|Height:||179 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||August 17, 1978|
|Birth Place:||Belgrade, Yugoslavia|
|Height:||179 cm (5' 11'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
Her debut album sold upwards of 100,000 copies across Serbia and Montenegro, establishing her as a true pop star. She went on to have several chart hits, collaborating with Marina Tucaković much of the time.
Jelena Karleuša was born on 17 August 1978 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia. Her mother, Divna (25 January 1958 – 3 March 2019), was born in Slovenia and worked as host at Radio Belgrade, while her father, Dragan (1 January 1947), is a Belgrade-born retired Captain of Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, who notably led the investigation of the Kosovo massacre of 1999 and took part in the police Operation Sabre in 2003. She also stated that her maternal great-grandmother was an Austrian countess who has a street in Graz named after her; this was, however, denied by the Austrian media and the City of Graz. Jelena was raised in the Fontana neighborhood of New Belgrade, where she lived with her mother after her parents were divorced. Karleuša demonstrated an affinity for music from an early age, being influenced by performers such as Lepa Brena. She attended Zemun Gymnasium, but eventually graduated from the New Belgrade's High School of Tourism. Karleuša often describes herself as the "black sheep" in the family, because she is the only one without an academic degree. Nevertheless, she did graduate from the music school playing the flute.
At sixteen years of age, Karleuša expressed desire to become a singer to her mother's support, who nevertheless wasn't able to financially support Jelena's debut album due to inflation and challenging economic situation in the country. Eventually, with help from singer Dragana Mirković, Karleuša managed to release her first album Ogledalce (Little Mirror) under Diskos on 24 April 1995, which was a commercial success, selling more than 100,000 copies in Yugoslavia. Later, she released five more turbo-folk-oriented records, but as her career progressed she tried to be perceived as a performer of exclusively pop music.
In 2002, she collaborated with Greek label Heaven Music and their eminent songwriter Phoebus on her seventh album, titled Samo za tvoje oči (For Your Eyes Only). In February 2004, Karleuša took part in Beovizija music festival to qualify as Serbia and Montenegro's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest with "Moli me" (Beg Me), however without success. Her album Magija (Magic) was then released in February the following year under new label, City Records. In February 2008, Karleuša delivered her best-selling album to date, titled JK Revolution, despite facing scrutiny for the infamous studio session of the lead single "Tihi ubica" (Silent Killer), which was leaked to the public and provoked discussion about her vocal abilities.
On 23 September 2004, Karleuša married Bojan Karić, who is best known as the nephew of the controversial Serbian businessman Bogoljub Karić. However, they divorced in March the following year.
In June 2006, Karleuša started dating Serbian footballer Duško Tošić. The couple was eventually married two years later on 28 June. They have two daughters: Atina (2008) and Nika (2009), both born by Caesarean section on the same date, 7 September.
In March 2009, she entered Serbian Celebrity Big Brother as a guest and exited on the second day. At the end of the year, Karleuša launched a clothing line, called JK Wear. In December, she also released "Insomnia", which covered a Bollywood song from the movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. The electro-infused single was downloaded over a million times for free from Karleuša's official website. Furthermore, the eccentric visual for the song became the first Serbian music video to go viral on YouTube. She then announced her concert in the Belgrade Arena, named All About Diva Show, with "never before seen" production by a Serbian performer. It was held on May 10 to a sold-out venue of 15,000 people. In November, she released a live album alongside a DVD from the concert, which was two years later, upon the release of her next album, certified platinum by the label. During the same year, Karleuša also landed a column in the daily newspaper Kurir, which raised controversy for her comments on politics and show business.
In 2010, Serbian singer Svetlana Ceca Ražnatović sued Karleuša for damage to her reputation and emotional violence regarding the context of an open letter Karleuša addressed to Ceca via her Facebook profile. In the letter, she held Ražnatović responsible of being involved in the 1999 assassination of Zoran Davidović, Karleuša's then-boyfriend who was often connected with crime, but according to Karleuša, falsely because he didn't have a police file. Furthermore, she accused Ražnatović of maintaining close ties with leaders of the Zemun clan, claiming Ceca was "at the head of the table" following the assassination of her husband and career criminal, Željko Ražnatović in 2000. Karleuša also addressed the rumours of Ceca ordering articles through her acquaintances in the media and show business, to create bad publicity for Karleuša. In February 2017, Svetlana Ražnatović claimed victory over Karleuša, who was fined with €650 and ordered to cover Ceca's €900 court expenses. Later that year, Karleuša also settled a lawsuit against Ceca for verbally attacking her during the trials. However, in October 2019, the cases eventually resulted in mediation between two sides.
Her tenth album Diva was released on 11 June 2012, after being postponed several times. It saw commercial success, becoming one of the fastest-selling albums by a Serbian artist. The record also marked a significant departure from her previous pop-folk releases, as it comprises dance-pop and electropop songs with hip-hop and R&B influences. She announced her second Belgrade concert for June 15, 2013 in Ušće. However, the concert, titled Viva la Diva Show, began after over an hour of delay due to technical issues regarding video and audio production, which continued throughout the show. Nevertheless, Karleuša managed to perform all the songs. Afterwards, she faced heavy criticism from the media because of which she eventually decided to take a break from the public life.
Jelena Karleuša has a very polarized public reception of her work, image and persona. Throughout her career, she has attracted significant controversy, criticism, and media scrutiny for her appearances, which are often deemed edgy and over-sexualised, as well as for her outspoken views, specifically regarding other public figures and socioeconomic situation in Serbia. However, she has an undeniable influence over public life and mass culture in Serbia and its region. In a 2013 public survey, she was cited as the biggest influence of Serbian youth after Novak Djokovic. The title of her 2012 song, "Sodoma i Gomora" (Sodom and Gomorrah), appeared as a question on the standardized test for admission to the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Niš that year. In 2019, Karleuša also served as a subject of a master's degree paper titled "Celebrity Diplomacy in the former Yugoslavia: Case Jelena Karleuša" at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science.
In 2015, Karleuša ended her hiatus by signing to Grand Production and becoming a judge, and later a mentor, on the reality talent show Zvezde Granda. In 2016, she made a guest performance at Vodafone Park in Istanbul after her husband's team, Besiktas J.K. had won the national championship. The following June, she presented her first releases since 2013, two duets: "Bankina" (Hard Shoulder) featuring Aca Lukas and "Ostavljam te" (I'm Leaving You) featuring Azis, which she performed on the live finale of Zvezde Granda. In late January 2019, Karleuša performed "LaJK" (Like) featuring Serbian rapper Gazda Paja at the 2019 Music Awards Ceremony. The performance included an intro through which Karleuša reflected on the media backlash regarding her personal life from the past month. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she announced her online concert via Serbian music service YouBox, which took place on May 24. The live stream performance attracted more than 90,000 viewers. On stage Karleuša was also joined by the girl-group Hurricane, who were supposed to represent Serbia on Eurovision Song Contest that year, and singer Milica Pavlović.
Regarded as a style icon, Karleuša has acquired significant foreign recognition through fashion over the years. In 2015, she rose to international prominence after she accused Kim Kardashian, and then Beyoncé, of copying her fashion style, thus was featured on The Wendy Williams Show, among many other media outlets from around the world, debating on her style and social media influence. The following year, Kardashian praised Karleuša's style in her Woman Crush Wednesday column, claiming that she heard of Jelena only after the media allegations. In 2016, Karleuša also had an online dispute with Italian fashion designer Stefano Gabbana, who accused her of wearing fake Dolce & Gabbana pieces in the comment section beneath her Instagram post. After reaching Gabbana through messages, he eventually apologized to her and deleted the infamous comment.
Karleuša is noted for supporting various other causes during her career. Following the 2014 Southeast Europe floods, she supplied Serbian shelters with basic necessities for three consecutive days. Also that year, Kalreuša and her husband were amongst the few regional celebrities who financially contributed to ALS research after participating in the ice bucket challenge. In 2015 she performed at Donna Ares' charity concert for victims of cancer in Zetra Olympic Hall, Sarajevo. In December 2018, Karleuša donated 100,000 RSD to VK Partizan for pool-heating during winter seasons.
Since 2016, Karleuša has identified as vegetarian transiting to vegan and also values strong atheistic beliefs.
Karleuša was one of the first Serbian celebrities to publicly support LGBT rights, and is considered a gay icon. She also advocates for animal rights and has collaborated with PETA in 2018.
At the beginning of 2019, she was accused of having an affair with Bosnian footballer Ognjen Vranješ, who admitted this himself even though he was married at the time. The scandal erupted when alleged nude pictures of Karleuša surfaced and were placed on the cover of every tabloid in Serbia. Karleuša firmly denied these allegations via her Twitter account claiming that those images had been photoshopped. The Press Advice expert, Tamara Skrozza stated that in this case tabloids have practically violated every codex of Serbian journalism and that is the prime example of the downfall of Serbian media in the past couple of years. Another eminent journalist, Petar Jeremić, said that the Ministry should "wake up from their deep dream and start doing their job". The State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Information, Aleksandar Gajović, declared that the Ministry will submit infringement reports against Serbian tabloids Kurir, Informer, Alo! and Srpski telegraf for their sexually explicit front pages. Karleuša herself initiated 160 criminal charges against Vranješ and mentioned newspapers for organised and continuous media lynching, defamation, photomontages and attack on her family's dignity, reputation and honour. Following the incident, in October 2019, Olympiacos supporters dropped a banner of support for Karleuša during a match at the Karaiskakis Stadium against AEK Athens, for which Vranješ plays. At the end of the year she was declared the most-searched topic in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Google, partially due to the scandal.
Jelena was married for two months to Bojan Karić. Jelena then wed Serbian football player Dusko Tosic in 2008. Jelena named her daughters Athena and Nika after the Greek goddesses of war and victory, Athena and Nike.
Currently, Jelena Karleusa is 44 years, 3 months and 10 days old. Jelena Karleusa will celebrate 45th birthday on a Thursday 17th of August 2023. Below we countdown to Jelena Karleusa upcoming birthday.