In 2010, Forbes listed Elena Paparizou as the 21st most powerful and influential celebrity in Greece and now it seems she is putting her influence to a good cause following yesterday’s announcement that she has been appointed the first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Greece.
“The Greek and internationally recognized singer, Helena Paparizou, has been announced today as the first Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Greece.” said UNICEF in its announcement.
The announcement was made a few days ahead of World Children’s Day, celebrated every year on November 20, at a special media event held at Dionysos Zonars, Athens, in the presence of journalists and representatives of UNICEF Greece Country Office.
As UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador, Helena Paparizou will contribute to raising awareness and informing the public about the protection of children’s rights in Greece, and will support the Organization’s work to ensure a better future for every child, young and old in the country through the implementation of targeted national programmes and actions.
“I’m very excited today. It is a great honour for me and I feel the enormous responsibility of becoming the first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Greece.
“We must put our children and youth first. Where they deserve to be.
“”I always said that the future is our children. But children are children TODAY, and TODAY we have a responsibility to give them a happy childhood, without violence and exclusions but with dignity and care.
“Through UNICEF I am sure we will all become better people…” wrote Paparizou on her social media.
RESOURCE | ABOUT ELENA PAPARIZOU
Helena Paparizou is a Greek-Swedish singer, songwriter and television personality. Born and raised in Sweden to Greek parents, she enrolled in various arts schools before launching a career in Sweden in 1999 as a member of the laïko (Greek folk music) and Eurodance duo Antique, who participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 and afterwards became popular.
Antique disbanded in 2003, and Paparizou signed a solo recording contract with Sony Music, releasing the chart-topping debut single “Anapandites Kliseis” and album Protereotita (2004), with emphasis on laïko, pop, and dance sounds, but at first had modest sales. In 2005, she represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “My Number One”, which she won. It was the first Greek win in the contest’s history and transformed her career. Her album was subsequently certified double platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry of Greece. Paparizou attempted a career beyond Greece with English-language material, charting in a few countries abroad. Her three subsequent albums Iparhi Logos (2006), The Game of Love (2006) and Vrisko To Logo Na Zo (2008) all peaked at number one in Greece and reached platinum sales. Her fifth studio album Giro Apo T’ Oneiro (2010) was also certified platinum.
Paparizou’s final release before she left Sony Music, Greatest Hits & More, was released in 2011 and included “Baby It’s Over”, her biggest hit until 2016. Her biggest hit to date is An Me Dis Na Kleo ballad song feat Anastasios Rammos released in 2017 exceeding 30 million views on YouTube.
Paparizou established herself as a teen idol, particularly among young girls. She has endorsed the brands Nokia and Ivi. For the period 2013-2015, she advertised hair colour products for Koleston company in Greece. In the 2010s she tried to move into television as a judge on Dancing on Ice (2011) and as a contestant on Let’s Dance (2012). Since 2016 until 2021, Paparizou had been a judge at The Voice of Greece. Paparizou lived with her fiancé and manager Toni Mavridis from 1999 until their separation in 2011.
Paparizou has been awarded three Arion Music Awards, a European Border Breakers Award, 30 MAD Video Music Awards—more than any other Greek artist—and an MTV Europe Music Award. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked her as the 14th top-certified domestic female artist since 1960, having won seven platinum and four gold records. Paparizou was the most successful debuting female artist of the 2000s and established herself as one of the top acts of the latter half of the decade.
As of 2010, she has been certified for the sales of 300,000 albums, 47,500 singles, and 30,000 digital downloads by IFPI Greece, in addition to 100,000 total record sales in Greece as part of Antique, 24,000 certified albums in Cyprus, and 80,000 singles in Sweden during her solo career.