t.A.T.u. at the Viva Comet concert in Poland (2008)
|Genres||Pop, rock, synthpop, pop rock, techno, chill out, electronic, dance-pop|
|Years active||1999–2011, 2014|
|Labels||Neformat, Universal, Interscope, T.A. Music, Soyuz Music, Misteriya Zvuka, Coqueiro Verde, Pelo Music|
t.A.T.u. (Russian: Тату, pronounced [tɐˈtu] ( )) was a Russian music duo that consisted of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova. The duo was managed by Russian television producer Ivan Shapovalov while in the group Neposedi. The duo were signed to their own production company T.A. Music, following the split with Universal Music Russia, and their sub-labels Interscope Records and Neformat.
The duo established their success with their debut single "All the Things She Said", which gained acclaim from music journalists and critics, who deemed it one of the best singles in early 2000s. The video of the single, however generated controversy worldwide, showing the girls kissing in the rain in school uniforms. Along with the number-one single, the following records "Not Gonna Get Us" and "All About Us" gained success and also charted at No. 1 on other contemporary music charts.
The duo has released six studio albums; three Russian and three English. The album 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane achieved huge success worldwide and eventually became the first group ever to get the IFPI Europe platinum award for the same album in two different languages. Due to their success, the duo were recognized as one of the most successful female music acts to emerge in the early decade and have established themselves as the most successful Russian act to date.
t.A.T.u. represented Russia in the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, performing "Ne Ver', Ne Boysia", finishing in third place. In March 2011, the duo officially announced their separation, due to personal reasons and conflicts between them and embarked on solo careers, which started around the end of 2008. As of 2012, t.A.T.u. have sold over 15 million records, and both the Russian and English version of 200 Km/h are listed among the best-selling albums by a girl group. They reunited in late December 2012 for a concert and announced their comeback after their performance in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Sochi 2014. However, due to personal issues between Volkova and Katina, the duo announced that their project would only consist of their newest single and music video, "Lyubov' V Kazhdom Mgnovenii" ("Love In Every Moment") to promote a Russian short film which premiered at the 67th Cannes Film Festival.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1999–2000: Formation of t.A.T.u.
- 1.2 2000–01: 200 Po Vstrechnoy
- 1.3 2002–03: 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane album, success and controversies
- 1.4 2003–04: Brief music hiatus and reformation
- 1.5 2004–06: Lyudi Invalidy and Dangerous and Moving
- 1.6 2007–09: Vesyolye Ulybki
- 1.7 2009–11: Waste Management, film debut and remixes
- 1.8 2011: Split and solo projects
- 1.9 2012–13: Reunions and lawsuit
- 1.10 2014: Olympic Performance, return, and conflicts
- 2 Artistry and controversies
- 3 Productions and T.A. Music
- 4 Members
- 5 Discography
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Tours
- 8 See also
- 9 References and footnotes
- 10 External links
1999–2000: Formation of t.A.T.u.
Before production of t.A.T.u. arose, the pair were in a group named Neposedi. Both Julia Volkova and Lena Katina were part of the band, along with members Sergey Lazarev and Vlad Topalov. Katina, first was in a band "Avenue" between 1994 and 1997. It was reported that Volkova was banned from being in Neposedi, claiming she was misbehaving and disrupting other members in the group, along with accused smoking, swearing and drinking. However, Neposedi denied the claims. After a while together, they decided to split.
Eventually, t.A.T.u. were formed in 1999 by Ivan Shapovalov and his friend/business partner Alexander Voitinskiy, who developed plans to create a musical project in Russia. With this idea in mind, Shapovalov and Voitinskiy organized auditions in Moscow in early 1999 for teenage female vocalists. By the end of auditioning, the partners narrowed their search down to ten girls, including the members that finally become t.A.T.u., Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova. Both Yulia and Lena knew each other before audition. Both girls stood out among the others, especially because of their appearance and vocal experience, but the producers decided to start with 14-year-old Katina, who sang "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette. Katina began recording demos, including "Yugoslavia", a protest song about NATO aggression on Yugoslavia. After the demos were cut, Shapovalov insisted that another girl be added to the project. Thus, in late 1999, 14-year-old Yulia Volkova was added to the group to finish the duo. She also started recording not long after Lena's "Yugoslavia" demo was finished.
After completing the duo, the producers decided on the name "Тату" (Tatu). Sounding like the English word "tattoo", it is also a shortening hint to the Russian phrase "Эта девочка любит ту девочку", meaning "This girl loves that girl". For the release of their first English-language album, they decided to go by t.A.T.u., using uppercase letters and periods to distinguish themselves from an already existing Australian band, Tatu.
Over the next year, Katina and Volkova recorded songs with their producers. Voitinskij left the project, and Shapovalov decided to sign Elena Kiper as co-producer and co-writer for their debut album. they also enlisted the help of Trevor Horn to write the universal version of "Ya Soshla s Uma". Trevor Horn went on to write t.A.T.u.'s most memorable song, "All the Things She Said", and helped produce most of the English album 200 km/h In The Wrong Lane. While working with Shapolavov, the group was "controlled" by him and it was reported that he was "strict" while in the process of the album.
2000–01: 200 Po Vstrechnoy
The first single was completed in autumn 2000, entitled "Ya Soshla S Uma" (later released in English as "All the Things She Said"). It was not physically and formally released until December 2000. The song describes the turmoil in a girl's soul because she is in love with another girl, but is afraid, as society frowns upon this. She asks her parents for forgiveness. Elena Kiper has been credited with the song, explaining that the idea came to her when she fell asleep at her dentist's office and had a dream in which she kissed another woman. She woke up saying out loud, "Я сошла с ума!" (Ya soshla s uma, meaning "I've lost my mind"). Ivan Shapovalov is said to have added the second phrase of the chorus, "Мне нужна она" (Mne nuzhna ona, meaning "I need her").
Their first album, 200 Po Vstrechnoy was released on 21 May 2001. Their second single was "Nas Ne Dogonyat" which was only released in music video form rather than as an official CD single, although a promotional conjoined "Ya Soshla s Uma/Nas Ne Dagonyat" was released in Poland. This was followed by the third single "30 Minut", only available as a music video. The studio album proved to be a huge success in Europe, selling over 2.5 million copies worldwide. The album was eventually released in Japan, where it was certified Gold by RIAJ. The group went on tour in 2001, where their routines were described as "precise" and was to the point where the girls had to strip. The tour commenced in countries including Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Israel.
2002–03: 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane album, success and controversies
The English version of the album was released in December 2002 entitled 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane. The album peaked inside the top ten in majority of European and Western countries, and to date has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The first single from this album was "All The Things She Said" released in October 2002. The song peaked at the top spot in countries including Australia, Denmark, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The music video, however caused controversy worldwide, due to the members kissing behind a fence, where some believed the video promoted lesbianism and pedophilia. Many musical journalists, publications and music critics had branded the group's music as "paedophilic pop." The group announced their "Show Me Love Tour", which was to commence in the United Kingdom. However, both of their proposed concerts in the UK were cancelled, due to poor ticket sales. It was revealed that the reason why ticket sales were so poor was due to the parental advisory from adults, who did not believe that the girls sexual image were appropriate. Then, in July 2002, Blender praised the group by saying "We have seen the future of rock & roll ... to say you've never seen or heard anything quite like it is a colossal understatement." t.A.T.u. were then heralded by The Face magazine "The hottest popstars in the world right now."
On 25 February 2003 the women mocked NBC insistence that they neither kiss not comment on the Iraq war by performing "All the Things She Said" in white "T-shirts that bore the Russian language message Khuy Voyne! (Fuck the war!) across the front, and by blocking their faces with their hands as they kissed during a break in their performance.
The Fuck War t-shirts were banned on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show and replaced with t-shirts that said "Censored". They still wrote the term on Jimmy Kimmel's hand.
The next single "Not Gonna Get Us" was released in May 2003. Though not popular as the debut single, it managed to have success in most record charts. Also in May 2003. The same months, Shapovalovo was arrested after arranging filming for the group's music video "Show Me Love" in Moscow's Red Square despite his application for filming being refused. Shapovalov also attempted to film near London's Big Ben and various other locations. The footage that was recorded was later used for a music video for the song "Show Me Love", despite the song not being released in any country other than Poland. The group then released their third, but first promotional single "30 Minutes". It was released as an official single in the UK. A music video followed after the release. The fourth single off the album "How Soon Is Now?" was a cover originally performed by The Smiths.
In May 2003, t.A.T.u. represented Russia at Eurovision Song Contest 2003, where they placed third. After the contest, Russia's Channel One complained that Irish broadcaster RTÉ (Ireland's national television broadcaster) had used a back-up jury, and that it had cost them victory. A statement by Channel One suggested that there are grounds to believe that the contest results could be much different for Russia. RTÉ responded by publishing the unused results of the Irish televote, which showed that had the jury not been used, Turkey, whose entry was also overlooked by the Irish Jury, would still have won. The group's record label, Universal Music Russia, were originally against the group's participation saying that the Eurovision contest was for "young artists" and said "artists of Tatu's level will not get much out of the participation in it, We [Universal] would much rather prefer the group to work on their new album, and not to participate in contests for rising stars [...]"
The same month, the group postponed their German Promo tour, due to a late invitation to the 2003 MTV Movie Awards, where they performed. The following month they also cancelled their Riga concert and Japan concert in June, which led to a lawsuit from Pasadena Group Promotion, asking $180,000 in damages.
2003–04: Brief music hiatus and reformation
On 26 September 2003, the group released a remix compilation, titled Remixes. In November 2003, the CD was released in Russia, with two new tracks, and videos. The two new tracks were "Prostiye Dvizheniya" and "Ne Ver, Ne Boisya." Both of the tracks were released as singles, however "Prostye Dvizheniya" did not broadcast well in Russia, due to the promotion for "Ne Ver, Ne Boisya" in the Eurovision Song Contest. The DVD compilation Screaming for More was released on 24 November 2003, featuring music videos and behind-the-scenes. Anatomy of t. A. T. u. aired on Russian television on 12 December 2003. The documentary revealed that the girls were not lesbians, and chronicled the group as they took part in Eurovision, earlier in the year.
In early 2004, t.A.T.u. legally broke their contract with Ivan Shapovalov and Neformat. In the months before the split, t.A.T.u. and Shapovalov were being filmed for a reality show on STS in Russia titled Podnebesnaya. The show chronicled the group as they were recording their second album, but to little success, with their producer Ivan Shapovalo. The documentary aired on Russian television from January to March 2004.
There were many rumors around the split until the show aired, which depicted the group leaving due to a lack of interest and care from their producer. They also claimed the quality of the music being produced was too low, and that Shapovalov was only interested in creating scandals. Volkova stated, "He [Ivan] spends his time thinking up scandals instead of planning our artistic work. I'm sure our fans would rather hear new songs and new albums than new scandals." Katina then stated, "He made us out to BE lesbians when we were just singing FOR lesbians. We wanted people to understand them and not judge them. That they are as free as anyone else." In one of the final episodes, Volkova mentioned returning to the United States in spring of 2004 to record with new producers. However, she became pregnant soon thereafter, and recording was delayed.
2004–06: Lyudi Invalidy and Dangerous and Moving
Volkova soon joined Katina and previous producer Sergio Galoyan in the studio. The group was backed by their record label, Universal Music International, in finding adequate songs and production to release a new album. In August 2005, "All About Us" and "Lyudi Invalidy" were announced to be the first singles from the English and Russian albums, respectively. "All About Us" was a worldwide hit, charting in the top ten in majority of European charts. The group released their second English album on 5 October 2005 titled Dangerous and Moving. Its Russian counterpart was released on 19 October, titled Lyudi Invalidy. The album did not match its previous English album, but managed to sell over 2.5 million copies worldwide. The second single was "Friend or Foe". Soon after the video was released, the group's management replaced drummer Roman Ratej with Steve "Boomstick" Wilson, and appointed a new bassist, Domen Vajevec. On 25 March 2006, t.A.T.u. received the award for Best Group at the 1st edition of the TRL Awards.
On 17 April 2006, t.A.T.u. returned to reality TV in Russia with t.A.T.u. Expedition, which was broadcast on the Russian music channel Muz TV. It chronicled the release of their second album, and recording the video for their third single, "Gomenasai" which was released during the airing of the show. t.A.T.u. performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia on 28 April kicking off their Dangerous and Moving Tour. The video, as well as the actual song, is quite a departure from t.A.T.u.'s usual style and leaves many of their fans cold. On 30 August 2006, the official website announced that the girls had left their record company, Universal/Interscope.
On 21 November 2006, the region of the Komi Republic in Russia filed a lawsuit against t.A.T.u. over the album and song "Lyudi Invalidy" (translates to disabled people). Leonid Vakuev, a human rights representative for the Komi Republic, interpreted the song as being directed towards disabled people and cited words written in the booklet for the album, which said: " [Lyudi Invalidy] do not know what it means to be a human being. They are fakes inside the human form. They do not live, but — function". Katina said, "Of course, we meant moral invalids, people who do not have [a] soul and human feelings." When asked if they had anything against disabled people, she stated that she finds it offensive to refer to people by that term, and added, "We take pictures together and make sure they have priority seats [at concerts]."
2007–09: Vesyolye Ulybki
On 17 May 2007, t.A.T.u. issued a statement directed to their gay fans: "When t.A.T.u.'s second album came out, many of our fans of alternative sexual orientation thought that we lied and betrayed them. This is not true! We’ve never done that and we’ve always advocated love without boundaries." On 26 May, they flew out to Moscow to take part in the Moscow Gay Pride demonstration.
On 12 September 2007 the group released the concert DVD "Truth". It was the group's first release since leaving Universal. In late 2007, "Beliy Plaschik", the lead single from their upcoming Russian-language album was released. The project was then known as "Upravleniye Otbrosami", which translates to "Waste Management". The second single, "220", made its radio premiere in May 2008 and the music video was released on their official YouTube channel on 5 June 2008. "Beliy Plaschik" and "220" were the main attractions on a special release known as "Hyperion-Plate", the first-ever EP from the duo. The EP was released on 8 May 2008 and featured multimedia content including music, video, ringtones and wallpapers.
At the time of the "Hyperion-Plate" release, "Upravleniye Otbrosami / Управление отбросами" was scheduled to hit the stores in June 2008. The EP featured a poster which advertised that date, as well as a coupon redeemable for a discount on the album that expired on 30 June 2008. However, the release schedule abruptly stalled on 5 June 2008, when t.A.T.u.'s manager Boris Renski announced that Yulia Volkova was seriously ill. Volkova's illness forced the cancellation of a concert in Santa Clara, CA, and the singer was not seen in public until the wedding of producer Sergey Konov on 5 July 2008. The duo returned to work in late August, when it was reported that t.A.T.u. would be the face of fashion designer Marc Jacobs's fall and winter campaigns in Russia.
On 9 September 2008, a press release appeared on the duo's official website that declared that the forthcoming album would be titled "Vesyolye Ulybki" ("Happy Smiles") instead of "Upravleniye Otbrosami" ("Waste Management"). The name change reflected sarcastic comments about the state of the Russian music business made by Volkova and Katina in an interview with Moscow's Time Out Magazine. The press release also provided the track list of the album and an early version of its cover art, but still no confirmed release date was given. On 12 September, the album's third single, "You and I" made its debut on Love Radio. The press release disappeared from the site shortly afterward, only to re-appear on 8 October with a change made to the cover art --- where there was once the face of a smiling astronaut on the original design, a black square now appeared.
On 15 October, t. A. T. u.'s website announced that "Vesyolye Ulybki" would be released on 21 October 2008, beginning with a special event at two Soyuz record stores in Moscow where fans could meet the girls and get their autographs. The album also went on pre-sale at the official t. A. T. u. web shop on 18 October, with a small number of buyers receiving a limited-edition postcard set as a prize. The songs were also made available internationally through the iTunes digital music store. Upon its release, it became apparent that the album essentially had two covers --- the astronaut cover was a slipcase, while the original design used for "Upravleniye Otbrosami" appeared inside. The black square from the press release had been hiding a Mars scene.
On 23 October, t.A.T.u. appeared on Vladimir Polupanov's "The 7 Premieres" to promote their new album. They are also the subjects of an ongoing mini-reality series on the website Russia.ru. On 21 October 2008 "Vesyolye Ulybki" was released internationally on online music stores. On 28 November t.A.T.u were awarded the Legend of MTV at the MTV Russia Music Awards 2008. In March 2009, a statement was released on the duo's site and MySpace stating that the duo will no longer be a "full-time" project and that Katina and Volkova were working on solo projects. They also mentioned that the third video will be released on 17 April on MTV Russia. The album's single "Snegopady" was eventually released, along with its music video.
The girls performed a special concert at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 on 10 May. They were also included as an interval act on the 12th at the 1st semi finals, performing Not Gonna Get Us with the Russian Army Choir.
2009–11: Waste Management, film debut and remixes
On 13 July, the group released their single "Snowfalls". The song was released digitally worldwide, along with its music video. The group's second single for the album, "White Robe", was released by Coqueiro Verde Records online and premiered on t.A.T.u's YouTube account. t.A.T.u's official website announced that the video was up for voting on MTV Brazil on 10 November 2009. On 3 December, the "White Robe" video reached the number one position on MTV Brazil. It was announced via twitter that Conqueiro Verde Records would released the album in Brazil on 25 January 2010. The album was eventually released worldwide digitally, and received favorable reception from critics. The album did not sell very well, and was reported to have only sold over 1000 copies in the United States, as of December 2010.
The third single off the album was "Sparks", which was the English version of "220". It was released in Brazil and on t.A.T.u.'s official YouTube account on 13 April 2010. On 31 March 2010, a contest will be launched in which fans will be able to remix their favorite t.A.T.u songs from the new album. The winning mixes would be included on an upcoming remix album.
Yulia made headlines in Russia with a recent interview where she expressed her opinion on Lena's solo career, "She [Lena] has the right to do it [sing t. A. T. u. songs], but it's so stupid, absolutely stupid. If you do a solo career, it means that you do your own work. Her stuff, that she makes, I think, is silly and very soon her career will wither away and disappear."  Lena responded to this interview via her YouTube Page, "I saw Yulia's interview. Of course I got upset. But I want to tell everybody that I have a completely opposite attitude towards the whole situation, Yulia's project included. I believe she's a very talented person and I sincerely hope that she'll be successful in all the things she plans." 
In July, Lena made an appearance on a radio station where she was asked about the future of the duo. Lena responded by saying, "Life has changed a lot. Yulia and I are working on our projects now. I, for one, will be traveling to Los Angeles this Saturday, where I will keep working on my album. And I'm preparing a big show in San Francisco in September, so now we are not planning to reform t.A.T.u., certainly not in the near future. Now we really want to concentrate only on our own projects." Lena Katina and her full band performed her first live major solo show in San Francisco on 17 September 2010.
2011: Split and solo projects
At the end of March 2011, t.A.T.u. management released a press release on their official website declaring t.A.T.u. over. Due to conflicts between the girls, and both wanting to pursue solo careers, the duo was officially announced as disbanded. They finalised the duo's discography with a double remix album for Waste Management. The management thanked fans for their loyalty over the past 12 years of the duo's history. Katina stated in 2007 that she was ready to quit t.A.T.u. without telling member Julia to focus on her solo career, by stating that she was "very tired of each other [...] I cant wait to get rid of the schoolgirl outfit, jeans and T-shirt that were t.A.T.u.'s trademark."
After the split, the group decided to focus on their solo careers, both musically and in film. In August 2011, Lena revealed her debut solo single "Never Forget" which eventually charted at number one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs for a sole week. Volkova also working on her studio album released two following singles; "All Because of You" and "Didn't Wanna Do It", but failed to generate interest on the music charts. The following year she confirmed she would be starring in the dark comedy zombie film "9 1/2 Zombies", where she plays a heroine.
2012–13: Reunions and lawsuit
On 2 October 2012, Cherrytree Records/Universal Russia announced that they would be issuing a special re-release of t.A.T.u's 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane. The "10th Year Anniversary Gold Edition" featured all new artwork, a never-before-released song from the 2002 sessions, "A Simple Motion", a brand new remix of "All The Things She Said" from producer Fernando Garibay, in addition to newly mastered songs. On 24 October 2012, Cherrytree Records released the official track listing for the album; it was a note addressed to fans handwritten and signed by Julia and Lena themselves. The album was released on 12 November 2012.
On 11 December 2012, Lena and Julia reunited to appear as musical guests on The Voice of Romania. It was their first performance together in three years. The duo t.A.T.u performed "All About Us" and "All the Things She Said" during the show. They also appeared in radio and on another television show before.
After the re-release, the group were interviewed by Bradley Stern on MuuMuse, and was asked about a reunion and relationship together. Volkova stated "We don't keep in touch", while Katina stated "Only when we see each other. We have very different lives in different countries now. We are not in a fight though." As for reunion, Katina said "I believe that there is always a chance for anything in this life. Maybe…." Volkova stated that, while she is not "ready for it", she said "But this won’t stop us from reuniting for joint performances. We’ll see what happens!"
In April 2013, the group announced they would perform one live show at a Russian VIP Club. Lena also stated that "The t.A.T.u. comeback is very possible, we are talking about that right now." After Volkova had her second surgery for her ligaments, she officially confirmed that she and Katina are planning to reunite t.A.T.u. However, soon Volkova told an interviewer that they are not reuniting after all. Katina also stated that her solo career is the number one goal right now and that if t.A.T.u. is going to reunite, it would only be for small things like commercials and concerts.
On 9 June 2013, t.A.T.u. and Katina's former manager Tristram Buckley is set to pursue a lawsuit towards Katina and t.A.T.u.'s management seeking approximately $20 million. According to TMZ.com, he said that during the time with Katina's solo career, her productions were losing money, and she was "arrogant, abrasive, confrontational and rude" to fans—and he rebuilt her image from the ground up." His contract was "wrongfully" terminated after one year with Katina and was "never paid his services." According to the compliance, he will sue on grounds including fraud, breach of contract and defamation.
On 27 September 2013 t.A.T.u. performed a concert in Kiev, Ukraine. Shortly thereafter they wore their schoolgirls outfits from their first album again for a Snickers Japanese spot. Whilst in Japan they also performed "All the Things She Said" live in Tokyo.
2014: Olympic Performance, return, and conflicts
The duo performed before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi, along with piano virtuoso Denis Matsuev and opera soprano Anna Netrebko, who is also performing the Olympic anthem. Media reports expressed surprise at this performance, given the lack of LGBT rights in Russia, especially the Russian law banning gay "propaganda" aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gays. Their early act, including lesbian kissing, and showing homosexuality and bisexuality to minors, would be illegal under current Russian law. The ceremony's director, Konstantin Ernst, said t.A.T.u.'s "Not Gonna Get Us" was chosen because it's one of the few Russian pop songs that international viewers might recognize.
On 17 February 2014, Katina posted a video message on her official YouTube channel stating that she would no longer be working with Yulia and that t.A.T.u. is once again no longer a group. However, on 20 February, Volkova posted a video message saying that there is "no big reunion" but t.A.T.u. were having "joint projects". She also criticized Katina's "meaning" behind the video and confirmed that they would be shooting the video for the new single. On 5 March 2014, Volkova posted another video message on her official YouTube channel in response to Katina's video. She stated that despite "reasons of severe trepidation on the part of Lena about [Volkova] and [her] behavior," collaboration between the two was possible, referring to the release of their new single as well as their music video.
On 6 April 2014, the music video to "Love In Every Moment" was released to the Cornetto Ru page on YouTube, in which Katina and Volkova filmed their scenes apart. The song is part of the "A Sight Of Cupid" project which contains several short films about love. In the short film "Together Apart" the duo were portrayed as cupids. On 22 May 2014, both singers introduced the film at the Cannes Film Festival. Due to their conflict and in keeping with Katina's wishes to not interact with Volkova, both singers had separate interviews with reporters. Volkova announced during an interview with the Italian press that the film would be the last collaborative work between her and Katina. Despite tensions, a petition dubbed "#tATuComeback" is circulating throughout popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter in the hopes that the former duo will resolve their conflicts and return with their long-awaited comeback as they had originally planned.
Artistry and controversies
Throughout their career the group has received criticism, particularly since the release of "All The Things She Said". The AllMusic review for 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane labelled the band as an exceptionally tawdry gimmick. In 2003, after the release of their video of "All The Things She Said", some UK presenters had campaigned to ban the video worldwide. Despite subsequent reports that the BBC had banned the video from their pre-watershed programme Top of the Pops, the BBC quickly denied the ban, stating only that they had better footage to show. Not only have t.A.T.u. received criticism and controversies, but critics have also targeted their former producer Ivan Shapovalov for their creation.
According to Shapovalov, he admitted in numerous interviews that he came up with the image of the group by visiting pornographic websites, and other sites relating to pedophilia He explained; "I saw that most people look up pornography on the Internet and of those, most are looking for underage sex, I saw their needs weren’t fulfilled. Later, it turned out, I was right. This is the same as my own desires. I prefer underage girls."
Just before the recording of their third studio album "Dangerous and Moving", it was announced that Yulia was pregnant. This led to critics accusing the girls of being "fake", in regards to the impression they were lesbians, although Yulia and Lena have said in the past they are not "together" or "in a relationship". The girls however do support the LGBT community. Lena explained about the lesbian claims, saying that it wasn't "fun playing lesbians anymore."
The group have appeared on many websites, due to looks, wealth and many more contents. The group have appeared on Forbes's Top 50 Richest Stars of Russia twice, ranking at number six in 2006 with estimates of 1.4. million dollars and thirty-six in 2007, dropping thirty places. The group received the FHM Special Award for being the Top 100 Sexiest Woman. Both Katina and Volkova have been ranked on Maxim Russia Top 100 Sexiest Girls, with Katina at fifty-three and Volkova at fifteen. The group even managed to be honored by appearing on the cover of Maxim.
Cancellations of concerts controversy
Between the years of 2002 and 2004, t.A.T.u. caused controversy for cancelling several concerts and tours around the world. In March 2003, the group announced dates for their "Show Me Love Promo Tour" in the United Kingdom. However the next month, the group dropped the dates and did not perform at the concert, due to poor ticket sales. The concert was just days after the cancellation. BBC News stated that only a fraction of the tickets were sold for the concert and said the stadiums (held in London and Manchester) had around capacities of 10,000. A spokesman from their label Interscope did not understand why the cancellation took place.
In May 2003, t.A.T.u.'s management were sued by the promoters EEM Group for the cancellations of the concerts. EEM sued their management for £300,000, claiming they put "unachievable and numerous obstacles" in the way of ticket sales for the shows. They also claimed that Yulia's illness was a reason for the cancellation, however due to the lack of evidence, the lawsuit was discarded. After the lawsuit, the group also cancelled their Asian-promo tour for Japan and China, due to Yulia's sickness, who needed urgent surgery. The same month, the group postponed their German Promo tour, due to a late invitation to the 2003 MTV Movie Awards, where they performed. The following month they also cancelled their Riga concert and Japan concert in June, which led to a lawsuit from Pasadena Group Promotion, asking $180,000 in damages, as they did not receive any official letters regarding the cancellation.
While promoting their studio album Dangerous and Moving, the group cancelled their appearances in Chile due to poor ticket sales and the withdrawal of one of the Chilean sponsors. One month later, the group cancelled their tour at the last minute, due to inadequate stage preparation and poor ticket sales. In September 2009, several dates in Russia were cancelled due to the 22 August Tupolev Tu-154 plane crash.
"All The Things She Said" was ranked at number 452 in Blender magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born. The song was listed at number 8 on the AOL's Top 100 Pop Songs of the Decade. Rebecca Bary from The New Zealand Herald listed the song at number five on their Top Ten Best Singles of 2003. Bill Lamb from About.com listed the song on his Top 100 Pop Songs of 2003 at number 31 and on his Top 10 Contemporary Girl Group Songs at number ten.
In 2008, the group received the MTV Legend award by MTV Russia. The group is the most successful Russian musical export of all time. Katina stated to Billboard Magazine; "People will remember us for great songs, being free, taking life as it is and not being afraid of anything, "[There were] provocative images of two girls kissing each other, but the second thing was the really great music." In 2006, both Lena and Yulia were awarded "Woman of the Year" by GQ's Person of the Year Awards, but were not awarded under the band name.
To date, the group have sold over 13 million records worldwide.
Productions and T.A. Music
When t.A.T.u. was first formed by Shapovalov, Neformat was created as the group's production company, with Shapovalov and Renski at the head. In 2004, the company was dissolved when t.A.T.u. left Shapovalov.
Since 2005, T.A. Music has been the Moscow-based production company of t.A.T.u. The liner notes that accompanied the release of Dangerous and Moving said that the company was composed of t.A.T.u., Boris Renski, Dasha Mischenko, and Andrey Artischev. After t.A.T.u. broke ties with Universal Music in 2006, it was announced in 2008 that T.A. Music would become the duo's record label, although only currently in the Russian market. Happy Smiles was released internationally on iTunes through the T.A. Music label. T.A. Music also now acts as the label and management company for Lena Katina's solo project.
- Backing band members
- Sven Martin — keyboard, musical director (2002–2011)
- Troy MacCubbin — guitars (2002–2010)
- Matthew Venslauskas — guitars (2010–2011)
- Roman Ratej — drums (2003–2006)
- Steve "Boomstick" Wilson — drums (2006–2011)
- Domen Vajevec — bass (2006–2011)
- Katya Nechaeva - vocals (2003) 
Russian studio albums
English studio albums
- Anatomy of t.A.T.u. (2003)
- Podnebesnaya (2003)
- Screaming for More (2003)
- You and I (2012)
- Together Apart (2014)
- 200 Po Vstrechnoy Tour (2001–2002)
- Show Me Love Tour (2003)
- Dangerous and Moving Tour (2005–2007)
References and footnotes
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- t. A. T. u.: «Мы и сейчас иногда целуемся!» // OK, № 20 (133), 2009
- t.A.T.u. upstage Koizumi, Kan on live NTV show
- "TATU* – Nas Ne Dogonyat / Ya Soshla S Uma (CDr) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- [dead link]
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- t.A.T.u. heralded as "the future of rock & roll". This is an archive to the original. Time of publication: 10.07.2002.
- "Praise for t.A.T.u. from the U.K.s The Face Magazine". Retrieved 19 July 2013. "This is an archive to the original. Time of publication: 16.12.2002"
- A Song for Europe: Popular Music and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest
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- Ask Billboard: Taking Peaks," Nos. 100-1. 29 January 2010 4:35 PM EST.
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- [dead link]
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- • t. A. T. u. • Newestatus •: Interview:Lena katina(Radio Expres)[dead link]
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- Official Press Release on tatu.ru
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- TMZ Report.
- "Sochi opening ceremony goes from Tchaikovsky to tATu". USA Today. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
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- Wilson, Stephen; Krawczynski, Jon (7 February 2014). "Russia kicks off Sochi Games with hope and hubris". Fox Sports. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- CBC Newsworld, CBC Morning News, airdate 7 February 2014 @ circa 8:40am EST
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- [ http://www.leggo.it/NEWS/ESTERI/tatu_cannes_sochi_russia_paese_libero_pussy_riot/notizie/703085.shtml Le Tatu a Cannes dopo Sochi: "La Russia è un paese libero. Non ci importa nulla delle Pussy Riot"]
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "200 KM/H in the Wrong Lane". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
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- "Tatu Sued!". NME. 1 May 2003. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "TATU - News - The promo-tour in Japan has been cancelled". Eng.tatysite.net. 18 April 2003. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- Another lawsuit -- t.A.T.u. cancellations in Riga. This is an archive from The Daily Telegraph.
- Tatu's visit in Chile is cancelled. Archive report at eng.tatysite.net.
- Archive reported at t.A.T.u. - TOUR.NET. 18 August 2006.
- The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born[dead link]
- Anderson, Sara D. "Top Pop Songs of the Decade". AOL Radio Blog. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "'The best pop singles of 2003'". The New Zealand Herald. 27 December 2003.
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- Cherrytree on (2 October 2012). "Cherrytree to Reissue "200km/h In The Wrong Lane" with Unreleased Song "A Simple Motion" and Special Remixes". Cherrytree Records. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
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- "GQ" Person of the Year on CTC TV channel. 30 September 2006.
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- THE TATU two are to become three.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: T.A.T.u.|
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