Childhood & Early Life
Agnez Mo was born Agnes Monica Muljoto, on July 1, 1986, in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Jenny Siswono and Ricky Muljoto. Her mother has played table tennis for her country, while her father has been an ace basketball player. She grew up with her older brother, Steve Muljoto, who currently works as her manager.
Agnez had been inclined toward performing arts since a very young age. Since both her parents had been well-known Indonesian sports personalities back in their time, it was not very difficult for her to enter the industry. Her talent for music was evident ever since she was little, when she sang in church choirs. She also trained in vocals to hone her skills.
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She ventured into a singing career when she was 6 years old. After singing at local events for a while, she recorded her debut album, ‘Si Meong,’ in 1992. The album could not impress her listeners or her critics.
In 1995, she released her second children’s album, ‘Yess!,’ which featured a duet recorded in collaboration with Eza Yayang. Eza was another successful Indonesian child singer. The album was more successful than Agnez’s first album. She then worked on her third album, ‘Bala-Bala.’ It was her last music album as a child.
Meanwhile, she concentrated on academics and school. She also continued to make appearances on TV via shows such as ‘Video Anak Anteve’ and ‘Diva Romeo.’ She had a successful career as a child TV presenter and was awarded with the ‘Panasonic Award’ for the ‘Most Favorite Presenter of Children’s Program’ in both 1999 and 2000.
As a teenager, she began her acting career with small roles in lesser-known series. In 1999, she got her breakthrough role in the soap opera ‘Lupus Millenia.’ The same year, she appeared in another successful soap opera, ‘Mr. Hologram.’
The first major transition of her career happened when she starred as a teenager in the series ‘Pernikahan Dini’ in 2000. Following the success of the series, she shredded the image of a child artist and showed that she was ready to take on more challenging roles. The show was a critical success and Agnez’s performance was also appreciated. She ended up winning two ‘Panasonic Awards’ for her performance.
Within the following two years, she became a familiar face in the industry and appeared in soap operas such as ‘Amanda,’ ‘Ciuman Pertama,’ and ‘Kejar Daku Kau ku Tangkap.’ Due to her fast-growing popularity, she ended up becoming the highest-paid Indonesian teenage actor.
After attaining mass popularity, she decided to move back to her music career. Apart from contributing to the soundtrack of ‘Pernikahan Dini,’ she also featured as a guest artist on the album ‘Jumpa Lagi’ by Yana Julio.
In 2003, she released her debut studio album as an adult musician, ‘And the Story Goes.’ She worked with several senior Indonesian musicians, singers, and songwriters. The record label ‘Aquarius Musikindo’ left no stone unturned in marketing the album widely.
As a result of viral marketing, the album became an instant success. Sources claimed that the album had sold more than 35 thousand copies even before its release. She won three awards at the ‘Anugerah Musik Indonesia’ awards, the biggest Indonesian music awards.
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Following this success, she appeared in leading roles in TV shows such as ‘Cewekku Jutek,’ ‘Bunga Perawan,’ and ‘Cantik.’ She also ended up winning awards at the ‘Panasonic Awards’ and the ‘SCTV Awards.’
In 2005, Agnez released her second studio album, ‘Whaddup A.. ‘?!’ She had produced the album in collaboration with several prominent Indonesian musicians. She then went a step ahead and collaborated with American music star Keith Martin to appear in a song with him. She was nominated for the ‘MTV Asia Award’ for ‘Favourite Artist Indonesia,’ which she lost. However, she became the youngest Asian among the nominees.
The album sold more than 450 thousand copies and was one of the biggest successes of the year.
In 2005, Agnez went international when she appeared in the Taiwanese drama ‘The Hospital.’ She then appeared in the successful Taiwanese drama ‘Romance in the White House.’ She was studying at the ‘Pelita Harapan University’ at that time and took an indefinite break from studies to focus on her acting and music career.
In 2008, Agnez officially announced that she was working on her next album. Meanwhile, she kept touching new milestones of success. In October 2008, she represented her country at the ‘Asia Song Festival’ held in Seoul, South Korea. The program was broadcast in 30 countries across the Asian region.
In April 2009, she released her album ‘Sacredly Agnezious.’ For the first time, she had a very large involvement in the production process of the album. She was also associated with it as a producer and a songwriter. She won three awards at the ‘Anugerah Musik Indonesia Awards.’
In 2010, she was invited to be one of the judges on the talent hunt show ‘Indonesian Idol.’ Later that year, she was chosen as the international red carpet host at the ‘American Music Awards.’
In 2013, she debuted in the mainstream American music industry after signing a deal with the label ‘The Cherry Party.’ The same year, she released a single titled ‘Coke Bottle,’ which was recorded in collaboration with Timbaland and T.I.
She released another successful album, ‘Agnez Mo,’ in 2013 which became another milestone in her career. In 2017, she released her last album to date, ‘X.’ In March 2018, she was featured in ‘Vogue USA.’
Since 2016, she has been acting as a judge on the talent-hunt reality show ‘The Voice Kids Indonesia.’