BiographyAnna Vissi (Greek: Άννα Βίσση, pronounced [ˈana ˈvisi]; born December 20, 1957), known as Anna Vishy in Cypriot Greek, is a Cypriot recording artist and actress. Born in Cyprus, she studied music at conservatories and performed locally before moving to the professional scene in Athens, Greece in 1973, where she signed with Minos and simultaneously collaborated with other musical artists and released promotional singles of her own while studying at the University of Athens.
Vissi established herself in the recording industry by winning the Thessaloniki Song Festival in 1978 with the song "As Kanoume Apopse Mian Arhi" and releasing her debut album of the same name. Since the 1980s, Vissi began a nearly exclusive collaboration with songwriter Nikos Karvelas, to whom she was married to from 1983–1992 and had one child with, resulting in one of the most successful music partnerships in the nation's history. Together they created the label CarVi, which resulted in legal issues with EMI Greece, and they then moved to CBS Records Greece, which later became Sony Music Greece. Over the course of her career she has released over two dozen albums, most of which have been certified at least gold in the two countries and has also starred in three theatrical productions and briefly ventured into television and radio. Vissi experimented with different styles of music; after becoming one of the first Greek artists to introduce Western pop and dance elements into Greek laïko and entehno, she became one of the most prominent portrayers of the laïko-pop hybrid genre and culture that was thriving from the mid-1990s into the mid-2000s. She landed her biggest commercial success with Fotia (1989), followed by the double Kravgi (2000), which became the best-selling album of the 2000s decade and eighth best-selling of all time in terms of units, while five others – Kitrino Galazio (1979), I Epomeni Kinisi (1985), Klima Tropiko (1996), Travma (1997), and Antidoto (1998) – have also achieved six figure sales. She has also had several radio hits, including her signature song "Dodeka". However, since her image change and turn to more commercial laïko-pop and pop that defined most of her collaboration with Karvelas, her musical works have received mixed critical reception and as the 21st century progressed her popularity fell into decline. However, she kept a strong fan base, sold out tours and shows (as was her latest show in Rex in winter 2011-12)
Since the late 1990s, Vissi has also made attempts at establishing a career abroad, most of which fell through and have had some negative repercussions on her domestic career. However, she struck some success with her 2005 single "Call Me", which made her the first Greek or Cypriot artist to top the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart and has also represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980 and 2006, and Cyprus in 1982. While her performance for Cyprus remains the highest placement the country has ever received in the contest, her Greek performances were less successful.
Through a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Vissi has influenced several of the nation's younger generation of female artists. She has won six Arion Music Awards, 15 Pop Corn Music Awards, and nine MAD Video Music Awards. Vissi has received 32 Platinum and 11 Gold certifications from IFPI Greece and has become one of the country's best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 9.5 million records worldwide and is also one of the country's top earning artists.
In 2010, Alpha TV ranked Vissi as the second top-certified female artist in Greece in the phonographic era (since 1960), behind Haris Alexiou, while Forbes listed her as the 15th most powerful and influential celebrity in Greece and fourth highest ranked singer.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
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