Vocal artist and composer. She was born in Sarayköy / Denizli on the 13th of July 1954. Her real name is Fatma Sezen Yıldırım. She is the daughter of science teacher Şehriban Hanım, who is from an immigrant family coming from Thessaloniki during the interchange, and mathematics teacher Sami Yıldırım Bey from Rize / Pazar. After living in Denizli until the age of three she moved to Izmir with her family. In her early years she was interested in numerous art branches. First she was interested in painting and took painting lectures from Cengiz Bozkurt for a period. She also included theatre and dancing lessons to this period. Fatma Sezen drew attention with her unusual personality and dreamt of being a belly dancer for some time. She was called “dwarf trouble” because of her misbehavior in her childhood by her friends. In the end she chose singing career.
Sezen Aksu graduated from Izmir Girls' High School. In the “Golden Voice” contest organized by Hafta Sonu magazine in 1970 she became sixth. Upon the will of her father she entered Ege University, Faculty of Agriculture (1973). In 1974 she sent three of her songs to a recording company. In the same year she married Ali Engin Aksu and left school. Meanwhile she joined Izmir Radio Association of Artists. Aside from lessons of Turkish Classical Music she took from Rüştü Şardağ she also joined courses of painting and acting. She released her first record in 1975 under the name of Sezen Seley.Thus she started her professional music career. Her extended-play titled ‘Haydi Şansım’ was not sold at all. Until the beginning of 1980s she released new extended-plays and in 1975 her work titled ‘Yaşanmamış Yıllar / KusuraBakma’ was released. Her first music tape was released in 1977 under the title ‘Allahaısmarladık’. She achieved a great success with her song “Kaç Yıl Geçti Aradan”in this album. Later her extended-play titled ‘KaybolanYıllar / NeyeYarar’ was released.
Sezen Aksu started to appear in Bebek Casino in 1976. In 1978 she wrote lyrics for two compositions of Hurşit Yenigün. She released her new extended-play titled ‘Gölge Etme / Aşk’. Her work titled ‘Serçe’ was released as a long play. Meanwhile she acted in the movie ‘Minik Serçe’ whose leading role she shared with Bulut Aras. In 1980 the artist released her album ‘Sevgilerimle’. In 1981 she produced works for ‘Aile Gazinosu’ musical. In 1981 she married Sinan Özer and their son Mithat Can was born. In 1982 she acted in Şan Music Hall in ‘Aile Gazinosu’musical together with Adile Naşit, Şener Şen, Ayşen Gruda and Altan Erbulak in seven different roles. Later she released her album ‘Firuze’ with Attila Özdemiroğlu and was selected “Woman Artist of the Year” by Hey magazine in 1983.
Her song ‘Heyamola’ she prepared for Eurovision song contest but could not join with became a popular work and was chosen “Song of the Year”. In 1984 she released ‘Sen Ağlama’ with the support of Onno Tunç, which was a great success. Her songs ‘Geri Dön’, and ‘Dağlar Dağlar’ became top songs in rankings. Later she continued her success with ‘Git’ (1986)’, ‘Sezen Aksu 88’ (1988) and ‘Sezen Aksu Söylüyor’ (1989). In 1985 she attempted to win the Turkish final of Eurovision song contest with her song ‘Küçük Bir Aşk Masalı’ but failed. In 1986 she achieved a great success with her musical ‘Bin Yıl Önce Bin Yıl Sonra’ in Şan Music Hall.
Sezen Aksu worked as a producer in 1990s. She introduced her vocalists Aşkın Nur Yengi, Sertap Erener and Levent Yüksel to Turkish pop music. Meanwhile she supported Göksel and Işın Karaca. In 1991 her song ‘Gülümse’ whose musical director was Onno Tunç and which was composed on the poem of Kemal Burkay achieved a great success. Her song ‘Hadi Bakalım’ in this album was released in Europe.
Aksu acted in the movie ‘Büyük Yalnızlık’ directed by Yavuz Özkan in 1990, released in 1992 her album ‘Saki nOl’ with Sertab Erener and in 1993 her album titled ‘Deli Kızın Türküsü’ was released. Upon the death of Uzay Hepari with whom he worked together she composed a song titled ‘Yas’ in this album. Aksu released in 1995 her album ‘Işık Doğudan Yükselir’. Aside from ‘Anadolu’ songs, there were her compositions on poetry of Yunus Emre, Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi and Aşık Daimi and compositions of Fahir Atakoğlu in this album.
Even though she released in 1997 her album titled ‘Düğün ve Cenaze’ which consisted of compositions of Goran Bregovic, this work did not make a hit. However her work titled ‘Adı Bende Saklı’ she produced in the same year made an impression. ‘Sarı Odalar’ releasedin 1999, ‘Deliveren’ (single) released in 2000 made a hit. Meanwhile Aksu had some health issues. She released her album ‘Şarkı Söylemek Lazım’ in 2002 and organized concert tours. She presented her audience the series of concerts titled ‘Türkiye Şarkıları’.
Sezen Aksu sang Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Greek songs with Greek, Orthodox, Armenian and Jewish choirs. She joined Diyarbakır Municipality Children Choir. Her concerts aroused a great reaction. Her albums ‘Yaz Bitmeden’ released in 2003, and ‘Bahane’ released in 2005 drew a great attention. In 2008 she released her album ‘Deniz Yıldızı’. Aksu who also wrote lyrics to numerous songs collected all her poems and lyrics she wrote between the years 1975-2006 in a book titled “Eksik Şiir” (2006). This book reached a big sales rate in Turkish scales. Sezen Aksu became “the elder sister” of young generations with her romantic songs and introduced numerous new and valuable singers to the world of music.
Sezen Aksu, who managed to increase her graphic of success with 10 singles and 27 albums released in years and with projects she participated in her professional career of 30 years, and was awarded with more than 200 prizes and selected “Woman Singer of the Year” for numerous times as well as holding countless benefit concerts, aroused a great interest in her concerts abroad in Swedish capital Stockholm in April 2010 and in various cities of USA. With concerts more than 1500 concerts in more than 20 countries she gave, her audience followed her and she followed her audience thanks to these concerts. Her albums sold more than 20 million during thirty years; her songs were vocalized by more than hundred interpreters. While promoting to one of the prominent vocal artists of Turkey with her strong interpretation she distinguished herself not only as an interpreter but also as the author of more than 400 works. The artist who married three times and did not give many interviews to the media continued her life and career in Istanbul.