The Greek singer has lived in Geneva since 1974. Born in 1934, Nana Mouskouri was raised by a modest family on the Island of Crete. When she was three, her family moved to Athens, where her father worked as a film projectionist. Despite a flaw in her vocal cords, Nana Mouskouri took singing lessons regularly. During the German occupation, her family no longer had the financial means to pay for her lessons. But her teacher saw that she had a certain talent and continued to give her lessons free of charge. She was accepted to the Athens Conservatory, where she studied for eight years and familiarized herself with other styles of music such as jazz and blues.
At night, she sang in the Athens cabarets, which was met with great success,
but got her expelled from the Conservatory. But her reputation was already made:
she was invited to the Greek Song Festival in 1958 and landed many contracts.
She received awards for Addio and Weisse
Rosen aus Athen (The White Rose of Athens) at the BerlinBiennale in 1960. Her success soared to international heights: she sold over a million
and a half albums. After her marriage in 1961, she toured with Quincy
Jones throughout Europe and the United States. She released many albums,
such as Les
Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) with Michel
Legrand in 1962.
In 1974, Nana Mouskouri separated from her husband and moved to Geneva. From 1994 to 1999, she served her mandate as European Deputy from her Geneva residence, which is geographically central, but politically exterior to Europe. She was also appointed ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nation's Children's Fund with its European headquarters in Geneva. Today the singer has sold over 200 million albums and lives with her husband and producer, André Chapelle. The multilingual singer (she speaks eight languages!) continues to tour with her daughter, Hélène, who has recently joined the group. Her son Nicolas also lives in Geneva and is planning on filming a biography about his mother.