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Anna Eira Margarida Mourão de Melo e Abreu (born February 7, 1990 in Vantaa, Finland) is a Finnish singer of Portuguese origin who rose to fame as the runner-up of the third series of the Finnish singing competition Finnish Pop Idol in 2007. Her music is primarily pop, though her songs also have R&B, dance and Latin rhythms to them. Since her participation in Idols, Abreu has went on to become not only the show's highest-selling star, but also Finland's most successful female recording artist, with record sales of over 170,000 from three albums. Her self-titled debut album is credited as one of the best-selling albums in Finnish music history with over 86,000 copies sold.
Abreu's Portuguese father Paulo lives in Sintra, Portugal, whilst she and her Finnish mother Liisa lives in Vantaa with Anna. Abreu has a brother Emil, who is four years older than her. As a young girl she lived in Portugal and outside music, her other hobbies include reggaeton-dance and playing the violin. Abreu became multi-lingual at a young age, being fluent in Finnish, Portuguese, English, Spanish and a little Swedish.
Idols Series 3
In the summer of 2006, a sixteen-year-old Abreu auditioned for the third season of the singing competition Finnish Pop Idol in the Finnish capital, Helsinki. She sang the Alicia Keys hit "Fallin'" and "Jumala" by Finnish rock band Apulanta. The contests four judges were all impressed by the power and conviction of her voice, especially as Abreu was only sixteen years old. She passed through to the theatre rounds of the contest and then the live finals. Abreu's performances attracted heavy public support, however, during the top 5 results show, she shockingly landed in the bottom two contestants alongside Panu Larnos. Abreu survived the elimnation and made it through to the live grand finale at Helsinki Ice Hall with fellow contestant Ari Koivunen, who sang exclusively in the heavy-metal genre. On April 5, 2007, Koivunen won the crown as the third Finnish Idol with 57% of the public vote, with Abreu declared as runner-up.
2007–2008: Anna Abreu
Following her participation in Idols, Abreu was signed to the Finnish division of major record label Sony BMG and her Latino-infused, highly-anticipated debut single "End of Love" was released in July 2007. The song debuted and peaked at number eight on the singles chart and was accompanied by Abreu's first music video. Her self-titled debut album, Anna Abreu was released a month later on August 22 and was certified platinum within its first week after going straight into the chart at number one and selling a massive 30,000 copies. To date, its first week sales are among the highest in Finnish music history. The album's second single "Ivory Tower" appeared in October 2008, and after intitially debuting at number seventeen, the song peaked at number five in its seventh week and was certified gold in January 2008. A third single "Are You Ready" was released for promotional purposes only. In March 2008, the album, Anna Abreu was accredited with the rare certification of double platinum, having sold over 86,000 copies in the seven months since its release. It is ranked as one of the highest selling albums in Finnish music history. In the same month, Abreu won Best Finnish Female at the MTV Europe Music Awards and was nominated for Best Finnish Act.
After a sell-out tour across Finland to promote her debut album, Abreu returned to the recording studio to work on her second album. On July 31, 2008 the lead single "Vinegar" was released. Produced by Patric Sarin and Rauli Eskolin, the dance-orientated song marked a creative step away from the pop and RnB roots of Abreu's debut album. The song hit the number one spot on the Finnish charts and stayed there, not only becoming Abreu's first number one single but also one of the highest-selling singles of 2008. Second single, "Silent Depair" was released in early October, followed by the album Now on 22 October. The album became Abreu's second number one album and was certified platinum, selling over 50,000 copies. It was the highest selling album of 2008 in Finland and spawned two further singles with "Something About U" and "Come Undone", though the songs were used only for promotional purposes. In early 2009, Abreu supported Now with a cross-country tour, which like her first tour, played to sold-out venues.
It was reported that Abreu earned over 145,000 euros in 2008 through a combination of album sales, touring and public appearances, making her one of Finland's highest-earning singers.
2009–Present: Just A Pretty Face?
In August 2009, less than a year after the release of Abreu's second album, her record label Sony BMG announced that Abreu would release her third studio album later that year. The lead single "Music Everywhere" received its radio premiere on 5 August and was released five days later. After initially debuting at number four, the single rose to its peak of number two after Abreu's televised performance on the Finnish Children In Need, narrowing missing out on becoming Abrue's second number one single. Like "Vinegar" from her previous album, the single was dance-orientated, with Abreu stating that her new album would be almost completely dance and club based.
In September 2009 it was announced that Abreu and fellow Idols contestant Antti Tuisku would be embarking on a joint tour across Finland named the Pop Royalty Tour in 2010 to support their new albums. Tickets for the dates sold out within a matter of minutes and further tour dates had to be added to accommodate the huge public demand. At the same time, Abreu's record label announced that a remixed version of "Vinegar", the lead single from Abreu's second album, would be released as her debut single in the UK on 22 November. It went on to peak at number 7 on the UK Club Chart. On October 21, almost exactly one year after the release of her second album, Abreu released her third, Just A Pretty Face? in Finland. After only one day, the album was certified gold, having sold 23,000 copies in its first day of release alone. It peaked at number two on the Finnish albums chart and has since become Abreu's third consecutive platinum album. It was the sixth highest-selling album of 2009, despite only being released in October.
On April 11, 2010, Abreu performed her new promotional single "Slam" on the first series of the Finnish X Factor, which had replaced Idols, the show that had given Abreu the platform from which to launch her music career in 2007.