December 01, 2019

Russia's Pop Queen


Russia's Pop Queen

Pop musicians come and go, but there is one Russian pop singer who continues to grab headlines despite no longer giving live performances: Alla Pugacheva. This icon of Russian pop has been around since the mid-1960s, and remains a legend in the annals of Russian, and especially of Soviet,  music.

Pugacheva was born in 1949, in Moscow. She was just a student in a music school when she began her career with “Robot” in 1965. The song enjoyed modest success, and, in an effort to refine her musical style, Pugacheva traveled around the Soviet Union, experimenting. She finally developed a style with Western influences, but heavily Slavic, due to its “dramatic and emotional appeal.” Pugacheva made it big in 1975 with a performance in Bulgaria of “Arlekino” (“The Harlequin”), and the rest, as they say, is history.

Pugacheva's style is very diverse, ranging from a clear mezzo-soprano to “dramatic cabaret growls and sobs,” according to a New York Times article describing her sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall: “Mrs. Pugacheva tries to offer something for everybody, from rock and pop-funk to torchy ballads.” She even sang a song in English.  

Beyond her musical prowess, Pugacheva stays in the headlines because of her flamboyant private life. She is currently on her fifth husband, whose predecessors include a Lithuanian circus performer, a film director, a producer, and a pop singer. Her current husband is the comic Maxim Galkin, with whom she has twins delivered by a surrogate mother. The couple was married in 2011 after ten years of being together unofficially. Pugacheva also has daughter from her first marriage.

Tags: popsoviet

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