Nana Mouskouri says goodbye
ONE of the top selling female vocalists of all time, legendary Greek superstar Nana Mouskouri will return to Australia next year for a series of farewell concerts.
The iconic figure with the black-rimmed glasses and the beautiful voice has sold more than 300 million albums in the years since her version of The White Rose of Athens earnt international acclaim.
She appears in the list of the 25 best-selling artists in the world, ahead of Madonna and Celine Dion.
Nana Mouskouri celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this month and the following day, replied to our questions from Europe.
First of all, happy 80th birthday. How did you celebrate and where?
Thanks. We had a wonderful concert in Hamburg.
You are one of the most loved singers of the past 100 years. Why do you think Australia and the world loves you and your music so much?
I do not know why, but know I love music. I sing with sincerity for love, hope and peace.
What is your earliest memory of singing as a child?
Singing on the stage in front of the screen in the cinema where my father worked as projectionist. I sang Over the Rainbow (from the 1939 hit The Wizard of Oz).
What are your favourite songs in Greek and English from your repertoire?
Love all the songs I sing but let us say Chartino to Fengaraki (Paper Moon) in Greek and Over the Rainbow in English.
What is your day-to-day life like in Greece? Are you enjoying more family life these days?
My life is still the same, it follows the times that the world is going through with the new generations.
A lot has changed since your career started in the music industry but what has remained the same?
The music remains the same for me, as I always respected it, but I always learn new things from listening.
Fans have loved your black glasses for decades and they have become part of Nana's quintessential look. Do you like them as much as your fans?
I had many difficulties in the early years, when I started. No one accepted me with my glasses but I wanted to stay honest to myself.
I wanted people to listen to what I was singing, I never thought the glasses were a problem. My fans like me staying as I am.
People call you a music legend, how does that make you feel?
Gives me joy, responsibility and pride. I hope I deserve their love and meet their expectations.
The White Rose of Athens
Her audiences have come to know her as The White Rose of Athens. The song of the same name, recorded for a German documentary in 1961, which first won her international acclaim.
She is famous for her never-ending farewells at the end of her shows, as if she wants to thank each fan personally.
In 1985, Mouskouri recorded Only Love, the theme song to the British TV series Mistral's Daughter - based upon the novel by Judith Krantz - which reached No.2 in the UK charts.
She was a Member of the European Parliament through the New Democracy Party from 1994 until 1999, when she resigned from her position.
This is her first tour of Australia since 2005.