Charlotte Perrelli (born Anna Jenny Charlotte Nilsson on October 7, 1974, in Hovmantorp, Kronobergs län, Sweden) is a Swedish singer and occasional television host, perhaps most famous for winning the 1999 Melodifestivalen and subsequently that year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Take Me to Your Heaven."
Since then she has released six singles and five albums. Perrelli once again won Melodifestivalen 2008 and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with her disco song "Hero."
She is one of Sweden's most popular female singers, often performing at Sweden's top shows. Throughout her career, she has worked with different types of music, ranging from dansband and schlager, via modern pop, to soulful ballads and jazz melodies.
At thirteen Perrelli joined a local dansband in Hovmantorp in the Småland-province in southern Sweden. The band Bengt Ingvars became "Bengt Ingvars med Charlotte". After finishing her compulsory school education, Perrelli moved from Hovmantorp to the neighbouring town of Växjö where she attended the High School of Performing Arts. She also became the lead singer of the band Kendix.
In 1994, Perrelli started singing with the well-established dansband Anders Engbergs. After two albums, Perrelli left the band and joined the highly successful dansband Wizex in 1997. The years with Wizex gave Perrelli the opportunity to develop her skills as a performer. Larger venues and professional management produced results. In 1998 the band was nominated for a Swedish Grammis (Grammy) for the album Mot nya mål, and the album Tusen och en natt sold gold. Perrelli was ready to go solo. Between 1997-1998 Perrelli also starred as the training instructor "Millan Svensson" in the Swedish soap opera Vita lögner.
After being selected as the Swedish contestant for the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest by winning that year's national Melodifestivalen contest, Perrelli went to Jerusalem in late May to compete with her song "Take Me To Your Heaven". She won and her solo career really took to the skies. The following months were hectic for Perrelli, she toured Europe and the Middle East, promoting her Take me to your heaven and started working on her first solo album, the self titled Charlotte. Later that year Perrelli was voted Sweden's sexiest woman by the magazine Café. She later released I write you a lovesong, which was well-received.
In 2001 she released her second album, Miss Jealousy, a pop/rock album which included the top 20 hit single "You Got Me Going Crazy", written by Johan Åberg and Paul Rein, known for their work with Christina Aguilera and Victoria Beckham. This song would later become the debut single for Spanish singer Natalia, whose Spanish version of the song "Vas a volverme loca" in 2002 sold over 200,000 in Spain alone, a record for that year. The album also contained the radio hit "Light of my life". During the months after the release, she promoted the album throughout Europe, and also travelled to New Zealand, to promote her work.
Perrelli hosted the first semifinal of Melodifestivalen 2003 together with Mark Levengood and Lena Philipsson. In April 2003 she did Jesus Christ Superstar. In September she released the new single "Broken Heart", which was followed up by the album Gone Too Long in June 2004, containing hits like Gone too long, Flashdance and Million miles away.
After the success in Melodifestivalen 2003, Perrelli was once again offered to host Melodifestivalen 2004. Perrelli, Peter Settman and Ola Lindholm hosted the entire tour together. After the festival, Swedish TV4 offered her an own show on the channel. The show was called Super Troupers which was a talent-show for kids. One of the contestants was Amy Diamond, who is now a successful and singer also Alice Svensson who later came first runner-up in Idol 2008.
In mid-2004 she released her most successful album to date, Gone Too Long, which included songs by some of Sweden's top producers, including Jörgen Elofsson. The album topped the Swedish top for weeks and contained hits like "A million miles away" and "Gone too long". She also joined Robert Wells, Jill Johnson and others on the Rhapsody In Rock-tour in mid-2004.
In 2006, she released the album I din röst, in honour of the famous jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, which contained Monica's most famous songs, along with some personal favorites and the soul-ballad I din röst, written by Charlotte for the album. The album was successful, and she performed many of the songs in Sweden's top shows like Allsång på Skansen and Nationaldagen. She also co-hosted the TV-show 'Tillsammans för världens barn' in October.
In May, 2007 Perrelli was the Swedish expert in the Nordic preview show panel discussion about the Eurovision Song Contest. The contestants and their songs and chances to win were commented on. She was also a part of the panel in 2005.
In mid-2007 Perrelli toured Sweden with the yearly successful Diggiloo. She was joined by singers such as Linda Bengtzing, Lasse Holm, Molly Sandén, Lotta Engberg and Jan Johansen. During the summer she released the love ballad "Som du" which she performed att the popular show Sommarkrysset. During the autumn she released the single disco song "Jag är tillbaks" which she performed at the show Babban & Co.
On March 15, 2008 Perrelli performed and won Melodifestivalen 2008 again with her song "Hero" at the Stockholm Globe Arena. She went on to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia, where she advanced to the finals. Before Eurovision, she went out on an enormous tour, performing at popular TV shows in 17 nations, in order to promote Hero.
On April 14 Perrelli filmed the music video for "Hero" on location in Stockholm. Although "Hero" was one of the favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, it ended 18th out of 25 entries in the final, with 47 points in total. After Eurovision Perrelli started rehearsals for Rhapsody in Rock along with Robert Wells, Perrelli and Robert did a concert in Beijing, China during the 2008 Summer Olympics. In August, it was revealed that Charlotte had signed a record deal with a Chinese record label. This means that her album "Hero" will be released inside China at a later date.
During the autumn, she worked on her Christmas album Rimfrostjul, which was released in November. She also performed at several of Sweden's top TV-shows, such as Sommarkrysset, Victoriadagen and Nationaldagen. On October 31, 2008 Perrelli was a guest judge and coach for the remaining contestants on Idol 2008. In November and December, she promoted her Christmas album and toured Sweden in a set of Christmas concerts.In the beginning of 2009, she travelled to Beijing to perform in a series of TV-shows. She will also begin working on a new album later during the year, and was a judge in the Swedish show Talang 2009.
At the Schlager pride in Stockholm in July 2009, she announced that she will release a new album in 2010. This was later changed to 2012. Perrelli recorded a new single for the Swedish Royal Wedding in June 2010 together with pop singer Magnus Carlsson titled Mitt livs gemal, which was well-received. Perrelli was also a judge on Talang 2010. Perrelli returned as a judge for Talang 2011 which is the series fifth season. During the Summer, she toured with Diggiloo once more. In November 2011, she confirmed that she would be part of Evita at the Malmoe Opera.
In November 2011, it was announced that she would once again participate in Melodifestivalen 2012 with the entry "The Girl" by Fredrik Kempe in hopes of representing Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. In the fourth semifinal of the show, she came 5th, and failed to qualify to the final.
In 2003, Perrelli married Stockholm-based Swedish-Italian restaurateur Nicola Ingrosso, brother of Emilio Ingrosso who had been married to another Swedish singer, Pernilla Wahlgren. Following a feud with Ingrosso's family, Charlotte and Nicola decided to change their last names to Perrelli. They have two sons; Angelo (born in 2004) and Alessio (born in 2005). After speculations in Swedish media that their relationship was on the rocks, the couple officially announced their separation in June 2008. It is believed that Charlotte's heavy workload was a contributing factor to the couple's split. This was later denied by both Nicola and Charlotte, who stated that they were just taking a break from each other. On 24 September 2009, the couple filed for divorce.