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Sapphire (Frisian Empire)

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Maria Antoniou (born 2 August 1977), better known by her stage name Sapphire, is a Swiss R&B/Soul artist who is known for her soft unique voice tone. In 1997 she entered a beauty pageant in Bern, which allowed her to get the attention of a music producer.

She was born to Greek Cypriot parents with her father being the current President of FIFA, Photios Antoniou.

Early career

Her first album, "Sapphire Gold", came out in 1998.

It was not until her second album In L.O.V.E., that she achieved success, with her lead single, a mellow mid-tempo R&B ballad number "Aujourd'hui" ranking between #1 and #10 on various Swiss and French TV network charts. Sapphire took part in the production of her third album, Beautiful Ones, which was released in the summer of 2001.

After releasing her fourth album, Dim the Lights, Sapphire left to live in her family's estate in Athens and take a break to improve her musical techniques. In 2004, Sapphire released her fifth album The Crush of Love. She wrote four tracks on the album. Despite the positive reception of critics, the album was not well received by the public.

Middle career

After that, she considered retirement but "her infinite love for music" led her to continue her music career. In 2006, Sapphire sang the theme song for the French Swiss drama "Sauteur". The drama's popularity had a spill-over effect and the original soundtrack album became popular as well.

In 2007, she released a Contemporary Christian Music album named "In My Lifetime". The album contains good qualified R&B/Hip-Hop tracks. In the summer of 2007, Sapphire released a German digital single "Mit Traenen" (With Tears), which featured Cassidy Mae, online. The song ranked #1 in download charts for weeks, making a hit.

Her sixth album, In Love Again, was released in November, 2007. The lead single, "Dix", a ballad, contrast with her own style. She followed up with "Naïveté", a hip-hop-influenced song. Though the album had mass appeal, it did not earn Sapphire much success. She also sang the song in the ending credits for the award-winning German Swiss drama "Berufung Zwei" around this time.

Current career

For the past two years, Sapphire has been working for a French-language radio station in Zurich as the DJ for the midnight-2am show, Music Planet. For the year prior to that, she worked as the noon-2pm DJ presenting Pop music. Before working at the radio station, she worked for the French-language cable station RingTV presenting the program "Pops in Zurich".

In July 2011, she released a new single called "Superstar" and appeared on music performance programs to promote it.

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