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Biography: A Sun Rises In The East

Tarkan is a huge Pop sensation in Turkey and is Turkey's first true international pop star.

Born in Alzey near Frankfurt on October 17th, 1972, Tarkan Tevetoglu grew up in Germany. In 1986, his father decided to relocate his family back to his homeland in Turkey. Tarkan began to study music in Karamrsel. His road to fame began when he moved to Istanbul to prepare for University entrance exams in 1990.

In 1991 he met Mehmet Satoglu (owner of Istanbul Plak, a prominent Turkish record company) who made him a star. Most commentators term this year as his "Year of Destiny". His debut album Yine Sensiz (Without You Again) sold 700,000 copies. His second album A-acayipsin (Oh - You're Something Else) sold more than 2,000,000 copies in Turkey and 700,000 copies in Europe. This was a first-time-ever feat for a Turkish performer.

In 1994 Tarkan spent time in the USA to learn English where he met Ahmet Ertegun (the Turkish founder of Atlantic Records). Ertegun has been quietly grooming Tarkan for an American career ever since.

In 1997, after a 3-year break, Tarkan released his third Turkish-language album Olurum Sana (I'd Die For You), and on the tour that followed he filled the Hippodrome in London, the Bataclan in Paris, and the Arena in Berlin. This album broke all record sales in Turkey. It sold over 3,500,000 copies. When the album's single Simarik (Kiss Kiss/Chanson Du Bisou/Besos) was released in 1999 in Europe, it reached No. 3 in France and Germany, No.1 in Belgium. Following that he released a compilation album for Europe entitled Tarkan. He won a World Music Award in Monaco in the same year. Tarkan released two more singles in Europe under the Sikidim (Shake) and Bu Gece (Tonight).

In 2000 the self-titled album Tarkan was released in the USA with a Universal Latino ticket.

In 2001 Tarkan released his first-ever single in Turkey called Kuzu Kuzu (Like A Lamb). Tarkan's following albums Karma in 2001 and his latest Turkish-language album Dudu (Woman), released in the Summer of 2003, cemented his popularity in his parents' homeland. He has been the face of Pepsi in Turkey and was the official mascot of the Turkish National football team for the 2002 World Cup, recording the football song Bir Oluruz Yolunda (United For You) which became an anthem for the fans. He also released his own perfume range entitled "Tarkan" at the start of 2004. In the same year he also added "music producer to another artist" to his list of achievements with his collaboration on Turkish female singer Nazan Oncel's album Yan Yana Fotograf Cektirelim. He also is featured in two of the songs on that album and lends his backing vocals to a third.

However, ever since 1999-2000 Tarkan has been generally silent outside of Turkey. In his silence, many other artists have recorded cover versions of his song Simarik, including Stella Soleil in the USA and Holly Valance in the UK.

Tarkan has tried to make up for this silence with recent tours across Europe and Russia in the Spring and Summer of 2004. In addition to this, Tarkan's first musical English collaboration has been for the compilation album Unity, the official pop album for the Summer 2004 Olympics.

Following Dudu there is now an expectation that an English-language album will have a 2004 release. Fans of the Turkish pop music star are waiting in anticipation for a return to the 1999 era.

Contributed by: Ali Yildirim


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