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Stoyanka Boneva was born on 3 February 1938 in the Petrich village of Marikostinovo (Bulgaria). She grew up in a family with six children. She started working at the Lenin metallurgical plant as a crane operator. Singing from the top of the crane, fellow workers assembled to listen to her. One of her superiors encouraged her to participate in a radio competition. In 1959 she was accepted into the ensemble of folk songs of the Bulgarian Radio, later renamed La Mystère des Voix Bulgares. She has recorded dozens of songs from her native land for the BNR’s library.

With Eva Georgieva and Yanka Rupkina she formed the Trio Bulgarka in 1975. With the Trio Bulgarka, she provided vocal harmonies on Kate’s albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes.