Ebru Gündeş (Turkish pronunciation: ebˈɾu ɟynˈdeʃ, born 12 October 1974, İstanbul) is a Turkish pop-folk singer, actress, and television personality.
Ebru Gündeş was born in İstanbul, attend primary school in Ankara she was forced to discontinue her education due to financial difficulty.
The quality of her voice was discovered at an early age when one of her relatives took her to Neşe Demirkat, a partner of Raks Neşe Müzik, a record label in Turkey. Neşe Demirkat was impressed with her voice and introduced her to music producers Koral Sarıtaş and Selçuk Tekay.
Ebru Gündeş sings the kind of desperately tragic Arabesque (Arabesk) love songs that are the core of Turkish pop music. Besides Turkey, she is especially popular in Iran where she was voted one of the favourite singers.
Her debut album, Tanrı Misafiri, was released in 1992. It proved to be a massive success and sold 1,250,000 copies. At this stage, she was a very sweet and innocent-looking girl, slim, dressed in white and with an attractive way of raising one eyebrow. She was on billboards all over Istanbul. Coming as she did from one of Istanbul's less affluent districts, with a rough manner and speaking voice in contrast to her beautiful singing voice, she garnered lots of public support. Her subsequent albums have been hugely successful and are listed below.
Stardom has taken its toll on her health. She suffered from a brain haemorrhage in December 1999 while recording the album Dön Ne Olur, which resulted in two very serious operations. She spent a lot of time away from the public eye, recuperating, and eventually she returned to full health. Dön Ne Olur was one of the best-selling albums ever in Turkey. In November 2001 she released the album Ahdım Olsun. This album embodied the pain of the experience she endured from December 1999 to November 2001. It also offered a clear story line for the events that took place in her life that year.
Ebru Gündeş has made hundreds of television appearances in Turkey as a singer and recently as an actress in a situation comedy İmkansız Aşk (Impossible Love). She was also the host of her Mega Show, one of the most-watched television shows in Turkey. Every week Ebru was joined by a variety of other Turkish singers, most notably her long-time friends Serdar Ortaç and İbrahim Tatlıses. The show featured Ebru singing her own songs, singing classic songs and singing duets with other singers. She then appeared in the hugely popular singing contest Popstar Alaturka as a guest judge along with Turkey's most popular singer the diva Bülent Ersoy, Orhan Gencebay and Armagan Çaglayan. Just before leaving Popstar Alaturka because of her relationship problems with the show's host she released her new album Evet (Yes).
Ebru Gundes has released her new album "BEYAZ" meaning white. The album, like most albums released in the year, has not proved to be successful, selling just over 100,000 throughout the year. In 2012, she released her latest album '13.5' which consisted only of covers of old popular songs. The album has reached average sales in the country although the general perception of music authorities has been one of disappointment, as the album has consisted of covers and therefore prone to 'repetition'.
Gündeş has been married three times in total: in 2002, she married Ömer Durak, a lawyer, although the marriage lasted only three months, and in 2010, she married Iranian Azerbaijani businessman Reza Zarrab. The couple have a daughter named Alara, born October 15, 2011. Gündeş is also close friends with singers Serdar Ortaç and Ibrahim Tatlises.
Her husband Reza Zarrab was arrested on 17 December 2013 by Istanbul police in a corruption scandal involving the AKP government. He is accused of giving bribes totaling 63 million dollars to 3 government ministers or their sons.