Finnish metal singer Ari Koivunen was born June 7, 1984 in Kouvola. Koivunen grew up influenced by the sounds of groups like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden, playing drums and singing even as a school boy.
Koivunen was no stranger to the stage when he entered the Finnish TV competition Idols in March of 2007. He had taken first place in the Finnish Karaoke Championships in 2005, and gone on to place third in the Karaoke World Championships shortly thereafter. He became famous after performing on Idols, already a crowd favorite early on and choosing repertoire from artists such as Whitesnake, Iron Maiden and Billy Joel. Koivunen was heavily criticized by judges for consistently choosing to sing only heavy metal, but he refused to budge. His stubbornness served him well, making him the 2007 winner. He got his first taste of industry success when he was awarded a gold record for his participation on a CD compilation of Idols contestants; the CD sold 15,000 copies after only two days on the market. That trend would continue with his debut single as an artist on Sony BMG with a single called "Hear My Call," which dominated Finnish airwaves for weeks, followed a few weeks later by Koivunen's debut record Fuel for the Fire which went straight to the number one spot on the national album charts. Within a week's time the album had been certified platinum, becoming the fastest selling record in the history of the Finnish recording industry. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi