Doe-eyed Croatian pop star, born in 1972 in the Dalmatian city of Split. Severina Vučković (who performs without her surname) is now one of the best-known singers in Croatia, and also in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro, even though her career in Croatia only began in 1991, after the old Yugoslavia had started to break up.

Severina's first real impact on the Croatian scene was made with her 1993 album Dalmatinka (Dalmatian woman), a mixed bag containing soft ballads like the title track, a cover of a Goran Bregović oldie and a version of Maria Cristina.

Her Alanis Morrissette phase of the late 1990s can't be said to have been quite as successful, although her 1998 hit Djevojka sa sela (Village girl) became the unofficial anthem of the Croatian football team in the 1998 World Cup.

Severina returned to form in 1999 with her CD Ja samo pjevam (I'm only singing), which more or less returned to the Dalmatinka formula: an emotional ballad or two, a touch of disco-kitsch, a 1980s cover for the Yugo-nostalgics out there and the requisite cod-Latino oddity (in this case a gossiping ditty about one Esmeralda).

She tried to enter the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000, via Croatia's mammoth preselection, but fell foul of an apparatchik by the name of Ksenija Urličić who vetoed her song's lyrics as they were first submitted because they originally contained a line about tequila.

Regardless of Madame Urličić, it's nonetheless been uphill from there, with her latest album Pogled ispod obrva still a strong seller in Croatia more than a year after its release. Pogled adds into the mix several songs with a feel of Russian pop about them, and as long as you bought it after July 2001, contains Seve's career highlight so far: the Dalmatian ballad Virujen u te with which she won Croatia's biggest pop festival Melodije Hrvatskog Jadrana.

Severina likes to change her image on a regular basis, as long as it still involves lashings of eyeliner. For Pogled she hit the peroxide and made much of a fortuitously placed beauty spot. More recently she's become inseparable from her bowler hat. Don't let this put you off, but catch her in the wrong light and she can be a ringer for Cherie Blair.

Seve's also something of a gay icon, in Croatia and elsewhere. She once told a Croatian magazine that she was propositioned by a woman after she'd been performing in a gay club in Ljubljana, but turned her down, perhaps unfortunately for some.
shallot says re Severina: "as long as it includes lashings of eyeliner"? nono. you're missing the point. it's the cleavage that is unchanged. :>

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