Ruslana in Romania (2011)
|Native name||Руслана Лижичко|
|Birth name||Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko (Руслана Степанівна Лижичко)|
|Also known as||Ruslana (Руслана)|
24 May 1973 |
Lviv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Occupations||Singer, politician, dancer, producer, composer, conductor, pianist, voice actress|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, guitar, drums, keyboards, trembita, tambourine|
|Labels||EMI, Warner Music Group|
|Associated acts||T-Pain, Missy Elliott, Goran Bregović, Slavi Trifonov, Varvara, Harem, Helmut Lotti, Peter Maffay, "Zhittya" Ballet|
Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko (Ukrainian: Руслана Степанівна Лижичко, Ruslana Stepanivna Lyžyčko; born on 24 May 1973), better known as simply Ruslana, is a World Music Award winning and MTV Europe Music Award nominated artist, and the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. holding the title of People's Artist of Ukraine. She is also a former MP serving as deputy in the Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada for the Our Ukraine Party.
She is a singer, songwriter, producer, conductor, and pianist. She writes, composes and produces her own songs and music videos. Since 28 December 1995 she has been married to Oleksandr Ksenofontov, a Ukrainian record producer. Together they have run the company Luxen Studio since 1993, producing radio and film trailers.
She was the first artist from the former Soviet Union countries to officially receive a platinum disc as her Dyki tantsi album sold more than 170,000 copies in the first 100 days after its release even without a supporting tour. This album is still the best selling Ukrainian album to date together with its English version, more than 800,000 copies being sold in Ukraine.
She won the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 with the song Wild Dances receiving points from 34 of the 35 countries participating in the contest. After the contest, she rose to fame in Europe becoming one of the biggest pop stars from the Eastern part of the continent. Her winning song Wild Dances dominated the European charts for 97 weeks peaking at number one in Belgium for 10 consecutive weeks.
In 2008 she was elected by Rockstar Games to act as DJ Ruslana in the famous American video game Grand Theft Auto IV. The Ukrainian version of her song Wild Dances was included in the soundtrack of the game and became one of the most popular tunes among the fans. 
In 2009 she was invited as a Special Guest Star to the 6th annual Asia Song Festival, where she received two trophies. The first of them was the golden statue of The Best Artist Award of The Asia Song Festival, the main award of the festival and the second special award was for the contribution to the cultural exchange between Ukraine and Asia in music.
Early life 
Ruslana was born on 24 May 1973 in Lviv, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine) to Ukrainian father Stepan Lyzhychko and Russian mother Nina Sapegina. She was raised in the Lviv Oblast (province). Encouraged by her mother, Ruslana studied from the age of four at an experimental musical school and sang in different bands, including in the vocal-instrumental band Horizon, the band Orion and the children’s ensemble Smile. After finishing secondary school, Ruslana entered the Lviv Conservatory where she graduated as a classical pianist and conductor in 1995.
Musical career 
Early career 
Ruslana started her career as the winner of the Slavianski Bazaar song competition in Vitebsk, Belarus in 1996 with the song Oj, letili dyki husi. In the same year, she was among the nominees for the Ukrainian Singer of the Year award and the video for Dzvinkyi Viter (Wind Bells) was awarded Music Video of the Year. Since her early career, Ruslana's producer was Oleksandr Ksenofontov, whom she married in 1995.
In 1997, Ruslana began working on Christmas with Ruslana – the first L'viv Christmas television project of an All-Ukrainian scale including the video clip Ballad of a Princess which was the first animated music video made by a Ukrainian singer.
Her first album Myt Vesny – Dzvinkyi Viter (A Moment of Spring – Wind Bells), released in 1998, received high praise from the critics.
Still, wider recognition did not come until 1998 with the song Svitanok (Sunrise) and the album Myt' Vesny – Dzvinkyj Viter Live. Svitanok was the first Ukrainian big-budget music video. In 1999, Ruslana was awarded Person of the Year, the song Svitanok was awarded Song of the Year and its accompanying music video was awarded Music Video of the Year.
In 1999, she worked on the Christmas musical Ostanne rizdvo 90th (The Last Christmas of the 90s), which won the Ukrainian Movie of the Year award. With the video clip to the song Znaju ya (I Know), which is about the ancient people of the Hutsuls living in the Ukrainian Carpathians, Ruslana set new standards for modern video clip filming.
Wild Dances Project 
Ruslana's father is from the West-Ukrainian area of the Hutsuls, the dwellers of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. They have a unique culture with an ancient and rich history which inspired Ruslana to create her concept album Wild Dances. It combines powerful and permeating ethnic drums, trumpet sounds of the trembita, an ancient Hutsul music instrument, with modern dance beats.
The album Dyki Tantsi (Wild Dances) was released in June 2003 in Ukraine. It was the first album ever to be certified 5 times Platinum in Ukraine, selling more than 500,000 copies. The English language counterpart, Wild Dances, was released in many European countries in the autumn of 2004. Previously, the lead single Wild Dances had brought Ruslana the victory at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 and entered various European single charts. It was certified Gold in Sweden, Russia, Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. On the single charts in Ukraine, Greece and Belgium, the song peaked at #1.
2004 - 2005: Eurovision victory and the Orange Revolution 
Ruslana was internally chosen by the NTU to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. Before the contest, she was a hot favorite for victory by the bookmakers. At the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, she performed her self-composed song, Wild Dances and won the contest receiving 280 points. In the semifinal, the song received points from all other participating countries; in the final, Switzerland was the only country not giving any points to the song.
In the days following the contest, she was widely featured in local media. She was appointed advisor to the prime minister, and the president bestowed upon her one of the country's highest honors when she received the title of People's Artist of Ukraine.
Ruslana has been initially chosen to host the semi final and the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. However, the singer had to decline the offer due to her involvement in the organization of a big charity concert dedicated to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. Therefore, Ruslana appeared at the event only as a guest star. She performed a medley of Wild Dances and Heart on Fire at the opening ceremony being accompanied by the Zhyttia ballet and the Ukrainian drums ensamble ARS Nova. This act saw Ruslana carrying a Flamethrower on stage to the dissatisfaction of the Romanian delegation whose fire on stage was rejected due to security reasons. After interviewing the competitors in the green room she also performed her latest single The Same Star. During this performance Ruslana wore a red costume inspired by Ukrainian ethnic elements.
Ruslana's song Wild Dances was named the Best of Eurovision in an internet voting arranged by the German public television broadcaster ARD. During the television program Grand Prix Hitliste, Wild Dances was presented as the winner, ahead of famous songs, such as Waterloo and Germany's only winner (at the time), Ein Bißchen Frieden, which finished sixth and twelfth, respectively. The programme was viewed by a television audience of approximately six million people in Germany.
Wild Energy Project 
Ruslana's project Wild Energy was based on the science fiction novel by Maryna and Sergij Diachenko Wild Energy. Lana. In a future city which experiences a global energy crisis, far more threatening than lack of oil and gas, people are lacking their will for life, their energy of the heart – the "fuel for people". Lana, one of the synthetic inhabitants, sets out to find the mystical energy source. After many adventures she discovers that the wild energy comes from her own heart. Wild Energy combines the art of music and video production, literature and social commitment in an extraordinary way. In June 2006 Ruslana presented the new single and video Wild Energy in a unique fantasy style. In this video clip the singer develops from a synthetic blonde girl into her wild image.
In March 2008 Ruslana's Ukrainian album Amazonka was released in Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The English album Wild Energy was released in Canada on 2 September 2008 and was released in several European countries on 10 October 2008. The album was recorded at the Hit Factory Studio in Miami and contains two collaborations with American Urban superstars T-Pain and Missy Elliott. On this release Ruslana creates her own distinctive technique of incorporating ancient ethnic styles of the Carpathian Mountain people with modern popular music.
2011 - 2012: The Voice of Ukraine and new Ukrainian album 
In April 2012 the new Ukrainian language album ЕЙ-форі-Я (EY-fori-YA) was released in Ukraine. The album on which Ruslana had worked for four years was produced in the USA, Sweden and Ukraine produced by Vlad Debriansky and Ruslana and features musicians such as Rusty Allen, Victor Little, George Benson, Brian Coller and others.
Already in May 2011 the first single from the album was published. WOW – I’m so Amazing! was produced by Vlad Debriansky in Los Angeles, CA. The song was written by Ruslana in cooperation with Vlad Debriansky and Oleksandr Ksenofontov (Ruslana’s husband). The song and the corresponding video clip are meant to be a parody on people who regard themselves as so amazing. Ruslana appears in the funny, ironic video as two different characters and competes with herself about who is the coolest.
In September 2011 the second single Sha-la-la was released. The song was written by Ruslana, Vlad Debriansky and Oleksandr Ksenofontov (Ukrainian lyrics) and was recorded in San Francisco and Kyiv. It is based on a simple gypsy tune. Along with stirring guitars, Ruslana used rendered sounds of step dancers. In the video clip Ruslana created yet again a completely new image. She appears as a gypsy girl with colorful tattooed roses. After a “dance dispute” in a pub, Ruslana and a group of dancers continue their dialogue in the language of dance in the streets of the ancient city of L’viv. Suddenly the entire city is dancing along with them.
The song Давай Грай (Davaj Graj, Come on, play) is dedicated to the European Football Championship UEFA EURO 2012. The premiere took place at the opening celebration of the new stadium of L’viv on 29 October 2012. The idea of this sing- and dance-along song is to unite as many people as possible in single rhythm, sound and dance. 15 minutes before the beginning of the show Ruslana made a special rehearsal for the stadium audience teaching the movements to be performed during her song. The experiment worked well and united the 34,000 spectators plus 1,000 dancers in a mass synchronized dance.
Despite its intercontinental rock and pop nature, the album EY-fori-YA and the three songs taken from it previously is based on Slavic rhythms. Ruslana integrated old Slavic circle dances, liturgies and elements of classic pieces of Russian composers including Glinka, Tschaikowsky, Mussorgsky, and Rachmaninow. The album is designed for flash mob type synchronous dances. In April/May 2012 she toured 11 Ukrainian cities with a unique show concept called Ogoshow. During these open-air events Ruslana appeared as lead dancer teaching the audience the moves. The audience doesn’t consume passively, but is integrated into the show. The tour was sponsored by the Ukrainian telecommunication company Ukrtelekom. More concept concerts followed within the framework of the EURO 2012 public fan events.
In August 2012 another single from the album was released: Мій Брат! (Miy Brat!, My brother!). The video clip produced and directed by Ruslana herself visualizes the battle between boys and girls who in the end fraternize. The dances were performed not only by the professional Maydance dancers who usually accompany her on stage, but also by dozens of fans. Ruslana appeared in this video with shaved temples.
In the video clip for the fifth single from the album, Це - Ей-форі-Я (Tse – Ey-fori-Ya, This is Euphoria) Ruslana criticizes the current juridical system of Ukraine. At the press conference in December 2012 launching her campaign Не мовчи (Don’t keep silent) the singer was lead in handcuffs by two hooded military guards. The video produced by video producer Semen Gorov was shot at Kyiv fortress, a former prison. The plot starts with a young man playing the bandura, a classical Ukrainian instrument, behind bars. The heroine Ruslana in ragged clothes is violently beaten by prison guards, but manages to free herself and the other inmates, just to find the outside world in ruins. The video symbolizes Ukraine as a prison in the hands of a corrupt and arbitrary juridical system.
On New Year’s Eve 2012 Ruslana released another video clip for a song from the album. Rachmaninov, directed by video producer Semen Gorov, was shot at the Kiev Opera. Ruslana appears as l’enfant terrible at a classical ballet lesson.
Political activities 
In autumn 2004 Ruslana actively supported the democratic processes in Ukraine known as the Orange Revolution, to which her song "Dance with the Wolves" was devoted. She declared her support for Viktor Yushchenko during the disputed Ukrainian presidential elections. She became one of the prominent figures that addressed the mass crowds rallying in support of Yushchenko's demand that his original defeat be declared fraudulent. From spring 2006 to summer 2007 she was a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament for the party Our Ukraine.
Due to political reasons the music video supporting her second single extracted from the Wild Dances album, Dance with the Wolves was censored in Russia as it contains fragments showing Ruslana in the Independence Square.
In December 2012 Ruslana launched the human rights campaign Не мовчи (Don’t keep silent) which challenges the juridical system of Ukraine. In particular she supports the case of Dmytro and Sergiy Pavlichenko who claim to have been forced to admit a murder they have not committed. The father and son were convicted of killing a judge of a district court in Kyiv and sentenced to life imprisonment and 13 years in prison respectively.  The verdict was widely criticized mainly by football fans. Ruslana dedicated her song and video Це - Ей-форі-Я (This is Euphoria) to the case of the Pavlichenkos who according to her are victims of a misjudgement.
Social commitment 
Ruslana was appointed Good Will Ambassador of Ukraine by the UNICEF and combats trafficking in human beings.  She released two video clips which aim to make potential victims aware of the dangers of human trafficking. In February 2008 Ruslana performed at an anti-human trafficking event in Vienna, Austria, organized by UN.GIFT (The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking) in front of 117 international delegations. Her song Not for Sale became the anthem of the anti-trafficking campaign.
Within the frames of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev she gave a charity concert for children suffering from the consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy. For another charity project Ruslana joined forces with German rock star Peter Maffay. In April/May 2007 they went together with artists from 14 countries on a four weeks tour through Germany. The funds gathered benefited children in need.
Ruslana has also staged numerous charity concerts benefiting Children's hospitals in Kiev, L’viv and Dnepropetrovsk
With her project Wild Energy Ruslana supports the use of renewable energy. She regards the energy of the sun, the water and the wind as an energy independence. The project gradually developed into this bigger meaning. Ruslana wants to make people aware of the dangers of global climate change.
After large regions in Western Ukraine were hit by a flood in July 2008 Ruslana set up the co-ordinating and relief centre Carpathians. Flood. SOS! 2008. The aim of the centre is to create a database of the people in need, to provide emergency humanitarian help and to collect and distribute donations both from the public and from other Ukrainian artists and sportsmen to support the victims of the flood.
Ukrainian-language studio albums 
English-language studio albums 
- 1998: Rizdvo z Ruslanoju (Christmas With Ruslana)
- 1999: Ostannje Rizdvo 90-h (Last Christmas of the 90's)
- 2002: Rizdvjani Legendy (Christmas Legends)
- 2003: Na Rizdvo do L'vivs'kogo (Christmas with Lvivians)
- 2008: Wild Energy. Amazon. Wild Dances
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2004||"Wild Dances"||43||1||20||40||1||-||44||6||8||24||2||1||47||Wild Dances|
|"Dance with the Wolves"||-||19||-||-||-||-||95||105||-||-||-||3||-|
|2005||"The Same Star"||-||50||-||-||-||-||60||199||-||-||-||1||-|
|2006||"Dyka Enerhija"||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||Wild Energy|
|2008||"Moon of Dreams"||-||-||-||-||-||41||77||-||-||-||-||1||-|
Awards and nominations 
|1996||Slavianski Bazaar (Belarus)||1st place
"Oj, letily dyki gusy"
|1999||Person of the Year 1999 (Ukraine)||Person of the year||Won|
|Best song of the year
|Best video of the year
|2004||Eurovision Song Contest||1st place
|Marcel Bezençon Awards||Artistic Award
|World Music Awards (Las Vegas, USA)||Best Selling Ukrainian Artist
|MAD TV Video Music Awards (Greece)||Best International Video
|Arion Music Awards (Greece)||Best Selling International Single
|2005||Romanian Most Loved Awards||Most Loved International Singer||Won|
|Macedonia's The Best 13||Best European Singer||Won|
|2006||Grand Prix Hitliste (Germany)||Best Eurovision song
|2009||Asia Song Festival||The Special Award||Won|
|2010||Person of the Year 2010 (Ukraine)||Best solo artist||Won|
Music videos 
- Ty (1998)
- Myt' Vesny (1998)
- Svitanok (1998)
- Balada pro princessu (1998)
- Kolyskova (1998)
- Znaju Ja (2000)
- Proschannya z disko (2001)
- Dobryi vechir, tobi... (2002)
- Kolomyjka (2003)
- Oj, Zagraimy, Muzychenku (2003)
- Wild Dances (2004)
- Dance with the Wolves (2004)
- Ring Dance with the Wolves (2005)
- The Same Star (2005)
- V rytme serdtsa (2005)
- Dyka Enerhija (2006)
- Moon of Dreams (feat. T-Pain) (2008)
- Vohon‘ chy lid (Vse ne te)(2008)
- Silent Angel (2008)
- Wow (2011)
- Sha-la-la (2011)
- Davaj hraj (2012)
- Tse - Ey-phori-Ya (2012)
- Rachmaninov (2013)
|2000||2000 Today by BBC||Herself||Representative of Ukraine|
|2004||Eurovision Song Contest 2004||Herself||Representative of Ukraine. Winner|
|World Music Awards 2004||Herself||Guest Star|
|2005||Eurovision Song Contest 2005||Herself||Guest Star|
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||Herself as DJ Ruslana||-|
|2009||Asia Song Festival||Herself||Guest Star|
|2011||Eurovision Song Contest 2011||Herself||Ukrainian Spokesperson|
|The Secret History of Eurovision||Herself||Guest Star|
|The Voice of Ukraine||Herself||Judge|
|2012||Moya pravda / Ruslana. Ukroshcheniye stroptivoy||Herself||Guest Star|
|2013||Eurosong 2013: A MAD show||Herself||Guest Star|
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ruslana|
|Wikinews has related news: Eurovision '04 winner Ruslana discusses her paths as singer, spokesmodel, stateswoman and source of inspiration|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ruslana|
- Eurovision Song Contest 2004
- Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
- Ruslana's Charity Concert
- Wild Energy.Lana
- Istanbul became like a symbol of the victory for me
- Ultratop 50 number-one hits of 2004
- Руслана – Биография
- National Public Radio. A Ukrainian Pop Star's Would-Be Revolution
- Umka.com Ruslana. Dyki Tanci. (Wild dances)
- Ruslana (2004) new album ‘Wild energy’
- eurovision.tv. Results of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004
- "Ukrainian singer wins the Eurovision Song Contest". Welcome to Ukraine. 3 June 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Ruslana is ready to take her seat in the Parliament". for-ua.com. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Ruslana "Dyki Tantsi" 2003". for-ua.com. 3 October 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Ukraine's Ruslana wins Eurovision Song Contest". The Moscow Times. 17 May 2004. Retrieved 17 May 2004.
- "Ruslana: My first victory after Eurovision...". ESCToday. 14 July 2004. Retrieved 14 July 2004.
- "First Voice Actor for GTA IV Announced". Gta4.net. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- "Ruslana conquered Asian hearts". Eurovision.tv. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Руслана Лыжичко пошла в бабушку". Gazeta.ua. Archived from the original on 2012-11-30.
- "Biography on Ruslana’s official website". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Biography on Ruslana’s official website". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- Знаменитості України: Лижичко Руслана Степанівна (співачка)
- "Biography on Ruslana’s official website". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Biography on Ruslana’s official website". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Ruslana — the first Ukrainian pop singer to win a major European pop song contest". Welcome to Ukraine. 3 June 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- Bakker, Sietse (4 May 2005). "Ruslana resigns as host". ESCToday. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- Autor, Necunoscut (13 May 2005). "Eurovision - Luminita, Sistem & Faur sau raca pe butoaie". Jurnalul.ro. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- Ruslana to release Wild Energy
- Ruslana. HEY-phori-YEAH. (EU-phori-A)
- Shalala by Ruslana: new song and dance, video and image!
- Ruslana with 1000 Dancers Raised First Wave at Arena L’viv opening!
- "The Brotherhood of Men and the Sister Skinhead Ruslana!!!, 12.09.2012". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Eurovision Winner Ruslana Challenges Ukrainian People to Stand Up to Human Rights Abuses". Retrieved 16 December 2012. Text "Manchester Evening news 5th Dec 2012" ignored (help)
- "Ukraine behind bars is the post-apocalyptic perspective visualized in Ruslana’s new video THIS IS EUPHORIA". Retrieved 16 December 2012. Text "News on Ruslana’s official website, 4th Dec. 2012" ignored (help)
- Ruslana resigns as Member of Parliament
- Ruslana censored in Russia
- (Ukrainian) Руслана на виборах президента підтримає Тимошенко, Ukrainska Pravda (26 June 2009)
- (Ukrainian) Зірковий колгосп для Тимошенко, Ukrayinska Pravda (10 September 2009)
- Best singers of country start tour in support of Tymoshenko, UNIAN (14 September 2009)
- "Ukrainian ombudsperson promises to check Pavlichenkos' claims of extorted confession to murder". Retrieved 16 December 2012. Text "Interfax Ukraine, 14th Dec. 2012" ignored (help)
- "theyarenotkillers.com". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Ruslana's advocacy campaign "Don't Keep Silent", Press-center UNIAN". Retrieved 16 December 2012. Text "RuslanaTube, 4th Dec. 2012" ignored (help)
- Ruslana becomes first ever UNICEF National Ambassador in Ukraine
- Ruslana Blog
- Website of Peter Maffay
- A Ukrainian Pop Star's Would-Be Revolution
- Carpathians. Flood. SOS!
- Ruslana interview from NPR All Things Considered program, 7 April 2008
|Awards and achievements|
with "Everyway That I Can"
|Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
with "My Number One"
with "Hasta la Vista"
|Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Razom nas bahato"
|Best Ukrainian Act – World Music Awards
|Best Artist – Asia Song Festival