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Yanka Rupkina was born in the village of Bogdanovo, Burgas region on 15 August 1938. She grew up in a family for whom the Strandja  Mountain folk songs were  part of both work and pastime. Thus, Yanka was introduced to the special techniques of the Strandja singing by her grandmother. In 1960 she earned her first prize – at the folklore festival in Gramatikovo. This was the  acknowledgement from specialists for her outstanding talent and the purity of  her unique Strandja style of singing.

In 1961 following her success at a contest, Yanka Rupkina joined the Bulgarian National Radio Folk Song Ensemble that was later known as La Mystere Des Voix Bulgares. At the end of the 1970’s Yanka Rupkina, together with Eva Georgieva and Stoyanka Boneva teamed up for the Trio Bulgarka. With the Trio Bulgarka, she provided vocal harmonies on Kate’s albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes.

Rupkina subsequently performed as a solist for the national television and radio Bulgaria group, the Balkana. In 2005 she released a solo album ‘Keranka’, featuring guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt and Positive Black Soul.