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Elena Paparizou (Greek: Έλενα Παπαρίζου; born 31 January 1982 in Borås, Sweden) is a popular Swedish/Greek singer best known in Europe for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 for Greece with the song, "My Number One".
 Early life
Elena Paparizou was born in Borås, Sweden, to Greek immigrant parents Georgios and Efrosini Paparizou and was raised in Örgryte, Gothenburg. Her father is from Volos and mother is from Karditsa. She has a sister Rita and brother Dino. Paparizou's artistic talents and eagerness to excel became apparent very early, and she was soon involved in singing, dancing and acting, training in combination with her academic studies at school.
Elena Paparizou with Nikos Panagiotidis as Antique
Paparizou, determined to succeed with and fulfill her dreams of being an entertainer, joined childhood friend and fellow Swede-Greek Nikos Panagiotidis, at the age of seventeen, to form Antique. The duo quickly signed their first record label contract, with the Swedish record label Bonnier. Their debut single, "Opa Opa", became a huge hit, reaching number one on the single charts and gaining gold status following its release in August 1999. The band's subsequent fame and success, strongly associated with the international promotion of Greek culture, led to them being selected as Greece's representatives for the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 in Copenhagen. The band reached a third place with the song, "(I Would) Die for You". Although equaled by Sakis Rouvas's effort "Shake It' in 2004, it was Greece's highest place in the competition until Elena won the contest as a solo artist in 2005.
Antique's success in the Eurovision Song Contest led to them recording multiple platinum albums, playing a European tour, and collaborating with many other Greek artists. Paparizou has admitted that Greek music had been something of an acquired taste for her, saying that the name 'Antique' was probably a reflection of her childhood impression of it being something rather distant and old-fashioned; something that she only really associated with her summer holidays in Greece.
 Solo career
 2003-2004: Protereotita
Elena Paparizou on the cover of her first album Protereotita
Despite the group's success, Antique broke up in 2003 on good terms, as the band had "run its natural course," and Paparizou set about going solo. She signed a solo recording contract with Sony Music and, in December 2003, released her first solo single, "Anapantites Klisis" (later released in English as "I Don't Want You Here Anymore"), a song written especially for her by singer and songwriter Christos Dantis. The single sales were strong, and it received a Gold certification in Greece.
During the winter of 2003-2004, Paparizou appeared alongside one of Greece's biggest male singers, Antonis Remos, at the Studio Pireos nightclub. In spring 2004, she released her first solo record, Protereotita from which "Antithesis", "Anamnisis", "Katse Kala", and "Stin Kardia Mou Mono Thlipsi" became major hit singles. Her success brought her to the Fever nightclub for the winter season 2004-2005 alongside Sakis Rouvas.
 2005: Eurovision
(left) and Elena Paparizou (right)
Because of her popularity in Greece, where she ended up spending more and more time, Paparizou was approached to represent the country for a second time in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. She performed "My Number One", "Let's Get Wild", and "OK" on the Greek national final, with "My Number One"' winning the televote. There was also a song called "The Light in Our Soul", but it was later disqualified due to it being released prior to the contest, thus breaking the rules. The song went onto win the final contest (with backing vocals provided by Cypriot former Eurovision-participant Alex Panayi), and brought the contest to Greece for 2006 for the first time in the contest's history.
Paparizou re-released her first album Protereotita in Greece, with a second CD containing her Eurovision entrants, and English versions to previous songs, such as "I Don't Want You Here Anymore", "Antithesis", "okay" and "If You Believe Me"' as well as a ballad version of ("Ehis Kero na Mou Feris") "Louloudia". The 10 track CD was also available separately for those who already owned her debut album. A 16-track compilation of the Eurovision entrants and songs from her debut album was also released in Scandinavia, Switzerland and Turkey under the title, My Number One.
In the summer and fall of 2005, Paparizou toured in Australia and North America with Greek artist Nikos Kourkoulis, selling out many venues. She was also named the official ambassador of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, and "My Number One" was used as backing music to their international television advert.
On 14 July 2005, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden caused controversy by placing his hand on Paparizou's back, lower than what is socially acceptable. It happened after she had performed at his daughter's birthday celebrations; according to the Royal Court, "his hand slipped".  In the fall of 2005, Elena went to studios and recorded a new CD single called "Mambo!". The single included "Mambo" as a Greek and English version, "Panta Se Perimena", and "Asteria". The CD single stayed on the Greek charts for 10 weeks, including Christmas week, and reached platinum status. The track was also released in Sweden in April 2006 and became gold selling more than 25,000 copies, following a succession of hit singles there taken from the album, My Number One. Paparizou's debut album was re-issued for a third time in Greece to contain a third CD (in addition to the actual album and the Eurovision disc), containing both English and Greek versions of "Mambo!" and three other new Greek songs.
 2006: Yparhi Logos and The Game of Love
At the end of 2005, Paparizou went back to studio to work on her second Greek language album and her first official English language album. The album has been released in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
Paparizou's second album in Greek, Yparhi Logos, was released in Greece on April 12, 2006. The album consists of two discs, the first featuring 14 brand new tracks, including "Mambo!" and the second featuring nine live tracks from her Mad Secret Concert (including covers of "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, "Outside" by George Michael, "Smooth Operator" by Sade, "Like a Prayer" by Madonna and "Just Walk Away" by Céline Dion) as well as five new non-album tracks, and a remix of the title track, which is the second single. The video for that single, "Yparhi Logos", aired on the day the album was released. In parts of the video, Paparizou does not sing along in tune with the lyrics this may be because in the near future she will release the song in English and will use the same video. The first time people got to hear the song was when it premiered live form at the Arion Music Awards. "Gigolo" is another song on the album, which is the third single, as it has been sent to Greek radio. The album Yparhi Logos is platinum in Greece.
The cover of the Swedish release for "Heroes
On May 20, 2006, Elena graced the stage of Eurovision once more, to sing her song "My Number One" as the opening act. She later on sang "Mambo!", and then presented the award to the winners Lordi. During a press interview there, she said that people should expect to hear a lot of "Mambo!" and "Gigolo" in English over the summer, as she tries to pursue her international career. Paparizou has already released "Mambo!" in Sweden on a two track CD single peaking at number 5 on the charts. Sweden is the first of many countries in which Paparizou will be releasing "Mambo!". The other countries in which Elena Paparizou plans to release "Mambo!" are: Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey, and Spain. Other records companies in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, China, United States, Canada, South Africa, and Australia will also promote the song. The Scandinavian promotion of the song will be from Bonnier Music. To gear up for the worldwide release of "Mambo!", Elena has filmed a new video targeted for a more international audience.
Across Europe, "Mambo!" is starting to be heard and seen; the video has premiered in France and is now showing in Poland and Romania. The song has peaked at number 1 on the RmF radio show for a successful two weeks and also peaked at number 1 on Polish Radio Kolor for many weeks. In Belgium, "Mambo!" has peaked at number 18. In Sweden, "Mambo!" has peaked at 5. The single is due to be released in more countries in Europe shortly but no official release date for the single has been confirmed. "Mambo!" is slowly making its way up the European airplay charts as the song is played in more countries.
On July 29, 2006, Star Channel reported that Elena gave a concert in Helsinki where 2006 Eurovision winner Lordi attended. At the concert, Elena sang Lordi's song Hard Rock Hallelujah. Lordi supposedly met with Elena backstage and proposed to do a big concert together in the winter season. Elena was reportedly thrilled at the idea. Star Channel also said that Elena might be pregnant, a rumor that has been circulating, but Elena denies that.
On 22 August, "My Number One" was released in the United States by Moda Records. The CD single contains 10 mixes and the radio edit. "Mambo!" will be released there later on in the year along with remixes.
Shortly the video for "Mambo!" will start airing in the United Kingdom. The promo of Mambo! has already been released and it will be released on 13th November by UK record company AATW (All Around The World).You can also find a remix of Mambo! on the new "dancemania" cd which was released in the United Kingdom on 4th September.
Elena's solo debut international album The Game of Love, will be released all over Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada on 25 October 2006.  It will gradualy be released world-wide shortly after. The album is planned to be released in 45 countries to begin with. The album will contain six songs from her Greek album Yparhei Logos with English lyrics. The will be a further 6 new songs, and the song "Heroes". "Heroes" was the official song for the 2006 European Championships in Athletics held in Gothenburg, Sweden in August, and was released in Sweden shortly after. It peaked on Swedish charts at number 1. There will album be a bonus song in Greek on the CD called "Ό,τι Αξίζει Είναι Οι Στιγμές". The bonus song is originally by Manou Hadzidaki, and was a big hit in France in 1962. The final tracklist for The Game of Love album is: Mambo!, Gigolo, The Game of Love, It's Gone Tomorrow (Yparhi Logos), Let me Let go, Heart of Mine, You Set my Heart on fire, Heroes, Somebody's Burning, Voulez Vouz?, Carpe Diem, Seven days, Teardrops and bonus track Oti Axizi Ine I Stigmes.
The song "The Game of Love" has gained critical success, striking great interest from Greek pop music critic, Benita Ong. "Gigolo" will be the second single from the album after "Mambo!". The video for the song has already premiered in Greece in Greeklish and there may be a full English version to the video to be released internationally. All together, there will be 14 songs on the album.
It was also recently revealed that Elena has recorded a song called "Phos" for the soundtrack of the Greek Barbie movie. There is now a video for this song.
Recently, the song "Teardrops" was released to Greek radiostations in Greece.