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Pandora's real name is Anneli Magnusson. Like many artists, she is told to be singing before she could talk. 'My mother has told me that it was my father who discovered my musical talent. I was still a baby at the time - I was already singing melodies then, long before I could speak.'
Her childhood was characterized by a love of music. Pandora's parents lived with their 5 children in Björkbacken, a small town in central Sweden. In the family's living room there was always a guitar hanging on the wall and in the corner stood an imposing electric organ. 'When I was about 9 years old I began making music at home with my brother. We lived in a fairly remote area of the country and there were very few children to play with in the afternoons, so we had plenty of time to make music.'
Pandora discovered contemporary rock and pop music in all its facets. She began to like the folk songs of the likes of Bob Dylan and adored the lascivious guitar-playing and blues-orientated voice of Eric Clapton. Her greatest idol however was always Mark Knopfler. 'I just loved the Dire Straits song Sultans Of Swing. My older brothers and sisters would listen to the album and I really came to love that particular song. I would sit in my room and try to copy the solo on my acoustic guitar. You can imagine how difficult that was.'
When she was 14, the dedicated vegetarian occasionally performed Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens songs in a nearby cafe, which brought her first-hand experience of performing 'live'. Some time later she went in search of people on the same wavelength and sang funk, soul and gospel songs in various bands.
At the age of 16 Pandora began to study classical vocal technique, classical guitar and theory of music at the College of Music in Västerås, a small town not far from Stockholm. Today she says that it was especially the atmosphere at that college which was so good for her and influenced her in a lasting way. It was there that she experienced living, seemingly limitless creativity. 'All of the students had the same passion for music, and I was able to play with really brilliant people. That was exactly what I had always wanted all my life. I learned how to compose there, to read music and to understand the theoretical basics. However, I did not particularly enjoy music theory, because it seemed to me to take away much of the necessary spontaneity needed in music.'
During this period, she was introduced to Hit Vision, the three producers Martin Ankelius, Peter Johansson and Henrik Andersson, who were looking for a suitable female singer for their melodic dance music compositions. The music college recommended their student Pandora, who turned out to be the ideal candidate to perform the trio's ideas of contemporary pop music.
Pandora's commercial career finally began in the winter of 1993/94. In Autumn 1993 she signed a contract with a Swedish record company and released her debut single Trust Me, which went straight into the Swedish charts. Written and produced by Sir Martin & The Dr. Maxx Family, Trust Me became the best-selling local single of the year and went gold, thereby exceeding the achievements of Ace of Base, among others. The corresponding album, One Of A Kind, was released in October 1993, bringing the singer further fame and achieving gold status in both Sweden and Finland - making Pandora the best-selling dance act in Scandinavia.
Come On And Do It came in 1994. Music and lyrics were written by Hendrik Anderson (Peter Johannson wrote the B-side Get Your Chance). Raps were done by K-Slim. It was produced by Dr. Maxx Family, co-produced by T.O.E.C. The executive producer was Sir Martin. It was recorded at Stocksund in October 1993.
Two years later Pandora landed yet another gold disc with her follow-up album Tell The World. In Scandinavia sales of the album again exceeded the 100,000 mark. In addition, Japanese audiences turned out to be very enthusiastic about Pandora. Tell The World sold over 500.000 copies in the land of the rising sun.
Her third album Changes was Pandora's worldwide debut release with her new record company Universal Music. Sticking to the motto 'never change a winning team', Pandora once again collaborated with her creative trio of Ankelius/Andersson/Johansson and the result was this brilliant album, packed full of great dance tunes, which sold more than 360,000 copies in Japan and went platinum there. What's more, the English 'Metro' producer team, which was responsible for Gina G.'s international success, contributed the remix for three songs and two new titles to the European version of the album, which then went gold in Finland with the singles taken from the album reaching the Top Ten of the Finnish charts.
The album was released in the UK with 2 extra tracks. It included a special guest appearance on Any Time Of Season by George Cole. The back up vocals were done by Lotten Andersson (from Flexx), Carina Carlsson, Erika Essen-Moller, Lilling Palmeklint. All tracks except Single Life, You'll Always Be The Love Of My Life and Love And Glory were written, produced and mixed by Sir Martin, Huma & Peka for Hit Vision Productions, Sweden. A Little Bit and Why were co-written by Pandora. Single Life was written by P. Hoglgate and Mark Taylor. You'll Always Be The Love Of My Life was written by Paul Barry and Mark Taylor. Love And Glory was written by Pandora, Kee Marcello and Mats Nyman. The album was recorded and mixed at Dreamhouse Studios, London.
Pandora went on tour through Scandinavia in the spring and summer of 1997 and did her first 2-week live tour through the main cities of Japan, where she always played to sell-out venues.
Then along came the next long-player This Could Be Heaven, a fine collection of fourteen dance and up-tempo tracks, which went platinum in Japan within six weeks. Yet again produced mainly by her long-term partners, Hit Vision, 'Metro Productions', and this time also Mats Nyman. This Could Be Heaven set a new course in Pandora's career. For the first time, she had written three of the songs herself, arranged and produced by songwriter Mats Nyman, the keyboarder with Pandora's live band.
When Pandora recorded and released the official German TV ARD Olympic song Spirit To Win in 1998 for the Winter Olympics in Nagano her best-of album Pandora's Hit Box was released, also in 1998.
In September 1998 Universal Australia released the Pandora single A Little Bit, which went gold in 1999. As a result of this fantastic success in such a far-away place, Pandora went Down Under for the first time in her life, where she played all the big cities (Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and later released an 'Australia only' album - entitled Blue, a compilation of songs from the albums Changes, This Could Be Heaven and Breathe.
At the beginning of 1999 there followed the next studio album Breathe, which due to unforeseen circumstances was only released in Japan. This was a great shame, as Breathe presented a new, more rock-orientated Pandora, which was partly a result of working together with ex-Europe guitarist Kee Marcello. Because she started as a rock singer as a teenager she felt a need of expressing that side of her but mixed with cool dance beats made by the producer Daniel Papalexis.
Now it was time for a new Pandora album. Entitled No Regrets, it was recorded between August and November 1999 and was initially released in February 2000 in Japan, and later internationally. An album which is again dedicated more to dance rhythms and yet another result of Pandora's fantastic collaboration with people like Kee Marcello, Mats Nyman, Metro and Papalexis. Pandora is particularly happy that Metro is again on board, with the team's recent successes in landing mega-hits for Cher, Celine Dion, Tina Turner etc.
On No Regrets Pandora has once again contributed some of her own songs, and on the track Close To You she can be heard playing the guitar for the first time on her own album. Pandora, who now lives in a big 200-year-old country house 40 km south of Västerås, wrote several of the songs with various people also involved in the album - such as Mats Nyman, Kee Marcello, Kurt Sahlén, Peter Bladh, Daniel Papalexis and Kadir Taysir. Worthy of special mention on the album are the songs Close To You, it was a poem written by the Swedish journalist Björn Stenvall, which Pandora arranged for the guitar; Be My Man, produced by Papalexis, the tune which was written by Katharina Lass but with new lyrics from Pandora; the track Midnight Sun, Pandora's homage to the winter and almost an advertising song for her homeland ...and No Regrets the title song of the album.
An interesting point is the song On A Night Like This. It was written during the recordings in the studio for Pandora. About six months later she started to get mails from fans on her homepage saying : how come Kylie Minogue has released your song ? Because of different contractual circumstances the writers had giving it both to Kylie and another artist called Ana Vissi from Greece. That created some troubles for Pandora for a while and the result was that both Pandora and Ana lost the game. Anyhow, Pandora is not the type who gives up easily. Instead she started up her own record label Westridge Music, together with her husband whom she married on April 30 2000.
The album A Little Closer was born during the fall 2000 and it was released on Universal in Japan in February 2001. "It was a big struggle from day one" ; she says. "I always use to have three writing /producing teams involved to be able to finish the record within four months. That's how I have to work to keep the "one record a year" tradition; she explains". This was again another up-tempo Pandora album but with a stronger mix of club tracks, pop songs, some gospel influences and 2 step. Kee Marcello was the man behind the tougher rave beats on the album and Mats Nyman was slicker in his productions. Pandora's new writers were Tomas Jansson and his colleague Leif Sundin. The day before Christmas the album was ready to be sent off to Japan.
In September 2000 Pandora started a nine months long conscious breathing course. She also joined a Gospel choir in her neighbourhood but what she saw as the biggest challenge is the motorcycle license ! "Ive been talking about how cool it would be to drive the bike since I was sixteen. I thought it was time to do something about it".
2001 : in December, she was back with a new single called Don't Worry. Won't Look Back was her album number eight. She presented all her best material for EMI in Finland and they agreed on a deal. It was released in Scandinavia and Germany, Austria and Switzerland to start with "Im sure the fans will recognise me but hopefully they will feel that I've grown as a singer and as a person; she says". This album contained songs from Brian Rawling (Metro Production), Kee Marcello, Diane Warren, Mats Nyman and Art Garfunkel. You can hear a pretty different version of his wonderful song Bright Eyes.
2004 : after a Greatest Hits album released in March, Pandora took part to the Swedish pre-eliminatory contest for the Eurovision. Her song was entitled Runaway. Unfortuntaly she was not selected for the final. In an interview she admitted to be very disappointed, since she had given everything she had in this live appearance. During Autumn, she released her new single I'm Confused which peaked up to #6 in Sweden.
2005 : Pandora released her brand new album 9 Lives.
2006 : a new version of Trust Me (Vasco & Millboy) was released to the clubs in Sweden in June. The album title will be DJ United v/s Pandora. Then Don't You Know was remixed by United DJs and it will be released on the 19th January.
2007 : the song chosen to represent UK at Eurovision Song Contest (Flying The Flag by Scooch) had some similarities with Pandora's song No Regrets. Pandora is on tour in Mallorca promoting the new single Tell The World 2007.
Pandora is risking prison between 6 month and 6 years after beeing accused for serious tax offence. She has swindled the Swedish State in non payed taxes of 1,4 million SEK (about 140,000 €) in 2000 and 2001 (she is no longer punishable for eariler years). In the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, she blamed her former husband who used to take care of all her economics, accusing him of fooling her.
Pandora's new single will be On A Night Like This 2007. Release dates confirmed for the new 16-tracks album titled Celebration were on 7 November 2007 in Finland and 28 November 2007 in Sweden.
2008 : Pandora was featured by Deejay Jay on a new single entitled Call Me, a cover of the Spagna hit
2009 : Pandora is working on some new tracks for her future album which should be out at the end of 2009. She featured Bloom 06 (former Eiffel 65) on the single Kitchy Kitchy
2010 : Pandora's video for her new single You Believed, collaboration with DJ Matt Hewie, was ready.
2011 : in February, Pandora's new single You Woke My Heart (featuring JS16) hit the stores. YLE TV was preparing a documentary about Pandora, to be shot in Sweden. Her new album was entitled Head Up High and was released in Finland on March 30th. In June, Pandora announced on her Facebook account that she was shooting the video for her new single
Pandora Official Site
The biography was last updated Fri, December 13th 2013
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Latest Pandora news
02/02/2014 : Along with some other Swedish artists, Pandora supports 2Life, a welfare foundation to help children around the world.
25/01/2014 : Discover the lyrics video for Pandora's current single I Feel Alive.
28/08/2013 : Last week, Pandora presented her forthcoming single I Feel Alive during an interview on Swedish radio P4 Sörmlandsleden.
23/07/2013 : Pandora published a teaser of her forthcoming single.
14/08/2012 : Discover a new videoclip version for X3M featuring Pandora and Färjan Crew Drottningen av Åland. With kind collaboration of cruise liner Cinderella staff...
07/06/2012 : Pandora was featured on X3M's new single Drottningen av Åland (queen of the Åland islands). Radio X3M (pronounced Extrem) is a Finnish Swedish-language radio station, owned and operated by YLE. Song was written by Janne Grönroos, Ted Forsström and Pandora, composed by JS16 (Tino , Soup De Loop). (Thanks to Eurodance Blog)
06/06/2012 : Pandora recorded an unofficial hymn for this year's European Soccer Championship, entitled Kom Igen. You can get it for free on her official website.
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DISCLAIMER : unless you see the artist's name among the credits of this biography, it was only created by gathering infos from the web and from fan sources. Sorry if, even if I did all verifications I could, some parts of the biography are false or lack accuracy. If you are the artist himself or contributed to the project, please wait till I come back from holidays.
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