Jelena Karleuša

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Jelena Karleuša
Karleuša in 2010.
Born Jelena Karleuša
(1978-08-17) 17 August 1978 (age 37)
Belgrade, Serbia
Residence Belgrade, Serbia
  • Recording artist
  • dancer
  • television personality
  • political columnist
  • human rights activist
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Duško Tošić
Children 2
Musical career
Instruments vocals
Associated acts

Jelena Karleuša Tošić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јелена Карлеуша Тошић; born 17 August 1978), professionally known under her maiden name Jelena Karleuša, is the biggest Serbian pop star, television personality, former columnist and a human rights activist. Known for her extravagant image that pushes the boundaries. Today, she is one of the most popular singers in the Balkans, selling millions of albums within the region. She rose to fame with her debut album Ogledalce (1995), and has since gained popularity in all of the former Yugoslavia. In 1999 she released Gili, gili wich had a pop sound and changed Karleuša’s music styile. Album Diva came in 2012 and it was one of the most successful albums in Serbia. She held two bigger spectacles: All About Diva Show (Beogradska arena, 2010) in front of 20,000 fans and Viva la Diva Show (Belgrade estuary, 2013) in front of 40,000 people.

Karleuša holds the title of fashion icon in eastern Europe because of her stage outfits and stylings she is posting via her Instagram profile. In 2006, Karleuša launched her own fashion brand, named JK Wear.[1] 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.[2] The same year, it was rumoured Karleuša would start her political career,[3][4] as she openly supported the ideas of Zoran Đinđić and Čedomir Jovanović.[4]

In 2015, Karleuša accused Kim Kardashian of copying her fashion style, citing several outfits that are similar.[5] Recently The Wendy Williams Show also showed Beyoncé wearing very similar looks that Karleuša wore a few years before.[6]

In September 2015, Karleuša became a member of the jury in the music talent show program "Zvezde Granda".[7]

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Jelena Karleuša was born in Yugoslavia's capital city Belgrade to Serb father Dragan (born 1 January 1947),[8][9] a senior police officer, and Slovene–Serb mother Divna (born 25 January 1957).[10] Her maternal grandfather Jurij was from Ptuj, Slovenia and her maternal grandmother Darinka (died 2004) was from Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[11] Karleuša was born and raised in Fontana, a neighborhood of Novi Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia.


She began her singing career as a singer in the mid-90s and gained popularity with her debut album, Ogledalce (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 ten studio albums, which charted in Serbia, 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. "Insomnia" became the third most viewed video on YouTube, with over four million viewers for two weeks.[12] The video was later deleted from her YouTube channel, but later re-uploaded. Her jubilee tenth studio album Diva was released on 11 June 2012. The record sold over 200.000 copies during the day of its release, becoming one of the fastest selling albums ever on Balkan and the fastest album to be certified gold. Ten months after the release of Diva, Karleuša performed guest vocals on Ferrari, a single by Karleuša's Krimi rad collaborators Teča and Nesh.

Karleuša gained international fame because of her style, shown in her Instagram photos. With more than one million followers, she is the most followed account on Balkans.

As of June 2016, two songs from her upcoming album, entitled "Karma" and "Izabrane Pevaljke" (featuring Sajsi MC), have been confirmed. The album's lead single is expected to be released in summer 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Karleuša married Bojan Karić, the son of Serbian businessman Bogoljub Karić, in 2004.[13] They divorced after two months. On 29 June 2008, Karleuša married Serbian football player Duško Tošić.[1] 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.

In 2010, Karleuša began writing her own column for the Serbian newspaper Kurir, in which she criticized Serbian celebrities such as politicians Boris Tadić, Čedomir Jovanović and Ivica Dačić, and singers Lepa Brena and Ceca.[14] She stopped writing it in November 2010 as she was "afraid for her own security".[15][16] Her column drew criticism, with some people stating she was just trying to draw attention.[17] Karleuša is known for supporting LGBT persons and has received numerous awards as a gay icon.[18] In its November 2013 issue, W magazine featured Karleuša in an article about pop stars outside the United States.

During a February 2013 interview on a television show she revealed that in 1997, in the backstage of Minimaks's talk show Minimaksovizija, Minimaks was assaulted by Serbian criminal Željko Ražnatović when he defended Karleuša after Ražnatović claimed that every Serbian singer was a "whore".[19]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • All About Diva (2010)


  • 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)
  • Pucaj u ljubav (Ne vredi) (2015)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
1998 Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina) 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 Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Best Female Singer Won
2008 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Album of the Year "JK Revolution" Won
2009 Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Best Female Pop Singer Won
2010 Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Song of the Year "Insomnia" Nominated
2010 GayEcho Annual Gay Icon Awards 2010 Gay Icon of the Year[20] Won
2010 Loud & Queer Annual Awards 2010 LGBT person of the Year[21] Won
2011 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Best Female Folk Singer[22] Nominated
2011 Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Best Female Pop Singer[23] Won
2012 Music Festival at Vrnjacka Banja Album of the Year "Diva" Won


  1. ^ a b Official Biography of Jelena Karleuša
  2. ^ "JK u kući Velikog Brata snimila spotove". Trač 3 May 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Jelena Karleuša u epizodi stoka i drugi". Trač 22 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Jelena Karleuša ulazi u politiku?". Trač 20 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Kim Kardashian Copying Jelena Karleusa's Style? Stealing Or Not, Kim's Paris Looks Were Very Similar To This Serbian Pop Star's!". hollywoodtake (Hollywood Take). 13 March 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Is Beyonce a Copycat?". The Wendy Williams Show (wendyshow). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Počinje snimanje nove sezone: Evo ko su novi članovi žirija "Zvezda Granda"!". Blic (blic). 15 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dragan Karleuša". Vreme. 30 August 2001. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "KARLEUŠIN OTAC: Tužiću Jelenu Golubović!". Telegraf. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Za Jelenu Karleušu poseban tretman". RTVBN. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "ŽIVOTNA PRIČA - Divna Karleuša: Nakon svega, sreća me nije zaobišla". Story. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "JK "Insomnia" ruši rekorde". Trač 4 January 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Biografija – Jelena Karleusa". Poznati. 4 July 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Učiteljica Karleuša se oprostila od estradnih đaka". Trač 8 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "JK prestaje sa pisanjem kolumne?". Trač 1 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Karleuša napisala poslednju kolumnu". Trač 4 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "JK u svojoj kolumni: Ovakva sam od osiromašenog uranijuma". Trač 26 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "Jelena Karleuša: Muž mi je Srbin, budala, homofob. Zato se i borim da gay ljudi slobodno šeću". Jutarnji. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "KARLEUŠA: Arkan je zbog mene lupio šamar Minimaksu!". Telegraf. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Jelena Karleuša gej ikona godine". Scandal. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  21. ^ "JK dobila nagradu za LGBT licnost godine". Opera-17. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Oskar popularnosti: Sportisti vladaju". Mondo (Mobile Telephony of Serbia). 1 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  23. ^ "13. Oskar popularnosti u Bosni i Hercegovini prošao bez skandala". 26 February 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 

External links[edit]