Laila Kinunen was a Finnish hit singer. She became a soloist with the Lasse Pihlajamaa Orchestra in 1956. Her first record “Lazzarella” was an instant succes. In 1958, Kinnunen sang in the quintet of Olli Häme, while Brita Koivunen was on maternity leave. As a solo singer, she had several hits in the late 1950s. She represented Finland in the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Valoa ikunassa”. After that, Kinnunen performed not only in Finland but also in Europe, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. Kinnunen also participated in Euroviisut, the national final for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1962 with “Lumineito”, in 1966 with “Memorial Bulevardi”, in 1967 with “Unohdusta ei ole” and “Revontuli” and in 1969 with “Potkis”. She was a very versatile singer, who sang , for example, bossanova, jazz, folk songs and musical tunes in the 1960s. She also recorded a few songs with her sister Ritva Kinnunen.
Laila Kinnunen also performed in Swedisht theatres as well in several films and numerous tv-shows in the early 1960s. After 1967, few recordings were made. The record deal with Scandia was no longer extended, and in the early 1970s the singer began withdrawing from publicity because of problems in her private life. She made a small-scale comeback and recorded the single “Kohtalon lapsi / Toiset meistä” in 1980, then stopped singing in the early 1980s. Later, scandal magazines mainly wrote about star alcoholism and seclusion.
Laila Kinnunen was married three times. During her second marriage in 1970, her daughter Milana Mišić was born and has continued her mother’s career as a singer.
On 26 october 2000, Laila Kinnunen passed away.