Alla Pugacheva

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Alla Pugacheva
Алла Пугачёва
RIAN archive 378862 Alla Pugacheva (cropped).jpg
Background information
Birth nameAlla Borisovna Pugacheva
Born (1949-04-15) 15 April 1949 (age 72)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
GenresPop, soft rock
Occupation(s)Singer, composer, actress
Years active1965–present

Alla Borisovna Pugacheva, sometimes Pugachova (Russian: Алла Борисовна Пугачёва, IPA: [ˈalːə bɐˈrʲisəvnə pʊɡɐˈtɕɵvə]; born 15 April 1949), is а Soviet and Russian musical performer. Her career started in 1965 and continues to this day, even though she does not give live performances anymore. For her "clear mezzo-soprano 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.[a]

Pugacheva's repertoire includes over 500 songs in Russian, English, German, French, Kazakh, Hebrew, Finnish, Ukrainian, and her discography has more than 100 records, CDs and DVDs. In addition to Russia and the former Soviet Union, Pugacheva's albums were released in Japan, Korea, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Pugacheva has sold more than 250 million records.[4]

She became a People's Artist of the USSR in 1991, a Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 1995, and was decorated as a Chevalier of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" II, III and IV degrees. She represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1997.[5]

Professional biography[edit]

Pugacheva was born to Boris Mikhailovich Pugachëv and Zinaida Arkhipovna (born Odegova) Pugachëva in Moscow, on 15 April 1949.[6] In 1956, she enrolled in music school No.31, and attended the Ippolitov-Ivanov music college. She went on to study at school No.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.[7]

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[edit]

Pugacheva in 1976.

Pugacheva went on to work on the musical film 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,[8] brought the soundtrack to reach record audience of the year in 1979, as it was bought by 55 million people.[9] 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 to 1977. 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.[10] 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)[edit]

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]


Pugacheva with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk, 25 July 2001.

In the late 1970s, Pugacheva became one of Russia's most beloved artists for her "clear mezzo-soprano and a full display of genuine emotions".[11][12]

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, reportedly largely because of statements and actions on her part that were inconsistent with the Party's agenda. [13] Pugacheva listed in the Russian Encyclopedia (2005).[14]

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

Honours and awards[edit]

President Boris Yeltsin awards the 2nd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland to Pugacheva, 15 April 1999.
President Dmitry Medvedev awards the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland to Pugacheva on her 60th birthday.
Preceded by
Living Legend Award
Alla Pugacheva
Succeeded by
Joseph Kobzon

Private life[edit]

In 1969, she married Lithuanian circus performer Mykolas Orbakas [lt], and in 1971 she gave birth to a daughter, Kristina Orbakaitė, who is also a popular singer.[15] Pugacheva divorced Orbakas after four years of marriage in 1973. She married film director Alexander Stefanovich (1945-2021) in 1976, and starred in several of his movies. The union was dissolved in 1980.

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. Their divorce was announced in November 2005.

On 23 December 2011, Alla Pugacheva married Maxim Galkin.[16] The couple has twins delivered by a surrogate mother.[17][18] Their names are Liza and Harry.[19]

In March 2014 Pugacheva signed a petition against persecution of Andrei Makarevich who protested against annexation of Crimea and War in Donbas.[20]


Original solo albums[edit]

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[edit]

President Vladimir Putin awards the 4th Degree Order "For Merit to the Fatherland"" to Pugacheva, 22 December 2014
Airvita Tupolev Tu-134 at Kharkiv Airport in 1998. The aircraft was operated for Alla Pugacheva
  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 1978 Teatr Ally Pugachevoy, Estonian Television
  • 1978 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
  • 1997 Laat de Leeuw (Late de Leeuw), VARA[21]
  • 2003 Za dvumya zaytsami (Chasing Two Rabbits)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.


  1. ^ "ВРЕМЯ Z" – журнал для интеллектуальной элиты общества [Time Z – Journal for the intellectual elite of the society] (in Russian). 13 November 2006.
  2. ^ Alison Smale (28 February 2000). "A Superstar Evokes a Superpower; In Diva's Voice, Adoring Fans Hear Echoes of Soviet Days". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  3. ^ Jon Pareles (25 September 1988). "Review/Music; Alla Pugacheva's Moody, Ardent Soviet Pop". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  4. ^ Susan Doll. "Alla Pugacheva". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  5. ^ Всем шоу шоу. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  6. ^ Alla Pugacheva. IMDb. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  7. ^ Collection of her songs from movies Archived 11 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  8. ^ «Женщина, которая поет»: кто такой Борис Горбонос? ["The Woman Who Sings": Who Is Boris Gorbonos?]. (in Russian). 17 April 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  9. ^ Лидеры проката [Top bill]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  10. ^ Międzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej- Sopot Festival Archived 2 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 17 May 2015.(in Russian)
  11. ^ Alla Pugacheva biography
  12. ^ :ВРЕМЯ Z" – журнал для интеллектуальной элиты общества [Time Z – Journal for the intellectual elite of the society] (in Russian). 13 November 2006. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  13. ^ Alla Pugacheva biography, Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. ^ Profile Archived 8 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  15. ^ Celebrity and Glamour in Contemporary Russia: Shocking Chic
  16. ^ "Алла Пугачева и Максим Галкин поженились (ФОТО)". 26 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  17. ^ "Pugacheva about Tymoshenko". UNIAN. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  18. ^ "Yulia Tymoshenko sang a song for Alla Pugacheva". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  19. ^ Дети Аллы Пугачевой и Максима Галкина отметят день рождения в садике [Pugacheva and Galkin will celebrate Birthday in nursery]. Starhit (in Russian). Retrieved 13 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Pugachev and other leaders are asked to stop harassment by Makarevich Crimea, Ukrayinska Pravda (28 March 2014)
  21. ^

External links[edit]

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