissa (2017)
- TBA (2019)
|2010||Greek national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010||Herself||Contestant|
|2010–2011||Just the Two of Us||Greek edition season 1|
|2017||So You Think You Can Dance||Greek edition|
|2018||Eurovision Song Contest 2018||Contestant|
|Golden Stag Festival||Romanian show|
|Tu cara me suena||Spanish edition|
|TBA||La Banda||Greek edition|
|2015–2016||Barbarella: the 80's Musical||Sophia||Pireos 131 Theater|
|2018||Aigaio SOS||Eleni Foureira||Guest star|
Awards and nominations
|2011||MAD Video Music Awards||Sexiest Video||"To 'cho (Pom Pom)"||Won|||
|Best New Artist||Herself|
|Best Female Artist||Nominated|
|Best Pop Video|
|Best Female Artist||Herself||Nominated|
|Artist of the Year – Cyprus|
|2013||Fashion Icon in a Video||"Pio erotas pethaineis"||Won|||
|Best Pop Video||Nominated|
|Best Song||"To party de stamata"|
|Best Female Artist||Herself|
|2014||Video of the Year||"Anemos agapis"|||
|Best Dance Act|
|Best Female Artist||Herself|
|Artist of the Year – Cyprus|
|2015||Video of the Year – Cyprus||"Party Sleep Repeat (PSR)"||Won|||
|Best Dance Video|
|Best Modern Female Artist||Herself||Nominated|
|2016||Video of the Year||"Sto theo me paei"||Won|
|Best Pop Video||Nominated|
|Best Modern Female Artist||Herself|
|2017||Best Video with a Cause||"Den sou chrostao agapi"||Won|||
|Best Dance Video||"Ti koitas?"|
|Superfans of the Year||Her fans|
|2018||Best Modern Female Artist||Herself||Won|
|Video of the Year||"To Kati Pou Echeis"||Nominated|
|Marcel Bezençon Awards||Artistic Award||"Fuego"||Won|
- Ελένη Φουρέιρα: Γιατί έκρυψα πως είμαι από την Αλβανία (in Greek).
- Φουρέιρα: Ηρθα από την Αλβανία 8 χρόνων -Θυμάμαι να μπαίνουν οι σφαίρες μέσα στο σπίτι μου. iefimerida.gr (in Greek). 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
- "Biography" (in Greek). PameBouzoukia. 15 June 2013.
- Ψέματα ότι είπαμε στην Φουρέιρα να κρύψει την καταγωγή της, λέει ο πρώην μάνατζερ της (in Greek). Protothema. 28 November 2014.
- "Eleni Foureira wons at the "Just the two of us". www.aggelioforos.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Eleni Foureira". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Η Ελένη Φουρέιρα μετράει αντίστροφα για το θεατρικό της ντεμπούτο! [Eleni Foureira counts down to her theatrical debut]. Very Sorry (in Greek). 10 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
- H Ελένη Φουρέιρα θα παίξει σε μιούζικαλ! [Eleni Foureira will play in a musical]. MAD (in Greek). 9 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Mitsopolos, Odisseas (14 September 2015). Καίτη Γαρμπή: Σε ποιο μιούζικαλ θα πρωταγωνιστήσει; [Katy Garbi: In which musical will she star?]. Real.gr. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
- Καίτη Γαρμπή – Ελένη Φουρέιρα – Ήβη Αδάμου: Σε ποιο μιούζικαλ θα πρωταγωνιστήσουν; [Katy Garbi - Eleni Foureira - Ivi Adamou: In which musical will they star?]. Get Greek Music (in Greek). 14 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
- "Eleni Foureira - Vasilissa". Panik Records. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Staff (12 March 2010). Και το τραγούδι είναι το... "OPA"! (in Greek). ERT. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
- Al Kaziri, Ghassan (15 March 2010). "60,000 votes cast; three songs tied". Oikotimes.coom. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- "Ruslana Eleni foureira wild dances eurovision 2013 greece". 18 February 2013.
- Granger, Anthony (18 February 2013). "Greece: Tonight Greece Decides". Eurovoix.
- Granger, Anthony (27 December 2014). "Greece: Eleni Foureira Is Thinking About Eurovision Participation". Eurovoix.
- Gallagher, Robyn (15 October 2016). "Eleni Foureira releases rejected Greek Eurovision 2016 entry "Come Tiki Tam"". Wiwibloggs.
- Vasileiadis, George (28 January 2016). "Greece: Eleonora Zouganeli declines Eurovision participation, Eleni Foureira wants in". Wiwibloggs.
- Muldoon, Padraig (26 October 2017). "Eleni Foureira: "There must be a reason why the people at ERT didn't select me"". Wiwibloggs.
- Mercereau, Damien (7 March 2018). "Eurovision 2018 : Chypre joue avec le feu avec Eleni Foureira" (in French). Le Figaro. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- Farren, Neil (1 February 2018). "Cyprus: Eleni Foureira Officially Confirmed for Eurovision 2018". Eurovoix.
- Jiandani, Sanjay (1 February 2018). "Cyprus: Eleni Foureira to Lisbon!". ESCToday.
- Cremona, Patrick (9 May 2018). "Who is Cyprus's Eurovision 2018 entry Eleni Foureira?". RadioTimes.
- Debnath, Neela (9 May 2018). "Eurovision 2018 Cyprus: Who is representing Cyprus? Who is favourite Eleni Foureira?". Express.
- Kelly, Helen (2018-05-13). "Eurovision 2018 winner: Israel wins Eurovision Song Contest with Netta Barzilai". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
- "Live blog: The Grand Final of Eurovision 2018 - Eurovision Song Contest Lisbon 2018". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
- "Lots of Eurovision 2019 news during Host Broadcaster press conference". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
- Ελένη Φουρέιρα: Τη ρωτούν on camera αν έχει σχέση με τον Αλμπέρτο Μποτία (in Greek). Protothema. 1 March 2017.
- Η πλήρης μετάλλαξη της Ελένης Φουρέιρα (in Greek). Protothema. 31 January 2011.
- Είναι από την Αλβανία η Φουρέιρα (in Greek). 12 December 2010.
- Η απάντηση της Φουρέιρα... Είναι από το Μεξικό ή από την Αλβανία; (in Greek). iShow. 11 December 2010.
- Αποκάλυψη:Αυτό είναι το ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΟ όνομα της Ελένης Φουρέιρα! (in Greek). Athens Timeout. 29 July 2013.
- Ελένη Φουρέιρα: Γεννήθηκα στην Αλβανία! (in Greek). Protothema. 27 November 2014.
- Ελένη Φουρέιρα: Γιατί έκρυψα πως είμαι από την Αλβανία (in Greek). Protothema. 28 November 2014.
- Ελένη Φουρέιρα: Ήρθα 8 ετών στην Ελλάδα από την Αλβανία. Newsbeast.gr (in Greek). 14 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
Ο παππούς μου είναι Έλληνας, αισθάνομαι Ελληνίδα. Αν έβγαινα τότε και έλεγα πως είμαι Βόρειο- Ηπειρώτισσα πάλι θα με έκριναν. Είπα ότι γεννήθηκα στην Αλβανία και αυτό είναι όλο
- Ελένη Φουρέιρα - Η εξομολόγηση για τα παιδικά χρόνια στην Αλβανία: "Έμπαιναν σφαίρες σπίτι μας" (in Greek). Retrieved 15 March 2018.
Γεννήθηκα σε άλλη χώρα, αλλά μεγάλωσα στην Ελλάδα. Αισθάνομαι Ελληνίδα. Το αστείο είναι ότι ο παππούς μου είναι Έλληνας. Αν έβγαινα όμως και έλεγα πως είμαι από τη Βόρειο Ήπειρο, θα έλεγαν πως πάλι δεν το λέω. Έτσι είπα ότι έχω γεννηθεί στην Αλβανία. Αυτό είναι όλο».
- "Shqiponja në "Eurovision" tërbon median greke". Gazeta Tema (in Albanian). 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- Φουρέιρα: Η Ελλάδα είναι η πατρίδα μου - Ήθελα πολύ να την εκπροσωπήσω. ProtoThema (in Greek). Retrieved 2018-05-11.
- "Eleni Foureira MAD Video Music Awards". Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Vranis, Michalis (25 June 2013). "Greece: MAD Video Music Awards 2013 tonight". ESCToday.
- Qendro, Helio (5 June 2014). "Greece: Eurovision stars nominated in MAD Video Music Awards". ESCToday.
- Laufer, Gil (2 July 2015). "Greece: Eurovision artists awarded at MAD VMA 2015". ESCToday.
- Weaver, Jessica (7 June 2015). "Greece: MAD VMA 2015; The Eurovision nominees". ESCToday.
- Agadellis, Stratos (10 July 2017). "Greece: MAD Video Music Awards 2017 airs; the show and winners". ESCToday.
- Agadellis, Stratos (29 May 2017). "Greece: Eurostars among MAD VMA '17 nominations". ESCToday.
| Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest