|Birth Day:||February 12, 1946|
|Birth Place:||Istanbul, Turkey|
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She graduated from an elite all-girl school and began singing in nightclubs in 1962.
Ajda Pekkan was born on 12 February 1946 in Istanbul. Her father Rıdvan Pekkan was a marine major, and her mother Nevin Dobruca was a housewife. Pekkan and her family later moved to Gölcük, Kocaeli, due to her father's work. Pekkan, who always wanted to have a child, married for the first time in her 20s and as her husband wanted her to finish her career in music, she got divorced and later cited not having children as the greatest sacrifice she had made to continue her career. Sezen Aksu, who is a close friend of Pekkan, said about her influence on her: "She has opened this way to us, thanks to her I am here too. Ajda's nickname is Angela. We meet quite often at home. We do not have any hidden secrets. Where Ajda goes or what she eats, I also go there and eat the same thing."
With the help of her sister Semiramis Pekkan, she met İlham Gencer, the owner of "Çatı" nightclub in 1961 and began her music career by singing Mina's song "Il Cielo In Una Stanza" With the help of "Los Çatikos" music community, she performed at a few places for a while. In 1963, at a singing and acting competition organized by Ses magazine named "Ses Sinema Artisti Yarışması", Pekkan ranked first in women's category followed by Hülya Koçyiğit. By winning the competition and with her modern style, she started to attract attention.
Before starting her acting career, she met Fecri Ebcioğlu, who helped her through her music career and in 1965 arranged Pekkan's first record Her Yerde Kar Var, which is the Turkish version of the song Tombe la neige by Salvatore Adamo.
Throughout the 1960s, Pekkan and Ebcioğlu collaborated on numerous records, where Ebcioğlu would write the Turkish lyrics for popular French, Italian or English songs and Pekkan would sing them in her own unique style. In 1967, her record İki Yabancı, which is the Turkish version of the song Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra, broke the sales records in Turkey.
She represented Turkey at the International Apollonia Music Festival in Athens, where she performed the songs "Ozleyis" and "Perhaps One Day" in 1968 and 1969, respectively. She also represented Turkey in 1969 at the Mediterranean Song Festival in Barcelona, performing the song "Ve Ben Şimdi". Her songs have been used on the soundtracks of many films throughout the 1960s. She also began to perform with Zeki Müren.
By the beginning of the 1970s, she had stopped working with Fecri Ebcioğlu and started to work with Fikret Şeneş. Their first collaboration, Sensiz Yillarda, broke another sales record in Turkey. This song was released under Philips label, whom had signed her a year earlier. This would also be the turning point of Pekkan's career, where she would start releasing records at countries outside of Turkey. The first two 45 RPMs she released with Philips label, "Sensiz Yıllarda/Olmadı Gitti" and "Yağmur/Tek Yaşanır mı" were also recorded in Greek and released in Greece. Although, Philips records moved out of Turkey in 1971, Pekkan was signed with them until 1978 for business outside of Turkey. She would go on to release numerous records under Philips International label around the globe in the 1970s. This included her two 45RPMs in Germany and Spain, three 45RPMs in Japan, and seven 45RPMs in France. Her collaboration with Philips International would come to an end after she released her French Album, Pour Lui in 1978.
Pekkan, who switched to İstanbul Plak in 1972, broke yet another sales record with her 45RPM, Dert Bende Derman Sende, which is an arabesque style song. In 1973, her producer Fikret Şeneş was very insistent on her recording the song "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti", although Pekkan thought that the song was not her style. However, "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti" would become a very big hit in 1973 after it was featured on the B-side of the 45RPM "Kaderimin Oyunu". It has been said by Nino Varon that the song "Kimler Geldi Kimler Geçti" is the most meaningful song ever written in the Turkish.
Pekkan collected her songs from all previous records, except the one published by Istanbul Plak in 1972, and put them in her first compilation album Ajda, which was published in July 1975. A new song, "Erkek Adın", was also included in the album as well. The album received interest. Cüneyt Türel was featured on the song "Palavra Palavra" in this album.
On 17 November 1973, Pekkan married Coşkun Sapmaz. The marriage lasted for only 6 days. She was engaged for a second time in 1979 to journalist Erol Yaraş at the Izmir Fair. The couple's engagement rings were presented to them by Metin Akpınar and Zeki Alasya. In 1984, she married Ali Bars. The couple remained married for 6 years. Pekkan mentions her decision to not have children as her biggest regret. Six of her pregnancies ended in abortion as she wanted to focus on her career. Pekkan has performed in many places inside and outside Turkey, and in addition to Turkish, has sung in English, French, Italian, and Japanese.
After "Pet'r Oil", the singer ended her contract with Philips Records and signed a new one with Yaşar Kekeva Plak. She also put an end to her career outside Turkey and started to release songs only in Turkey. Complying with the arabesque music trend that rose in the country, in September 1981, she released the LP record Sen Mutlu Ol from this company. However, when she was not satisfied with the results, she did not want to work with the same company for a second album. Upon her reluctance to record the second record, she was legally challenged by Yaşar Kekeva. During this period, Kekeva released seven songs that were prepared for the previous record but not released in it. These songs were published under a new separate record titled Sevdim Seni (1982) without Pekkan's permission. Nevertheless, as per the contract, Pekkan owed three more songs to the company, and it was not legally possible for her to produce a new record or to negotiate with a new company until the completion of these songs. Finally, she went to the studio and recorded three new songs, and her album Sevdim Seni was edited and republished in March 1983, and her agreement with Yaşar Kekeva Plak ended.
In August 1982, Ajda Pekkan took the stage with Metin Akpınar and Zeki Alasya at the Istanbul Open-Air Theater with the musical Büyük Kabare, and came to the stage for the first time after approximately 2.5 years. In this musical, she collaborated again with Fikret Şeneş; Şeneş prepared six songs for the musical, including some of the songs that would later be included in Pekkan's next album. Pekkan's ninth studio album, Süperstar '83, was released in March 1983 by Balet Plak. The album topped Hey magazine's Local Pop Music/Foreign Pop Music chart for five weeks. It was promoted at the Şan Music Hall in Istanbul with the musical Süperstar Ajda '83. Various songs from this album, including "Uykusuz Her Gece", "Bir Günah Gibi", "Son Yolcu" and "Düşünme Hiç", became among Pekkan's and Turk pop music's best known songs. At the 1983 Music Oscars award ceremony organized by Hey magazine, the album received the Light Music LP of the Year award. Due to the album's success, at the 1984 Golden Butterfly Awards Pekkan was awarded as the Light Music Artist of the Year.
In 2002, Pekkan was cast in a leading role in the movie Şöhret Sandalı alongside Ediz Hun and Halil Ergün. The film, which was produced by Oya Demirtok and directed by Ayşe Ersayın, has not been released to this day.
Pekkan, who had become known for her songs and new style, was also much talked about in the media due to her fashion sense. In an interview, she said: "How I have been seen until today, I continue to be like that in the future. As a soldier's daughter, I can not do anything that is different from my style." Naim Dilmener published a book titled Hür Doğdum Hür Yaşarım in 2007 about Ajda Pekkan's life and music career. Pekkan's views on feminism are included in her biography.
Ajda Pekkan is accepted as a gay icon within Turkey's LGBT community. In a survey done by KAOS GL in 2007, she was chosen as the second most popular gay icon of Turkey.
In 2011, Pekkan released her single "Yakar Geçerim", written by acclaimed Turkish singer Tarkan, which ranked second on Turkey's official music chart. A month later the single was followed by her album, Farkin Bu. The album ranked first on D&R's list of best-selling albums in Turkey and eventually sold 175,000 copies. In 2013 she released another single, "Ara Sıcak". The song was written by Turkish singer Gülşen and ranked third on the official music chart in Turkey. Pekkan has continued her career by releasing singles "Yakarım Canını" (2015), "Ayrılık Ateşi" (2016), and "Canın Sağ Olsun" (2019), the first of which ranked fourth on Turkey's official chart.
Pekkan, who is a supporter of animal rights, participated in a meeting in February 2011 to meet Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and discuss issues surrounding animal rights. She has adopted and cared for a number of street animals, including a cat named Beyaz and a dog named Apple. On 7 May 2013, Pekkan visited the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and saw a discussion about animal rights which took place in the assembly.
In August 2011, together with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a group of artists, Pekkan visited Somalia. In October 2011, she gave a concert to help Somalians who had settled in Istanbul. In April 2018, she and a number of artists accompanied President Erdoğan on a visit to Hatay to meet soldiers who had participated in Operation Olive Branch.
Pekkan is an activist for women and has spoken against issues such as domestic violence, abuse of women, illiteracy, discrimination, and has released a music video addressing the issue of "violence against women". In 2013, Hürriyet prepared a TV commercial about liberty for all, in which Pekkan performed the song "Hürriyet Benim" (Liberty is Mine).
Currently, Ajda Pekkan is 75 years, 7 months and 7 days old. Ajda Pekkan will celebrate 76th birthday on a Saturday 12th of February 2022.
Find out about Ajda Pekkan birthday activities in timeline view here.