In 1958, after studying classical music at the Athens Conservatoire, Loana Mouskouri (known as Nana), born on 13 October 1934 in Chania in Crete, decided to give up on opera singing to sing in cabarets. She met composer Manos Hadjikadis there, who wrote her a few songs (La Procession, Le Jeune Cyprès), with which she won the 1960 Greek Song Festival. She then recorded her first albums in France and in Germany (the album Weiss Rosen aus Athen which sold more than one million copies) and then, right away, in the USA, The Girl from Greece Sings under Quincy Jones's artistic direction. In 1963, she settled in Paris, received the record academy's Grand Prize, worked with Michel Legrand (L'Enfant au Tambour ) and represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest.
A limpid voice with perfect delivery, an eclectic repertoire mixing original songs, Greek folk tunes and international standards: from the end of the 1960s, Nana Mouskouri imposed herself as one of the biggest international singing stars. A multitude of international hits (Je Chante avec Toi Liberté at the beginning of the 1980s), her success can't be denied: it is estimated that she's sold between 300 and 400 million albums during the course of her career.
In addition, she was elected as a European deputy in 1994 under the banner of the Greek party New Democracy, and she has been UNICEF's ambassador since 1993.