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Laleh
Laleh Pourkarim.jpg
Background information
Birth name Laleh Pourkarim
Born (1982-06-10) 10 June 1982 (age 37)
Bandar-e Anzali , Gilan, Iran
Origin Gothenburg , Västergötland , Flag of Sweden Sweden
Genres Pop, folk , indie
Occupations Singer-songwriter, producer, guitarist, pianist, actress, record company manager
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, drums
Years active 2000–2006 (actress)
2003–present (singer)
Labels Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
Website laleh.se

Laleh Pourkarim (Persian: لاله پورکریم‎, pronounced [lɒːle-je puːɾkæɾiːm]; born 10 June 1982) is an Iranian-born Swedish singer-songwriter and former actress. Following a short acting career, she entered the music industry in 2005 with her self-titled debut album which peaked at number one in Sweden and went on to become the highest selling album of the year.

She has since released three further albums, all of which have been produced, written, recorded, engineered and performed by herself. She has sung in both English and Swedish, in addition to her parents’ native tongue, Persian. In 2011, she participated in the Swedish television show Så mycket bättre, which sees a number of artists create new interpretations of the others songs. Her performances on the show were lauded by both critics and the public. Following the show, it was noted in the media that she had been given "a second breakthrough".

Her 2012 album, Sjung, was released across Scandinavia on 25 January 2012 to generally positive reviews. The lead single from Sjung, "Some die young" was a commercial hit across Scandinavia, peaking at number one in Norway for eight weeks and becoming the twentieth biggest selling single of all time in the country. It also went double platinum in Sweden and gave Laleh her second chart-hit in Denmark and first in Finland. Her latest album, Colors, was released across Scandinavia in October 2013. She uses her given name Laleh as her stage name.

Background and personal lifeEdit

Laleh was born in the Northern Iranian harbour town of Bandar-e Anzali, but fled the country a year later with her parents to live in Azerbaijan, and later moving on to Minsk and a refugee camp in Tidaholm. She moved to Sweden when she was twelve (she has dual citizenship), and in her teenage years moved to Gothenburg to attend school in the multicultural district of Angered.

At Hvitfeldtska High School she was enrolled in the music program, growing up with classical music, ballet and circus music. She later got interested in punk, reggae and jazz music. She also learned to play the guitar, and formed a jazz ensemble, Bejola, with her music teacher when she was a teenager, and went on to teach herself to play percussion and the saxophone.

She is the daughter of Houshang Pourkarim, who drowned in August 1994. An opponent of the Islamic regime in Tehran, he was an artist, journalist and prominent Iranian ethnologist and rural sociologist from Bandar-e Anzali. During her appearance on Så mycket bättre, she discussed her tough childhood, moving from country to country, and how she witnessed her father drowning in 1994, when he tried to rescue a woman in distress who had fallen from her canoe into the water while at a summer camp organised by an Iranian association. As Houshang paddled out to help her, the canoe overturned. The woman survived but Laleh's father drowned. Laleh's mother, Atef, was a refugee from Georgia via Azerbaijan before she went to Iran to study comparative literature at the University of Tehran. Once the family arrived in Sweden, Laleh claims to have learned Swedish in only eleven days.

Beginning her career in acting, she had a major role in the Swedish movie Jalla! Jalla!, directed by Josef Fares, which was a big success at the Swedish box office in 2000. Laleh moved to Stockholm in 2010 following a short stint in Skellefteå. She has until 2011 become known for her reluctance to give interviews, but has after that year been more visible in interviews, talk shows and other TV programs, something that has benefited her career.

AlbumsEdit

Studio albums Edit

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
SWE NOR
2005 Laleh
  • Released: 30 March 2005
  • Label: Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
  • Formats: CD, digital download
1
2006 Prinsessor
  • Released: 6 December 2006
  • Label: Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
  • Formats: CD, digital download
3
2009 Me and Simon
  • Released: 19 January 2009
  • Label: Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
  • Formats: CD, digital download
2
2012 Sjung
  • Released: 25 January 2012
  • Label: Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
  • Formats: CD, digital download, Vinyl
1 1
  • SWE: Platinum
2013 Colors
  • Released: 14 October 2013
  • Label: Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
  • Formats: CD, digital download, Vinyl
2 4
  • SWE: Gold
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or not released to that country

Extended playsEdit

Title EP details
Tolkningarna
  • Released: 25 December 2011
  • Label: Lost Army / Warner Music Sweden
  • Formats: Digital download


SinglesEdit

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Album
SWE DEN NOR
2005 "Invisible (My Song)" 7 Laleh
"Storebror"
"Live Tomorrow" 20 11
2006 "Forgive But Not Forget" 46
"Det är vi som bestämmer
(Vem har lurat alla barnen)"
Prinsessor
"November"
2007 "Call On Me"
"Closer"
"Snö" 14 Me and Simon
2009 "Simon Says" 41
"Big City Love" 32
"Bjurö klubb"
2010 "Mysteries"
2012 "Some die young" 9 38 1 Sjung
"Vårens Första Dag"
2013 "Elephant"
"Colors" 33 34 Colors
"—" denotes singles that did not chart or were not released

Other charted songsEdit

Year Title SWE Album
2011 "Just nu" 25 Tolkningarna
"Ängeln i rummet" 6
"Alla vill till himmelen men ingen vill dö" 25
"Here I Go Again" 41


At Own Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Own Eurovision Song Contest 28Edit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Illhama Gasimova
with Out of reach
Azerbaijan in Own Eurovision Song Contest
28
Succeeded by
Arash feat. Helena
with Broken angel
Preceded by
Algeria Indila
with "Dernière danse"
Winner of Own Eurovision Song Contest
28
Succeeded by
Northern Ireland Ella Henderson
with "Ghost"
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