Alla Pugacheva

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Alla Pugacheva

Alla Pugacheva in Berlin, 28 April 1976
Background information
Native nameАлла Пугачёва
Birth nameAlla Borisovna Pugacheva
Born(1949-04-15) 15 April 1949 (age 63)
Moscow, Russia
GenresPop, Russian pop, Soviet music
OccupationsSinger, Composer, Actress
Years active1965– present
LabelsMelodiya, World Record Music
Associated actsValery Leontiev, Philipp Kirkorov, Kristina Orbakaite, Maxim Galkin, Igor Nikolayev, Vladimir Kuzmin, Udo Lindenberg
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Alla Pugacheva

Alla Pugacheva in Berlin, 28 April 1976
Background information
Native nameАлла Пугачёва
Birth nameAlla Borisovna Pugacheva
Born(1949-04-15) 15 April 1949 (age 63)
Moscow, Russia
GenresPop, Russian pop, Soviet music
OccupationsSinger, Composer, Actress
Years active1965– present
LabelsMelodiya, World Record Music
Associated actsValery Leontiev, Philipp Kirkorov, Kristina Orbakaite, Maxim Galkin, Igor Nikolayev, Vladimir Kuzmin, Udo Lindenberg

Alla Borisovna Pugacheva (Russian: Алла Борисовна Пугачёва) or Pugachova (more accurately reflecting Russian pronunciation: [pʊɡɐˈtɕovə]), born 15 April 1949), is а Soviet and Russian musical performer. Her career started in 1965 and continues to this day. For her "clear mezzosoprano and a full display of sincere emotions",[1] she enjoys an iconic status across the former Soviet Union as the most successful Soviet performer[2][3] in terms of record sales and popularity.[4] She became a Meritorious Artist of the Russian SFSR in 1980, People's Artist of the Russian SFSR in 1985 and People's Artist of the USSR in 1991.


Professional biography

Pugacheva was born to her mother Zinaida Arkhipovna Odegova and father Boris Mikhailovich Pugachëv in Moscow, on 15 April 1949.[5] In 1956, she enrolled in music school №31, and attended the Ippolitov-Ivanov music college. She went on to study at school №496, finishing her studies there in 1964. She then studied in the choral-conducting department of the college. Pugacheva recorded her first track "Robot" in 1965, for a state radio morning programme.

Pugacheva finished college in 1966 and subsequently toured with the group Yunost' (Youth) in Western Siberia. The following year she began working as a piano accompanist at the State Circus Musical college. She provided the leading vocals to a number of bands, including Novy Elektron (New Electron), part of the Lipetsk State Philharmonic Society, in 1966, Moskvichi (Muscovites) in 1971, Oleg Lundstrem's band in 1972–73, and Vesyolye Rebyata (Merry Folks) in 1974-75. She also recorded songs throughout that period for numerous movies. In 1974, she came in 3rd place in the All-Union competition of musicians, which was somewhat of a disappointment for her. In 1975, she received the Grand Prix of the international contest "Golden Orpheus" performing the song "Harlequin". The Amiga label released her winning song as a single in East Germany. Subsequently in Bulgaria, the Balkanton label released the live recording of "Harlequin" from the festival as a single. One year later, Pugacheva returned to the "Golden Orpheus" to perform a concert outside the competition. The Balkanton released the live tracks as Pugacheva's first album Zolotoy Orfey 76. In that same year, Pugacheva recorded a number of songs for the musical drama-comedy The Irony of Fate as the singing voice of Nadja, the female protagonist.

The Woman Who Sings

Pugacheva went on to work on the musical film Zhenshchina, kotoraya poyot (The Woman Who Sings) in cooperation with the band Ritm (Rhythm) in 1977. She played the leading lady, a famous pop singer who sacrifices her personal life for her career. The soundtrack, which was co-written by Pugacheva and composed of pop songs, culminated with the dramatic title ballad "Zhenshchina, kotoraya poyot". The Soviet audience, regarding the film as autobiographical,[6] brought the soundtrack to reach record audience of the year in 1979, as it was bought by 55 million people.[7] The soundtrack was first released in 1977 as part of the double album Zerkalo dushi (Mirror of Soul), which was a collection of her songs from 1975–77. The Victor label released a collection album Alla Pugacheva in the same year in Japan. In 1978, performing the song "Vsyo mogut koroli" ("Kings Can Do Anything"), Pugacheva received the Amber Nightingale prize at the Sopot International Song Festival which at the time meant automatically winning the Grand Prix of the Intervision Song Contest.[8] In 1980, the Kansan label of Finland released her above listed works as the compilation album Huipulla (At the Top). Tonbandausnahmenkompanie Bayer GmbH did the same in West Germany releasing Alla Pugachova.

Stockholm (1983–1985)

During the 1980s, Pugacheva was a frequent visitor to Stockholm. She started out with multiple guest appearances on the popular Swedish radio show Galaxen conducted by Jacob Dahlin, and later frequently appeared on his TV-show Jacobs Stege (Jacob's Ladder). Dahlin and Pugacheva used to perform duets, such as "Superman" where Dahlin sings as the title character. In Stockholm, Pugacheva recorded an album in English, released by the World Record Music label in Sweden as Watch Out and by the Melodiya label in the Soviet Union as Alla Pugacheva in Stockholm.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Pugacheva expanded her ventures, launching a magazine, a radio station, a line of perfume all called Alla, and the Alla Pugacheva shoe line. She also received further awards from the government, which were presented by President Boris Yeltsin, including the Government Award for Achievement in Literature and Arts in 1990, and the highest civilian decoration of the Russian Federation (2nd Class Order For The Service To The Motherland) in 1999. In 1994, Pugacheva also received a plate with her name at Square of Stars in the city of Yalta in Ukraine. In 1997, she represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin and finished 15th with the song "Primadonna". She dedicated her performance to the memory of Jacob Dahlin.

In recent years, Pugacheva has co-produced the popular television reality talent show Star Factory, the Russian version of the show Star Academy. On 5 March 2009, she announced her retirement from singing after her 60th birthday, citing health reasons as the primary cause stopping her from touring. Additionally, her voice worsened following a series of operations and is no longer capable of "expressing the feelings and intonations as it used to". Pugacheva has announced to her audience a massive goodbye tour across the CIS, Europe and America, entitled "Sny o Lubvi (Dreams about Love)".


In the late 1970s, Pugacheva became one of Russia's most beloved artists for her clear mezzosoprano and a full display of genuine emotions.[9][10]

President Dmitry Medvedev awarded the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland to Pugacheva on her birthday, 2009.


Pugacheva is currently a judge on Russia's version of the British X-Factor "Factor A." She is the main judge and therefore the most important. She has the ability to give the most points.

Pugacheva's most notable title is "People's Artist of the USSR", the highest honour that could be bestowed to a musical artist in the state, awarded to her in 1991. While the lesser titles of "Accomplished Artist of the Russian SFSR", and "People's Artist of the Russian SFSR" had been already awarded to her in 1980 and 1985 respectively, the government was hesitant to award her its highest honour for a long time. This was mainly because of numerous statements and actions on her part that were inconsistent with the Party's agenda. At the same time, she grew to represent the government-endorsed pop culture that was forced upon people.[11]

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev awarded Pugacheva with the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland on her birthday in 2009.

Honours and awards

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.

Private life

Pugacheva's personal life has been very public due to her image and popularity, and is often discussed in the tabloid press. Her weight and rumours of extramarital relationships have been particularly popular points of discussion in such publications. However, she has maintained a positive attitude, and on numerous occasions shown that she is willing to discuss personal matters openly and laugh at herself.

In 1969, she married Lithuanian circus performer Mykolas Orbakas, and in 1971 she gave birth to daughter Kristina Orbakaite, who is now also a popular singer. She divorced Mykolas after 4 years of marriage in 1973.

Pugacheva then married film director Alexander Stefanovich in 1976, and starred in a few of his movies. The union was dissolved in 1980, after drawn-out legal proceedings on the division of property, with Pugacheva's luxurious flat in Patriarshy Ponds, Moscow being the heart of the debate.

In 1985, after years of living together, Pugacheva married producer Yevgeniy Boldin, with whom she had numerous professional collaborations. She had a working and romantic relationship with a young musician and singer, Vladimir Kuzmin during this period. In 1993, she divorced Yevgeniy Boldin stating that their professional lives interfered too much with their personal life.

In the early 1990s, she had an affair with Sergej Chelobanov, with whom she recorded several duets.

In 1994, she married one of the most popular pop singers in Russia, Philipp Kirkorov, who was 18 years younger and of Bulgarian-Armenian ethnicity. His career is said to have benefited significantly from this marriage. Their divorce was announced in November 2005.

In the past 10 years, Alla Pugacheva was romantically involved with the popular Russian comedian Maksim Galkin. The two often performed together in large celebrity-studded events and even had a few musical collaborations. In December 26, 2011 Alla Pugacheva and Maxim Galkin got married proving their commitment to each other despite the significant age gap.[12]

Pugacheva is friends with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.[13][14]


Original solo albums

Year (P)NumberOriginal titleTitle in EnglishFormatLabel, country
1976Золотой Орфей 76Golden Orpheus 76Live LPBalkanton, Bulgaria
1977C60 09799-2Зеркало душиMirror of SoulDouble LPMelodiya, USSR
1979C60 11975-6Арлекино и другиеHarlequin and OthersLP
1980C60 14429-0Поднимись над суетойRise Above VanityLP
1980C60 14935-6То ли ещё будетSomething's Still to ComeLP
1982C60 17663-6Как тревожен этот путьHow Unrestful Is This WayDouble
1985C90 21357-8Ах, как хочется житьAh, How I Want to LiveLP
1985WRM LP01Watch OutWatch OutLPWorld Record Music, Sweden
1986C60 24717-8Счастья в личной жизни...Happiness in Private Life!LPMelodiya, USSR
1986C60 25059-0Пришла и говорюI Came to SayLPMelodiya, USSR
1990SUCD 60 00122АллаAllaCDMelodiya, USSR
199110191-40191Рождественские встречи 1990Christmas meetings 19902LPRussian disc, USSR
1992STEREO R60 00887Рождественские встречи 1991Christmas meetings 19912LPRussian disc, Russia
1995SZCD0475Не делайте мне больно, господа!Don't Hurt Me, GentlemenCDSoyuz, Russia
1998Ex 98073Да!Yes!CDExtraphone, Russia
2001АБП 0037Речной трамвайчикRiver TramCDAlla, Russia
2002АБП 0038А был ли мальчикWas There a Boy?CDAlla, Russia
2003АБП 0055,

МТ 702909-288-1

Живи спокойно, страна!Live Peacefully, My Country!CDAlla & Monolit, Russia
2008АБП 0055,

МТ 702909-288-1

Приглашение на закатInvitation to a SunsetCDAlla

Other albums

CD singles

There is an unknown number of single and EP releases published all over the world.

Films and TV appearances

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Алла Пугачёва / Единая информационная база / Private Archival Department / Alla Pugachova". Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  2. ^ Alison Smale (2000-02-28). "A Superstar Evokes a Superpower; In Diva's Voice, Adoring Fans Hear Echoes of Soviet Days - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  3. ^ Jon Pareles (1988-09-25). "Review/Music; Alla Pugacheva's Moody, Ardent Soviet Pop - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica repeats a claim on its features website that Pugacheva has sold around 250 million records. Other internet sources claim figures from 75 million to 250 million records, though there is no official source for this information.
  5. ^
  6. ^ «Женщина, которая поет»: кто такой Борис Горбонос? ("The Woman Who Sings": Who Is Boris Gorbonos?. In Russian). Volgograd News
  7. ^ Лидеры проката (Top bills. In Russian).
  8. ^ Międzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej- Sopot Festival (International Festival of Polish Song – Sopot Festival. In Russian and Polish). «Песня года» site
  9. ^ Alla Pugacheva biography
  10. ^ "ВРЕМЯ Z" - журнал для интеллектуальной элиты общества (Time Z - Journal for the intellectual elite of the society. In Russian)
  11. ^ Alla Pugacheva biography. Marisa Brown, All Music Guide
  12. ^ "News article in Russian". Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ Pugacheva about Tymoshenko, UNIAN (March 6, 2009)
  14. ^ Yulia Tymoshenko sang a song for Alla Pugacheva, UNIAN (April 24, 2009)

External links

Preceded by
Philipp Kirkorov
with "Kolibelnaya dlya vulkana"
Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with "Solo"