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