Lili Ivanova was born in the town of Kubrat. She finished a medical professional school in Varna. Later she worked as a nurse in her hometown.
In 1961 she was approved to audition before the music agency of that time, called Konzertna Direktsia (Concert Directorate) in Sofia, that organised her first foreign tour abroad, in Rumania, together with other eminent Bulgarian pop-singers Emil Dimitrov, Irina Chmihova and Maria Koseva.
In 1963, she took part in shows at Ambassador Hotel and the Constantin Tanase Music Hall Theatre in Bucharest. Her brilliant performance was broadcast live four times on the nationaltelevision of Rumania.
Lili Ivanova issued her first album after a proposal of the Romanian company Electrecord in 1963 and this album was the first ever LP of a Bulgarian performer.
Her first song Vitosha is with lyrics and music by Mihail Manolov. Then came Adagio, music by Angel Zaberski, arranged by Ivan Peev and Subota vecher (Saturday Night) – lyrics by Dimitur Vassilev and music by Yosiff Tsankov – the greatest Bulgarian popular music composer. It became the first big hit of the pop star.
Lili Ivanova’s first concert was held in 1964 at the Universiada Hall together with Jane Swert and the North Tigers rock group.
Her next album is entitled More na Mladostta (Sea of Youth). It was published by Balkanton in 1976.
Lili Ivanova’s third album was issued in Moscow. [Payot Lili Ivanova (Singing Is Lili Ivanova), Melodia, 1968].
The album Camino was issued by Balkanton in 1968. The song of the same name sang by Lili Ivanova, arranged by Ivan Peev, has a long story, going back to the beginning of her carrier. In 2005, Lili Ivanova’s Camino was ranked 40th in a Sony Ericsson compilation of its everlasting world hits.
Lili Ivanova’s success commenced in 1966 and in the next decade it became phenomenal as she received many prestigious awards and performed some of the best Bulgarian songs, currently known as the Golden Bulgarian songs.
In 1966, Lili became a holder of her first award, the Golden Key, in Bratislava. The award was followed by further ten: First Prize of the festival in Warsaw (1967), Best Performer at the festival in Barcelona (1968), Golden Record awarded by MIDEM in Cannes, France (1969), for best LP selling in her country, Golden Record at Olimpiada de Musica Pop in Athens (1970), Third Prize at the Rio de Janeiro festival (1970), Third Prize for Panairi (Fairgrounds) in Tokio (1973). In 1996, Lili Ivanova was given the Golden Orpheus Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1997, the World Women’s Association nominated her as one of the most famous women of 20th century. In 1998, Lili received the highest award of Sv. Nikolai Chudotvorets (St Nicholas the Miracle Worker) Foundation for contributing to goodness in the world. In 1999, President Peter Stoyanov awarded Lili Ivanova with the Golden Range order for contribution to the Bulgarian pop music. In her career, Lili Ivanova has performed live at more than 10 000 concerts both in Bulgaria and abroad.
Today Lili Ivanova is deservedly known as the Prima of the Bulgarian Pop Music.