Despina Vandi (Greek: Βανδή, pronounced [ˈðespina vanˈði]), born as Despina Malea (Greek: Δέσποινα Μαλέα; born 22 July 1969), is a Greek singer. Born in Tübingen near Stuttgart, West Germany, Vandi's family returned to Kavala, Greece when she was six years old. She enrolled at the University of Thessaloniki, but eventually dropped out to begin a career in music. After moving to Athens in the early 1990s, Vandi signed with Minos EMI and released two albums Gela Mou (1994) and Esena Perimeno (1996). She then began an exclusive collaboration with songwriter/producer Phoebus and struck commercial success with her third album, Deka Endoles (1997), followed by the multi-platinum Profities (1999), where she incorporated pop elements into her music, in addition to laïko, as well as a more pop stage performance style and image, becoming one of the most prominent portrayers of the laiko/pop genre.