When Kerli met Toomas... (3)
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves played host to one of the most successful Estonian pop singers, Kerli, at the Kadriorg Presidential Palace.
President Ilves is accustomed to holding regular audiences with foreign dignitaries and heads of state at his elegant official residence in Kadriorg, in the immediate vicinity of the baroque palace built by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine in 1725.
But on Tuesday, a more alluring figure – a pop star – was hosted at the palace, when the most globally ambitious Estonian singer Kerli Kõiv, artistically known simply as Kerli, met up with the president.
“Kerli Kõiv paid a visit to Kadriorg yesterday – she has resided in Estonia for the last five months, lived in a forest for a while, has sung and created songs. She is full of new creative energy – and she has a clever plan how to promote Estonia in the world,” the president's official Facebook page announced.
Kerli Kõiv's international career took off about ten years ago when she took part in a Baltic song contest, organized by Universal Music, her win paving the way to global success. However, a couple of years of struggle followed, which included squatting in Stockholm for three months.
Her next big break came when she relocated to Los Angeles and after a year of performing and writing, finally got an audition with the American music industry legend, the record producer and executive L.A. Reid, who signed her, at the age of 19, to Island Music Group.
In 2008, Kerli became the first Estonian pop artist – and so far the only one – to break into Billboard 200 when her single “Love Is Dead” charted at number 126. Another success followed when “Skyscraper”, a song that Kerli originally wrote in 2011, but sung by a British singer Sam Bailey, became the Christmas No. 1 in the United Kingdom in 2013.
2014 saw Kerli changing record labels, signing with the New York-based dance music label, Ultra Music, instead.