The Most Famous

SINGERS from Bulgaria

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This page contains a list of the greatest Bulgarian Singers. The pantheon dataset contains 4,381 Singers, 28 of which were born in Bulgaria. This makes Bulgaria the birth place of the 28th most number of Singers behind Australia, and Thailand.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Bulgarian Singers of all time. This list of famous Bulgarian Singers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Bulgarian Singers.

Photo of Sylvie Vartan

1. Sylvie Vartan (b. 1944)

With an HPI of 64.51, Sylvie Vartan is the most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages on wikipedia.

Sylvie Vartan (French pronunciation: [silvi vaʁtɑ̃]; born Sylvie Georges Vartanian on 15 August 1944) is a Bulgarian-French singer and actress. She is known as one of the most productive and tough-sounding yé-yé artists. Her performances often featured elaborate show-dance choreography, and she made many appearances on French and Italian TV. Yearly shows with then-husband Johnny Hallyday attracted full houses at the Olympia and the Palais des congrès de Paris throughout the 1960s and mid-1970s. In 2004, after a break in performances, she began recording and giving concerts of jazz ballads in francophone countries.

Photo of Boris Christoff

2. Boris Christoff (1914 - 1993)

With an HPI of 60.69, Boris Christoff is the 2nd most famous Bulgarian Singer.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Boris Christoff (Bulgarian: Борис Кирилов Христов, romanized: Boris Kirilov Hristov, IPA: [boˈris ˈkiriɫof ˈxristof]; 18 May 1914 – 28 June 1993) was a Bulgarian opera singer, widely considered one of the greatest basses of the 20th century.

Photo of Nicolai Ghiaurov

3. Nicolai Ghiaurov (1929 - 2004)

With an HPI of 60.61, Nicolai Ghiaurov is the 3rd most famous Bulgarian Singer.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Nicolai Ghiaurov (or Nikolai Gjaurov, Nikolay Gyaurov, Bulgarian: Николай Гяуров) (September 13, 1929 – June 2, 2004) was a Bulgarian opera singer and one of the most famous basses of the postwar period. He was admired for his powerful, sumptuous voice, and was particularly associated with roles of Mussorgsky and Verdi. Ghiaurov married the Bulgarian pianist Zlatina Mishakova in 1956 and Italian soprano Mirella Freni in 1978, and the two singers frequently performed together. They lived in Modena until Ghiaurov's death in 2004 of a heart attack.

Photo of Ghena Dimitrova

4. Ghena Dimitrova (1941 - 2005)

With an HPI of 54.99, Ghena Dimitrova is the 4th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Ghena Dimitrova (Bulgarian: Гeна Димитpова, 6 May 1941 – 11 June 2005) was a Bulgarian operatic soprano. Her voice was known for its power and extension used in operatic roles such as Turandot in a career spanning four decades.

Photo of Lili Ivanova

5. Lili Ivanova (b. 1939)

With an HPI of 54.42, Lili Ivanova is the 5th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Lilyana Ivanova Petrova (Bulgarian: Лиляна Иванова Петрова, born April 24, 1939 in Kubrat), known professionally as Lili Ivanova (Bulgarian: Лили Иванова) is a Bulgarian singer. In tribute to her contribution to the culture of the country, she is often referred to as the "Prima of Bulgarian popular music". Since 1961 she has been continuously performing at concerts, recording songs and albums, making media appearances, participating in television programs, and filming music videos. In 2023 she was awarded with a special award by BG Radio for being "The greatest Bulgarian pop singer of all times".

Photo of Ljuba Welitsch

6. Ljuba Welitsch (1913 - 1996)

With an HPI of 53.55, Ljuba Welitsch is the 6th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Ljuba Welitsch (Veličkova; Bulgarian: Люба Величкова 10 July 1913 – 1 September 1996) was an operatic soprano. She was born in Borisovo, Bulgaria, studied in Sofia and Vienna, and sang in opera houses in Austria and Germany in the late 1930s and early and mid-1940s. In 1946 she became an Austrian citizen. Welitsch became best known in the title role of Richard Strauss's Salome, in which she was coached by the composer. Her international career was short, its start delayed by the Second World War and its end hastened by vocal problems. It took off in 1947 in London and continued in New York from 1949, but her starring days were over by the mid-1950s. Her international career was just before the days when complete studio recordings of operas were common, and although some live recordings survive from broadcasts, her recorded legacy is not extensive. From the mid-1950s, Welitsch sang character roles in operas and acted in stage plays. She died in Vienna at the age of 83.

Photo of Anna Tomowa-Sintow

7. Anna Tomowa-Sintow (b. 1941)

With an HPI of 53.49, Anna Tomowa-Sintow is the 7th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Anna Tomowa-Sintow (Bulgarian: Анна Томова-Синтова, by official transliteration Anna Tomova-Sintova; born 22 September 1941, in Stara Zagora) is a Bulgarian soprano who has sung to great acclaim in all the major opera houses around the world in a repertoire that includes Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini,Heinrich Marschner,Wagner, and Strauss. She enjoyed a particularly close professional relationship with conductor Herbert von Karajan from 1973 until his death in 1989.

Photo of Raina Kabaivanska

8. Raina Kabaivanska (b. 1934)

With an HPI of 53.47, Raina Kabaivanska is the 8th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Raina Yakimova Kabaivanska (Bulgarian: Райна Якимова Кабаиванска; born 15 December 1934) is a Bulgarian opera singer, one of the leading lirico-spinto sopranos of her generation, particularly associated with Verdi and Puccini, although she sang a wide range of roles.

Photo of Philipp Kirkorov

9. Philipp Kirkorov (b. 1967)

With an HPI of 53.34, Philipp Kirkorov is the 9th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Philipp Bedrosovich Kirkorov PAR (Russian: Филипп Бедросович Киркоров; Bulgarian: Филип Бедросов Киркоров, romanized: Filip Bedrosov Kirkorov; born 30 April 1967) is a Bulgarian-born Russian pop singer. He is a five-time winner of the "Best Selling Russian Artist" title at the World Music Awards ceremonies. He has been a star of Russian pop and dance music since 1989.

Photo of Nora Nova

10. Nora Nova (1928 - 2022)

With an HPI of 50.06, Nora Nova is the 10th most famous Bulgarian Singer.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Ahinora Kumanova (Bulgarian: Ахинора Куманова; 8 May 1928 – 9 February 2022), better known by the stage name of Nora Nova, was a Bulgarian and German singer. She was the first Bulgarian to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964, although she then represented West Germany. Bulgaria itself first participated only in 2005. Her father was an official of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria and she reported that she was raised a monarchist. After the regime change in the end of World War II, some of her relatives were sent to the Belene concentration camp or sentenced to death by the People's Court.In 1959, Ahinora left Communist Bulgaria by contracting a marriage in name only with a German national. After she came to West Germany in 1960, she won a singing contest called Die große Chance ("The Great Chance") organized by Electrola, a West German recording company. After scoring a number of hits in the West German and Swiss charts, in 1964 she was chosen to represent West Germany at the Copenhagen Eurovision Song Contest finals. Her song, "Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne", had the longest name in Eurovision Song Contest history alongside C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison which represented France in 1991, until both were succeeded by The Social Network Song (Oh Oh - Uh - Oh Oh) which represented San Marino in 2012. With it she had another record — nul points for West Germany, and hence 13th (last) place.Kumanova returned to Bulgaria after the 1989 democratic changes. She opened a fashion boutique shop in Sofia. In 2001, she became one of the founders of the NDSV political party led by the former Bulgarian Tsar Simeon Sakskoburggotski. She had explained that action with her monarchist convictions (which she states were the reason for her to leave Bulgaria during Communist rule) and with her belief in the personal integrity of Tsar Simeon II, whom she referred to as "the tsar" and described as "pure" and an "icon" with a unique aura.


Pantheon has 28 people classified as Bulgarian singers born between 1913 and 1997. Of these 28, 23 (82.14%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Bulgarian singers include Sylvie Vartan, Lili Ivanova, and Anna Tomowa-Sintow. The most famous deceased Bulgarian singers include Boris Christoff, Nicolai Ghiaurov, and Ghena Dimitrova. As of April 2024, 1 new Bulgarian singers have been added to Pantheon including Tsvetelina Yaneva.

Living Bulgarian Singers

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Deceased Bulgarian Singers

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Newly Added Bulgarian Singers (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Singers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Singers since 1700.