Elena Paparizou

Date of Birth
31 January 1982, Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden
Birth Name
Elena Paparizou
5' 7" (1.70 m)
The youngest child of Greek immigrant parents Georgios Paparizos and Efrosini "Froso" Paparizou.Her parents both originate from the Karditsa region, with her father being from a nearby village, Toxias.She has a sister named Areti, known as "Rita" and a brother Konstantinos, known as "Dinos". Paparizou's mother had moved to Borås in 1960 and worked in factories, while during a trip back to her hometown she met Paparizou's father and they got married. The two moved to Borås in 1970.In 1985, the family moved to Greece to live in Volos with relatives because Paparizou suffered from asthma and her lungs could not endure the cold Scandinavian climate.They returned after two years when the problem was resolved, thereon living in the town of Örgryte, Gothenburg.Because of this early move, Paparizou spoke Greek as a first language. As a child, she did not hang out with many Swedish children,and attended a Greek-language school.Throughout her childhood, she continued suffering from breathing problems, was once rushed to the hospital because of them, and recalls feeling like she had left her body at least twice.She continues to suffer from the issue and often carries an inhaler onstage for when she loses her breath.
Paparizou became interested in the arts at a young age and her parents soon involved her in singing, dancing and acting training in combination with her academic studies at school. At age seven she began lessons in piano, ballet and traditional dances.[citation needed] She performed for the first time in front of a Greek audience at age 11 singing Christos Dantis' "Moro Mou".By age 13, Paparizou had realized she wanted to become a singer and decided to take a serious approach in preparation for it, her first experiences being with Greek music.At the age of 14, Paparizou formed her first group Soul Funkomatic with three Hispanic teenagers and only played hip hop music, while saving money to record songs; two years later the group disbanded.On 29 October 1998, 13 of Paparizou's close friends died in the Gothenburg nightclub fire during a hip hop party that left 63 people dead and more than 200 injured. Paparizou had begged her mother to let her go to the party, but was not allowed to attend.[8] After losing her friends, Paparizou decided to abandon singing, and she started classes at the Art Performing School where she studied theater, acting, television and directing.
In 1999, some DJ friends of her brother's asked her to make a demo of the Notis Sfakianakis hit "Opa Opa".Paparizou told them that the lyrics are for a man, so she asked to sing it with childhood friend Nikos Panagiotidis,whom she had met through her siblings at a Greek diaspora celebration in Stockholm.At that time, some record producers were undergoing a project to sign a duo consisting of a male and a female that would sing covers of traditional Greek hits.They came into contact with Paparizou who recommended Panagiotidis,and together they formed Antique, signing to the newly-formed independent label Bonnier Music.They settled on the name "Antique" because it left an impression of being "classic" and "timeless".Paparizou admitted that Greek music had been something of an acquired taste for her, and that the name was probably a reflection of her childhood impression of it being something rather distant and old-fashioned; something that she only really associated with her summer vacations in Greece.Their debut single "Opa Opa" became a hit in Sweden and eventually entered the top ten in Sweden and Norway,making them the first act to enter into the Swedish top five with a song sung in Greek.heir later singles "Dinata Dinata", "Follow Me" and "Moro Mou" also charted well.
Although relatively unknown in Greece,the duo entered the national final to be Greece's representatives in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 in Copenhagen, Denmark with the song "(I Would) Die for You", written by Nikos Terzis with lyrics by Antonis Pappas. Placing joint first in the national final, they were declared winners by default as they had won the public vote.The song placed third in the actual contest with 147 points; although equaled by later entries, it was the best placing Greece had ever received until Paparizou won the contest as a solo artist in 2005.The song went on to become their biggest hit in Greece, reaching Platinum status, while it peaked at number three in Sweden, and charted elsewhere. Antique's success in the contest led to them earning recognition in Greece and working there for the remainder of their career. In continuation, they recorded four studio albums that achieved mild success, performed a small European and North American tour, and collaborated with artists such as Katy Garbi and Slavi Trifonov.[citation needed] Following their course as Antique, Paparizou and Panagiotidis decided to pursue solo careers, however Panagiotidis would not manage to establish himself as a solo act.Initially, negative criticism relating to the disbandment centered around Paparizou, who was accused of abandoning her friend for her own career interests; however, Paparizou responded by saying that the split was not permanent, but rather a mutual decision to try other things, with plans of a reunion in mind.
2003–05: Solo development, Protereotita, and Eurovision
Paparizou at one point during her youth followed Buddhism, but eventually began following the Greek Orthodox religion once again as she believes it suits her better.She has been involved in a long term relationship with fellow Swedish-born Greek Toni Mavridis, whom she was introduced to as a musician by a friend of her sister's at a restaurant called Mykonos when she was only 17, while Mavridis is 11 years her senior. Mavridis became an impresario for Antique and has written songs on all of Paparizou's solo albums, while he also serves as her manager. Mavridis had approached Paparizou for only one month before their relationship commenced and she left her parents' home to live with him in Stockholm. The two had a traditional Greek engagement celebration with their relatives on December 24, 2000 and have been engaged since;however, Paparizou has said that Mavridis has never officially proposed to her and that she would prefer that he do this in the Western tradition of going down on one knee.Paparizou's lack of fluency in the Greek language was often a subject of the media,although she began to improve it following her Eurovision win,having bought a home with Mavridis in the Athens suburb of Glyfada in 2006.Mavridis has suggested the idea of the two getting married in Las Vegas, Nevada,while Paparizou has also already chosen a koumbara, her good friend Roxani.On many occasions, Paparizou has commented on starting a family with Mavridis; in Celebrity, Paparizou was quoted as saying "I believe that family is the most natural thing, the thing I want in my life. And what is my preference? To not have kids so I can continue my career? One day it will end. I cannot be on stage everyday, like I am now at 25,"while in Nitro she said "No [Mavridis is not my first relationship], but I think he is my last. He is the person I want to have kids with. I think he is the best father they could have. If I don't have kids with him, then I will adopt."In the August 2010 issue of Life & Style, Paparizou revealed that she would like to have a child within the next year to two years.In 2011 Paparizou took a break from the Greek music scene and returned to Sweden alone. It was reported that she and Mavridis had been separated for nearly three months and were in the process of splitting their shared wealth and placing their Glyfada home for sale.On 29 June 2011, Mavridis confirmed that they had ended their relationship after 12 years together.
Paparizou's father died suddenly on 25 December 2008 of a heart attack during the family's Christmas Day celebrations.Paparizou stopped her performances at Iera Odos to be with family in Sweden before resuming her show. She later stated her belief that her father would have lived had the ambulance been prompt, blaming medical incompetency.She has been suffering from depression since, citing it as the second occurrence since she was a teenager.