Lisa EkdahlVer no iTunes
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Best known in Scandinavia for her 1994 hit "Vem Vet, " Lisa Ekdahl became one of the top Swedish pop singers of the 1990s but also records and performs straightahead jazz. Ekdahl's pop albums have been in Swedish, while her acoustic jazz albums have favored English-language standards. The thin-voiced singer was born and raised in Stockholm, where in 1990, she started singing jazz with the trio of pianist Peter Nordahl. In 1994, her self-titled debut album came out in Sweden, and it was that year that her single "Vem Vet" (which is Swedish for "Who Knows") made her a superstar in Scandinavia at the age of 23. Ekdahl's subsequent pop albums in Sweden included Med Kroppen Mot Jorden in 1996 and Bortom Det Bla in 1997. The singer's first English-language effort, When Did You Leave Heaven, was also her first jazz album and the first Ekdahl album to come out in the U.S. When Did You Leave Heaven was a big seller in Sweden, but the album (which came out on RCA Victor in the U.S.) received its share of negative reviews from American jazz critics, who felt that Ekdahl's thin, very girlish voice was wrong for standards and straightahead jazz and argued that she should stick to pop. Her next jazz recording, Back to Earth, came out in 1999.