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Maria Viktoria Mena (born February 19, 1986) is a Norwegianmarker pop artist.

Biography

Maria Mena was born into an artistic family, her mother, a playwright and her father, a drummer. Both Maria and her brother Tony are named after characters from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Her mother is Norwegian and her father is Nicaraguan.

Her father played in several bands in Oslomarker, which influenced Mena to write and record her own music. When Mena was nine years old, her parents divorced. She suffered from depression and developed an eating disorder.

When Mena was 13 years old, she moved to live with her father. She sang and wrote lyrics as a form of self-soothing. "My Lullaby," a song from Mena's diary, expresses her pain from her parents' divorce. After pleading with her father to make a demo, he got her put up with some of his contacts in the music industry to record a demo. Then he presented his daughter's demo to several record companies. Soon after, Sony Music signed Mena to their label.

In 2002, she released her debut single "Fragile (Free)" in Norway, however it did not manage to chart there. "My Lullaby" was released as the second single and the song reached number five (#5) on the Norwegian Singles Chart. It received heavy rotation on NRKmarker P1, P3, P4, Radio 1, and Radio Oslo. The young singer quickly gained fans and soon earned her first platinum record. After the success of "My Lullaby," she released her debut album, Another Phase in Norway which reached number six (#6) on the Norwegian Albums Chart.

On July 20, 2004, Mena made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, with her first international album White Turns Blue debuting at the top position on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart a week later and at #102 on the Billboard 200. She made a breakthrough into the worldwide singles charts that year with "You're the Only One," a successful song in many countries. The song was her only song that has ever appeared on a Billboard chart, being the U.S. Top 40 Mainstream at #25. "You're the Only One" peaked at #30 on the Dutch Top 40 and #19 on the Dutch Mega Single Top 100. Meanwhile, she has already released her second album in Norway. Mellow was less successful than her 2002 debut, but still managed to peak at #7 in Norway. The second single from both albums was "Just a Little Bit", which was a commercial flop, not managing to chart anywhere.

2005 saw the release of Apparently Unaffected in Norway and several other European countries, fronted by singles "Miss You Love," and "Just Hold Me." A significant success in Norway, the album has earned her three Spellemann nominations, best female artist, best hit and best music video. In the Netherlandsmarker, the album was released in June 2006 and charted at #82. It slowly climbed the chart to reach its peak position in its 27th week at #11, as "Just Hold Me" was getting airplay again. "Just Hold Me" was released in May 2006, but then did not chart in the official Dutch Top 40, but did chart in the country's physical singles chart (Mega Single Top 100) at #27. In October 2006, the song started getting heavy airplay again and this time it did managed to reach the official Dutch Top 40 and peaked at #26. In the Mega Single Top 100, it peaked at #7 in the beginning of November 2006. She performed at sold-out concerts in Utrechtmarker and Amsterdammarker, after the success of "Just Hold Me". The album was at #48 at the Dutch year-end chart, outselling other major artists Pink's I'm Not Dead, Nelly Furtado's Loose, and Beyoncé Knowles' B'Day. "Miss You Love" was released as the album's second single in the Netherlands and has, since its release there, reached #61 on the Mega Singles Top 100.

Maria Mena 2008
On 7 July, 2007 she performed at the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburgmarker.

Mena's single "Belly Up" had its radio premiere mid-June 2008 on Norwegian radio. It was the first Norwegian single from her album Cause and Effect, which was released on September 17 in Norway. The first international single was "All This Time". The album was internationally released on September 26 2008. This album garnered her a Spellemann for Best Female Artist.

Mena's song "Sorry" was featured on the third season of US So You Think You Can Dance? and her "What's Another Day" was shown on the fourth season as well.

Discography

Albums

Year Album Chart Positions Certification
NORmarker

NL

US

US
Heatseekers


GERmarker
2002 Another Phase
  • Debut album
  • Released: April 22, 2002
6
2004 Mellow
  • 2nd studio album
  • Released: March 1, 2004
7
2004 White Turns Blue
  • International debut album
  • Released: July 20, 2004
102 1
2005 Apparently Unaffected
  • 3rd studio album
  • Released: November 14, 2005
6 11 22
  • GERmarker: Gold (100,000)
2008 Cause and Effect
  • 4th studio album
  • Released: September 15, 2008
4 8 20
  • GERmarker: Gold (100,000)


Singles

Year Title Chart positions Album
NOmarker GERmarker NL 40 NL 100 US Hot US Main CHLmarker SWImarker AUTmarker
2002 "Fragile (Free)" Another Phase
"My Lullaby" 1 5
2004 "You're the Only One" 8 32 19 86 25 8 Mellow / White Turns Blue
"Just a Little Bit"
2005 "Miss You Love" 2 73 61 Apparently Unaffected
2006 "Just Hold Me" 3 2 14 26 7 5 4
"Our Battles" 81
2008 "Nevermind Me" 4 84 76
"Belly Up" 5 4 Cause and Effect
"All This Time" 7 15 6 7 20 7
2009 "I'm In Love" 54
"I Was Made For Lovin' You" 91 20
"Wide Awake" (Sasha ft Maria Mena) Soundtrack: Lila, Lila


Notes
  • 1: "My Lullaby" is the only song that certified in Norway, becoming a gold single for selling over 5,000 copies in Norway.


  • 2: The single was officially released in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Austria in 2007.


  • 3: "Just Hold Me" gets gold in Germany in 2008 for selling more than 150,000 copies.


  • 4: The single was officially released in the Netherlands in 2009.


  • 5: Belly Up was initially only release in Norway, but released as the third official single in the Netherlands.


References

  1. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1666696/bio
  2. Norway Charts
  3. NL Album Chart & Mega Singles Top 100
  4. US Album Charts
  5. http://www.musikindustrie.de/gold_platin_datenbank/?action=1&strSuche=Maria+Mena
  6. http://www.musikindustrie.de/gold_platin_datenbank/?action=1&strSuche=Maria+Mena
  7. http://www.musikindustrie.de/gold_platin_datenbank0.html


External links




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