Sandra Ann Lauer, stage name Sandra (born 18 May 1962) is a German pop singer, who dominated European charts with eighteen top 20 hits during the 1980s and early 1990s, with the help of her then-husband and musical partner, Michael Cretu. During a brief height of popularity, she even outsold Madonna in a number of countries around the world. At the start of her career, from 1979 to 1984, she was the lead singer of the female disco/dance trio Arabesque, which had a massive following in Japan and Russia. Subsequently a solo performer, she had her first international #1 hit-single "(I'll Never Be) Maria Magdalena" in 1985, followed by "In the Heat of the Night". In 1986 it was "Hi! Hi! Hi!", then "Everlasting Love" in 1987, "Heaven Can Wait" in 1988 and "Hiroshima" in 1990. Her top-rated albums are 1988's Into a Secret Land and 1992's Close to Seven. Between 1990 and 2001, she provided vocals on album releases of the very successful group Enigma, which had top 10 hits in America and Britain. With a unique high-pitched singing style, she has topped the charts from as far afield as Egypt, South Africa, Israel, Japan and Brazil, as well as closer to home in Sweden and France. A cult star with a devoted fan base, she remains one of the most popular singers of the 1980s in Continental Europe. With sales in excess of 30 million records worldwide, Sandra has established her position as the most successful German pop female vocalist.
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