I have a ticket to see Jay Z on January 22 nd and didn’t think twice about blowing him off to catch Nana Mouskouri, the legendary Greek singer. Look: either you care about this stuff or you don’t, and if you care about this stuff you must take the opportunity to see the best selling woman singer, 400 million albums worldwide, of all time.
Recording Greek folk music in the 1950s, the multi-linguist topped German charts with “The white Rose Of Athens” in 1961, in 1962 she became a star in the UK, in 1964 she was touring the US with harry Belafonte and by 1967 was a superstar in France. She has a gorgeous voice, a soprano, and is considered a world treasure.
In 1993, Nana was appointed the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, taking over from the recently deceased Audrey Hepburn. It is an interesting idea, Nana following in the divine Miss Hepburn’s shoes and it really speaks to the hugeness of Mouskouri’s fanbase: She speaks everything from Greek to English to Portugese and beyond.
Nana retired in 2008 but five years later she is back on her birthday tour, around the world, and in our own back yard at the Beacon Theater on January 22ND. If you don’t know Mouskouri, a simple comparison might be Celine Dion. Not musically, Celine is a blowhard always huffing and puffing, but fan base. There is a connection between the fan blue collar middle age hofstrau mainstream fans of both. Both women are so big they are self-satires, they look like themselves. Back in the 1970s, Benny Hill used to don long gypsy dresses and large glasses to imitate Nana: it is still a look so obviously am homage to Nana it can be seen as nothing else.
To be this big, the biggest selling female singer of all time, you must be connected to a huge audience on a subconscious level, as though beneath the woman lies the woman who is an every woman.
I have never seen Nana Mouskouri on stage and this is unmissable. That is, again, if you give a damn about pop music.
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