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A black-haired woman with a grey coat getting interviewed
Anggun at the Place Edmond Michelet, Paris, on 25 April 2015
Background information
Birth name Anggun Cipta Sasmi
Also known as Anggun C. Sasmi
Born (1974-04-29) 29 April 1974 (age 44)
Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • philanthropist
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active 1986–present

Anggun Cipta Sasmi (Indonesian pronunciation: [aŋˈɡun ˈt͡ʃipta ˈsasmi]; born 29 April 1974) is an Indonesian and French-naturalised singer-songwriter. Born in Jakarta, she began performing at the age of seven and recorded a children's album two years later. With the help of famed Indonesian producer Ian Antono, in 1986 Anggun released her first rock-influenced studio album, Dunia Aku Punya. She became further well known with the single "Mimpi" (1989), which was listed as one of the 150 Greatest Indonesian Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone. She followed it with a series of singles and three more studio albums, which established her as one of the most prominent Indonesian rock stars of the early 1990s.

Anggun left Indonesia in 1994 to pursue an international career. After two years struggling in London and Paris, Anggun met French producer Erick Benzi and signed to Sony Music Entertainment. Her first international album, Snow on the Sahara (1997), was released in 33 countries and became the best-selling album by an Asian artist outside Asia. The album spawned her signature hit "Snow on the Sahara", which reached number one in several countries. Since her international breakthrough, Anggun has released five English-language studio albums and six French-language studio albums, as well as a soundtrack album to the Danish film Open Hearts (2002). She represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, with the song "Echo (You and I)". She joined the judging panel of talent shows X Factor Indonesia (2013) and Asia's Got Talent (2015); the former made her the highest-paid judge in Indonesian television history.

Anggun is the Asian artist with the highest album sales outside Asia, with her releases being certified gold and platinum in some European countries. She is the first Indonesian artist to have success in European and American record charts. She has received a number of accolades for her achievements, including the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the Government of France and the World Music Award for World's Best-Selling Indonesian Artist. Aside from her musical career, Anggun has been involved in numerous environmental and humanitarian works. She has been appointed as the global ambassador of the United Nations twice, first for the International Year of Microcredit in 2005 and then for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2009 onwards.

Life and career

1974–93: Early life and career in Indonesia

Anggun grew up in Jakarta

Anggun was born and raised in Jakarta to a native Indonesian family. She is the second child and first daughter of Darto Singo, a Javanese writer, and Dien Herdina, a housewife from the Yogyakartan royal family.[1][2] Her full name means "grace born of a dream" in Balinese. Despite being a Muslim, Anggun was sent to a Catholic school to receive a better elementary education.[3][4] At the age of seven, Anggun began receiving highly disciplined instruction in singing from her father.[5] She trained daily, learning various vocal techniques. To help further develop her career, her mother began serving as her manager, accepting singing offers and handling business concerns.[6] At the age of nine, Anggun began to write her own songs and recorded her first children's album.[7][8]

As a preteen, Anggun was influenced by Western rock music artists.[3] At the age of twelve, she released her first official studio album, Dunia Aku Punya (1986). The album was produced by Ian Antono, an Indonesian rock musician.[9] However, the album failed to establish her popularity. Three years later, Anggun achieved somefame after the release of the single "Mimpi"; the song was later ranked by the Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine as one of the 150 Greatest Indonesian Songs of All Time.[10] Anggun's fame continued to increase with the release of subsequent singles, most notably "Tua Tua Keladi" (1990), which became her most popular hit in Indonesia. After a string of successful singles, Anggun released the studio albums Anak Putih Abu Abu (1991) and Nocturno (1992).[2] The former earned her the Most Popular Indonesian Artist 1990–1991 award.[11]

In 1992, Anggun began a relationship with Michel de Gea, a French engineer, whom she had met the year before in Kalimantan while touring.[12] The couple married, despite a rumoured objection by Anggun's family, reportedly because they felt Anggun was too young .[12] Georgea later became Anggun's manager. The following year, Anggun became the youngest Indonesian singer to found her own record company, Bali Cipta Records, and took complete creative control over her work.[3] She produced her final Indonesian studio album, Anggun C. Sasmi... Lah!!! (1993), which yielded number-one single "Kembalilah Kasih (Kita Harus Bicara)".[9] By age nineteen, Anggun had sold over four million albums in Indonesia.[3][11] She began to feel dissatisfied with her success in her country and began considering an international music career. Anggun later recalled: "[By the time] I was 20, I'd made five albums. I'd built my own record company. I'd produced my last album and produced some Indonesian acts as well. And I said to myself: 'I'm tired! I cannot achieve more than I already have. There's no challenge anymore'."[13]

1994–96: Beginnings in Europe

"I dreamt of having this international career, but producers won't come to Indonesia to look for talent when there is so much available in their own countries. I had to go there. I was curious, and I think it's good to change. In Indonesia, we don't have that much information coming in; it comes from just one source. And the Internet wasn't as big as it is now."

Anggun in an interview with journalist Chuck Taylor from Billboard magazine in 1998.[9]

In 1994, Anggun released Yang Hilang, a greatest hits album of her Indonesian hits. She later sold her record company to fund her move to Europe, and moved to London for about one year.[13][14] In a 2006 interview with Trax magazine, Anggun admitted to experiencing "culture shock" and having some serious financial problems while trying to start her new life in Europe, saying "I thought the money that I got by selling my record company was enough [to sustain life in London], but I began to lose money, little by little. I had to spend so much on taking cabs and eating! So I ended up taking buses everywhere and going to clubs to introduce myself as a singer." She also admitted that she "had to convert from being a shy, introverted, 'real' Javanese woman to being an unabashed, fearless, 'fake' Javanese woman."[15]

She began writing songs and recording demos, but after a few months, all the demos she had sent to record companies around the UK were returned with negative replies.[15] She began thinking about moving to another country, and initially considered moving to the Netherlands, but later decided on France.[15] In 1996, her international career began to advance; she was introduced to producer Erick Benzi, who previously had worked with Celine Dion, Jean-Jacques Goldman and Johnny Hallyday.[16] Impressed by Anggun's talent, Benzi immediately offered her a recording deal. Later that year, Anggun was signed to Columbia France and Sony Music Entertainment.[2] After a brief French course at Alliance Française, Anggun began working on her debut album with Benzi, alongside Jacques Veneruso, Gildas Arzel and Nikki Matheson.[17]

1997–99: Snow on the Sahara and international success

In June 1997, Anggun released her first French-language album, entitled Au nom de la lune. The album was a huge artistic departure to Anggun's earlier rock style, experimenting with world music and more adult contemporary sounds.[18] Anggun described the album as "a concentration of all the musical influences of my life. I want to introduce Indonesia, but in a progressive way, in a lyric, in a sound, and mainly through me."[9] The album's first single, "La neige au Sahara", quickly became a hit in France, peaking at number 1 on the French Airplay Chart and number 16 on the French Singles Chart.[19][20] It became the most-played single in France of 1997, with a total of 7,900 radio airplays, and was certified gold for shipment of 250,000 copies.[19][21] Two more commercial singles, "La rose des vents" and "Au nom de la lune", were released to modest chart success.[20] The album peaked at number 34 on the French Albums Chart and sold over 150,000 copies in France and Belgium.[20] Anggun received a nomination for the La révélation de l'année award (Revelation of the Year/Best New Artist) in Victoires de la musique (a Grammy Award-equivalent in the French music scene).[22]

The English version of the album, Snow on the Sahara, was released internationally in 33 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and America between late 1997 to early 1999.[23] The album contained the songs on Au nom de la lune, adapted to English by songwriter Nikki Matheson, and a cover version of the David Bowie hit "Life on Mars?". For the Southeast Asian market, Anggun included an Indonesian song, "Kembali", which became a huge hit in the region.[24] American music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic called the album "a promising debut effort" because "she illustrates enough full-formed talent on the disc".[25] According to Erlewine, Anggun "tackles polished ballads, Latin-pop and dance-pop on Snow on the Sahara, demonstrating that she can sing all the styles quite well." The album's first single, "Snow on the Sahara" was a commercial success, reaching number one in Italy, Spain and several countries in Asia, and the top five on the UK Club Chart.[26] The song was also used as the soundtrack for an international marketing campaign launched by the Swiss watchmaker Swatch.[16] Snow on the Sahara has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and received the Diamond Export Sales Award.[27][28]

In North America, Snow on the Sahara was released in May 1998 by Epic Records.[7] Anggun went on an extensive tour for nine months in the United States to promote the album,[4] including a supporting act for several artists such as The Corrs and Toni Braxton, as well as participating at the Lilith Fair (performing with Sarah McLachlan and Erykah Badu on stage).[8] She also appeared on American television programs such as The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Sessions at West 54th and received a CNN WorldBeat interview; she was also given coverage in printed media like Rolling Stone and Billboard.[17][29] However, Snow on the Sahara was not much of a commercial success in the United States. The album peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart and shipped 200,000 units.[4][30] The single reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play and number 22 on the Billboard Adult Top 40.[31] The album track "On the Breath of an Angel" was later used as the soundtrack of American television series Passions and television film The Princess and the Marine, both of which aired on NBC.[32][33]

2000–03: Chrysalis, Open Hearts, and collaborations

In 1999, Anggun ended her seven-year marriage to Michel de Gea; this inspired her to record another studio album. Her second French album, Désirs contraires, was released in September 1999. It was an artistic departure from Au nom de la lune, experimenting with electropop and ambient elements as well as R&B music.[18] The album was again produced by Erick Benzi, but it featured some of Anggun's compositions. Désirs contraires failed to repeat the success of the previous album. It peaked at number 48 on the French Albums Chart and sold about 30,000 copies in France.[20] Only two singles were released off the album: the tropical-sounding "Un geste d'amour" and the R&B-influenced "Derrière la porte". Both singles failed to achieve commercial success, although "Un geste d'amour" reached number 62 on the French Singles Chart.[20]

It was the English version of the album that enjoyed more success. Chrysalis was released at the same time as Désirs contraires and represented a huge artistic growth for Anggun, who had co-written the entire album.[23] Distributed simultaneously in 15 countries, the album was never released in the United States due to the lackluster sales of her first album.[16] The album spawned the hit single "Still Reminds Me", which received high airplays across Asia and Europe.[23] It became her third number-one hit in Indonesia since her international career and her third top 20 single in Italy (peaking at number 17).[34] It also reached the top five on the Music & Media European Border Breakers Chart. She released a single specially for the Indonesian and Malaysian market, "Yang 'Ku Tunggu" (the Indonesian version of "Un geste d'amour"), which became another number-one hit for Anggun in the region.[24]

At the end of 2000 Anggun received an invitation from the Vatican, asking her to appear at a special Christmas concert alongside Bryan Adams and Dionne Warwick.[16] For the event, she gave her renditions of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as well as "Still Reminds Me". Her performance was also included on the Noël au Vatican disc compilation. The following month, she started a tour across Asia and Europe, including her first ever concert in France at Le Bataclan on 1 February 2001. The tour ended on 30 April 2001 at Kallang Theater, Singapore.[16] In 2002, Anggun received the Women Inspire Award from Singapore's Beacon of Light award ceremony for "her achievements as a role model for many young women in Asia."[35] The next year, she was honored with Cosmopolitan Indonesia's Fun Fearless Female of the Year Award.[36]

During this period, Anggun also did a string of collaborations, soundtrack projects, and charity albums. These included a mixed French-English song with DJ Cam entitled "Summer in Paris" (which later became a club hit in Europe and Asia for both artists) on his 2001 album, Soulshine;[37] an Indonesian-English song with Deep Forest entitled "Deep Blue Sea" on their 2002 album, Music Detected; and three collaborations in 2003, including with Italian rock singers Piero Pelù, Serge Lama and Tri Yann.[38] Her duet with Piero Pelù on an Italian-English song entitled "Amore Immaginato" became a hit in Italy, spending over two months at the top of Italian Airplay Chart.[26] Among her charity projects were Solidays in 2000 (featuring her collaboration with Peter Gabriel and several international acts), Les voix de l'espoir in 2001, and Gaia in 2002 (featuring a duet with Zucchero on the song "World"). Anggun also collaborated with Bryan Adams in writing a song entitled "Walking Away" which remains unreleased for unknown reason.[4][39]

Anggun participated in two Scandinavian movies: contributing the song "Rain (Here Without You)" for Anja & Viktor in 2001, and the entire soundtrack album for Open Hearts in 2002.[16] For Open Hearts, Anggun worked with two Danish producers, Jesper Winge Leisner and Niels Brinck.[40] "Open Your Heart" was released as a commercial single from the soundtrack album and charted at number 51 on the Norwegian Singles Chart.[41] It also earned Anggun a nomination for Best Original Song at the Danish Film Academy's Robert Awards in 2003.[42] "Counting Down" was also released as a single and became a top-ten airplay hit in Indonesia.[24] Anggun's work with Sony Music ended in 2003 due to the company's structural change after merger with BMG Music. She later moved to Montreal, Canada where she met Olivier Maury, a law school graduate. In 2004, Anggun and Maury were married in a private ceremony in Bali.[43]

2004–06: Luminescence

In 2004, Anggun returned to Paris and landed a new record deal with Heben Music, a French independent label. She began working on her next album with several producers, including Jean-Pierre Taieb and Frederic Jaffre. Anggun, who composed mainly in English, enlisted the help of several well-known French songwriters, such as Jean Fauque, Lionel Florence, Tété and Evelyn Kral to adapt her English songs into French.[38] In late 2004, Anggun released her first solo French single in nearly four years, "Être une femme". The single was available in two versions: one solo version for commercial release and a duet with Diam's for radio release. It became Anggun's second top 20 hit in France, peaking at number 16 on the French Singles Chart.[20] It also became Anggun's first French single to chart on the Swiss Singles Chart, peaking at number 58.[44] Released in February 2005, Anggun's third French album, Luminescence, entered the French Albums Chart at number 30 and was later certified gold for selling 100,000 copies.[21][45] The second single, "Cesse la pluie" also became a hit, peaking at number 10 in Belgium, 22 in France and 65 in Switzerland.[46][47] According to Francophonie Diffusion, "Être une femme" and "Cesse la pluie" were the second and the fifth most-played French single of 2005 worldwide, respectively.[48]

Anggun at Fete de l'Espoir, Geneva, Switzerland, in May 2005.

The English version of Luminescence—sharing the same title with the French counterpart—was released in Europe under Sony BMG and in Asia under Universal Music. "Undress Me" was chosen as the first single from the English version. Although it wasn't accompanied with a music video, it debuted at number 13 in Italy, becoming her fifth top 20 single there.[49] It also provided Anggun with her first hit in the Middle East, where the song topped the charts in Lebanon and Turkey. "In Your Mind" was released as the second single and it became a huge hit in Asia.[24] The third single, "Saviour", was used as the soundtrack for the U.S. box office number-one film Transporter 2.[50]

Anggun was awarded with the prestigious distinction Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture for her worldwide achievements and her support of the French culture.[38][51] She was appointed as the spokesperson for the International Year of Microcredit, a United Nations program aimed at eradicating debt in the third world,[52] as well as the ambassadress for a Swiss watch brand, Audemars Piguet.[53] Anggun did a duet with Julio Iglesias on a reworked version of "All of You" for his album Romantic Classics (2006). She also participated on the 2006 Fight AIDS campaign in France with a collaborative track entitled "L'or de nos vies" with several other French musicians.[54] On 25 May 2006, Anggun performed on her sold-out solo concert in Jakarta Convention Center, entitled Konser Untuk Negeri.[55]

In August 2006, Anggun released the special edition of both the French and English versions of Luminescence with three new songs. She made a large jump on the French Albums Chart from number 119 to number 16 (a total 103 ranks) with the re-release, making Luminescence her best-charting album in France.[45] "Juste avant toi", the new single from the special edition, became Anggun's fourth top 40 hit, peaking at number 28 on the French Singles Chart.[20] Meanwhile, its English version, "I'll Be Alright", became her most popular hit on Russian radio with over 43,000 airplays.[56] Luminescence was re-issued in February 2007 and peaked at number three on the French Back Catalogue Chart.[57]

In December 2006, Anggun received the special recognition Best International Artist at Anugerah Musik Indonesia, the highest music award ceremony in Indonesia. The award was given for her role in introducing Indonesian music to the international recording industry.[58] Subsequently, Anggun released her Best-Of album in Indonesia and Malaysia, which compiled singles during the first decade of her international career, including three re-recorded versions of her early Indonesian hits.[59] The new version of "Mimpi" was released as a radio single and became a huge hit in Indonesia in late 2006 to early 2007.[24] Anggun later released Best-Of for Italian market with different tracklisting and "I'll Be Alright" as its lead single.[60] She was also featured on German band Reamonn's single "Tonight" and a charity single with several female French stars, titled "Pour que tu sois libre".[20]

2007–10: Motherhood and Elevation

After her marriage to Olivier Maury ended in 2006, Anggun began a relationship with French writer Cyril Montana, whom she eventually married.[61] She gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Kirana Cipta Montana, on 8 November 2007.[62] During the year, Anggun participated in several environmental projects. She became the French-language narrator of BBC nature documentary film Earth (Un jour sur Terre), and composed its soundtrack single, "Un jour sur terre".[63] She was appointed as the Ambassador of the Micro-environment Prize by the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development and National Geographic Channel.[64][65] Anggun was awarded Le grand cœur de l'année (The Great Heart of the Year) by French television network Filles TV for her contribution in social and environmental events.[66]

In February 2007, Anggun was invited as the guest star on one episode of the fourth season of Star Academy Arab World in Lebanon.[67] She returned to another episode of the show's fifth season in the following year. In December 2007, she received her second invitation from the Vatican to perform in the Christmas concert in Verona, Italy, along with Michael Bolton.[68] She covered Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" with Corsican group I Muvrini for their album I Muvrini et les 500 choristes (2007).[69] She was also featured on the remix version of DJ Laurent Wolf's number-one hit "No Stress" for the deluxe edition of his album Wash My World.[70] Anggun and Wolf performed the song at the 2008 World Music Awards in Monaco.[71]

In late 2008, Anggun released her fourth international studio album, Elevation, which shares the same title in both English and French. A departure from the style of her previous efforts, the album experimented with urban music and hip hop.[72] Elevation was produced by hip hop producer pair Tefa & Masta and features collaboration with rappers Pras Michel from the Fugees, Sinik, and Big Ali.[73] "Crazy" was released as the lead single from the album, with its French and Indonesian version, "Si tu l'avoues" and "Jadi Milikmu", serving as the first single for the respective territories. In Russia, Elevation was released with an additional song, "O Nas S Toboyu", which was recorded as a duet with Russian singer Max Lorens.[74] Prior to its official release, the album had already been certified double platinum, making it the fastest-selling album of her career in Indonesia.[75] In France, the album debuted at number 36 on the French Albums Chart.[20]

Anggun's four-year ambassadress contract with Audemars Piguet was subsequently extended. She was also chosen by international hair care brand, Pantene, and New Zealand-based dairy product, Anlene, as their ambassador.[61] On 16 October 2009, Anggun was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), part of the United Nations.[76][77] Anggun also joined the judging panel for Miss France 2009.[78] In early 2010, Anggun recorded a duet with Portuguese singer Mickael Carreira on the song "Chama por me (Call My Name)", as well as performing at his concert in Lisbon, Portugal on 26 February 2010.[79] She collaborated with German electronica musician Schiller, co-writing and contributing lead vocals to two tracks, "Always You" and "Blind", for his album Atemlos (2010).[80] Anggun was also featured on Schiller's concert series, Atemlos Tour, in 14 cities in Germany during May 2010.[81]

2011–13: Echoes, Eurovision, and The X Factor

Anggun's fifth international studio album—Echoes for the English version and Échos for the French version—saw her collaboration with composers Gioacchino, Pierre Jaconelli, Jean-Pierre Pilot, and William Rousseau.[82] It became her first self-produced international album and was released under her own record label, April Earth.[82] The English version was first released in Indonesia in May 2011. It topped the Indonesian Albums Chart and was certified platinum in the first week.[83] It eventually became the best-selling pop album of 2011, with quadruple platinum certification.[84] "Only Love" and its Indonesian version "Hanyalah Cinta" were released as the lead singles and became number-one radio hits.[85] The French version was released in November 2011 and reached number 48 on the French Albums Chart.[86] "Je partirai", the first single for the French version, reached number five in Belgium.[87] Anggun held her second major concert at the Jakarta Convention Center, Konser Kilau Anggun, on 27 November 2011.[85] She later appeared for the third time at the Christmas concert in the Vatican. This time, she performed "Only Love" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", the latter in a duet with Ronan Keating.[88]

File:Anggun @ Eurovision 2012.jpg
Anggun performing at the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan on 26 May 2012.

Anggun was chosen by France Télévisions to represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. She co-wrote the entry, "Echo (You and I)", with William Rousseau and Jean-Pierre Pilot.[89] Anggun held an extensive tour to more than 15 countries in Europe to promote the song.[90] She performed the song at the Eurovision grand final in Baku, Azerbaijan on 26 May 2012, wearing a shiny metallic dress sponsored by designer Jean Paul Gaultier. The song finished in 22nd place with 21 points. Anggun later told the press that she had originally hoped to reach a place within the top 10 and was deeply disappointed with the final result.[91]

In March 2012, Anggun released the international edition of Echoes with "Echo (You and I)" as the lead single.[92] A special edition of Échos was also released in France, featuring three additional tracks. Following the completion of the Eurovision, she continued the promotion of the album. Anggun embarked on a concert tour in several cities across France, Switzerland and New Caledonia, including her sold-out concert in Le Trianon, Paris, on 13 June 2012.[93] On the year's Valentine's Day, she appeared as the guest artist at Lara Fabian's concert special on MTV Lebanon, where they sang the duet "Tu es mon autre".[94] Anggun with Schiller also toured 10 cities in Germany in late 2012.[95]

In 2013, Anggun served as the international judge for the first season of the Indonesian version of The X Factor, which reportedly made her the highest-paid judge in Indonesian television history.[96][97] It became the year's highest-rated talent show in Indonesia.[98] Anggun's involvement was also lauded by public and critics, with Bintang Indonesia praising her for "setting high standard [for a judge] on talent shows."[97] She subsequently joined the judging panel of the television special X Factor Around the World, alongside Paula Abdul, Louis Walsh, Daniel Bedingfield, and Ahmad Dhani, on 24 August 2013.[99] She participated on the concept album entitled Thérèse – Vivre d'amour, for which she recorded two duets—"Vivre d'amour" and "La fiancée"—with Canadian singer Natasha St-Pier.[100] Released in April 2013, the project topped the French Physical Albums Chart.[101] In May 2013, Anggun released a greatest hits album entitiled Best-Of: Design of a Decade 2003–2013. A new version of "Snow on the Sahara" produced by Lebanese-Canadian musician K.Maro was sent to Indonesian radio to promote the album.[102] At the 2013 Taormina Film Fest in Italy, Anggun was presented with the Taormina Special Award for her humanitarian works as the FAO Goodwill Ambassador.[103]

2014–present: Got Talent and Toujours un ailleurs

Anggun in Paris, France, on 25 April 2015.

Following the success of X Factor Indonesia, Anggun was recruited to judge the other Syco's franchise, Indonesia's Got Talent, in 2014. To prepare for the program, she received instruction from Simon Cowell during the set of Britain's Got Talent.[104] Anggun re-recorded her debut international single as a French-Portuguese duet with Tony Carreira, retitled "La neige au Sahara (Faço Chover No Deserto)", for Carreira's album Nos fiançailles, France/Portugal. The duo performed the song at the 2014 World Music Awards in Monaco, where Anggun was awarded the World's Best-Selling Indonesian Artist.[105] In June, Anggun launched her first fragrance, Grace, called after her name in English.[106] In late 2014, Anggun recorded two duets: "Who Wants to Live Forever" with Il Divo for the their album A Musical Affair and "Pour une fois" with Vincent Niclo for his album Ce que je suis.[107] Anggun also released "Fly My Eagle" as an original soundtrack for the commercially and critically acclaimed film Pendekar Tongkat Emas.[108] Anggun performed in Africa twice during 2014, for Casa Fashion Show in Casablanca, Morocco,[109] and for the 15th annual French-speaking World Summit in Dakar, Senegal.[110]

In 2015, Anggun, alongside David Foster, Melanie C (Spice Girls) and Vanness Wu (F4), was announced as a judge on the debut of Asia's Got Talent. Joined by contestants from 15 countries in Asia, the show premiered on AXN Asia on 12 March 2015.[111] Anggun, David Foster, Melanie C and Vanness Wu later collaborated on a cover version of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Let's Groove" as the charity single for Nepal earthquake relief.[112] Anggun became the ambassador of charity organization La Voix De l'Enfant (The Voice of the Children).[113] The Asian Academy of Music Arts and Sciences (AAMAS) also announced Anggun among its board of governors, as well as becoming the academy's first ambassador.[114] At the 2015 Anugerah Planet Muzik in Singapore, Anggun received International Breakthrough Artist Award for becoming the first internationally successful act from Malay-speaking countries.[115] SK-II and Harper's Bazaar Indonesia honored Anggun as one of 15 Most Inspiring Women.[116]

Anggun's sixth French-language studio album, Toujours un ailleurs, was released in November 2015 by TF1 Musique under Universal Music Group.[117][118] Produced by Frédéric Chateau and Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Rawling, the album revisited the world music direction of her debut international album. The album's single, "Nos vies parallèles" (duet with Florent Pagny), peaked at number seven on the Belgian Ultratip Singles Chart as well as #39 on the Ultratop Singles Chart.[119] "Nos vies parallèles" also peaked at #47 on the SNEP Top Singles Téléchargés[120] and peak at #55 on the SNEP Singles Chart.[121]

On 2016, It is rumored that Anggun will be chosen as the judges of The Voice Indonesia Season 2, alongside with Armand Maulana.

Artistry and public image

Anggun playing piano during her 2006 concert in Bandung, Indonesia.

Anggun possesses a three-octave contralto voice, which has been described as "husky", "soulful", and "distinctive" by music critics.[122][123][124] Chuck Taylor from Billboard commented: "Vocally, Anggun is a fortress of power, easing from a delicate whisper into a brand of cloud-parting fortitude commonly associated with grade-A divas."[125] John Everson from The SouthtownStar noted that "Anggun is gifted with a warm, full voice that can tackle slight pop songs without overpowering them as well as swoop with depth and ease over heavier emotional numbers."[126] Anggun received her first songwriting credit at the age of twelve on her debut album Dunia Aku Punya (1986). Anggun said, "I was writing songs all the time, but my specialty was classical piano and singing."[127]

Anggun started as a rock singer in Indonesia, and was influenced by rock bands such as Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi, and Megadeth.[3] After her initial international success, she showed her versatility by changing musical style for each album.[18] Her later references cover a wide range of styles from jazz to pop, extending from Billie Holiday and Joni Mitchell to Madonna.[128] Anggun called Nine Inch Nails's The Fragile (1999) as "the album that changed my life" and the band's frontman Trent Reznor as "the man of my musical life."[129][130] Her other musical influences include Sheila Chandra, Sting, David Bowie, and The Beatles.[8] Anggun, who studied Balinese dance, uses the traditional art in her performances.[131]

Anggun's image has been compared to that of Pocahontas.[132] At the early stage of her career as a rock singer, Anggun was known for her tomboy look—wearing a crooked beret, shorts, studded jacket, and large belt; this set a trend during the early 1990s. Later, she has focused on femininity and sexuality, emphasising her long black hair and brown skin.[133] For this look she utilises the work of fashion designers like Azzedine Alaïa, Dolce & Gabbana, and Roberto Cavalli.[61] In 2001, Anggun was dubbed as the sixth Sexiest Women of Asia by FHM magazine.[36] Later in 2010, she was ranked at number 18 on the French version of FHM's list of 100 Sexiest Women in the World.[134]

When promoting her first international album in the United States, she was reportedly offered a role as a Bond Girl in The World Is Not Enough, as well as in High Fidelity.[135] Anggun refused being an actress and said "I was born a singer. I won't go into another profession, because I think there are still many people out there who were born to be movie stars or models. My calling is in music."[lower-alpha 1][136] As for commercials, she tends to be selective when choosing products to promote.[137]

Anggun success is Europe and America has been credited with helping other Asian singers such as Coco Lee, Utada Hikaru, and Tata Young.[138] Malaysian singer Yuna asked Anggun's guidance when launching her recording career in the United States in 2011.[139] Ian De Cotta from Singapore newspaper Today called her the "Voice of Asia" as well as "Southeast Asia's international singing sensation."[140] Filipino journalist Lionel Zivan S. Valdellon described Anggun as "a very good ambassadress for Indonesia and Asia in general".[17] Regarding the role of Asia in Western music industry, Anggun said "I think it's about time people know something more about Asia, not only as a vacation place."[17]


Indonesian-language studio albums

English-language studio albums

French-language studio albums


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Muppets TV Herself One episode
2007 Star Academy Arab World Guest mentor TV reality show ; one episode
Earth (Un jour sur Terre) Narrator Documentary film
Extravaganza Musical guest Prime time comedy variety show
2008 Miss France 2009 Herself Judges
2009 Anggun Cari Bintang Pantene Herself TV reality show
2010 What War May Bring (Ces amours-là) Herself Drama film; cameo appearance
2013 X Factor Indonesia Judge / mentor TV reality show (Season 1)
X Factor Around the World Judge TV special
2014 Indonesia's Got Talent Judge TV reality show (Season 2)
2015 Asia's Got Talent Judge TV reality show (Season 1)
Peuples autochtones: notre combat Narrator TV documentary film
Miss France 2016 Herself Judges

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1998 Victoires de la musique Revelation of the Year Herself Nominated[141]
2001 Radio France Internationale Francophone Song of the Year "Derrière la porte" Won
2002 Beacon of Light Awards Women Inspire Award Herself Won
2003 Cosmopolitan Indonesia Fun Fearless Female of the Year Won
Robert Awards Best Original Song "Open Your Heart" Nominated[142]
2004 Radio France Internationale Francophone Song of the Year "Être une femme" Won
2006 Anugerah Musik Indonesia Best International Artist Herself Won
2007 Filles TV – Jeune & Jolie Awards Great Heart of the Year Won
2008 Radio France Internationale Francophone Song of the Year "Si tu l'avoues" Won
2009 Dahsyatnya Awards Outstanding Solo Singer Herself Nominated
2012 Outstanding Guest Star Nominated[143]
Yahoo OMG! Awards Most Inspiring Celebrity Nominated
Most Outstanding International Achievement Nominated
2013 Taormina Film Fest Taormina Special Award Won
SBY Magazine Woman of the Year Won
NRJ Music Award Best Francophone Group/Duo/Trio/Collective Génération Goldman Volume 2 (as featured artist) Nominated[144]
2014 World Music Awards World's Best Female Artist Herself Nominated
World's Best Live Act Nominated
World's Best Entertainer of the Year Nominated
World's Best Selling Indonesian Artist Won
World's Best Song "Vivre d'amour" (with Natasha St-Pier) Nominated
World's Best Video Nominated
World's Best Album Thérèse – Vivre d'amour (as featured artist) Nominated
2015 Indonesian Movie Awards Most Favourite Movie Soundtrack "Fly My Eagle" Nominated[145]
Anugerah Planet Muzik International Breakthru Artiste Award Herself Won

See also


  1. Original: "Aku lahir sebagai penyanyi. Aku tidak akan mencoba profesi lain karena menurutku masih banyak orang yang memang dilahirkan untuk menjadi bintang film atau model. Aku merasa panggilan jiwaku adalah musik."


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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Amaury Vassili
with "Sognu"
France in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Amandine Bourgeois
with "L'enfer et moi"