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Inna

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Inna
A photograph of Inna wearing a brown jacket and holding a microphone in her hand.
Born Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu
(1986-10-16) 16 October 1986 (age 30)
Mangalia, Romania
Citizenship Romanian
Education Ovidius University
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter[1]
Years active 2008–present
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres Electronic,[2] house[3]
Labels
Associated acts Play & Win
Website Official website

Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu (born 16 October 1986), known professionally as Inna, is a Romanian singer and songwriter. Born in Mangalia and raised in Neptun, she studied political science at Ovidius University before meeting Romanian trio Play & Win and pursuing a music career. Inna adopted the stage name "Alessandra" in 2008 and adopted a pop-rock style; later that year, she changed her stage name to "Inna" and began releasing house music. "Hot" (2008), her debut single, was a commercial success worldwide and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart. She signed with Ultra Records in April 2009. Her studio album of the same name followed in August 2009, and was certified Gold and Platinum.

Inna's second album, I Am the Club Rocker (2011), was honored as one of that year's best albums by her label Roton and yielded global success for the single "Sun Is Up" (2010). The track won the Eurodanceweb Award, making Inna the first and only Romanian artist to win the award. Her follow-up studio album, Party Never Ends (2013), was nominated for two consecutive years for Best Album at the Romanian Music Awards and reached the top 10 in Mexico. In 2014 Inna signed with Atlantic Records and released "Cola Song", a commercially successful collaboration with J Balvin.

With global album sales of four million from her first three studio albums as of March 2016, Inna is the best-selling Romanian artist. She received a number of awards and nominations, including the Balkan Music Awards, European Border Breakers Award, MTV Europe Music Awards and the Romanian Music Awards. Inna is a human rights activist, participating in campaigns against domestic violence.

Life and career[edit]

1986–2007: Early life and career[edit]

Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu was born on 16 October 1986 in Mangalia and was raised in Neptun.[10][11] Her mother, grandmother and grandfather sang as a hobby,[12] and she also became interested in music.[13] As a teenager, Inna listened to a variety of music, including electro house and europop, and to artists such as Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.[13][14] She attended Colegiul Economic (Economy College) in Mangalia, later studying political science at Ovidius University in Constanţa. Inna took singing lessons and participated in music festivals.[15] After an unsuccessful audition for the Romanian band A.S.I.A.,[12] she sold slippers in Neptun.[16]

When Inna worked in an office, her manager heard her singing and contacted Play & Win.[17] Adopting the stage name "Alessandra" in 2008, she entered "Goodbye" and "Sorry" to represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008; neither was selected.[18] Inna performed "Goodbye" live on the primetime TV show, Teo!, her first televised appearance.[19] Later that year, she changed her stage name to "Inna" since it was easy to memorize; she also said that it was what her grandfather used to call her when she was young.[3] Early in her career, Inna released pop-rock songs,[20] but changed to "commercial" minimal-infused house music after changing her stage name.[3] In a News of the World interview, Inna cited Swedish House Mafia, The Black Eyed Peas and Jessie J as inspirations.[21]

2008–11: Hot and I Am the Club Rocker[edit]

A photograph of Inna performing in a black dress while accompanied by three male backup dancers.
Inna at the Sopot International Song Festival in August 2009

Inna's debut song, "Hot", was sent to Romanian radio stations in August 2008.[22] The single topped the Romanian Top 100 that winter,[23] and she was booked at Romanian nightclubs.[24] The track was commercially successful throughout Europe.[25] In early 2010, "Hot" topped Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart.[26] "Love" (2009) was released as Inna's second single, reaching number four in Romania.[27] The singer received the first nominations of her career (for "Hot") at the 2009 Eska Music Awards in Poland.[28] Her Romanian label, Roton, signed a contract with the well-know American Ultra Records in April 2009.[29]

Inna collaborated with Romanian musician Bogdan Croitoru on her follow-up single, "Déjà Vu" (2009). It was controversial in Romania because the artists released the song under pseudonyms (Bob Taylor and Anni), revealing their true identities after a period of speculation.[30][31][32] The single was as commercially successful as its predecessors.[33] Inna had her second number-one hit on the Romanian Top 100 with "Amazing", her fourth single, in 2009.[34] The song was originally written by Play & Win for Romanian singer Anca Baidu, who later complained that they had "stolen" it.[35] Inna's debut studio album, Hot, was released in August 2009[36] and included the final single "10 Minutes" (2010).[37] The record was commercially successful, certified Gold in the Netherlands and Romania[38][39] and Platinum in France.[40] In May 2011, it had sold one million copies worldwide.[41][42] Inna was the Best Romanian Act at the 2009 and 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards, the first Romanian artist to win the award in two consecutive years.[43] In 2010, she was also nominated for Best European Act.[44]

A photograph of Inna wearing a grey-white dress while laughing at the camera.
Inna at the 2011 NRJ Music Awards

Inna's sixth single, "Sun Is Up", was released in June 2010[45] and peaked at number two on the Romanian Top 100.[46] It did well in a number of other European countries, earning Gold in Switzerland and Italy[47][48] and Silver in the United Kingdom.[49] "Sun Is Up" won the Eurodanceweb Award in 2010, the first time Romania won the award.[50] That year, Inna received a career award at the Zece Pentru România Awards.[51] In January 2011, she bought a €250,000 penthouse apartment in Pantelimon,[52] and was congratulated by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas for her achievements during the after-party of the NRJ Music Awards, wishing her luck in the American music business.[53] She released her second studio album, I Am the Club Rocker, in September 2011.[54][55] The record, featuring europop, dance-pop, techno and house music,[56][57] was honored as one of the year's best albums by Roton (her label)[58] and was certified Gold in Romania and Poland.[59][60] The album was promoted by the I Am the Club Rocker Tour (2011–12) of Europe and the United States.[61][62] In Mexico, Inna had interviews and radio appearances.[63] She had her first major Romanian concert at the Arenele Romane (Roman Arena) in Bucharest, where she arrived by helicopter "like a diva".[64]

"Club Rocker" (2011), the second single from I Am the Club Rocker, was moderately successful.[65] It was involved in a lawsuit when Spanish singer Robert Ramirez sued Play & Win for copying the refrain of his song, "A Minute of Life".[66] Three subsequent singles, "Un Momento" (2011), "Endless" (2011) and "Wow" (2012), were released from the album.[67][68][69] "Endless" peaked at number five on the Romanian Top 100.[70] In December 2011 Inna was offered a lead role in a French film, but she turned it down because the role involved nudity.[71]

2012–present: Party Never Ends and Inna[edit]

A photograph of Inna performing while wearing a black hat along with  a black-white bra and shorts.
Inna during the Barbarella 2013 festival in the Dominican Republic

Televiziunea Română (TVR) approached Inna in early 2012 to represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, but she turned the offer down due to scheduling conflicts.[72] In the same year, she released the single "Caliente",[73] which she dedicated to her Mexican fans.[74] Later that year, "Tu și eu", a Romanian language song, received heavy airplay in Romania and peaked at number five.[75] This was followed by another top ten hit, "Inndia" (2012).[76] On New Year's Eve, Inna presented a concert at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.[77]

She released her third studio album, Party Never Ends, in March 2013[78] with the commercially successful singles "More than Friends" (2013) and "In Your Eyes" (2013).[79][80] "More than Friends" was controversial in Romania, since it was accused of plagiarizing Pitbull, Akon and David Rush's "Everybody Fucks" (2012).[81] The album spawned several promotional singles, including "Ok" and "Spre Mare".[82][83] Party Never Ends peaked at number 10 in Mexico,[84] and was nominated for Best Album at the 2013 and 2014 Romanian Music Awards.[85][86] In March 2013, Inna was the guest singer on "P.O.H.U.I." by the Moldavian music project Carla's Dreams.[87] The song reached number three in Romania,[88] and was honored as the year's best song at the Romanian Top Hits Awards.[89] In late 2013, Inna contributed to Pitbull's "All the Things" from his EP, Meltdown.[90][91]

The released "Cola Song", a collaboration with J Balvin in April 2014.[5] Successful in Europe, the song was certified Platinum by Productores de Música de España (PROMUSICAE).[92] It promoted the FIFA World Cup 2014,[93] and was used in the American action comedy film Spy (2015)[94] and the dance video game Just Dance 2017.[95] Inna's follow-up single, 2014's "Good Time" (a collaboration with Pitbull), was featured on the American sitcom Young & Hungry and the American film Pitch Perfect 2.[96] She released her fourth, eponymous studio album in October 2015.[97] Another version of the album, Body and the Sun, was released in Japan in July 2015.[98] Inna was the Best Romanian Act and was nominated for Best European Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards.[99] One of the singles from her album was "Diggy Down" (2014), her third number-one hit in Romania.[100] Based on airplay, it won the Best Dance award at the Media Music Awards.[101] Inna's next single, "Bop Bop" (2015), peaked at number two in Romania[102] and "Rendez Vous" (2016) was certified Gold in Poland.[103]

In June 2016 Inna released "Heaven",[104] whose chorus is sung in a language invented by her and her label.[105] The song peaked at number four in Romania.[106] In August 2016, Inna was the opening act for the Untold Festival.[107] She is a member of the four-part girl group G Girls, with whom she released two singles.[108][109] The group was formed in 2016 by Global Records.[110] In October 2016, it was announced that Inna is working on a Romanian-language album with Romanian singer and songwriter Irina Rimes.[111] She was a coach on the first season of Vocea României Junior with Andra and Marius Moga,[112] and appeared in a Romanian Lidl commercial with Carla's Dreams in April 2017.[113]

Philanthropy and awards[edit]

Inna, an activist for children's rights in Romania, endorsed the 2012 UNICEF "No More Invisible Children" campaign.[114] In late November 2011 she joined the anti-domestic violence campaign "Durerea nu este iubire" ("Pain is not Love") empowering women to stand up to abuse, and signed a petition asking the Romanian government to strengthen a domestic-violence law.[115] Inna began the "Bring the Sun Into My Life" campaign to increase public awareness of violence against women.[116] She sang "Tu tens la força" ("You Have the Power"), a Catalan language cover version of Gala's "Freed from Desire", during the 2015 Marató de TV3 telethon.[117] Inna participated in Cartoon Network Romania's anti-bullying "CN Clubul Prieteniei" (CN Friendship Club) in 2016,[118] and recorded a new opening theme for the Romanian-language version of The Powerpuff Girls.[119] That year, she and other Romanian celebrities signed an open letter supporting the LGBT community in response to a Romanian Orthodox Church–backed action to amend the constitutional definition of a family.[120] The amendment has been criticized by Romanian and international human-rights groups as curtailing LGBT rights.[121][122]

Inna was called "one of Romania's biggest exports" by The Guardian, based on her sales and popularity.[123] She has received a number of awards and nominations, including five Balkan Music Awards,[124][125] a European Border Breakers Award,[126] three MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Romanian Act[43][99] and thirteen Romanian Music Awards.[127][128][129][130] Inna has also received non-performance honors, including four Elle Style Awards România[131][132][133][134] and three Femei de succes awards.[135][136][137] Her 2011 net worth was estimated at 8,000,000,[138] and by March 2016 she had sold four million copies of her first three studio albums.[139] In 2015, Antena 3 reported that Inna was Romania's best-selling artist abroad.[140]

Discography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Inna – Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
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  5. ^ a b Wass, Mike (3 April 2014). "Inna Signs To Atlantic Records, Lines Up "Cola Song" As Her US Major Label Debut Single". Idolator. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
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  7. ^ "Global Records, casa de discuri a Innei, un an cu rezultate impresionante" [Global Records, Inna's label, had a year full of good results] (in Romanian). Crazy Radio. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Universal Music – Artists – I" (in German). Universal Music Group. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Paraschiv, Elena (3 August 2016). "Mario Joy este locul 1 in Romania cu piesa "California"" [Mario Joy is number 1 in Romania with his single "California"] (in Romanian). Beatfactor. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
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  14. ^ Varga, Zoltan (19 December 2008). "Inna nu se consideră fierbinte" [Inna doesn't see herself as hot] (in Romanian). Agenda. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
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  38. ^ Scris de Edi (21 February 2011). "Inna a castigat Discul de Aur in Olanda" [Inna has been awarded with the golden disc in the Netherlands] (in Romanian). Urban.ro. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  39. ^ "Inna a primit Discul de aur pentru albumul "Hot"" ["Hot" has been certified Gold in Romania] (in Romanian). Cancan. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  40. ^ "French album certifications – Inna – Hot" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
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  44. ^ "Inna nu a castigat premiul Best European Act, la MTV EMA" [Inna has not won the Best European Act award, at MTV EMA] (in Romanian). Cancan. 7 November 2010. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
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  47. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community" (in German). Swiss Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
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  49. ^ "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 November 2015.  Note: Insert 'Inna' into the 'Search' box, then select 'Go
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  51. ^ "Inna – atitudine aroganta la gala "Zece Pentru România"" [Inna – arrogant attitude at the "Zece Pentru România Awards"] (in Romanian). Bzi. 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  52. ^ Bucsian, Alina (29 January 2011). "Inna, vilă de 250.000 de euro în cartierul vedetelor" [Inna bought a €250,000 penthous in the city of the stars] (in Romanian). Click!. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  53. ^ Ulian, Carmen. "Inna, felicitata de rapper-ul Will.i.am" [Inna, congratulated by rapper Will.i.am] (in Romanian). Apropo. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
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  63. ^ "Inna a isterizat Mexicul" [Inna sets craziness in Mexico] (in Romanian). Libertatea. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  64. ^ Coman, Alina (18 May 2011). "Inna a uimit publicul prezent la Arenele Romane" [Inna has impressed the audience present at the Arenele Romane] (in Romanian). InfoMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
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  66. ^ "Inna, acuzata de plagiat de un artist spaniol" [Inna, accused of plagiarism by a Spanish singer] (in Romanian). Observator. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  67. ^ "Un Momento (feat. Juan Magan) – Single de Inna sur iTunes". iTunes Store. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
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  69. ^ "Wow – Single by Inna on iTunes". iTunes Store. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
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  72. ^ "Ce a răspuns Inna când a fost întrebată dacă participă la Eurovision 2012" [What was Inna's answer when asked if she would take part at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012]. Gândul. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  73. ^ "Inna lanseaza o piesa pentru fanii din Mexic!" [Inna releases a single for Mexico!] (in Romanian). MTV Romania. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  74. ^ "Interview: Inna". Hit Channel. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
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  80. ^ MusicNews (17 October 2013). "Inna lanseaza "In Your Eyes"" [Inna releases "In Your Eyes"] (in Romanian). Muziq. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  81. ^ "Ina este acuzata de plagiat!" [Inna is accused of plagiarism]. Utv. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  82. ^ "Avalansa de piese noi Inna! Asculta 'Alright', a treia lansata pe net, in doar cateva zile!" [Inna released many new songs! Hear 'Alright', the third overall song released on the internet, in just few days.] (in Romanian). Pro FM. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
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  86. ^ Tanasă, Raluca (27 August 2014). "Romanian Music Awards 2014: nominalizări, detalii despre vot" [Romanian Music Awards 2014: nominations, details about the voting] (in Romanian). Info Music. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  87. ^ "P.O.H.U.I cu Inna si Carla's Dreams — Ce inseamna cuvintele misterioase din versuri?" [P.O.H.U.I with Inna and Carla's Dreams — What do the mysterious words from the lyrics mean?] (in Romanian). Adevărul. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  88. ^ "Airplay 100 – 9 iunie 2013". Media Forest (in Romanian). Kiss FM. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  89. ^ "Carla's Dreams şi Inna au luat premiul mare la Romanian Top Hit Music Awards" [Carla's Dreams and Inna got the big award at the Romanian Top Hit Music Awards] (in Romanian). Publika. 4 August 2013. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  90. ^ "Inna si Pitbull lanseaza "All the things"" [Inna and Pitbull release "All the things"] (in Romanian). Știrile Pro TV. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  91. ^ "Clip de "Good Time" : Inna caméléon caliente face à Pitbull" [Music video of "Good Time" : Inna, sexy camelion, in collaboration with Pitbull] (in French). Pure Charts. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  92. ^ "Top 100 Streaming – Semana 01: Del 29.12.2014 al 04.01.2015" (in Spanish). PROMUSICAE. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  93. ^ "Ole Ole Ole! by Various Artists on iTunes". iTunes Store. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
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External links[edit]