Ilkka Johannes Lipsanen
(born September 24
), also known as Danny
, is a Finnish
singer and guitarist. He started his career with the band Islanders who released a couple of singles, among them Danny's first recording which was in English: East Virginia
by Joan Baez
in 1964. During his national service Danny switched to his native Finnish and recorded two hits, "Kauan" ("Downtown
" by Petula Clark
) and "Piilopaikka" ("You've Got Your Troubles"). After the army in 1966 Danny launched his own management company D-Tuotanto and started his hugely popular and spectacular "Danny-Shows" which toured around Finland every summer all the way to the late 1970s, with a different theme every year and an entourage of other well-known singers and entertainers. During the 1960s Danny recorded a number of hits, among them "Kesäkatu" (Loving Spoonful
's "Summer In The City"), "Vähän ennen kyyneleitä" ("El angel de la guarda"), "Tuuliviiri", "Rebecca" and "Se eikö todista että muutuin" ("If I Promise"). In 1968 Danny appeared in Spede Pasanen
's film comedy Noin seitsemän veljestä
as a medieval troubadour and performed his song "Seitsemän kertaa seitsemän" which became another hit.
Some of the best known hits for Danny in the 1970s were "Vai niin, vai niin" ("How Do You Do"), "Maantieltä taloon" ("Son of My Father" by Chicory Tip) and "Kuusamo" ("L'ete Indien - Africa" by Joe Dassin). In 1977 Danny joined together with former Miss Finland, Armi Aavikko, with whom he had the extremely popular hits "Tahdon olla sulle hellä" and "Kaiken sulle antaisin". He also carried on an extramarital affair with Ms. Aavikko for many years. He was married to Liisa Lipsanen until 2006, when they divorced.
A song by Jukka Kuoppamäki, "Tämä taivas, tämä maa", was a big hit for Danny in 1992. In 1997 performed in China and in 1988 in Turkey. These days Danny is considered an elder statesman in Finnish popular music, still active in music business and touring. He has named Johnny Hallyday as one of his influences.
Danny achieved some notoriety outside Finland in 2006 when the 1978 music video duet with the late Armi Aavikko, "Tahdon olla sulle hellä", sung in English as "I Wanna Love You Tender" became an internet meme. It featured a rather original choreography.