Sertab Erener

Sertab Erener

Pop singer
Country: Turkey

Biography of Sertab Erener

Sertab Erener is a Turkish pop singer who began her professional career in the music industry by studying at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory, and later continued her education at the Turkish Government Conservatory. After graduating from the Conservatory as a coloratura soprano, Sertab started performing at popular clubs in Istanbul with her own band. In the late 80s, she worked as a backing vocalist for Sezen Aksu, a singer known as the queen of Turkish pop music.

Sertab is well acquainted with Eurovision, as she participated twice in the Turkish national finals for song selection in 1989 and 1990. In Europe, she is known for her songs performed in collaboration with Mando, Voice Male, and Ricky Martin. Additionally, Sertab has received numerous Sony Music awards for her albums, which have sold millions of copies. She is one of the most popular singers in Turkey, having released seven albums to date. Her concerts and tours attract fans both in Turkey and beyond.

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) offered Sertab Erener the opportunity to represent Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest 2003. The condition was that the competition song had to be sung in English. Sertab accepted the tempting offer and composed three different songs. TRT chose the song "Every Way That I Can," with lyrics written by Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan, and music composed by Demir Demirkan. It is worth noting that many Turks objected to the song being in English. However, Sertab's performance proved that TRT made the right choice. Sertab Erener said that "Every Way That I Can" is "a song about a woman who would do anything to get her beloved back."

Erener's performance was a combination of belly dance with Turkish rhythms and Western pop music. This successful combination allowed Turkey to win first place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, which took place on May 24. Erener was the fourth performer on stage, and TRT broadcasted the competition live. Turkey first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1975 with the song "Semiha Yank." Until now, Turkey has participated 24 times in the Contest. Its best result was achieved in 1997 when it ranked third with the song "Listen." Turkey has been represented on Eurovision by popular Turkish pop groups and singers such as MF, Ajda Pekkan, Nilfer, Kayahan, and Neco. However, Erener was the first representative of Turkey to perform a song in English.

Sertab Erener stated that she received congratulations from many different people regarding her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest. She expressed her happiness for the congratulations she received from both government officials and her friends. On May 26, 2003, hundreds of Turkish citizens welcomed Sertab Erener by waving Turkish flags and balloons. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the speaker of the parliament, and the general director of TRT, Haluk Buran, all made speeches to celebrate Turkey's victory. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Prime Minister also congratulated Sertab over the phone. Together with her backing vocalists and dancers who performed with her, Sertab Erener was received by President Sezer at the presidential palace, as well as by the Prime Minister at his office and the Speaker of the Parliament at the parliament on May 27, 2003.

Thanks to Sertab Erener's victory, the 49th Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 will be held in Turkey.