Monday, May 10, 2010

Greece's Marinella

above an old clip of hers
from wikipedia
Marinella (Greek: Μαρινέλλα) (born May 20, 1938) is one of the most popular Greek singers whose career has spanned several decades. She has sang professionally since 1957. Since the beginning of her career, she has released 66 personal albums and has been featured in albums of other musicians.
She was born Kyriaki Papadopoulou, in the city of Thessaloniki in northern Greece. Her parents came from Constantinople. She is the fourth and newest member of the family. She released her first song in 1957, "Nitsa, Elenitsa (Little Helen)". Her early career was marked by her collaboration with singer Stelios Kazantzidis.
Marinella was the first Greek singer to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1974, placing eleventh with the song "Krasi, thalassa kai t' agori mou (Wine, sea and my boyfriend)". She also performed in several Greek musicals, both as singer and actress. Her popularity rose in the late 60's, 70's and 80's, with a string of successful albums and live shows. She developed a new standard for shows in the Greek night clubs, introducing costumes, dancing, and special lighting effects. Many of today's popular Greek singers have modelled their shows on Marinella's shows of the 80's.
In 1998, Marinella performed in the Megaron Music Hall of Athens, performing her older hits to great acclaim. Her concert at the small Olympic stadium of Athens in 1999 was a great success with more than 25.000 people.
In 2003, she collaborated with George Dalaras. They gave concerts in Athens and Thessaloniki as well as abroad. The tour was titled "Mazi (Together)" and the released CD from these performances reached platinum status. On April 10, 2003, the New York Times wrote about Marinella "Her voice was earthy and strong, and she had the presence of an actress as she danced a few teasing steps or brought dignity to longing" (by Jon Pareles).
In 2004, she released a brand new album with new songs by Nikos Antypas and Lina Nikolakopoulou, entitled "Ammos itane (It was sand)". In the same year she performed at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
In 2005, Marinella released a new album titled "Tipota den ginete tyhea (Nothing is random)", composed by famous Greek composer and lyricist Giorgos Theofanous. The album reached gold status and includes duets with famous Greek singers, such as Antonis Remos, Glykeria and Kostas Makedonas.
In 2006, two new compilations of Marinella were officially released, the first titled "Sti skini (On stage)" and containing older live recordings and the second one titled "Ta logia ine peritta - 50 Chronia tragoudi (Words are pointless - 50 Years of song)", which is a complete 8 CDs boxset with Marinella's greatest hits from the beginning of her career till her collaboration with Kostas Hatzis at "Resital".
Marinella returned again to nightlife, by performing live with Giannis Parios in the winter season 2008 - 2009 at Diogenis Studio in Athens. Marinella is currently recording brand new songs in the studio with composer Giorgos Theofanous. The CD is expected to be released sometime in 2010.
Even though Marinella is often considered a singer of folk songs, her range is quite broad and has included a variety of musical styles including traditional, laika, pop, blues, and jazz. Marinella is characterised as "The Great Lady of Song" in Greece, where she is regarded with great respect. She rarely makes public appearances, and her concerts are few.

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