Ayşe Ajda Pekkan Bookmark and Share


13 July 1954

Ajda was born (February 12, 1946 in Istanbul, Turkey) to Rıdvan Pekkan, an officer in the Turkish Navy, and Nevin Dobruca, a housewife. She spent her childhood at the Gölcük naval base. Ajda graduated from Çamlıca Kız Lisesi, a girls high school in Istanbul. With the help of her sister, Semiramis, she began singing at the popular Istanbul nightclub Çatı (Roof) in 1962. The next year, Ajda won a Cover Star contest sponsored by the Turkish music magazine Ses (English: "Sound") and was launched on a professional career.

Between 1963 and 1967, the statuesque actress appeared in 47 films opposite popular Turkish actors, mostly in singer roles. In 1968 her  debut album 'İki Yabancı' (Two Strangers), became a top seller. Due to the success Ajda kept releasing albums frequently and slowly becoming a superstar in Turkey. The success also resulted in a series of Turkish-language concerts with Enrico Macias at the Paris Olympia in 1976. In acknowledgement of her nickname, Ajda released an album called 'Superstar' in 1977 and  'Süperstar II' in 1979.

On April 19, 1980, Ajda represented Turkey with the entry 'Pet'r Oil' at the Eurovision Song Contest After returning to Turkey, she recorded two albums, 'Sen Mutlu Ol' (Just Be Happy) and 'Sevdim Seni' (I Loved You) with more traditional music. They failed to be a success. So, in thinking never change a good formula, she subsequently released 'Süperstar III' and 'Süperstar IV' (1987).

In late 1989, she began working on her a album with famous Turkish musicians including Fuat Güner from MFÖ. The album, simply titled 'Ajda' was released in1990. After several albums in the nineties she deceided to take a break in 1998. In 2001, she started performing again in an Istanbul club Catwalk and her performances were all sold out, with the help of an eager audience looking forward to see "the superstar" after a three year hiatus. The performances were so successful that Ajda postponed closing the show by about six months. In 2006, Ajda released her latest album 'Cool Kadın' (Cool Woman). This album produced the number one dance hit single Vitrin and a funky disco beat called 'Amazon'. During the first six months over 800.000 copies of Cool Kadın was sold in Turkey. In the summer 2007 she began a concert series called Ajda goes Disco.

On the web:
- Adja's official website: http://www.ajdapekkan.com/

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Dalida (France)

What do we think:

DB: To non-turkish ears Ajda can come across as a bit of a funny phenomenon. Especially when she starts covering well known western disco hits which you know the English lyrics to. In doing so you forget however the important role Ajda played in getting modern pop music into the Turkish market. Sezen may be the more original artist, without Ajda's field work i'll bet the music scene looked rather different, or at least less fun. Light entertainment but a great voice.



- Ajda Pekkan - 1968

- Fecri Ebcioglu Sunar - 1969

- Ajda Pekkan Vol III - 1972

- Süperstar - 1977

♪♪ - Pour Lui - 1978

- Süperstar II - 1979

- Seni Seçtim - 1991

Further listening: Ajda (1975) ; La Fete A L’Olympia (1976); Sen Mutlu Ol (1981) ; Sevdim Seni (1982) ; Süperstar III (1983) ; Süperstar IV (1987) ; Ajda 1990 (1990)


♪♪♪♪♪= outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided