Leading Greek singer Despina Vandi (Malea), was born on 22 July 1969, in Stuttgart Germany. Vandi’s family are Pontian and returned to Kavala, when she was six years old.
After moving to Athens in the early 1990s and beginning her dream of becoming a performer, Vandi signed with Minos EMI and released two albums.
Vandi then began an exclusive collaboration with songwriter/producer Phoebus and struck commercial success with her third album, “Deka Endoles” in 1997, followed by the multi-platinum “Profities” in 1999, where she established a more “pop” stage performance style and image, becoming one of the most prominent female artists of Greek pop music.
Her single “Ipofero” released in 2000 became the best-selling single of all-time in Greece.
Although born in Germany, Vandi’s family moved back when she was young and as a result, she did not learn German, unlike the rest of her family.
She has one older brother and an older sister. Living in a working class family, her dream was to become an actress or a singer but she always wanted do have something more solid as a background so she went on to study psychology, philosophy, and education at the University of Thessaloniki.
When she first began singing, she used the stage name of “Elli Mara” before adopting the name “Vandi”, to hide from her parents that she was singing.
Despina is married to Demis Nikolaidis, ex-international soccer player and former president of AEK soccer club. They have a daughter Melina who was born in February 2004 and a son named Giorgos who was born in August 2007.