Anggun Cipta Sasmi, born 29 April 1974 in Jakarta, Indonesia, as the second child and first daughter of Darto Singo, a Javanese writer and Dien Novita, a housewife. At the age of 7, Anggun started receiving highly disciplined singing instruction from her father. She trained on a daily basis, learning various vocal techniques. To help further develop her career, her mother began serving as her manager, accepting singing offers and handling business concerns. Later on, at the age of 9, Anggun recorded a children's album, Kepada Alam dan Pencinta-Nya.

In her teens, Anggun was influenced by native Javanese artists as well as by rock & roll singers and bands such as Elvis Presley, Metallica and The Police. In 1986, with Ian Antono, a famous Indonesian music producer, Anggun released her first official album in Indonesia, titled Dunia Aku Punya.

In 1992, Anggun began a relationship with Michel Georgea, a French man, whom she had met the year before in Kalimantan while touring. The couple married, despite their age difference and a rumored objection by Anggun's family; reportedly because they felt Anggun was too young to get married.

After the marriage, Anggun founded a record company, Bali Cipta Record, making her the youngest Indonesian singer to do so and released what would be her final Indonesian studio album, Anggun C. Sasmi lah in 1993. She attempted to shed her tomboy image with the video for the album's first single, "Kembalilah Kasih". Meanwhile, it became the first music video by Indonesian artist to appear on MTV Asia.

Two years after leaving Indonesia, in 1996, Anggun's international career started to move forward at last. She was introduced to famed French producer/songwriter Erick Benzy. Impressed by Anggun's talent, Benzi immediately offered her a record deal. Later that year, Anggun was signed to Sony Music and Columbia France. After a brief French course at Alliance française, Anggun began working on her debut album with Benzi, alongside a handful of other musicians and songwriters that included Jacques Veneruso, Gildas Arzel and Nikki Matheson.

In June 1997, Anggun released her first French album, entitled Au nom de la lune. Although the majority of the album was in French, it also had minor Indonesian lyrical insertions, written by Anggun herself, in several songs, as well as English versions of the same songs, which were later included in the English-language release of the album. Most notably, the album was also a huge artistic departure from Anggun's "lady rocker" image that she had previously been known for during her years in Indonesia.

The album experimented more with world music and adult contemporary sounds. It has been said that Benzi suggested that Anggun change her image, but Anggun has said that she, too, felt it was time for her to "become a woman", as she was in her early 20s at that time and was feeling that she needed to be more "feminine". Her international success began when the first single of the album, "La neige au Sahara", quickly became a top hit in France and Belgium. It became the most-played single of 1997 in France.

The album spawned three more singles, "La rose des vents", "Au nom de la lune" and "La ligne des sens". These singles did not manage to emulate the success of the first single, despite the former two reaching number 49 and 60 in France, respectively. Despite this, however, Au nom de la lune still became one of the most successful albums in France in 1997 and 1998, especially by a new artist. It peaked at number 34 on the French Albums Chart, the first for an Asian artist and has sold around 200,000 copies in France.

In late 1997, Anggun released her debut international album, Snow on the Sahara. The album was released in Europe and Asia in over 33 countries worldwide, which is a re-recorded English version of Au nom de la lune, and contains a cover version of David Bowie's hit "Life on Mars?". In several countries, the album was released under the title Anggun.

The first single of the album, "Snow on the Sahara", immediately became a hit in Asia and Europe, reaching Top 40 in many countries across the continents. It became a number-one hit in Italy, Spain and several countries across Asia, and is still the her biggest worldwide hit to date.

In August 1998, she performed on the New York "Sessions at West 54th" and interviewed by David Byrne. She was also the first Asian singer to be interviewed exclusively on CNN International by Riz Khan in the "World Beat" program. Moreover, she was invited by Sarah McLachlan to join the lineup of Lilith Fair. Anggun has been also given media coverage on Rolling Stones and Billboard.

Due to this wave of publicity, three of Anggun's songs entered the US Billboard Chart, making her the first female Asian artist ever to make it onto this chart. "Snow on the Sahara" became a modest dance and adult contemporary hit, making it into second position after Céline Dion in a Billboard journalist's favourite singles of 1998.

In September 2000, she released her second French album, Désirs Contraires. It was considered a remarkable artistic departure from Au nom de la lune, experimenting with electronic pop and ambient elements as well as R&B music. Erick Benzi again produced the album, and this time around, the album featured Anggun's musical compositions.

It was the English version of the album that enjoyed more success. Chrysalis, the English-language version of Désirs Contraires, was released nearly a month prior to its French version. It was a huge artistic growth for Anggun, having co-written the entire album. It also did not feature any adaptations from its French counterpart, meaning that both albums have different lyrical themes, even though the music is almost entirely the same. This album was released in 15 countries in Europe and Asia.

At the end of 2000, Anggun received an invitation from the Vatican, asking her to appear at a Christmas concert alongside Bryan Adams and Dionne Warwick. For the event, she gave her renditions of "Have Yourself a Little Merry Christmas" as well as "Still Reminds Me". Her performance was also included on the "Noel au Vatican" disc compilation.

In January 2003, Anggun met France's Culture Minister and received, at Midem, the international exhibition of the music industry, a prestigious Diamond Award for sales outside France reaching more than 1.2m copies, making her one of the best selling French music export success stories ever, among artists like Daft Punk, Air and Manu Chao.

In late 2004, Anggun released her first solo French single in nearly 4 years, "Être une femme". The single was available in 2 versions: a solo version (for commercial release) and a duet with Diam's (for radio airplay). In 2005, it became Anggun's second Top 20 hit in France, peaking at number 16 on the French Singles Chart, while also topping the French Airplay Chart. It also became Anggun's first French single to chart on the Switzerland Singles Chart (at number 58).

Anggun was awarded with the prestigious distinction Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Cultural Minister for her worldwide achievements and for her support of the French culture in 2004. Anggun was also appointed as the spokesperson for the International Year of Microcredit (a UN program aimed at eradicating debt in the third world) in 2005, as well as the ambassadress for a Swiss watch brand, Audemars Piguet.

In February 2005, Anggun released her third French album, Luminescence, which debuted at number 30 on the French Albums Chart, making it her highest debuting position. The second single, "Cesse la pluie", also became a hit, peaking at number 22 in France and number 65 in Switzerland.

In late 2008, Anggun released her fourth international studio album, Elevation. It was her second album to share the same title both in English and French. A departure from the style of her previous albums, Elevation experimented with Urban music and Hip hop as well as R&B. The album was produced by hip hop producer pair Tefa and Masta. The album also featured several rappers, including Pras Michel, (The Fugees), Sinik, and Big Ali. Anggun moved from major label Sony BMG to Warner Music. However, Sony BMG still holds the rights to distribute this album in the Asian market.

On 16 October 2009, Anggun was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Recently, Anggun co-wrote and contributed vocals to two tracks ("Blind" and "Always You" – the latter track which also appears as a reprise) on the album Atemlos by Schiller, released in Germany on 12 March 2010.