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Vita

Vicky Leandros is a music legend: over 55 million albums sold, her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest with „Après toi” and releases in more than 55 countries are just a few facts in her unique international career.

With her unmistakable voice and variety of musical repertoire the Greek born singer manages effortlessly to switch between Chanson, Pop, Soul, Schlager and Folk. Vicky Leandros delights her audience with songs like „Ich liebe das Leben”, „L´amour est bleu”, „Après toi”, „Ich bin” and „Ich hab´ die Liebe geseh´n”, with Chansons „Ne me quitte pas”, „Wie sich die Mühlen dreh´n im Wind” and „Free Again”, with Rock songs „Fire And Rain”, Greek songs like „Nichta magikia” by Mikis Theodorakis and of course with her unforgettable „Theo, wir fahr´n nach Lodz”.

In 1965 Vicky Leandros released her first single. With the uptempo „Messer, Gabel, Schere, Licht” Vicky appeared for the first time on TV and stole the hearts of the German public right from the start.

1967 Vicky took part for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest representing Luxemburg finishing in 4th position. Her song „L´amour est bleu” was recorded in several languages becoming a number one hit across Europe, Canada and Japan. „L´amour est bleu” remains until today the most commercially successful Eurovision song ever and has over 400 cover versions sung among others by show business greats like Al Martino and Frank Sinatra. Most recently „L´amour est bleu” is featured in the Hollywood film „Liberace”.

The really big International breakthrough came for Vicky Leandros with her second appearance at Eurovision. On 25th March 1972 she won the contest in Edinburgh Scotland with her song „Après toi”. In 1972 alone 7,8 Millioncopies of the song were sold making Vicky Leandros „Best Selling Artist Worldwide 1972” in the USA Billboard Magazine. The song was released by Vicky Leandros in seven languages making her a world star.

Concert tour triumphs followed in Canada, Japan, South Africa, France, England, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands among others. There were unforgettable appearances at the Paris Olympia and the London Royal Albert Hall. A year after her Eurovision victory Vicky Leandros hosted her own TV show on the BBC. In the stadiums of Athens and Thessaloniki she gave concerts in front of excited fans numbering in excess of 60000.

There followed several TV portraits of Vicky Leandros: „Ich bin” was awarded with the Bronze Rose of Montreux. In 1973 Vicky Leandros was filmed in „Das Portrait” by Francois Reichenbach who among others also filmed a portrait of John F. Kennedy. In „Mein Lied für dich” Vicky Leandros sang together with Gilbert O'Sullivan.

During her long career Vicky Leandros has worked with many world famous composers such as Jacques Brel, Mort Shuman, Mikis Theodorakis, Vangelis and Michel Legrand. She has sung duets with Demis Roussos, Johnny Hallyday, Chris de Burgh, Ben Becker and Xavier Naidoo.

In the mid 1980s Vicky Leandros withdrew from public view to concentrate fully on the upbringing of her three children. In 1995 she returned to the stage and in 1998 scored a top 25 chart hit with the theme from the film Titanic „Weil mein Herz Dich nie mehr vergisst”.

The albums „Jetzt” and „Mit offenen Armen” followed. In 2004 to coincide with the Athens Olympic Games Vicky Leandros released the 2CD album „Vicky Leandros sings Mikis Theodorakis”. ARD TV showed a special transmission featuring Vicky Leandros in her home country. To mark her 30 years stage jubilee the 2CD album „Ich bin wie ich bin” appeared featuring new recordings of her big hits and also new songs.

In 2006 Vicky Leandros was once more on the big stage. Her sell out Jubilee Tour through Germany Austria and Switzerland with 20 additional concerts and countless TV transmissions was celebrated by all the influential German music critics.

After the then Mayor of Hamburg Ole von Beust had already offered Vicky Leandros the position of Minister of Culture in Summer 2007 she stood as a candidate in the Greek general elections becoming Minister of Culture and International Relations for Piraeus the most important Greek port. After almost 2 years in politics Vicky Leandros relinquished her post in order to fully concentrate on her music career.

In 2009 Vicky Leandros released the album „Möge der Himmel” which was the result of five months working closely with Xavier Naidoo. Xavier Naidoo about Vicky: „When somebody has achieved everything – really EVERYTHING in life and yet still enters into a totally new production with such a flair and enthusiasm it speaks of real passion. RESPECT!”

In 2010 the album „Zeitlos” appeared with French world hits sung in German such as Francoise Hardy's „Comment The Dire Adieu” and „L'Important C´est La Rose” by Gilbert Becaud. With Dalidas „Paroles Paroles” in which Alain Delon took the masculine speaking role this was now recorded by the actor Ben Becker.

In April and May 2013 Vicky Leandros delighted her audiences with the big „Ich liebe das Leben” tour through Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands which she undertook accompanied by „The Capital Dance Orchestra”.

Through the years Vicky Leandros has received many gold and platinum records and for her Eurovision win representing Luxemburg she was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg.

Vicky Leandros is ambassador of the Greek Orthodox Church for the Children of Africa and for her commitment to this cause was awarded with the St. Marco 1 Class. As ambassador of the José Carreras foundation she supports leukaemia research. Together with her ex husband Enno von Ruffin Vicky Leandros has for many years dedicated herself to helping children in need and was for over 10 years on the committee of the Mentor organisation which is concerned with young people and drug prevention. In addition Vicky Leandros supports many other worthy causes such as Berlin Aids Help. Last year Vicky Leandros gave a benefit concert in the Munich Philharmonic Hall in aid of Greek children and families in need where over 370000 Euros was raised.

Biografie

Vicky Leandros was born 1952 on the Greek island of Corfu with the name Vassiliki Papathanasiou.

1957 - Vicky arrives in Hamburg where her parents - father Leandros Papathanasiou (Leo Leandros aka Mario Panas) and mother Kyriaki Papathanasiou (nee Protopapa) have meanwhile established themselves.

1961 - Vicky's parents separated and she stayed with her father in Hamburg. She attended school there and later a specialist language school. From her early years Vicky was also taught singing guitar and ballet in preparation for her later career.

1965 - The singer released her debut single "Messer, Gabel, Schere, Licht" and had her first appearance on German TV. Together with members of her school class she performed on the NDR “Aktuelle Schaubude” and received 200 Marks as her wage.

1967 - The first major international appearance in Vienna. Vicky sang for Luxemburg "L'amour est Bleu" and finished in 4th place. The song was released in five languages and became the largest selling Eurovision song of all time reaching four times platinum status.

1968 - Vicky was awarded the Goldene Europa. She is already known far beyond German borders singing successfully in Greek, German, French, English, Italian and Japanese - later also in Spanish and Dutch.

1971 - Vicky won the Bronze Rose Of Montreux with her first TV show "Ich Bin" and the Bronze Lion from Radio Tele Luxemburg. Vicky now a young lady performed under her full name Vicky Leandros.

1972 - The most successful year so far for the young artist. On 25th March she competed a second time at the Eurovision Song Contest for Luxemburg in Edinburgh. After a close battle with the United Kingdom entry by the New Seekers ("Beg Steal Or Borrow") Vicky won with "Après toi" gaining a total of 128 points and a clear margin by the end over her rivals on 114 points.

Recorded in seven languages the song sold over 7.8 million copies in 1972 and Vicky was proclaimed Best Selling Artist in the Billboard year summary. Her winning song "Après toi" was the best selling song of the year worldwide.

Many hits followed such as "Ich hab' die Liebe geseh'n" ("The love in your eyes") - the single sold over 1.5 million copies in Germany alone - "Die Bouzouki klang durch die Sommernacht" ("When bouzoukis played") and "Ich liebe das Leben". The sales figures were recorded in millions worldwide in various language versions and Vicky was a Worldstar.

1973 - Vicky began her first acclaimed German tour. There were concerts at the Paris Olympia and London's Royal Festival Hall aswell as her own TV show at the BBC. Vicky gave a concert for 60000 people at the Stadium in Thessaloniki and in the same year her second TV show "Portrait" was transmitted.

1974 - Vicky landed her biggest hit record in Germany. "Theo, wir fahr´n nach Lodz". The song was a number one in the charts and stayed for months in the top ten. Just after this came her third TV show "Mein Lied für Dich".

1975 - Vicky again received the Goldene Europa for "Theo, wir fahr´n nach Lodz" and various gold discs. This year Vicky gambled on crossing the atlantic and earned a multitude of complimentary reviews from the USA critics for her American album "Across the water". Vicky's concert at the Royal Albert Hall was a triumphal success.

1976 - Vicky signed a multi-million recording contract with CBS (today Sony) and her single "Tango d'Amor" quickly gained attention as a chart breaker. Vicky was not happy though staying in the USA and once again she returned to Europe turning her back on the world's largest record market.

1977 - Back to full strength after her American adventure Vicky concentrated now fully on her European fans.

She recorded her fourth TV spectacular "Vicky in Wonderland" and with her latest album "Ich bin ein Mädchen" she quickly rekindled the love of her fans. During this period she also released albums of traditional Folk songs and a Christmas album.

1979 - Vicky decided to leave CBS when they did not release her follow up album "Wie am allerersten Tag".

1980 - Vicky became a mother for the first time and her son Leandraki is her pride and joy.

1981 - Vicky signed a new contract with Phonogram and released the album "Ich gehe neue Wege".

In addition to the vaste quantity of albums released around the world - for example 31 in Japan alone, 20 in Canada, 63 in Greece, 46 in Benelux, 30 in South Africa (many of those awarded with Gold and Platinum discs) - there were also extraordinary productions such as the United Nations benefit album "Love is alive" on which Vicky sang songs together with Johnny Hallyday, Demis Roussos and USA superstar David Soul.

1982 - Followed the single "Verlorenes Paradies" which was a big hit in both Germany and Holland "Verloren zijn we niet".

1983 - The album "Vicky" appeared with its highlight song "Grüße an Sarah". In recent years France had also become something of a second musical home for Vicky and early in 1984 her song "A l'est d'Eden" went to number two in the French charts.

1985 - The album "Eine Nacht in Griechenland" was a great success for Vicky that went gold in Holland.

1986 - Vicky by marriage became Baroness von Ruffin. She then gradually withdrew more into her private life to concentrate on the upbringing of her three children Leandraki, Milana and Sandra understanding well the need to protect her family - specially the children from any intrusive publicity.

In the years that followed she appeared only occasionally on TV. There was no news about Vicky and she was seldom seen in public due to her self-imposed "family time". Even so she did not neglect her fans recording 3 albums for Greek release "Piretos tou erota", "Prosexe" and "Antres". There were also 3 albums for Germany during this period "Ich bin ich", "Starkes Gefühl" and "Nur einen Augenblick".

1995 - After her “family time” Vicky scored a triumphant comeback. In cooperation with producer Jack White 3 albums in close succession were listed among the best sellers establishing Vicky once again as one of the best loved artists in the German language.

1998 - With "Weil mein Herz Dich nie mehr vergisst" the German version of the worldwide success from the Titanic film "My heart will go on" Vicky landed a sensational hit which climbed to number 25 on the singles chart.

1999 - Vicky decided to leave Jack White and signed with WEA in order to record more expressive material.

2000 - The album with the very fitting title "jetzt!" ("now!") underlined the fact that Vicky is not "just" a commercial hit singer.

2001 - Vicky was awarded the Goldene Stimmgabel for the first time. She went back to BMG Ariola label and released her album "Mit offenen Armen".

Vicky won the German Schlager Prize in the category "Best Singer International - Pop"

2002 - Vicky released on CD, DVD and Video an advent concert which had been recorded live in December 2000 at the Michel church Hamburg. A large part of the sales revenue was donated to the charity "Ein Herz für Kinder".

Vicky performed 2 concerts in Cyprus for the first time and after many years at the London Royal Festival Hall.

2003 - The album "Vicky Leandros singt Mikis Theodorakis" was released in Germany. The Greek version "Tragouthi Alliotiko" stayed months long in the Top 50 Greek album charts.

On a short visit to her Greek homeland Vicky was awarded two honours.

Accompanied by a choir of 300 singers and a philharmonic orchestra of 70 musicians she appeared for the first time at the esteemed Herod Atticus Amphitheatre at the foot of the Acropolis. Infront of her audience of 6000 excited fans the charismatic artist was awarded by Archbishop Christodoulos - the head of the Greek Orthodox Church - with the prestigious "St. Marco Order First Class" and she was named as the official representative of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Africa for "The Children Of Africa".

Vicky is one of very few people to receive this high order and the only woman ever.

The proceeds from this mega event were donated to the organisation of the Greek Orthodox Church which for many years has worked tirelessly in the interest of the poor children of Africa.

2004 - Vicky was asked to present "The Olympic Gala" for German and Greek TV from The Zeus Temple Athens.

Then at the opening of the Paralympics Vicky sang the Greek National Anthem.

2005 - Became a very successful year for Vicky Leandros. She sang and wrote the text for the title song of the childrens film "Felix - Ein Hase auf Weltreise" ("Felix - A Hare Travels The World"). Together with Danny Chang Vicky produced 3 songs for the soundtrack.

A 2 CD "Ich bin wie ich bin" containing many new recordings of her greatest hits with also 2 new songs was released in celebration of Vicky's 30th stage jubilee. The album charted successfully.

2006 - An exciting time as the big jubilee tour through Germany Austria and Switzerland began in February. Vicky sang to sell out venues and the premier concert was recorded for DVD release.

2007 - Vicky Leandros commenced her role as Minister Of Culture And International Relations in Piraeus from which she resigned in June 2008 in order to fully concentrate again on her singing career.

2009 - An album with new songs from worldstar Vicky Leandros (produced by Xavier Naidoo and Michael Herberger) appeared for the first time in nearly ten years.

2010 - The album "Zeitlos" was released which contained famous world hits sung in German.

2011 - The most successful German language singer celebrated her 35th Stage Jubilee with a tour through Germany.

2012 - Vicky is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her Eurovision Song Contest win on 25th March 1972 in Edinburgh Scotland and the mega world success of the winning song "Après toi".

2013 - From April 2013 Vicky Leandros begins her Grand European Tour "Ich liebe das Leben" through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


Auszeichnungen

It well might need a book to summarise the success and career highlights of this artist. Vicky Leandros is one of very few "foreign language" stars to have her own section in the famous Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music.

A career success such as hers is matched by only a very few International Superstars!

A Few Reflections here:

 • More than 55 Million records sold worldwide
 • More than 500 albums released worldwide
 • Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
 • Countless Gold and Platinum awards


1966
Awarded "Best Newcomer" by readers of BRAVO

1967
4th place at the Eurovision Song Contest with "L'amour est bleu"

1968

"Goldene Europa" for worldwide record sales

1969

- Gold Disc for sales in excess of 1 Million in Europe
-
Awarded "The Golden Song Statue Of Japan"

1971

- Bronze Rose Of Montreux for the TV show "Ich bin"
- Bronze Lion from Radio Luxemburg

1972

- Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with "Après toi"
- Best Selling Artist Worldwide
-
Luxemburg named an aircraft carrier after Vicky
-
Awarded with the "Goldene Sendeturm"

1973
- "Goldene Europa" for the most successful singer internationally
-
"Goldene Label" and a 3rd "Goldene Europa"

1989

"Piretos tou erota" awarded as the top selling album in Greece

2001

- "Goldene Stimmgabel" for the best singer in the category "Deutsch Pop"
- "International Schlager Prize" in the category "Best International Artist"

2003

- Xenios Zeus Prize for her representation and promotion of Greek culture abroad
-
St. Marco Order 1st Class as official representative of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Africa

2004

Vicky Leandros sang the Greek National Anthem at the opening of the Paralympic games in Athens

2005

Chosen as "Woman Of The Year" in Greece

2006

"Walk Of Fame" Rotterdam honours Vicky Leandros

2008

"Saumagen Order" for her musical and charitable work

2009

Platinum Disc for over 50 Million record sales

2011

Vicky Leandros named "Commander Of The Order Of Merit Of The Grand Duchy Of Luxemburg"

2012
"Goldene Erbse"




© 2019 Vicky Leandros & Christian Müller | designed by Dennis Masur | © Foto by Walter Kober