Anna Vissi (in Greek: Άννα Βίσση pronounced Anna Vishi in the Cypriot dialect), born December 20, 1957) is a Greek singer famous mainly in Greece, Cyprus, and among the Greek immigrants living in Australia and the United States.
Anna Vissi has sold 9.5 million albums worldwide. Since 1996 together she has gone 18x plat. In 2005, she also enjoyed success in the US, claiming the number 1 position on the Billboard Dance Charts with Call Me.
According to Room 210 (Greek Magazine published in 2004) Anna Vissi is considered "A true diva of the Greek musical stage, a role model for all other peformers of similar genres and one who determines all the latest music and fashion trends".
Anna Vissi was born in the city of Larnaca, Cyprus. She started studying music at the age of 6 at a local conservatoire, while she was singing from 5 years old, every Sunday in a place for children, where she used to go with her family. She participated with her older sister, Lia, (and took the first price) in a competition for new talents, saying she was 14 although she was 12. Two years later, she was the main singer at Y. Kotsonis opus Ayia Tilliria, which was also her first TV appearance. In 1973, her family moved to Athens, where she continued her studies in the National Conservatoire and also appeared with many well-known singers, such as Giorgos Dalaras, Haris Alexiou and Vasilis Papakonstantinou, in the famous night places of Plaka, in Athens. At the same time she was simultaneously studying law at the University of Athens. In the meantime, she collaborated with many important Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis (1974/5), George Hadjinassios (1974), Doros Georgiadis (1974), Nikos Karvelas (1975, who later became her husband) and Michalis Terzis (1976). In 1977 she went on tour with Giorgos Dalaras and Haris Alexiou, giving remarkable concerts with the most famous at Rainbow, London (June). In the same year, she won the prize for best singer and best song (As Kanoume Apopse mia Arhi) of the year at the Annual Song Festival of Salonica (Palais des Sportes). In 1978 she was proposed by ERT (Greek National Television) to represent Greece at the 23rd Eurovision Song Contest. There were two songs to select from — Poso S'Agapo and Kos. Nobel. Finally, due to controversies between the composers of the songs, her participation was disqualified and Tania Tsanaklidou went to the contest. In 1980, Anna took place at the 25th Eurovision Song Contest representing Greece with the song Autostop. Two years later, she represented her native Cyprus at the 27th ESC with the song Mono i Agapi, which ended 5 with 85 points.
In 1983 she married Nikos Karvelas, a composer and singer, with whom she collaborated in 1975. After their marriage, they started a close collaboration. Since 1975, all her releases have become gold or platinum and Anna has been (along with Giorgos Dalaras and Haris Alexiou) one of the top selling Greek artists. In 1986, she participated at the Cypriot National Final for Eurovision Song Contest, with the song Thelo na Gino Star, taking second place. This song is still unreleased today. Some of her most successful albums include I Epomeni Kinisi, Tora, Empnefsi, Fotia. In 1989 she made her debut as a radio producer on ANT1 Radio. Her radio program had the title of one of her songs Ta Koritsia Ine Atakta (Girls Are Naughty) and was aired every weekend. In the same year she participated with the song Kleo at the Greek National Final for Eurovision Song Contest, ending second. In the early 90s, she was the first (after famous singer Marinela) to mount spectacular shows in Greece (along with her husband Nikos Karvelas) starting with her appearances at Diogenis Pallace and then at Rex (presenting the famous Anna Vissi Show). In November 1991, a big dream of Anna and Nikos came into being. It was Demones, the first Greek rock opera. It was based on a libretto by Stavros Sideras and staged at Atticon Theatre in Athens, for two years. Roger Williams was the director and Anna Vissi (queen, Rozanne), Yannis Samsiaris (Daniel), and John Modinos (inquistor) were the leading actors. Critics were flattering while Demones was played on foreign TV stations and attracted the attention of Broadway agents.
A year later in October 1993, she had the leading role of Aphrodite, in the one act opera Ode to the Gods by Stavros Sideras. It was held only once in Limassol, Cyprus, during the celebrations for the Commonwealth Day. The then-president of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafkos Clerides and Queen Elizabeth II, were amongst the audience. The following years Nikos and Anna released albums that became gold and platinum. They included Lampo! with Latino influences, Emis, Live!, Re! and O! Kypros with traditional Cypriot songs. The proceeds of O! Kypros were donated to the children of northern Cyprus.
In 1994 she was the hostess on the ANT1 weekly TV show Me Agapi, Anna (With Love, Anna), while one year after she did a concert in Cyprus, supporting the defenses of the island. In 1996 Anna released the double platinum album Klima Tropiko. After giving more than 40 successful concerts all over Greece, she mounted a spectacular, three-hour show at the club, Gazi. She is one of the the most successful one-woman performer-artists in Greece. On New Year's Eve, by invitation of the Mayor of the city of Athens, she performed in the Parliament Square in front of more than 20,000 people and all of Greece, via TV.
In the same year a new album was released called Travma that became gold in less than two weeks and three times platinum in only six months.
After a while, a new CD single was released with the same song along with Crush, Mavra Yalia, and Eleni as well as a re-release of her multi platinum album Travma with a bonus CD, containing songs from previous albums, only in Australia. In 1998, she released a new Greek album called Antidoto, that sold more than 80,000 copies in just a week. This broke all the previous records. She then gave a sold-out charity concert at the Presidential Palace in Cyprus, with the presidential orchestra of the Russian Confederacy (Telethon) and continued with two sold-out concerts in London, in February 1999 (Forum Music Theatre, Palladium Theatre). There was also a mini tour in the USA, giving concerts in Los Angeles, Atlantic City, Chicago, Boston and New York (Madison Square Garden). Journalists and everyone that saw her shows, were astonished. The Los Angeles Times wrote: "A performance so charismatic, so filled with sheer magnetic talent... expect big thinks from this potential new international star", while the New York Times wrote: "With raised arms and delicately stepping feet, she was no unapproachable, packaged pop diva, but an irrepressible entertainer".
In April 2000, she performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, at the so-called 'millennium show', with her own magical way of singing full of passion and energy, in front of people from Sony International, marketing managers from Europe, and fans from the UK.
In May 2000, she performed as a special guest star in her native Cyprus, at the 49th annual Miss Universe Pageant which took place at the Eleftheria Stadium in Nicosia. She did a cover of Kylie Minogue's hit On A Night Like This, in front of a huge live international audience around the world.
Some months later, her first international single was released called Everything I Am, containing the original version and three remixes of the song (Almighty Mix, Eiffel 65 RMX, Groove Brothers Remix), and a song in Greek and English lyrics called Moro Mou, No Tomorrow.
She also filmed her first video clip of that single, directed by Antti Jokinen (Solar films, Finland), that cost 80,000,000 drachmas (310,000 dollars). Apart from the English single, she also released a new Greek single called Agapi Ypervoliki, containing six new songs.
Having sold more than 75,000 copies in just 10 short weeks, it became triple platinum and finally five times platinum, selling more than 100,000 copies. To promote the single, she presented a unique show for the Greek standards at Asteria Club with husband Nikos Karvelas and the boy band ONE, with Shaun Fernandez as the choreographer.
In September 2000, she gave a charity concert at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, in front of 12,000 people, with ONE and a group of dancers from Sony International. She sang songs from the very beginning of her career to her current carrier (1973-2001). The concert was said to be unique for all of Greece and Cyprus.
The same year he released her international English language album called Everything I Am which although started as ambition effort to launch an international career it failed to chart in the US. It contained 12 songs by Russ Ballard, Mark Taylor, Graham Stack, Steve Torch, Paul Stanley, Tina Shafer, Julian Harris, Danielle Gerber and of-course her husband, Nikos Karvelas. Producers of the album were Brian Rawling (Cher, Enrique Iglesias), Ric Wake (Celine Dion) and Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Cher). In Greece, after a week, the album reached gold status (20,000 copies +), while Australia, South Africa, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, Finland, Norway and Asia started to promote it.
In November 2000 her new Greek album was released, entitled Kravyi, reaching double platinum status in just a couple of hours, and breaking all the records. It finally became 7x Platinum -- a double album with 24 new songs and a duet with Keti Garbi. Some months later, she started presenting a show with Keti and the boyband ONE in Fever Club, while she accepted the invitation of the Mayor of Athens to perform in the Parliament Square, at the celebrations of the New Year's Eve 2001.
Just before Easter, a second single from her international album was released. It was called Still in Love with You with remixes (Radio Edit, Soda Club Radio Mix, Soda Club Mix, Soda Club TV Track) and production by Brian Rawling.
In June 2001 she was the main singer in a spectacular production in Bucharest (Unirii square, nearby river Dambovitei) along with the No Smoking band and the famous cinema director and producer Emir Kusturica. The concert (2001, Peace Odyssey) included a multimedia show, opening with a water screen that wowed more than 150,000 people who were present, marrying music with the most modern expression of art. Kusturica along with producer and director Angelos Hadjiandreou undertook the artistic direction of the event.
Three months later (September 3) she gave a concert in Cyprus (GSP Stadium), singing and dancing in front of more than 18,000 viewers, for more than three hours. Just a day before, she was awarded for the seven times platinum Kravyi. She described her next step as the 'diamond' of her career, a challenge she set to conquer, searching for new expressional dimensions. The music theatre Mala, i Mousiki tou Anemou, based on a true love story that took place during World War II in Auschwitz, between Mala Zimetbaum and Edward Galiñski. Not only did she pass her acting ambitions with flying colours, but she left in awe everyone, critics and public, who observed her inexhaustible talent on stage. The play, which was staged at Pallace Theatre in Athens (19th of Jannuary 2002), was written by her ex-husband Nikos Karvelas, directed by Yannis Kakleas and accompanied by a symphony orchestra conducted by Yorgos Niarhos.In may 2002, 1 month after the end of "Mala, i Mousiki tou Anemou", she went on a tour in Australia, were she gave 4 concerts 2 in Melbourne and 2 in Sydney, where the Australian Greek minority had embraced her after her last visit to Australia in 1995.
The next year she was in Fever Club in Athens, performing with one of the most important Greek singer, Yannis Parios ('the singer of love') with whom she had already collaborated in the late 70s. There, she promoted her new album Χ with producer George De Angelis.
In September 2003, she gave another sold-out concert in Cyprus, at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol, with songs from her 30 years career. Also, she was awarded with a prize for her whole contribution from the Cyprus Paraolympic Organization, while a square in Larnaca was named after her.
She also met and talked with the president of the Republic of Cyprus, in the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia. Just before 2004, her new album was released called Paraxenes Ikones. To promote the album, she started appearing in Diogenis Studio, with Konstandinos Christoforou, Nino and Hi-5.
On March 31, 2004, she performed in the Liberty Square (in Nicosia), at a concert part of the celebrations for Cyprus's entry at the European Union, after an official invitation from the Republic of Cyprus.
In May 2004 she went on a small tour in England and USA (New York city,Connecticut, Atlantic city, Toronto Canada and Las Vegas) , with Lambis Livieratos (with whom she collaborated back in the early 90s), while in July her album Paraxenes Ikones was re-released with a bonus CD single called The Remixes.
On August 29, 2004 she performed at the closing ceremony of the XXVIII Olympiad, in Athens. She then gave a concert in Cyprus on September 3, at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, where she sang for the first time her new English song called Call Me (the English version of her Greek dance hit Ise).
After that concert she moved to the USA, for the preparation and promotion of her single Call Me that has been included in the playlists of major radio stations, both in USA and Europe. In the Billboard Charts of USA, the single which features twelve remixes, went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music Club Play chart. Anna then performed at the Legendary Copacabana in New York for the KTU PartyGras. During the winter and through to the summer of 2005, Anna went around to clubs as apart of her Mini-USA Tour.
Anna has since released a new Greek Album called Nylon which is the first dual disc ever to be released in Greece. Many dual discs have been released worldwide, by major artists. On a dual disc, one side acts as a CD and the other as a DVD. The CD that includes rock, dance, ballads and hip-hop, was released in both a regular CD version and a dual disc version. On the CD Anna did a duet lead singer of the hip-hop group Goin' Throu called Erota i Polemo. She is said to be releasing a new International English Album in spring 2006. The CD will be a USA release and not an import. It will include songs such as Call Me, an English version of her Greek hit Agapi Ypervoliki called Desire, and an English version of another Greek hit Eho Tosi Agapi called Love for Real. A World Tour for 2006 is also in the works.
In February 2006, she was chosen to represent Greece at the annual Eurovision song contest which was held in Greece in May of 2006. Although she had been one of the favorites during the pre-contest period, she only managed to get 9th place with 128 points.
- 2006 English Album "Unreleased"
- 2005 Nylon (dual-disk) Currently - Platinum (60,000 copies)
- 2005 Call Me + Lie (single) - Gold CD (10,000 copies)
- 2004 Anna Vissi LIVE - Platinum CD (40,000 copies)
- 2004 The Remixes 2004
- 2003 Paraxenes Eikones (2003/2004) - 2X Platinum CD (120,000 copies)
- 2003 The Remixes 2003
- 2002 X - 2X Platinum CD (120,000 copies)
- 2000 Kravyi - 6X Platinum CD (350,000 copies)
- 2000 Agapi Ypervoliki - 4x Platnium (100,000 copies)
- 2000 Everything I Am - Gold CD (20,000 copies)
- 1999 Anna Vissi - Best of
- 1998 Antidoto - 3X Platinum CD (150,000 copies)
- 1997 Travma - 3X Platinum CD (150,000 copies)
- 1995 Klima Tropiko - Platinum CD (60,000 copies)
- 1994 O! Kypros!
- 1994 Re! - Gold CD (30,000 copies)
- 1993 Live!
- 1992 Lampo - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1992 Emis - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1990 Ime - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1989 Fotia - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1988 Epnevsi - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1988 Tora - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1986 I Ypomeni Kinisi - Platinum CD (100,000 copies)
- 1985 Kati Symveni - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1984 Na 'Hes Kardia - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1980 Ne - Gold CD (50,000 copies)
- 1980 Ta Kalytera Mou Tragoudia
- 1979 Kitrino Galazio - Platinum CD (100,000 copies)
- 2004 Paraxenes Ikones (Turkish Release)
- 2002 X (turkish release)
- 2002 Kravyi (Australian Release)
- 2001 Kravyi (Turkish Release)
- 2001 Everything I Am (Dutch release)
- 2000 Re (Turkish Release)
- 1999 Anna Vissi (international release)
- 1997 Travma (Australian Release)
- 1997 Forgive Me This (Single)
- 1997 Forgive Me This (Promo)
- 1994 Re! (Turkish Release)
- 1982 Love Is a Lonely Weekend
- 2005 Call Me
- 2004 Live Promo Single
- 2004 Remixes 2004
- 2004 Paraxenes Ikones (Promo)
- 2003 The Remixes
- 2002 Tasis Aftoktonias (Promo)
- 2002 Hitmix
- 2001 Still in Love with You
- 2001 Mala - i Mousiki tou Anemou (OST)
- 2000 Everything I am
- 2000 Agapi Ypervoliki (EP)
- 1999 In the Mood (Promo)
- 1998 S´Eho Epithimisi (Promo)
- 1997 The Remixes
- 1995 Amin
- 1995 Min Xehnas
- 1995 Ime Poly Kala
- 1980 Autostop (Promo)
- 1978 Kos Nobel/O! Maria
- 1977 As Kanoume Apopse mia Arhi
- 1976 Mia Mikri Psihoula/Thelo
- 1974 To Palio to Aeroplano
- 1973 O, Ti Kosmos Baba
- 2005 Nylon Dual-Disk - Currently - Platinum (60,000 copies)
- 2004 Anna Vissi Live - Gold DVD (50,000 copies)
- 2001 Anna Vissi: The Video Collection - Gold DVD (50,000 copies)