Karolina Miroslavivna Kuiek, popularly known as Ani Lorak (Ані Лорак) is a Ukrainian pop singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, and former UN Goodwill Ambassador. She was named the fifth-richest singer in Ukraine in 2011, collecting revenues of $2.35 million a year and charging between $25,000 and $40,000 for each concert. Karolina became known as Ani Lorak in March 1995. She had to invent her stage name when she was participating in the contest of the “Morning Star” television program in Moscow. There was another Russian singer with the name Karolina already enrolled in the competition, so Karolina saved the situation having read her name backwards. That’s how her present stage name Ani Lorak has come into existence.
Lorak became known outside of the former Soviet Union after she represented Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with the song “Shady Lady”, coming in second place behind Dima Bilan from Russia.
Ani Lorak was born on September 27, 1978. Ani Lorak had a notably tough childhood. Born in Kitsman Western Ukraine, speaking Ukrainian as her native language, Karolina was raised by a single mother. At the age of 6, she and her brothers were placed in a foster home. One of her brothers later died when fighting in Afghanistan. Karolina Kuiek developed the desire to become a singer as early as the age of four. She often performed at various school vocal competitions. In 1992, she took part in the popular contest ‘Pervotsvit’ and was the winner. It was here where she met her ex-producer Yuriy Falyosa. As a result, at the age of 14 she signed her first professional contract. Kuiek became known as Ani Lorak in March 1995 when she took part in a contest at the television program “Morning Star” in Moscow, Russia. There was a Russian singer with the same name already enrolled in that competition so Kuiek had to invent a stage name. Ani Lorak is the name Karolina read backwards. Ani Lorak moved to Kyiv in 1995. By that time her name was well known in Ukrainian show business. She became even more popular after winning the “Big Apple Music 1996 Competition” in New York City. She was named “Discovery of the Year” at the popular Ukrainian festival “Tavria Games” in 1996. The same year she released her first album “I Want to Fly”.
On 21 August 2009 Lorak married her longtime Turkish fiancé and manager Murat Nalçacıoğlu, whom she met in 2003 when vacationing in Turkey. Murat Nalçacıoğlu, is a Turkish hotel manager and travel agent. Lorak confirmed her pregnancy at the end of November 2010. Their daughter, Sophia Nalçacıoğlu, was born on 9 June 2011. She and her family lived in a house on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine but frequently travel to Turkey. The couple’s marriage was officially annulled in January 2019.
Lorak spends a lot of time on charitable activities. Since 2004-2005 Lorak has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine. UNICEF and UN in Ukraine have awarded a commendation to Lorak for assistance and help to HIV positive citizens of Ukraine. In 2005, Lorak was conferred with the St. Stanislav Order of the 4th degree and the Officer’s Cross “for strengthening the international authority of Ukraine, for the high professionalism, great creative achievements, charity and adherence to the ideals of chivalry”.