Nana Mouskouri: Outstanding lifetime achievement
Greek singer Nana Mouskouri is world-famous, and not only for her songs. The German music industry honors her lifetime achievement with an ECHO award.
The White Rose of Athens
Nana Mouskouri's first hit, in 1961, was "Weiße Rosen aus Athen". The single sold over a million copies in Germany, and an English version was later released. Recording in 15 languages, the Greek singer has had an impressive international career. On March 26, the German music association Deutsche Phono-Akademie honors her lifetime achievement with an ECHO.
The international pop singer
Although she had discovered a passion for jazz through her music studies in Greece, she became famous as a pop singer on the international scene. Born on October 13, 1934 in Crete, Nana Mouskouri moved to France in the 1960s and didn't perform in Athens until the end of the military regime in Greece in 1974. She now lives in Switzerland.
Almost as successful as Madonna
Nana Mouskouri has sold over 300 million records - more than 300 gold and platinum albums. That makes her the second most successful female singer in the world, right after Madonna. The Greek star is said to admire her colleague's courage and energy. Here she shows some of her awards at her home in Paris in 1977.
This group picture with Udo Jürgens, Udo Lindenberg, Richard Clayderman, Howard Carpendale, Peter Maffay and Nana Mouskouri was taken in 1981 in Frankfurt at the "Golden Concert Tickets" awards. Six artists obtained the accolade, as over 100,000 tickets were sold for their respective tours in Germany.
The voice of Greece
Despite having hits in many languages, Nana Mouskouri is still the "voice of Greece." Songs by composer Manos Hadjidakis still make up the bulk of her repertoire, and she also adapted Greek folk songs set to music by Mikis Theodorakis. In "The Girl From Greece Sings," music producer Quincy Jones released her album for the American market in 1962.
With Harry Belafonte
Discovering the Greek singer in 1963 through her participation at the Eurovision Song Contest, Belafonte took her on tour right after. They often sang together over the years, as pictured here in a Munich concert in the 80s. Nana Mouskouri kept on touring internationally in the 90s, but some criticized the sexagenarian's soft voice.
A passion for jazz
At the beginning of the 21st century, Nana Mouskouri returned to jazz and gospel. She appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2008, meeting again with music producer and jazz trumpeter Quincy Jones for his 75th birthday celebration concert.
Nana Mouskouri describes herself as shy but non-conformist. Being told she couldn't go on stage wearing her glasses made her all the more convinced to do so. The black-rimmed glasses became her trademark, and she now has over 100 eyeglasses in her collection. She is shown here promoting her "Memoirs," published in 2008.
First farewell tour
Saying goodbye with a worldwide tour from 2005 to 2008, Nana Mouskouri also performed in the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. But in 2012, she was back on stage with a German tour marking the 50th anniversary of her first hit single "The White Rose of Athens" - the 77-year old's gift to the country that was a springboard for her career.
In duet with daughter Lenou
Nana sang with her daughter Lenou on a German TV show in 2012. Together they recorded her 1975 hit "Sieben Schwarze Rosen" (Seven Black Roses) on her duet album "Nana Mouskouri & Friends - Rendez-Vous." Other old friends who accompanied her on the album include Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Alain Delon and Joan Baez.
80th birthday comeback
On October 13, 2014, Nana Mouskouri turned 80 and has been singing all over the world since with her "Happy Birthday Tour." She's shown here in a performance in Athens. Still deeply committed to her native country, she was a member of the European Parliament in the Greek party New Democracy from 1994 until 1999, resigning after being disappointed by strife within the party.
The trip of a lifetime
Her most recent album "Meine Reise - von 1962 bis heute" (My Trip - from 1962 until today) documents over 50 years of musical creativity. Nana Mouskouri overcame national, linguistic and cultural boundaries with her music without abandoning her tradition and identity, declared the ECHO awards jury. The journey continues: the "Birthday Tour" will go on until September 2015.