TARJA TURUNEN

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Tarja Soile Susanna Turunen Cabuli, born August 17, 1977, is a Finnish soprano, best known as the former lead vocalist of Finnish symphonic power metal quintet Nightwish, which she founded along with Emppu Vuorinen and Tuomas Holopainen in 1996. After leaving the band in October 2005, Tarja Turunen is now devoting her time to her solo career under the stage name of Tarja. She is married to Argentine businessman Marcelo Cabuli. Tarja has also appeared in various Finnish television programs, and was a guest judge on "Idols" on 27 March 2007.

Turunen began to study music at the age of six, and moved to the city of Kuopio at the age of eighteen to study at the Sibelius Academy. She became a founding member of Nightwish in 1996 when her classmate Tuomas Holopainen invited her to join his new musical project. That year Turunen also performed with the Savonlinna Opera Festival. However, she did not become internationally famous until the release of Nightwish's successful follow-up album, Oceanborn, in 1998.

Turunen sang solo in Waltari's rock-themed 1999 ballet Evankeliumi (also known as Evangelicum) in several sold-out performances at the Finnish National Opera. She continued to tour and record with Nightwish through 2000 and 2001, after which she enrolled in the Music University in Karlsruhe, Germany. While there, she recorded vocals for Nightwish's 2002 album Century Child and for Beto Vázquez Infinity.

In 2002, Turunen toured South America, performing in the classical Lied concert Noche Escandinava (Scandinavian Night), again to sold-out houses. Following this and an exhausting world tour in support of Century Child, Nightwish took a hiatus and Turunen returned to Karlsruhe.

Finnish President Tarja Halonen and her husband invited Turunen to the President's Palace in Helsinki in December 2003 for the Finnish Independence Day Party, Finland's biggest social event, where the viewers of Finnish television station Yle named her the most impressively dressed lady, among honors given by several newspapers and magazines.

After the hiatus, Turunen rejoined Nightwish for the album Once and supporting world tour throughout 2004-2005, and embarked on a second Noche Escandinava tour in the spring of 2004. For Christmas 2004, she released the single Yhden Enkelin Unelma (One Angel's Dream), which sold gold in her native country, Finland. For the spring of 2005, she prepared a collaboration with Germany's Martin Kesici, the duet 'Leaving You for Me', also accompanied by a video. On October 21, 2005, Turunen was asked to leave Nightwish in an open letter by the other members of Nightwish, over a dispute that involved "a changed attitude" and increased financial interest. She responded through another open letter, which was posted on her website in both Finnish and English (although the letter can no longer be found on her website, it is available on a fan page). In February 2006, Tarja's husband Marcelo posted a message to her website addressing the situation, and asked for anyone who had questions pertaining to the issues between Tarja and the rest of the band to email him. Marcelo then posted a lengthy reply to many of the questions he had received in June 2006

In December 2005, she performed several Christmas concerts in Finland, Germany, Spain and Romania. 2006 was not a break year for Turunen, who has recorded a Christmas album and vocals for her brother, Timo Turunen's debut album. She also made an appearance at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

On September 16th Tarja attended a Meet and Greet session / Listening Party with some fans in London to help launch the Spinefarm UK label. At the event the fans were given the opportunity to be the first in the world to listen to 8 of the songs from her upcoming album My Winter Storm as well as ask Tarja questions. Overall the reaction was good. Tarja confirmed at the event that there would be some solo dates at the end of the year, including London.

The following day, September 17th, Tarja's solo dates were announced across Europe. The currently confirmed cities are Berlin, London, Moscow, Budapest, Athens, Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich.

In October 2007 a Street Team endorsed by Universal Music and Spinefarm UK was launched for Tarja through UK based company Worst Decision. The aim of the team is to help promote Tarja's upcoming single, album and tour with the help of dedicated fans, the most dedicated of which will be eligible to receive free gifts for their work . While currently aimed mainly at the UK market it is hoped that many members from all over the world will join to help spread the word about Tarja throughout the UK, Europe and around the world.

Tarja's first solo album, 'My Winter Storm', was released in November 2007 and achieved gold status in Finland on the day of release. My Winter Storm took the number 1 spot in the Finnish charts. 'My Winter Storm' has now gone platinum in Finland and gold in Russia, Her first ever in Russia. Tarja also sings on track "In The Picture", composed by Rage guitarist Victor Smolski, on Nuclear Blast Allstars' album Into The Light, 2007.

In late 2007 Tarja was nominated for 2 awards, an "ECHO" as best newcomer and an "emma" for best finnish artist. She has also confirmed to be in the 2008 Metal Female Voices Fest in Wieze, Belgium


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