Janette Anne Dimech (10 October 1951, London), who performs under the name Jeanette, is an English-born Spanish singer who has resided in Spain since the age of 12, and who sings primarily in Spanish. She has also recorded songs in several different languages: English (her native language), Spanish, French, German and Japanese. Jeanette has completed seven albums with great success with millions of sales worldwide. Besides appearances and duets with stars such as Julio Iglesias, José Luis Perales, Mocedades, Sacha Distel, Raphael, Formula V, she also received other offers from stars such as Camilo Sesto and Michael Jackson who wanted to work with her, but Jeanette felt that there was a lack of musical affinity between herself and them.
Dimech is the daughter of a Belgian-Congolese father of Maltese descent and a Spanish mother originally from the Canary Islands. Because of her grandparents' import-export business, she was born in London and grew up in Chicago and La Habra, California. After her parents' separation when she was 12, she moved to Barcelona with her mother and younger brother and sister. Having grown up in the United States, she spoke only English when she first moved to Spain. She was placed in an American school at first, but later befriended some local Spanish children who helped teach her Spanish.
After her band, Pic-Nic, split up at the end of the 1960s, Jeanette moved to Vienna with her husband, Hungarian football player Laszlo Kristof, and lived quietly as a homemaker and the mother of their daughter, Blythe.
During the 1960s Jeanette learned to play guitar and began to write her own songs. She styled her music after American folk music, and her idols included Bob Dylan, Donovan, and the Byrds. Later she joined the student band Pic-Nic as a singer, and in 1969 they had a measure of success with a folk version of the Spanish children's song "Cállate niña". Other notable songs of theirs included "Amanecer" and "No digas nada". However, constant disagreements among members, such as whether or not to record English versions of their songs, ended with the dissolution of the group.
After the dissolution of Pic-Nic, Jeanette resumed her course, but overnight received a call from her former record label Hispavox. This time the label said that they had a project for a singer and Jeanette must be it. But Hispavox moved heaven and earth to convince Jeanette to come back to Spain and to the music. Jeanette settled in Barcelona in 1971 to start her solo career. The singer thought it was to revive the folk spirit of Pic-Nic, but the label wanted to make a new figure of the ballad. At the start of the 1970s, she began her solo career with her hit first single, "Soy Rebelde" (I am a rebel). On the single, the record label misspelt her name as "Jeanette" (the correct spelling is Janette without the first E.) Ever since then, her stage name has been spelt with the additional E. The single first enjoyed success in Spanish-speaking countries and later broadened its influence with French ("L'inconnu qui m'aimera"), Japanese ("あまのじゃく") and English versions. This song and others penned by Manuel Alejandro, such as "Estoy triste", "Oye mamá, oye papá" established her as an artist in Spain. Palabras, promesas (Words, promises) was written by José Luis Perales was released in 1973. In this LP were released all the singles and recorded from 1971 to 1973.
Porque te vas:
Her greatest success, "Porque te vas" (Because you are leaving), written by José Luis Perales, became an international hit when the song was used in Carlos Saura's 1976 film Cría Cuervos (Raise Ravens). In Austria it reached number 13, in Switzerland number 4, and in Germany it reached number 1. On 12 February 1977, Jeanette sang the song in the popular German program Musikladen (programme 31).
Todo es nuevo:
Jeanette worked with famous French composer Andre Popp for the production of her album Todo es nuevo (Everything is new) in 1977. There were two versions: Spanish and French. The album received a lukewarm reception, but the song ¿Por qué voy a cambiar? (Why should I change?) (Tzeinerlin' in French) also appeared in the German programme Musikladen (Musikladen, programme 35, 8 October 1977).
Corazón de poeta:
In 1981 she recorded her best-selling album to date, Corazón de Poeta, which was composed, arranged and conducted by Manuel Alejandro, and gave her three hit singles: "Corazón de poeta" (literally "Heart of a Poet" but translated as "A heart so warm and so tender"), "Frente a Frente" (literally "Face to Face" but translated as "Sorrow") and "El muchacho de los ojos tristes" ("The Boy with the Sad Eyes"). Especially the vintage album sales world-wide millions, triumphing across the line in several Latin American countries. In Spain it was the Nº1 album for a week; of the singles, "Frente a frente" reached Nº4 for 20 weeks and "Corazón de poeta" reached Nº13 for 10 weeks.
In the next several years she released the albums Reluz (1983), Ojos en el Sol (1984), and Loca por la Música (1989), along with a string of singles. Her sales then declined, though she herself remained popular and her back catalogue was re-packaged into a continual stream of greatest-hits collections.
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