Eleni Foureira (Greek: Ελένη Φουρέιρα, born Entela Fureraj on 7 March 1987 in Fier, Albania) is an Albanian-Greek pop singer and fashion designer.
Eleni Foureira was born on 7 March 1987 in Fier, Albania to Marjeta and Kristaq Fureraj. Before her singing career, Foureira was interested in fashion design, as she was heavily influenced by her mother working in the profession. She was raised in the Kallithea region of Athens, Greece. From a young age, however, she had begun to play the guitar and worked for three years for a theater. She was previously part of the girl group "Mystique" before launching her solo career.
2010: Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010:
Foureira participated in the Greek national final in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 along with Manos Pyrovolakis singing the song "Kivotos tou Noe". She placed second behind "OPA!", by Giorgos Alkaios & Friends.
In May 2010, Eleni Foureira sang the Greek version of the song "Chica Bomb" in collaboration with Dan Balan at Mad Video Music Awards. In November, she participated in the charity television show "Just the 2 of us" together with Panagiotis Petrakis and won the 1st place.
In May 2011 the singer appeared on Mad Video Music Awards where she performed the Greek version of "Play with me". In addition, she won two awards as the Best New Artist and the Sexy Video Clip of the Year.
In February 2012 she appeared in the second "MadWalk- The Fashion Music Project" where she performed the songs " Get The Party Started" and "All I need" in collaboration with Claydee. In June 2012 Eleni Foureira participated on Mad Video Music Awards where she performed the song "Fotia" with NEVMA. She was nominated for four awards and eventually she won two awards for Best Video Clip Pop and Sexy Video Clip of the Year.
She sang Wild Dances with Ruslana in the Greek final for Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Greece.
In April 2013 Eleni Foureira appeared in MadWalk where she performed the songs "Toxic" of Britney Spears and "To deserve you" of Betty Middler.She also belongs in "Arouri" team.
In June of the same year she appeared on Mad Video Music Awards 2013 her she performed her new track "Rantevou stin paralia". Moreover, she collaborated with Pantelis Pantelides and Stan. During the same awards she was nominated in four categories and finally she won the Fashion Icon Award in Video Clip.
Albanian origin controversy:
Foureira's origin and heritage has been a subject of much speculation. When she was a member of "Mystique" she was thought to be Brazilian. Through her early interviews after deciding to follow a solo career, Foureira used to state that: "My father comes from Athens and my mother from Ioannina. I was born and raised in Athens but since my surname is not Greek, I am usually asked about my origin. My surname and my family's origin is from Mexico. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and that's fair enough. Right now I'm living my dream and I don't want to deal with anything else". Although claiming that she comes from Greece, it was announced that in 2010 Foureira had filed papers in order to obtain Greek citizenship which caused suspicion among Greek journalists. It was later revealed that her origin is not from Mexico but from Albania and her real name is Entela Foureraj. Foureira stated in another interview in 2010 that "My surname is Mexican. I have never said that I come from that country. My father has roots from there." In a 2011 interview for the Greek magazine NITRO, she stated that: "I'm not from Mexico or anything else. I'm from Athens. If my name was Eleni Papadopoulou there wouldn't be a problem. Can we please not talk about that at all?" On December 31, 2013 in an interview for "To Proino" in ANT1 she stated: "Many times I have been prevented from doing many things because of my origin. It's wrong the fact that I come from a different country to be considered a drawback. I don't get it. There has been a huge talk about that and I'm not going to apologize. I grew up here. I can't speak a different language. Who cares where I come from. I'm just doing my job". In an interview she said: "They judge someone from his sexual or ethnic orientation and not from his work. I hid I was born in Albania because when I went to record labels, before I entered Mystique Group, they didn't even wanna hear it. It was a taboo for them ... I didn't understand back then when I was a little girl because I felt Greek. I don't know another language, I was educated here. This is why I told myself, nothing will stop me from doing what I want and spread my message".
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