Tarkan Tevetoglu, known as Tarkan, is a Turkish pop singer. He was born in West Germany and raised in Turkey. He has released several platinum-selling albums during his career, with an estimated 29 million albums and singles sold.
One of few European singers who has managed to span chart success without singing in English, he is also noted for his live stage performances. Tarkan’s effect on Turkey has been compared by the Washington Post to that of Elvis Presley in the US around 1957 and Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegün described him as one of the best live performers he had ever seen. He has also been listed by Rhapsody as a key artist in the history of European pop music, with his signature song “Sımarık” as a keystone track that moved the genre forward.
Tarkan has charted both in Europe and in the Americas with his definitive song “Sımarık”. As a result of its widespread success and immediately recognizable sound of Tarkan kissing on the track, “Sımarık” was performed in English as “Kiss Kiss” by Stella Soleil and later by Holly Valance, which became a UK number one hit, after the composer Sezen Aksu sold the music rights. It has been covered by various artists in various countries and languages. Another successful Aksu collaboration was the hit single “Şıkıdım”. His entry into the European musical consciousness started a Turkish pop boom in Germany and Turkey in the 1990s, with his European successes signalling that the musical borders between Turkey and Europe, more specifically Germany, were dissolving.Because of his success, he became the prime example of a Turkish pop performer with an audience outside Turkey. Over the years his works have maintained their popularity, with Tarkan’s 2007 studio album Metamorfoz selling over a quarter of a million copies in the first two weeks following its release on 25 December 2007.