Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu (born: October 16, 1986), also known as INNA is a Romanian singer. She made her musical debut in 2008 with her song "Hot".
Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu was born on 16 October 1986 in Mangalia, Romania, to Giorgic and Maria Apostoleanu. She was raised in Neptun, where her father worked as a sea rescuer and her mother as a dancer and singer. As a child, Inna competed as a swimmer and became interested in other sports like football and basketball as well as music. She listened to a variety of musical styles as a teenager, including electro house and europop, and to artists such as Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Inna attended the sole, now dissolved, elementary school in Neptun. Following this, the singer enrolled at Colegiul Economic (Economy College) in Mangalia, later studying political science at Ovidius University in Constanţa. She also took singing lessons and participated in music festivals. An early foray into the music industry was an unsuccessful audition for the Romanian band A.S.I.A.
When Inna worked in an office, her manager heard her singing and contacted the production team Play & Win with whom she recorded several songs. Adopting the stage name Alessandra in 2008, she entered "Goodbye" and "Sorry" to represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008; neither was selected. The singer performed "Goodbye" live on the primetime TV show, Teo!, her first televised appearance. Later that year, she changed her stage name to Inna since it was easy to memorize and was the name her grandfather called her when she was young. Early in her career, Inna released pop-rock songs, but switched to "commercial" minimal-infused house music after changing her stage name. In a News of the World interview, Inna cited Swedish House Mafia, The Black Eyed Peas and Jessie J as inspirations. Others include Pink, Houston and Dion.
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