Despina Vandi Website

1994-1996: Early years

Despina Vandi's first album was released in 1994 under the Minos EMI label, titled Gela Mou (Smile at Me). This album was distinguished by her duet To Adieksodo (No Way Out) written by Vassilis Karras, with Giannis Parios, a very popular singer at the time. In 1996, Despina Vandi released her next album, Esena Perimeno (You're The One I'm Waiting For). Hits on this album include Esena Perimeno, Den Pethainei I Agapi, and Efiges songs written by her friend and now musical director Tony Kontaxakis. 1997 proved to be a big year for Despina Vandi as she teamed up with popular songwriter Phoebus. Phoebus wrote the songs of Vandi's next album, Deka Entoles (Ten Commandments), which was awarded Gold status in Greece. Despina Vandi's partnership with Phoebus would turn out to be a very successful one, and they celebrated their 10 year partnership with the release of 10 Hronia Mazi (10 Years Together). With the success of "Deka Entoles" Despina Vandi quickly became popular in the Greek Music industry with a string of hits and popular appearances.

2000-2002: Further success

In 2000, Despina Vandi released the single Ipofero (I Suffer). The single went six-times platinum and was awarded as being the most successful single of all time in Greece, by Richard Branson of Virgin.[7][8] Despina Vandi and Phoebus decided to sign with Heaven Music, a new break-out record label in 2001 owned by the Athena Group. Despina's next album Gia (2001), meaning "Hi" was a double album including 21 new songs. The album went 4x platinum in only 11 days. Many of the songs on the album became hits not only Greece, but also in neighboring countries such as Cyprus, Turkey and Lebanon. Shortly after, Vandi gave a free concert in Thessaloniki drawing in a reported 62,000 people. At the 2002 World Music Awards, Vandi was awarded as the World's "Best Selling Greek Artist".[9] It was the first time that this award was given to Greek artist who actually lived and worked in Greece. For her acceptance speech, Despina said "Above all though, I would like to thank my Greek fans around the world. I dedicate this award to all the Greeks who have supported me with their love all these years and it is because of them that I find myself here at this moment." Following the success of Gia, Despina released a CD single titled "Ante Gia" (Goodbye) in 2002, with the title track being a remix of "Gia". The single also included three new tracks and another remix, and achieved double platinum status. Gia and "Ante Gia" were then compiled and re-released as "Gia & Ante Gia: Collector's Edition", along with four previously unreleased remixes.

2004-2007: Stin Avli Tou Paradeisou and "Kalanta"

Despina's next studio album was released at the end of 2004, titled Stin Avli Tou Paradisou (In The Garden Of Paradise). It reached double platinum status in 2005, the album was repackaged as a special edition and included 5 new songs, including a duet with Giorgos Mazonakis.[10] Katiana Balanika guest starts in one of the music videos for the album. The special edition was released in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. In July 2006, Despina gave a concert in the theater of Lycabettus in Athens singing many of her popular songs. Despina Vandi released the CD single "Kalanta" (Carols) in Greece on November 22, 2006, which reached double platinum status.[11] The videoclip of "Kalanta" was released on December 19, soon followed by the video of her next hit single, "Mehri Mai Mina" (Till The Month Of May). Vandi performed her last show at the Rex Music Theater on February 18, 2007 and it marked an end to her singing there for the past seven years. Due to her pregnancy, Vandi did not plan any summer concerts for 2007, and on 21 August 2007, she gave birth to a healthy boy, her second child after Melina. Later that year, Despina experimented with acting. She was asked to play a guest star role in the hit television show "Dio Xenoi" (Two Strangers). Despina accepted the role and made her first appearance on television. She played a singer of a local small city, who was able to change the sexuality of the main gay character. She managed to gain good reviews for her acting talent. Despina's next album Profities (Prophecies) was released in 1999 and was certified gold the day of its release. It eventually became a Platinum album in Greece. Later that year Despina gave her first sold-out solo concert at the concert hall of Lycabettus with 7,000 people in attendance. 1997 proved to be a big year for Despina Vandi as she teamed up with popular songwriter Phoebus. Phoebus wrote the songs of Vandi's next album, Deka Entoles (Ten Commandments), which was awarded Gold status in Greece. Despina Vandi's partnership with Phoebus would turn out to be a very successful one, and they celebrated their 10 year partnership with the release of 10 Hronia Mazi (10 Years Together). With the success of "Deka Entoles" Despina Vandi quickly became popular in the Greek Music industry with a string of hits and popular appearances. Later that year, Despina experimented with acting. She was asked to play a guest star role in the hit television show "Dio Xenoi" (Two Strangers). Despina accepted the role and made her first appearance on television. She played a singer of a local small city, who was able to change the sexuality of the main gay character. She managed to gain good reviews for her acting talent.[citation needed] Despina's next album Profities (Prophecies) was released in 1999 and was certified gold the day of its release. It eventually became a Platinum album in Greece. Later that year Despina gave her first sold-out solo concert at the concert hall of Lycabettus with 7,000 people in attendance. She did her first steps to stardom a decade ago.. Her striking voice and natural presence were undeniable, and it was only a matter of time before she signed her first recording deal. After many tours around the world she teamed up with very talanted songwriter, composer and producer Phoebus.All these took place in December 1997. Their first collaboration was "DEKA ENTOLES" ("Ten Commandments"), a defining new album. This charmful star Despina Vandi became the newborn star of the Greek music industry. with a string of hit singles and incredibly successful appearances. At the end of 2000 Despina and Phoebus entered the history books with the release of the new single "IPOFERO" (;ldquo;I am suffering).This single has broken all records and today it stands as the biggest selling single in Greece .The single achieved six times platinum status. Later Richard Branson invited Despina Vandi and Phoebus to London. There he honored both their outstanding colloborations, which set new heights for the Greek music industry. In the autumn of 2001, Despina Vandi's career reached to the highest peak of commercial success and publicity. She and Phoebus were chosen to sign with HEAVEN,which is a new dynamic recording company, part of the Athena Group . At the end of this year Despina was setting new trends.She broke many records. Shortly after filling the center of Thessalonica for a free concert, she released "GIA" ("Hi"), her new, double album, written and composed again by Phoebus. In eleven days of its release "GIA" achieved four times platinum status. Taking into account the rate, the number of sales, this particular album is considered to be an unprecedented success for Greek music standards. Despina Vandi is undoubtedly an artist with "star quality".And it is seen after ten years of hard work and five albums. All these thanks to her amazing voice and appearance and her superb live performances.Her work with Phoebus is considered groundbreaking in Greece and their collaborations will continue to set new trends for years to come. Still in the early part of her career, she will continue to blossom musically, creatively setting the pace for the Greek market as well as breaking barriers as she now looks to achieving International success. At the and of 2004 Despina released next studio album which was titled Stin Avli Tou Paradisou. It reached double platinum status in 2005, the album was repackaged as a special edition and included 5 new songs, it also included duet with Giorgos Mazonakis. The special edition was released in Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. In July 2006, Despina gave a concert in the theater of Lycabettus in Athens singing many of her popular songs. Vandi performed her last show at the Rex Music Theater on February 18, 2007 and it marked an end to her singing there for the past seven years. Due to her pregnancy, Vandi did not plan any summer concerts for 2007, and on 21 August 2007, she gave birth to a healthy boy, her second child after Melina. On October 10, 2007 (10/10) Vandi released her new single "Thelo" (I Want). It marked her 10 year anniversary of collaborating with Phoebus. The song reached the top of the Nielsen's Radio Airplay chart for Greece for five consecutive weeks. The second radio single from the album and the title track "10 Hronia Mazi" (10 Years Together) was released on November 16, 2007. The song is a rock ballad about the 10 year collaboration with Phoebus and charted on the airplay charts. 10 Hronia Mazi was released in December 6, 2007 on three discs featuring fifteen new songs.In the first disc there were eight new pop and rock songs and two remixes, while the second disc included seven new Laika songs and three remixes. The third disc is a "bonus" and features some of the best songs from Vandi and Phoebus with new mixes as a thank you to their fans. The album achieved platinum certification on the first week, but it should be noted that this included preorders. On March 6, 2008, Vandi released the third single from 10 Hronia Mazi, titled "Agapi" which means Love, along with a video to promote it. Vandi was featured on the gold-certified album Sehnsucht by German electronica act Schiller, which was released in early 2008, providing vocals for the song "Destiny", composed by Phoebus. She performed the track with Schiller on June 17, 2008 at the MAD Video Music Awards 2008, where she won the category of "Best Female Artist" and also performed "I Gi Ki I Selini". Her live appearance in the MAD Video Music Awards 2008 was included in the live edition of Sehnsucht (Desire). On October 10, 2007 (10/10) Vandi released her new single "Thelo" (I Want) simultaneously on all radio stations and TV stations across Greece at 10 AM.[12][13] It marked her 10 year anniversary of collaborating with Phoebus. The song reached the top of the Nielsen's Radio Airplay chart for Greece for five consecutive weeks.[14] The second radio single from the album and the title track "10 Hronia Mazi" (10 Years Together) was released on November 16, 2007.[15] The song is a rock ballad about the 10 year collaboration with Phoebus and charted on the airplay charts. The album 10 Hronia Mazi was released December 6, 2007 on three discs featuring fifteen new songs.[16] The first disc features eight new pop and rock songs and two remixes, while the second disc features seven new Laika songs and three remixes. The third disc is a "bonus" and features some of the best songs from Vandi and Phoebus with new mixes as a thank you to their fans. The album achieved platinum certification on the first week, but it should be noted that this included preorders. On March 6, 2008, Vandi released the third single from 10 Hronia Mazi, titled "Agapi" (Love), along with a video to promote it.[17] The single was on the MAD TV Charts for six weeks with one week at number one. On April 24, 2008, Vandi released the fourth single from 10 Hronia Mazi titled "Fantasou Apla". The video was filmed at the same time as "Agapi". Vandi was featured on the gold-certified album Sehnsucht by German electronica act Schiller, which was released in early 2008, providing vocals for the song "Destiny", composed by Phoebus. She performed the track with Schiller on June 17, 2008 at the MAD Video Music Awards 2008, where she won the category of "Best Female Artist" and also performed "I Gi Ki I Selini".[18] Her live appearance in the MAD Video Music Awards 2008 was included in the live edition of Sehnsucht (Desire). On June 24, 2008, following the MAD Awards, the album was repackaged with the title 10 Hronia Mazi: It's Destiny as one disc. The repackaged version includes the song "Destiny" by Schiller featuring Despina Vandi. The one disc repackaged version features all the songs from the original first and second disks, excluding all the remixes (with the exception of "Ta Lefta (Remix)"). Two more songs were released as singles, "I Gi Ki I Selini" and "Tha Thela"; the music video for "I Gi Ki Selini" was her performance at the MAD Awards, while the video for "Tha Thela" was the live performance of the song at the Love Radio party which took place on May 12, 2008. Near the end of 2008, Vandi began touring out of Greece for the album. On October 10, 11 and 12 she performed three sold out concerts in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and then from May 15-24, 2009, she sang a five venue tour of the United States and Canada.[19] In June 2009, she released a new song, Iparhi Zoi, which she performed at the MAD Video Music Awards. Following the departure of songwriter and collaborator Phoebus from Heaven Music, Vandi officially announced on November 2, 2009, that she too has chosen to leave Heaven Music.[20] It is currently unknown what label Vandi will sign to. Despina has shown a great sensitivity for people in need especially for children. During the period ranging from 2000 to 2006 she has given more than 5 huge benefit concerts and managed to raise nearly 1,000,000 euros for charitable purposes. She was awarded by Mariana Vardinogianni (President of the Child and Family Foundation and Ambassador of Good Will in UNESCO) for all her work.