Jelena Karleuša

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Jelena Karleuša
Karleuša in 2010.
Born (1978-11-21) 21 November 1978 (age 36)
Belgrade, Serbia
Residence Belgrade, Serbia
  • Recording artist
  • dancer
  • television personality
  • political columnist
  • philanthropist
  • human rights activist
Years active 1994–present
Children 2
Musical career
  • vocals
Associated acts

Jelena Karleuša Tošić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јелена Карлеуша Тошић; born 17 August 1978), professionally known under her maiden name Jelena Karleuša, is a Serbian pop recording artist, television personality, former columnist and a human rights activist. Today, she is one of the most popular singers on Balkan, selling millions of albums within the area. She rose to fame with her debut album Ogledalce (1995), and has since gained popularity in all of the former Yugoslavia. She is married to football player, Duško Tošić, with whom she has two daughters.

Early and personal life[edit]

Jelena Karleuša was born in Yugoslavia's capital city Belgrade to Serb father Dragan (born 1 January 1947),[1][2] a senior police officer, and Slovene–Serb mother Divna (born 25 January 1957).[3] Her maternal grandfather Jurij (died 1967 in plane crash) was from Ptuj, Slovenia and her maternal grandmother Darinka (died 2004) was from Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[4] Karleuša was born and raised in Fontana, a neighborhood of Novi Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia.


Magija (2005) album representing gay fashion icon.
Diva (2012) album is the pinnacle of Karleuša's career.

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, Montenegro and neighboring countries such as Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria and Greece. 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.[5] 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 half a million followers, she is the most followed account in Balkans.

Personal life[edit]

Karleuša married Bojan Karić, the son of Serbian businessman Bogoljub Karić, in 2004.[6] They divorced after two months. On 29 June 2008, Karleuša married Serbian football player Duško Tošić.[7] 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.[8] She stopped writing it in November 2010 as she was "afraid for her own security".[9][10] Her column drew criticism, with some people stating she was just trying to draw attention.[11] Karleuša is known for supporting LGBT persons and has received numerous awards as a gay icon.[12] 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".[13]

Other activities[edit]

In 2006, Karleuša launched her own fashion brand, named JK Wear.[7] 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.[14] The same year, it was rumoured Karleuša would start her political career,[15][16] as she openly supported the ideas of Zoran Đinđić and Čedomir Jovanović.[16]

In 2015, American media accused Kim Kardashian of copying Karleuša's fashion, citing several outfits that are uncannily similar.[17] Recently The Wendy Williams Show also showed Beyonce wearing very similar looks that Karleuša wore a few months before..[18]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


  • 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)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
1998 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) 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 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Best Female Singer Won
2008 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Album of the Year "JK Revolution" Won
2009 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Best Female Pop Singer Won
2010 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Song of the Year "Insomnia" Nominated
2010 GayEcho Annual Gay Icon Awards 2010 Gay Icon of the Year[19] Won
2010 Loud & Queer Annual Awards 2010 LGBT person of the Year[20] Won
2011 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity Best Female Folk Singer[21] Nominated
2011 Serbian Oscar Of Popularity (Banja Luka) Best Female Pop Singer[22] Won
2012 Music Festival at Vrnjacka Banja Album of the Year "Diva" Won


  1. ^ "Dragan Karleuša". Vreme. 30 August 2001. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "KARLEUŠIN OTAC: Tužiću Jelenu Golubović!". Telegraf. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Za Jelenu Karleušu poseban tretman". RTVBN. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "ŽIVOTNA PRIČA - Divna Karleuša: Nakon svega, sreća me nije zaobišla". Story. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "JK "Insomnia" ruši rekorde". Trač 4 January 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Biografija – Jelena Karleusa". Poznati. 4 July 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Official Biography of Jelena Karleuša
  8. ^ "Učiteljica Karleuša se oprostila od estradnih đaka". Trač 8 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "JK prestaje sa pisanjem kolumne?". Trač 1 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Karleuša napisala poslednju kolumnu". Trač 4 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "JK u svojoj kolumni: Ovakva sam od osiromašenog uranijuma". Trač 26 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "KARLEUŠA: Arkan je zbog mene lupio šamar Minimaksu!". Telegraf. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "JK u kući Velikog Brata snimila spotove". Trač 3 May 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Jelena Karleuša u epizodi stoka i drugi". Trač 22 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Jelena Karleuša ulazi u politiku?". Trač 20 October 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ "Is Beyonce a Copycat?". The Wendy Williams Show (wendyshow). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Jelena Karleuša gej ikona godine". Scandal. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  20. ^ "JK dobila nagradu za LGBT licnost godine". Opera-17. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Oskar popularnosti: Sportisti vladaju". Mondo (Mobile Telephony of Serbia). 1 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "13. Oskar popularnosti u Bosni i Hercegovini prošao bez skandala". 26 February 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 

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