Ivi Adamou (Greek: Ήβη Αδάμου, pronounced ˈivi aˈðamu; born 24 November 1993) is a Greek Cypriot singer. She was born and raised in Ayia Napa, Cyprus and currently lives in Athens, Greece. She has been studying sociology at the Panteion University since 2012. Adamou rose to recognition in Greece and Cyprus following her participation in the second season of the Greek version of The X Factor, where she was under the mentorship of Giorgos Theofanous. In 2010 right after her elimination from The X Factor, Adamou secured a recording contract with Sony Music Greece.
Her debut extended play Kalokairi Stin Kardia (2010) was released shortly after her contract with Sony. The same year, she collaborated with the Spiros Lambrou Choir and released the holiday extended play Christougenna Me Tin Ivi Adamou (2010) and was released as Christmas with Ivi Adamou abroad. In August 2011, Adamou was selected to represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 with the song "La La Love". A new album, Eho Ourano, was scheduled to be released in summer of 2013 but its release was canceled as Sony Music Greece had closed. Apart from singles for her own discography, Adamou has released songs for movies such as Barbie in A Mermaid Tale and Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale.
Influenced by Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Elena Paparizou, Adamou was often described as the "Pop Queen" or the "Teen Idol" in Greece and was since her participation in The X Factor called as the "Next Big Thing". Her first extended play was certified gold for selling over 60,000 copies in Greece while the second holiday extended play was certified platinum for selling over 15,000 copies in Portugal.
Since 2010, Ivi had several nominations in both the MAD Video Music Awards and the Madame Figaro Awards. However she has currently won five awards. She was awarded as the best Cypriot woman singer in 2010 and 2012. She was also awarded as the best singer in Cyprus in 2012 which was the first time that the award was given. In 2011, she received the award for the best video clip urban for her work with Stavento in "San Erthi I Mera". In 2013, her song with Marsal Ventura, "Time to Love" won the Spanish awards, LaLore02 Awards, for the best song of the year.
Biography and career:
Ivi Adamou was born on 24 November 1993 in Ayia Napa, Famagusta, to a Greek Cypriot father and a Bulgarian mother. She is one of the three children of her family; she has two sisters, one older and one younger. At the age of 9, she got on the stage for first time and participated in a music competition where she competed with the song "Kaka Paidia" by Anna Vissi and managed to win the competition. Since that competition, she started music theory, vocal lessons, and piano which allowed her to acquire the suitable skills to win prizes in several local song competitions.
At the age of 15 and during her second year at the lyceum, Adamou auditioned for The X Factor and as she managed to make it through the live shows, she had to be travelling from Cyprus to Greece. Following her participation in the second series of the Greek version of the X Factor she signed a contract with Sony Music Greece and since then she lives in Greece, where she is currently studying at the Panteion University. Even though she had started a musical career she decided to study sociology.
2009-10: The X Factor:
In 2009-2010, she took part in the second series of the Greek version of The X Factor, ending in sixth place. She lists Beyoncé as her biggest influence, as well as Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston. Almost all the songs she performed were in the English language with only one of them being in the Greek language.
Adamou sang "Just Dance" on the first live show and she received positive reviews by the judges. In the second and third live show, she sang P!nk's "Just Like A Pill" and Kelly's "Because of You" respectively and she once again received positive reviews with the latter one being honored as one of the best performances until then. However, with her performance of "Papa Don't Preach" in the fourth live show she received negative reviews, with Nikos Mouratidis stating that the song didn't suit to her voice. For the following three live shows, she performed "When I Grow Up", "Hurt" and "Halo" and despite her unsuccessful performance in the fourth live show, they were positively reviewed by the judges. On the eighth live she performed her first Greek song, "Hristougenna" along with "All I Want For Christmas Is You".
On the ninth live show Adamou performed "Celebration", making it the second song of Madonna that she performed. She also had a duet with her team mate, Nini and they performed Anna Vissi's "Dodeka". On the tenth live show she performed "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and even though she received mostly positive reviews, Mouratidis had negative opinion on the performance just like he did on her previous performance. On the eleventh live show, she performed another song from the Pussycat Dolls, "Hush Hush". For first time, Adamou was in bottom two with Hovig but she was saved by the judges. In the final showdown, she chose to perform "I Have Nothing", the song she sang in the bootcamp. On the twelfth live show, she performed for second time, a song from Christina Aguilera.
Even though she was one of the favorites to win, she was eliminated during the twelfth week, where she came at bottom two against her team mate Nini Shermandini. She was voted to stay in by George Levendis and Nikos Mouratidis and Nini was voted by Katerina Gagaki and George Theofanous. Even though it was tied, Theofanous' vote counted twice and therefore Adamou was eliminated. After her elimination, a "fight" started between Sony and Theofanous while the record label wanted Adamou to return because of the fake results, as the media stated.
The X Factor season 2 performances and results
"Just Walk Away"
"I Have Nothing"
"To Fos Sti Psyhi"
Live show 1
Live show 2
"Just Like a Pill"
Live show 3
"Because of You"
Live show 4
"Papa Don't Preach"
Live show 5
"When I Grow Up"
Live show 6
Live show 7
Live show 8
"All I Want for Christmas Is You" / "Christouyenna"
Mariah Carey / Despina Vandi
Duet with Stavento
"Mesa Sou" (with Stavento)
Live show 9
Duet with contestant
"Dodeka" (with Nini)
Live show 10
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll"
Arrows / Joan Jett / Britney Spears
Live show 11
"I Have Nothing"
Live show 12
"The Voice Within"
Duet with contestant
"S Agapo" (with 48 Ores)
Antonis Remos and Alkistis Protopsalti
"The Power of Love"
2010-11: Kalokairi Stin Kardia and San Ena Oniro:
While Adamou was not a finalist in The X Factor with her sixth place finish, she did manage to obtain a record deal with Sony Music Greece, an affiliate of the show. Her dramatic and tension filled elimination was the source of a publicized dispute- both on air during The X Factor and in the press- between representatives of Sony Music Greece and Theofanous. Her first single, "A*G*A*P*I" was release just a few days after her elimination from the show. She performed the song for first time at Aksizei Na To Deis (It's Worth to Watch), a show of ANT1. Its music video was released on March 22, 2010. After her debut single, Adamou released a Greek version of the Barbie in A Mermaid Tale soundtrack.
On 13 April 2010, Adamou's first collaboration was released through the MAD TV; she was featured on Stavento's song "San Erthi I Mera" which became a summer hit in Greece and Cyprus. In less than three months, the song got more than 3 million views in the original video which was later taken down which made it one of the most viewed Greek music videos at that time. The song stayed in the top five of the Greek Airplay Chart for 20 weeks, and sold 60 thousand legal downloads. Her second single, "Sose Me", was released on 27 April 2010 with its video clip premiering on 5 May 2010. A few days later, the trailers for Adamou's debut album were revealed. Meanwhile, Adamou started touring in Greece and Cyprus along with Stavento. On 14 June 2010, Adamou performed at the 2010 MAD Video Music Awards with the band OtherView, a cover of the song "Last Kiss", originally by Ishtar.
The X Factor was like a school for me. It helped me get directed on what genre I will continue working on.
Adamou on The X Factor
Adamou's debut extended play, Kalokairi Stin Kardia, was released in June 2010 and included her first two singles, "A*G*A*P*I" and "Sose Me". Adamou recorded, for second time, a Greek version for a Barbie soundtrack; Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale. On 29 July 2010, a contest started through the official website in order to select the three single of the album; "To Mistiko Mou Na Vris" or "Gelaei" would be the third single. Apart from select the next single, the voters had the chance to watch the shooting of the video clip. "To Mistiko Mou Na Vris" was announced on 30 August 2010 as the third single. The shooting for the video started in September. and premiered on 13 October 2010.
Adamou's first EP was certified gold for shipments of more than six thousand units. She received her gold album from Sakis Rouvas right after her performance of "To Mistiko Mou Na Vreis" in the second live show of the third season of The X Factor. On 28 October 2010, it was announced that Adamou would release a Christmas EP including the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", "Last Christmas", "White Christmas" and a medley of "Agia Nihta" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".Christougenna me tin Ivi Adamou (released as Christmas with Ivi Adamou abroad) was released on 22 November 2010. The EP peaked at the first place of the Greek iTunes while it was certified double platinum in Portugal for selling more than fifty thousands units.
In early 2011, Adamou admitted that she got proposition from ERT to represent Greece in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest which she turned down stating that even if she's interested in participating, she wants to finish school. In March 2011, she started working on her first studio album. In April 2011, Adamou collaborated with Melisses in the song written by the band, "Krata Ta Matia Sou Klista". Both the song and the music video premiered on 23 April 2013. In May 2011, it was announced that Adamou will release a song named "Murderous" which caused "fights" between Adamou's and Paparizou's fans as the song was previously announced as Paparizou's song. The song was later included in Adamou's first studio album as a Greek-language song.
On June 14, 2011, Adamou attended the 2011 MAD Video Music Awards and performed with Midenistis a remix of the song "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)". That year, she received her first nominations at the MAD Video Music Awards; she was nominated for the Best Newcomer and Best Female artist. She was also nominated for the Best Hip Hop/Urban, Best Duet and Best Video Clip for the song with Stavento, "San Erthi I Mera". She won only the award for the Best Hip Hop/Urban song.
In June 2011, a video teasing the new album entitled San Ena Oniro was shared through Adamou's channel. The first single from the album was "Kano Mia Efhi" written and produced by Meth. The shooting for the music video started in July and premiered on 29 July 2011. Her first studio album, San Ena Oniro, was released on 25 July 2011 and included ten songs. "Voltes St Asteria" was announced as the second single of the album on 25 August 2011. A teaser of its music video was revealed on 5 October 2011 and premiered on 11 October 2011.
2012-present: Eurovision Song Contest and new album:
In early August 2011, Adamou was rumored to represent Cyprus in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. On 6 August 2011, CyBC officially announced that Adamou was internally selected to represent the country in the contest. In January 2012, CyBC published the songs that Adamou would perform in the selection; "Call the Police", "La La Love" and "You Don't Belong Here". The national final took place on 25 January 2012 where "La La Love" was declared as the winner and therefore the Cypriot entry in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. During the contest, Ivi was reunited with fellow The X Factor contestant Eleftheria Eleftheriou who represented Greece. At the running order draw, Cyprus was drawn to perform 12th in the first semi-final on 22 May 2012 and then successfully reached the final where it was drawn to perform 8th and ultimately finished in 16th place.La La Love entered the single charts in many European countries, including Spain, UK, Germany & Sweden. "La La Love" along with the other national final songs were included in the Euro Edition of San Ena Oniro with additionally a Greek version of "You Don't Belong Here" titled "Fotia Vrohi".
After Eurovision, Ivi had a summer tour with concerts in Greece, Cyprus, Sweden and Spain. In Spain, she recorded "Time to Love" with Marsal Ventura, a Spanish DJ. When she returned to Greece she recorded another song called "Ase Me" with Kleopatra from Stavento. On 14 January 2013, on an appearance on Mega Channel's program Proino Mou, she announced that she would be releasing a new album in February 2013, but the album was not released during that time. Ivi also announced through her Facebook page that her new song with Marsal Ventura, "Time to Love", would be released in early February. Stavento posted a backstage photo from the shooting of their new song with Ivi named "Na Sou Tragoudo" which was released on 4 March 2013 and was available for digital download on 11 March 2013.
Adamou renewed her cooperation with Sony Music Greece on 5 April 2013. Adamou revealed during her interview at MTV that her new album will have the title Eho Ourano (I Have Sky). Her latest single, released on 31 May 2013, was titled "Ponane Oi Agapes" (Loves Hurt). For a fourth consecutive year, Adamou performed at the MAD Video Music Awards with Anise K and Shaya the song "Walking on Air". As Sony Music Greece was shut down, her album's release has been canceled. In January 2014, Adamou announced during one of her concerts that she will be returning with a new song after the small "break". She also revealed that the release of the song will be special. On 4 April 2014, Adamou along with Elisavet Spanou and Courtney Parker appeared at the 2014 MadWalk where they all performed "Sway" for the Red Dress Act.
Following the first season of The Voice of Greece, the kid's version of the show was announced with Adamou being speculated as one of the coaches along with Demy due to both being young singers. On 3 June 2014, it was confirmed by Adamou and Kouinelis that the two will be performing a duet for the 2014 MAD Video Music Awards. On the ceremony that took place on 23 June and was broadcast on 2 Jule, Adamou and Kouinelis performed "Na Sou Tragoudo" as well as remix of "Min Tis to Pis" along with Kostas Tournas.
Style and influences:
Whitney Houston (left), Beyoncé (middle) and Elena Paparizou (right) are some of Adamou's influences.
Since her appearance in the X Factor, Adamou has been performing pop songs. Although almost all the song she performed in the competition were in English, the songs she later released for her discography were mostly in Greek. As she said in an interview, she is influenced by both the Greek and American pop music. Adamou was often named as the "Next Big Thing" or the "Teen Idol" in Greece following the release of her first extended play. The album had a more teen pop style while her debut studio album adopted a more "mature" pop style.
Adamou has named Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston as her idols and her biggest influences. She admires Whitney Houston who has been her favorite singer since her childhood and Beyoncé whom admires for her work and talent. She has also said about Beyoncé that she would love to work with her.
Since a child I've listened to Whitney Houston and I admire Beyoncé for her industriousness. Every time she Beyoncé has an appearance, she tends to have the best result which shows how much she has worked to reach the perfect.
Adamou has also cited Elena Paparizou and Sakis Rouvas as her influences with the latter one coming close to him during The X Factor where Sakis was the host. She has said about Sakis that she wasn't a big fan of him before the show, but she admired him when she met and got to know more about him and his personality.
Adamou is the second child in her family; she has two other sisters one older, Despina and one younger, Cleopatra. She was born and raised in Ayia Napa, Cyprus and has been travelling to Greece due to her participation in The X Factor. She is currently studying sociology at Panteion University, in Athens where she now lives permanently.
I'm not hiding anything. With Ivi, we have been in relationship for about one year, not for four or five years like it was said.
Kouinelis on his relationship with Adamou
In 2011-12, she declared that she was not in any relationship, even though the media said that she was in relationship with Michalis Kouinelis from Stavento. Later, in one interview, she denied the rumors. She also said that she was never in love, since she went to Athens to study. In 2014 though, Kouinelis revealed that they were in a relationship since 2013 and not since 2010 as the media said. The two now live together in Athens as Adamou has been studying there. It was reported in late-April 2014 that after Kouinelis met the parents of Adamou, the two would soon get married. However, neither of them have confirmed the rumors and was not revealed whether they were engaged or not.
During and after Eurovision, the media reported that Adamou and Eleftheria Eleftheriou were not in a good situation. Both singers stated that everything was okay between them. However, during their performance in the 2013 Greek national final, Eleftheria was to give her hand to Adamou, while Adamou was waving at the audience. Later, Eleftheria said that Adamou didn't do this intentionally. She also said that they are in a good situation.
Adamou has met Beyoncé during her participation at the Greek X Factor, where she won a ticket for her concert in Athens. She has also met Jennifer Lopez at her concert in Stockholm as Adamou was there due to her concert tour.
Adamou has participated in several charities. In 2010, she was part of the Cypriot campaign "Everything I Can" for the prevention of cervical cancer. The same year, she took part in the Greek campaign against breast cancer along with other Greeks including Katia Dandoulaki, Zeta Makripoulia and Dimitra Galani. In 2011, Adamou was appointed as the Young Ambassador for the rights of the children by the HFC-UNCRC Policy Center. In 2013, she performed at the solidarity concert in Famagusta in order to collect food. In December 2013, she took part in a Christmas Concert organized by the Cypriot radio station Super FM and Giorgos Theofanous along with artists including Elena Paparizou, Eleni Foureira, Demy and Kostas Martakis. The money that were raised from the concert's tickets were given to Radiomarathonios. The performers, apart from their own songs, they performed a Christmas song each along with Theofanous' choir. The songs were included in an album that was released along with a Cypriot newspaper. Adamou performed a cover of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You".