Helena Paparizou was born in Borås, Sweden, to Greek immigrant parents Georgios and Efrosini Paparizou and was raised in Örgryte, Gothenburg. Her father is from Volos and mother is from Karditsa. She has a sister Rita and brother Dino. Helena's artistic talents and eagerness to excel became apparent very early, and she was soon involved in singing, dancing and acting, training in combination with her academic studies at school. Helena, determined to succeed with and fulfil her dreams of being an entertainer, joined childhood friend and fellow Swede-Greek Nikos Panagiotidis, at the age of seventeen, to form “Antique”. The duo quickly signed their first record label contract, with the Swedish record label Bonnier. Their debut single, “Opa Opa”, became a huge hit, reaching number one on the single charts and gaining gold status following its release in August 1999. The band's subsequent fame and success, strongly associated with the international promotion of Greek culture, led to them being selected as Greece's representatives for the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 in Copenhagen. The band reached a third place with the song, “(I would) Die for you”. Although equaled by Sakis Rouvas's effort “Shake It” in 2004, it was Greece's highest place in the competition until Helena won the contest as a solo artist in 2005. Antique's success in the Eurovision Song Contest led to them recording multiple platinum albums, playing a European tour, and collaborating with many other Greek artists.
Helena has admitted that Greek music had been something of an acquired taste for her, saying that the name “Antique” was probably a reflection of her childhood impression of it being something rather distant and old-fashioned; something that she only really associated with her summer holidays in Greece. Despite the group's success, Antique broke up in 2003 on good terms, as the band had “run its natural course”, and Helena set about going solo. She signed a solo recording contract with Sony Music (Sony BMG) and, in December 2003, released her first solo single, “Anapantites klisis” (later released in English as "I don't want you here anymore"), a song written especially for her by singer and songwriter Christos Dantis. The single sales were strong, and it received a gold certification in Greece. During the winter of 2003/2004, Helena appeared alongside one of Greece's biggest male singers, Antonis Remos, at the “Studio Pireos” nightclub. In spring 2004, she released her first solo record, “Protereotita” from which “Antithesis”, “Anamnisis”", “Katse kala”, and “Stin kardia mou mono thlipsi” became major hit singles. The album became double platinum in Greece.
Her success brought her to the “Fever” nightclub for the winter season 2004/2005 alongside Sakis Rouvas. Because of her popularity in Greece, where she ended up spending more and more time, Helena was approached to represent the country for a second time in the Eurovision Song Contest Kyiv 2005. She performed “My number one”, “Let's get wild”, and “Ok” on the Greek national final, with “My number one” winning the televote. There was also a song called “The light in our soul”, but it was later disqualified due to it being released prior to the contest, thus breaking the rules. The song went onto win the final contest (with backing vocals provided by Cypriot former Eurovision participant Alex Panayi), and brought the contest to Greece for 2006 for the first time in the contest's history. Helena re-released her first album “Protereotita” in Greece, with a second CD containing her Eurovision entrants, and english versions to previous songs, such as “I don't want you here anymore”, “Antithesis”, “Ok” and “If you believe me” as well as a ballad version of “(Ehis kero na mou feris) Louloudia”. The 10 track CD was also available separately for those who already owned her debut album. A 16 track compilation of the Eurovision entrants and songs from her debut album was also released in Scandinavia, Switzerland, Poland, Russia and Turkey under the title, “My number one”.
In the summer and fall of 2005, Helena toured in Australia and North America with Greek artist Nikos Kourkoulis, selling out many venues. She was also named the official ambassador of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, and “My number one” was used as backing music to their international television advert. In the fall of 2005, Helena went to studios and recorded a new CD single called “Mambo!”. The single included “Mambo!” as a Greek and English version, “Panta se perimena”, and “Asteria”. The CD Single stayed on the Greek charts for 10 weeks, including Christmas week, and reached platinum status. The track was also released in Sweden in April 2006 and became gold selling more than 25,000 copies, following a succession of hit singles there taken from the Album, “My number one”. Helena's debut album was re-issued for a third time in Greece to contain a third CD (in addition to the actual album and the Eurovision disc), containing both English and Greek versions of “Mambo!” and three other new Greek songs. At the end of 2005, Helena went back to studio to work on her second Greek language album and her first official English language album. The album has been released in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Helena's second album in Greek, “Iparhi logos”, was released in Greece on April 12, 2006. The album consists of two discs, the first featuring 14 brand new tracks, including “Mambo!” and the second featuring nine live tracks from her Mad Secret Concert (including covers of “Don't speak” by No Doubt, “Outside” by George Michael, “Smooth operator” by Sade, “Like a prayer” by Madonna and “Just walk away” by Céline Dion) as well as five new non-album tracks, and a remix of the title track, which is the second single.
The video for that single, “Iparhi logos”, aired on the day the album was released. The first time people got to hear the song was when it premiered live form at the “Arion Music Awards 5”. “Gigolo” is another song on the album, which is the third single, as it has been sent to Greek radio. The album “Iparhi logos” was number one and is double platinum in Greece. On May 20, 2006, Helena graced the stage of Eurovision once more, to sing her song “My number one” as the opening act. She later on sang “Mambo!”, and then presented the award to the winners Lordi. During a press interview there, she said that people should expect to hear a lot of “Mambo!” and “Gigolo” in English over the summer, as she tries to pursue her international career. Helena has already released “Mambo!” in Sweden on a two track CD single peaking at number 5 on the charts. Sweden is the first of many countries in which Helena will be releasing “Mambo!”. The other countries in which she’s plans to release “Mambo!” are: Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey, and Spain. Other records companies in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, China, United States, Canada, South Africa, and Australia will also promote the song.
The Scandinavian promotion of the song will be from Bonnier Music. To gear up for the worldwide release of “Mambo!”, Helena has filmed a new video targeted for a more international audience. Across Europe, “Mambo!” is starting to be heard and seen; the video has premiered in France and is now showing in Poland and Romania. The song has peaked at number one on the RmF radio show for a successful two weeks and also peaked at number one on Polish Radio Kolor for many weeks. In Belgium, “Mambo!” has peaked at number 18. In Sweden, “Mambo!” has peaked at 5. “Mambo!” is slowly making its way up the European airplay charts as the song is played in more countries. On 22 August, “My number one” was released in the United States by Moda Records. The CD single contains 10 mixes and the radio edit. “Mambo!” will be released there later on in the year along with remixes. Shortly the video for “Mambo!” will start airing in the United Kingdom. The promo of “Mambo!” has already been released and it will be released on 13th November by UK record company “AATW (All Around The World)”.You can also find a remix of “Mambo!” on the new “Dancemania” CD which was released in the United Kingdom on 4th September.
Helena's solo debut international album “The Game of Love”, is released all over Europe, Australia, Japan, South Africa and Canada on 25 October 2006. It will gradualy be released world wide shortly after. The album is planned to be released in 45 countries to begin with. The album will contain five songs from her Greek album “Iparhei logos” with English lyrics. The will be a further 6 new songs, and the song “Heroes”. “Heroes” was the official song for the 2006 European Championships in Athletics held in Gothenburg, Sweden in August, and was released in Sweden shortly after. It peaked on Swedish charts at number one. There will album be a bonus song in Greek on the CD called “Oti axizei einai I stigmes”. The bonus song is originally by Manos Hadzidaki, and was a big hit in France in 1962. The song “The Game of Love” has gained critical success, striking great interest from Greek pop music critic, Benita Ong. “Gigolo” will be the second single from the album after “Mambo!”. The video for the song has already premiered in Greece in Greeklish and there may be a full English version to the video to be released internationally. All together, there will be 13 songs on the album. It was also recently revealed that Helena has recorded a song called “Phos” for the soundtrack of the Greek Barbie movie. There is now a video for this song. Recently, the song “Teardrops” was released to Greek radio stations in Greece and is currently number one in Greek airplay charts. Helena will be one of the ten new artists who will receive the “European Border Breakers Award”. These awards have been created by European Union four years ago and they are given every year to ten artists who managed to make success with their first album abroad. Helena wins this award for the success of her first international album “My number one”. The award will take place in Canes on 21th January 2007 during the Midem Festival and it will be televised by MTV Europe. As of early 2007, Helena became the spokesperson of Nokia Greece, her previous sponsor, and released the song "Ola Ine Mousiki" in October 2007 for promotion. She released a cover of Blind Melon's "3 Is a Magic Number" in Sweden as part of a television advertisement for a mobile phone company; it peaked at number 18, while she also was featured on TV presenter Nikos Aliagas' song "I Zilia Monaksia", a cover of the Pascal Obispo hit "L'envie d'Aimer", for his album project Rendez-Vous. She also released the song "To Fili Tis Zois" for the soundtrack of the film of the same name, reaching number one for five weeks and was nominated for four MAD VMAs, winning Best Pop Video, while she won Artist of the Year for "Mazi Sou", while "I Zilia Monaxia" also picked up a nomination, totalling six nominations in 2008. The single was the first digital single to be certified Gold in Greece since the marketing trend became popular in 2006.
Helena released her fourth album, Vrisko To Logo Na Zo on 12 June 2008. The album generated three top ten singles ("Porta Gia Ton Ourano", "I Kardia Sou Petra", and "Pirotehnimata") with "I Kardia Sou Petra" reaching number one, while the last single "Ise I Foni" had mid success. The video of "Pirotehnimata" won three MAD VMAs, including Best Pop Video, Female Artist of the Year, and Video of the Year. She promoted a more rock-inspired image for the album, which differed from her previous pop/laïko style. The album was certified Gold in its first week, eventually peaking at number one and being certified Platinum after three months, being over all the second most successful album of the year. Helena performed a remix of "Porta Gia Ton Ourano" as well as a duet with hip hop group Stavento of their hit "Mesa Sou" at the MAD Video Music Awards 2008. Both songs were released as digital downloads and promo singles in promotion of Vrisko To Logo Na Zo, and also won awards for Best Pop Video and Artist of the Year for "To Fili tis Zois" out of six nominations. Paparizou collaborated again with Stavento who, along with Manos Pirovolakis, performed as guest acts on her To Party Arhizei tour, her first major tour around Greece in support of the album. It was a moderate success with an overall attendance of 195,000 people over 29 stops and one sold out venue. The album was reissued as Vrisko to Logo Na Zo: The Deluxe Edition on December 22 and featured a bonus DVD of the tour titled Live in Concert. Two new songs were featured for the soundtrack to the Swedish film Arn- Riket vid vägens slut where she contributed her first Swedish-language songs "Allt jag vill" and "Genom krig och kärlek".On 23 October 2008, she held a concert at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania attended by approximately 10,000 people. While on October 30 she started appearances once again with Paschalis Terzis at club Iera Odos 30 with Pirovolakis as the opening act; the show extended until April 2009. On 14 May Paparizou moved to club Thalassa People's Stage for the summer season with 15:50 and Stavento after a brief intermission, the show was resumed with the latter being replaced with Loukas Giorkas. In April, Paparizou released the song "Tha Mai Allios" as a digital single. The song won her an MTV Europe Award for Best Greek Act and thus she was nominated in the preliminary round of Best European Act which she came 6th. In May she held her 2nd Mad Secret Concert performing old songs such as “Zombie” by Cranberries and “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica.