Hanna Pakarinen is a Finnish pop/rock singer who skyrocketed to fame in 2004 with the number one smash hit "Love Is Like a Song," which was released in the wake of her star-making appearance on the Finnish television show Idols.
Born on April 17, 1981, in Lappeenranta, Finland, she worked as a forklift driver prior to her appearance on Idols in 2003 during the Pop Idol-style show's first season. On January 9, 2004, she won the season finale episode, in which she performed Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" and the Bangles' "Eternal Flame," plus the especially written new song "Tulin Voittamaan," and garnered a higher vote than second place runner-up Jani Wickholm. In turn, she was awarded a recording contract with BMG Finland. Pakarinen made her commercial recording debut in 2004 with "Love Is Like a Song," an English-language version of "Tulin Voittamaan." The song was a number one smash hit and propelled the accompanying full-length album, When I Become Me (2004), all the way to number two on the Finnish albums chart. The follow-up albums Stronger (2005), Lovers (2007), and Love in a Million Shades (2009) were similarly popular, reaching the Top Ten, if not the Top Five, and spawning hit singles such as "Kiss of Life." ~ Jason Birchmeier