Alla Pugacheva

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Alla Pugacheva
Алла Пугачёва на съёмках программы ФАКТОР А (2012).jpg
Alla Pugacheva shooting the third season of the "Factor A". November 2012
Born Alla Borisovna Pugacheva
(1949-04-15) April 15, 1949 (age 73)
Moscow, Russia, USSR
Alma mater Russian Academy of Theatre Arts
Occupation Singer, composer, actress
Years active 1965-present
Children 1 (Kristina Orbakaite)
Awards Orden for Service II.png Orden for Service III.png Orden for Service IV.png
40 px 55 px
People Artist of the USSR1.jpg RusStatePrize.jpg

Alla Borisovna Pugacheva (Russian: Алла Борисовна Пугачёва; sometimes transcribed in English as Pugachova, Russian pronunciation: [pʊɡɐˈtɕɵvə]; 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][2] she enjoys an iconic status across the former Soviet Union as the most successful Soviet performer[3][4] in terms of record sales and popularity.[5] 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. She represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1997.[6]

Professional biography

Pugacheva was born to Boris Mikhailovich Pugachëv and Zinaida Arkhipovna (née Odegova) Pugachëv in Moscow, on 15 April 1949.[7] 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 morning programme on Radio Yunost.[citation needed]

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 recorded songs throughout that period for numerous movies.[8]

In 1974, she came in 3rd place in the All-Union competition of musicians. In 1975, she received the Grand Prix of the international contest "Golden Orpheus" performing the song "Harlequin" by Emil Dimitrov. 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,[9] brought the soundtrack to reach record audience of the year in 1979, as it was bought by 55 million people.[10] 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.[11] 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 (1980–1988)

During the 1980s, Pugacheva was a frequent visitor to Stockholm. She started out with multiple guest appearances on the popular Swedish radio show Galaxen (April 1980 year) 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.[citation needed]


In the late 1970s, Pugacheva became one of Russia's most beloved artists for her "clear mezzosoprano and a full display of genuine emotions".[12][13]


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.[14] Pugacheva listed in the Russian Encyclopedia (2005).[15]

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev awarded Pugacheva the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland on her 60th birthday (15 April 2009).

File:Dmitriy Medvedev with Alla Pugacheva.jpg
President Dmitry Medvedev awards the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland to Pugacheva on her 60th birthday.
File:Пугачева и Ельцин.jpg
President Boris Yeltsin awards the 2rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland to Pugacheva, 15 April 1999.

Honours and awards

Preceded by
Living Legend Award
Alla Pugacheva
Succeeded by
Joseph Kobzon

Private life

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, 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 1994, she married a pop singer, Philipp Kirkorov, almost two decades her junior, and of Bulgarian-Armenian and Russian descent. Their divorce was announced in November 2005.

On 23 December 2011, Alla Pugacheva and Maxim Galkin married.[16] The couple has twins delivered by a surrogate mother.[17][18]


Original solo albums

Year (P) Number Original title Title in English Format Label, country
1976 Золотой Орфей 76 Golden Orpheus 76 Live LP Balkanton, Bulgaria
1977 C60 09799-2 Зеркало души The Mirror of the Soul* Double LP Melodiya, USSR
1979 C60 11975-6 Арлекино и другие Harlequin and Other Songs* LP
1980 C60 14429-0 Поднимись над суетой Be Beyond a Fuss of Life* LP
1980 C60 14935-6 То ли ещё будет Something's Still to Come* LP
1982 C60 17663-6 Как тревожен этот путь How Disturbing Is This Way* Double
1985 C90 21357-8 Ах, как хочется жить Ah, How I Want to Live LP
1985 WRM LP01 Watch Out Watch Out LP World Record Music, Sweden
1986 C60 24717-8 …счастья в личной жизни! …and Happiness in Private Life* LP Melodiya, USSR
1986 C60 25059-0 Пришла и говорю I'm Here Talking to You* LP Melodiya, USSR
1990 SUCD 60 00122 Алла Alla CD Melodiya, USSR
1991 10191-40191 Рождественские встречи 1990 Christmas meetings 1990 2LP Russian disc, USSR
1992 STEREO R60 00887 Рождественские встречи 1991 Christmas meetings 1991 2LP Russian disc, Russia
1995 SZCD0475 Не делайте мне больно, господа! Don't Hurt Me, Gentlemen CD Soyuz, Russia
1998 Ex 98073 Да! Yes! CD Extraphone, Russia
2001 АБП 0037 Речной трамвайчик River Tram CD Alla, Russia
2002 АБП 0038 А был ли мальчик Was There a Boy? CD Alla, Russia
2003 АБП 0055,

МТ 702909-288-1

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

МТ 702909-288-1

Приглашение на закат Invitation to a Sunset CD Alla

* Official English title.

Other albums

  • 1978 Alla Pugacheva (released in Japan) – compilation
  • 1978 Ala Pugachova. Ogledalo na dushata (released in Bulgaria) – compilation
  • 1979 Alla Pugacheva i Iosif Kobzon – split
  • 1980 Diskoteka A – instrumental remixes
  • 1980 Alla Pugatšova. Huipulla (Alla Pugacheva. At the Top; Kansan, Finland)
  • 1980 Alla Pugačevova. Zrcadlo duše (Czech version of Zerkalo dushi)
  • 1981 Alla Pugačova (Czech version of To li eshche budet...)
  • 1981 Alla Pugatšova. Tähtikesä (Alla Pugacheva. Starry summer; Kansan, Finland)
  • 1982 U nas v gostjakh maestro (Our Guest is the Maestro) – live / split
  • 1982 Parad Planet – split
  • 1983 Million Roz (released in Japan) – compilation
  • 1983 Alla Pugačova. Dávná píseň (a Czech compilation)
  • 1984 Alla Pugacheva – Soviet Superstar. Greatest Hits 1976–84 (World Record Music, Sweden) – compilation
  • 1985 Alla Pugacheva – Soviet Superstar vol.2 (released by the World Record Music in Finland) – compilation
  • 1988 Pesni vmesto pisem (Songs Instead Of Letters) – split with Udo Lindenberg
  • 1989 Paromshik – (Ferryman) (Finnish release of Rechnoy paromshchik)
  • 1991 Alla (Ritonis, Riga)
  • 1994 Veryu v tebya (I Believe In You) – compilation
  • 1995 Put' zvezdy (The Path of a Star) – compilation
  • 1996 A 13 CD compilation of songs previously released only on LP and MC
  • 1996 Poët Alla Pugacheva (Alla Pugacheva Sings; songs by Aleksandr Zazepin) – compilation
  • 1997 Dve zvezdy (Two Stars; with Vladimir Kuzmin) – compilation / split
  • 1998 Syurpriz ot Ally Pugachevy (Surprise from Alla Pugacheva) – tribute

CD singles

  • 1997 Primadonna (Eurovision 1997)
  • 2000 Bely sneg (White Snow)
  • 2000 Madam Broshkina
  • 2002 Eto Lyubov' (It's Love)

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

Films and TV appearances

  • 1978 Teatr Ally Pugachevoy, Estonian Television
  • 1978 Zhenshchina, kotoraya poët (The Woman Who Sings), Mosfilm
  • 1981 Lyubovyu za lyubov' (Love For Love) Mosfilm
  • 1984 Vstrechi s Alloy Pugachevoy (Meetings with Alla Pugacheva), USSR TV
  • 1985 Prishla i govoryu (I Came and I'm Speaking), Mosfilm
  • 1985 Sezon chudes (Season of Miracles), Odessa Film Studio
  • 1989–2002 Rozhdestvenskie vstrechi (Christmas Meetings), USSR TV, Ostankino, Public Russian Television, Russian State Television
  • 1995 Zhdi i pomni menya (Wait for Me, Remember Me), Public Russian Television
  • 2003 Za dvumya zaytsami (Chasing Two Rabbits)

See also

Notes and references

  1. Alla Pugacheva biography
  2. "ВРЕМЯ Z" – журнал для интеллектуальной элиты общества (Time Z – Journal for the intellectual elite of the society. In Russian) (2006-11-13)
  3. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 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.
  6. Всем шоу
  7. Alla Pugacheva.
  8. Collection of her songs from movies
  9. «Женщина, которая поет»: кто такой Борис Горбонос? ("The Woman Who Sings": Who Is Boris Gorbonos?),; accessed 17 May 2015.(Russian)
  10. Лидеры проката (Top bills),; accessed 17 May 2015.(Russian)
  11. Międzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej- Sopot Festival,; accessed 17 May 2015.(Russian)
  12. Alla Pugacheva biography
  13. "ВРЕМЯ Z" – журнал для интеллектуальной элиты общества (Time Z – Journal for the intellectual elite of the society. In Russian) (2006-11-13)
  14. Alla Pugacheva biography,; accessed 17 May 2015.
  15. [1]
  16. "Алла Пугачева и Максим Галкин поженились (ФОТО)". 2011-12-26. Retrieved December 27, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Pugacheva about Tymoshenko, UNIAN (2009-03-06)
  18. Yulia Tymoshenko sang a song for Alla Pugacheva,, 24 April 2009.

External links

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