Леа Иванова grew up in Constantinople (Istanbul), where she sang in the children's choir of the Bulgarian Exarchate. In the early 40's went to Sofia with the intention of studying art. Her passion about music came stronger and she became a soloist of "Slavic Talk" (''Славянска беседа'') jazz orchestra, led by saxophonist Leon L'Alfàs (Леон Алфаса). In the early 50s she performed with various jazz and swing outfits. Late 1950s proved to be difficult for jazz music in Bulgaria, as the communist regime prohibited western influenced music. Starting in 1956 she worked with the orchestras of Christo Vuchkov (Христо Вучков) and Dimitar Ganev (Димитър Ганев), Big Orchestra Concert Directorate (conductors Boris Simeonov (Борис Симеонов), Emil Georgiev (Емил Георгиев)). Songs from this period are characterized with more popular and mainstream sound. Some of greatest hits were written in this era, which include a commercial jingle for a department store (TsUM) and Latin flavored song called "Chico from Puerto Rico".
In 1957 Lea began working with her husband, Eddie Kazasyan (Еди Казасян), who formed and led her own orchestra Eddy Kazassian Combo. Their partnership lasted for almost 30 years, until her death. 1960 - performed in Belgrade with Quincy Jones And His Orchestra. 1962, 1963 - performed at "Friedrich Shtadt Palace" in Berlin (7 shows for the season 1962-1963).
1963-1983 - worked mainly in Variety shows around the world. Her repertoire included French chansons, evergreens, Russian romances, Bulgarian folklore, Italian canzone. She shared stage with the likes of Gilbert Bécaud, Udo Jürgens, as well as and many other well known singers. Her performances in Bulgaria during this period were limited and sporadic.
Her music was forbidden in her own country and thus she remained largely unknown among the younger audience. Victim of censorship and unorthodox style, sometimes in the late 70s, Lea was imprisoned in a labor camp for promoting "retrogressive sound" and "obscene behavior". Soon after she was released, she had a stroke which put her in wheel chair. The stroke affected sense of rhythm and her ability to sing and perform. She was able to recover and perform in a spoken word until her final days.
Lea Ivanova has released albums in Hungary for "Qaliton", Germany for "Deutsche Vogue", Romania - "Electrorecord", Poland - "MUZA" and "Bulgaria - "Balkanton".