L-R: Erika Gerceg, Anastasia Kozhevnikova and Misha Romanova in 2016. The three were selected as the new formation of the group after the reality show Khochu V VIA Gru, in 2013.
Nu Virgos (Ukrainian: ВІА Гра) was the name used to promote the musical group VIA Gra (ВИА Гра) outside of Ukraine and other nearby countries. The name VIA Gra is a triple wordplay: it is an allusion to the drug Viagra, also the first three letters "ВІА" ("VIA") stand for "vocal-instrumental ensemble" in Ukrainian, and "Гра" ("hra") means "game" or "play" in Ukrainian, and it is also kind of a signature of the surnames of the two first girls of the group, VI-nnytsk-A and GRA-novska, the originally used maiden name of Nadya Meikher. Nu Virgos was a Ukrainian girl group that hit the charts in Ukraine and Russia in September 2000 with their first single "Popytka No. 5" ("Attempt No. 5"). Their first success outside the Russian language area was in May 2004 with the single "Stop! Stop! Stop!", an English version of their 2002 Russian song. The group is known for their frequent lineup changes, with 13 different individuals having at one time been in the group. The group was co-created by Dmitriy Kostyuk and Konstantin Meladze. Kostyuk is the manager of the group and the co-producer of the group's albums. Meladze is the writer of the group's songs and the co-producer of the group's albums.
Early years (2000-2002)
In 2000 Alena and Nadiya made "Popytka No. 5" more videos were out on the screens: "Obnimi menya" (Hold me closer), "Bomba" (Bomb), "Ya ne vernus" (I won't be back). By the end of the year Nu Virgos repertoire comprised 7 songs that were enough to embark on a tour. The group's first live performance ever took place in Dnipropetrovsk on the stage of the city's Ledoviy Palace in front of 4,000 spectators. The group's management decided to release the first full-length Nu Virgos effort which was entitled after their major hit Popytka No. 5.
Within 2001 Nu Virgos collected some of their first awards: “A Hundred Pood Hit” from HIT FM Radio, “Golden Gramophone” from “Russian Radio”, and the “Golden Firebird” prize at the Ukrainian annual festival “Tavriyski Igry”.
In 2002, Nadiya suddenly found out she was pregnant and left temporarily to give birth. To take her place came the brunette Tatiana Naynik. Upon Nadya's leave, the producers decided to expand the group by adding another soloist. Therefore, 2002 also saw the group becoming a trio instead of a duet with the addition of Anna Sedokova, along with a change in their musical direction. In spring 2002 the group released their new single, "Стоп! Стоп! Стоп!" ("Stop! Stop! Stop!") whose success enabled Nu Virgos to take part in the “Ovation” Music Award Ceremony held at the Moscow's State Central Concert Hall “Rossiya”. They released the music video for the song the following summer. In September a new song and video, “Good morning, papa!” were released, upon which time Nadya had returned, and for the first and only time, there were four girls in the group. At this time, Alena felt that her time at the group had come to an end, and left. Additionally, Tatiana realized there was not enough room for two brunettes, and left. To close that year's end, the group's members played the roles of crowned heads in a TV musical called "Zolushka" (Cinderella).
"Golden" Era (2003-2005)
By early 2003 Vera Brezhneva had been cast as the new blonde girl of the group, and thus began the "golden" era of Nu Virgos was made up of what was considered the "golden" group of soloists — Nadiya Meikher, Vera Brezhneva, and Anna Sedokova. In the beginning of 2003 Nu Virgos released "Ne ostavlyay menya, lyubimiy" (“Don’t leave me, beloved”), complete with an eponymously titled video tape containing a collection of Nu Virgos videos. They released Stop! Snyato! (Stop! That's a wrap!) which included five new songs along with seven remixes. They attended the Russian MUZ TV awards and the “Soundtrack” award all won by Nu Virgos. In May the group released the new video "Ubey moyu podrugu" (Kill my girlfriend). By the end of 2003 having completed their new album, Biologiya (Biology), they entered the international music scene. Their first English-language album Stop! Stop! Stop! saw the daylight in Israel, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Scandinavian countries. More videos appeared on TV – melodically and lyrically strong "Okean i tri reki" (Ocean and three rivers) and “Prityazhenya bolshe net” (“No attraction anymore”) (both in duet with singer Valeriy Meladze) shortly followed by "Biologiya" (last two videos released in 2004). In the summer of 2004, Nu Virgos were awarded with the Russian music award “MUZ TV 2004” and completed a world tour spanning the territories including South East Asia, Israel and America. In November group released two more videos - "Mir, o kotorom ja ne znala do tebya" and English version of this clip - "Take you back".
In 2004, Anna Sedokova learned that she was pregnant, and left the group. She was replaced shortly, for only a few months, by Svetlana Loboda, who starred in the video for "Biologiya" alongside Nadiya Meiher and Vera Brezhneva. Svetlana's short and rocky career in Nu Virgos led her to part ways with the group, as fans of the group were appalled by her behavior during live performances and disappointed that she was replacing Anna Sedokova. After Loboda, Albina Dzhanabaeva appeared as the new redhead of the group. The year 2005 was marked by the launch of the Russian version of Nu Virgos official website as well as by the release of three new videos: "Net nichego khuzhe", "I don’t want a man" (English version of "Net nichego khuzhe") and "Brillianty" (Diamonds). Additionally the group picked up their second in a row MUZ TV's “The Best Pop Act” award.
Final years (2006-2012)
In January 2006, Nu Virgos were a participant at MIDEM 2006. Despite the heavy touring that year the group have offered four more videos: "Obmani no ostansya" (Tell me lie, but don't leave me), "L.M.L." (Russian and English), and "Tsvetok i nozh" (Flower and knife) and completed a new English album, their second after Stop! Stop! Stop!. A second English language album L.M.L. was scheduled for release in November 2006. In early April 2007, due to unexpected pregnancy, Olha left the group, the English album project was broken so the label decided to release it digitally. In July 2007, Vera Brezhneva, the blond girl of the group, left the group after she married Mikhail Kiperman. She then went on to host a Russian version of Power of 10 a year later. In May 2007, Nu Virgos once again won Best Group at MUZ TV Awards. On 5 September Nu Virgos premiered a video for the song "Potselui" (Kisses) in Ukraine, and on 10 September in Russia. On 1 November 2007 the group released a new compilation album, called Potselui (Kisses) with 19 tracks. Nu Virgos appeared in "Maxim" and FHM. In December 2007, the group recorded a new song called "Ya ne boyus" (I'm not afraid).
In 2008, the team is scheduled to tour with English-speaking album L.M.L. for a variety of countries such as Japan, Germany, Britain and others. The group released a new video in February 2008. In March 2008, the Miss Russia 2006 Tatiana Kotova joined Nu Virgos. In June 2008, once again Nu Virgos collected their 4th "Best Group" award & "Best Video" for "Potseluy" at Muz-TV Awards 2008h. In August, it was revealed that their new single was "My Emancipation" and have released a music video. In November they have just finished filming a music video for song "Amerikanskaya zhena" (American wife) which was a soundtrack for Russian film "Stilyagi". In the beginning of 2009, Meseda left the group and her position was filled by the returning Nadya Meiher. The group releases a new single, along with a music video entitled "Анти-гейша" ("Anti-Geisha"). In Autumn 2009, VIA Gra releases a new single, "Сумасшедший" ("Crazy"). The video was released in September.
In March 2010, Tatiana Kotova left the group and was replaced by Eva Bushmina. In April, a new song and music video were released - "Пошел вон" ("Get out"). In September, "День без тебя" ("Day without you") was released. In April 2011, Dmitriy Kostyuk resigned as general producer. In November 2011, Nadya Meiher, pregnant once again, left the group and was replaced by Santa Dimopulos. In February 2012, the video for "Алло, мам" ("Hello, Mom") was released. In September 2012, Santa Dimoplis decided to leave the group, after recording just one single. A month later, it was announced that the group has been placed on hiatus, with no confirmation regarding when they will return and with which artists. In December 2012, Konstantin Meladze announced during a press conference that Nu Virgos would cease to exist by January 2013, citing that the group had outlived itself in the format that it was performing in at the given time.
Despite initial claims that Nu Virgos would no longer exist as a group, at the beginning of 2013 Konstantin Meladze announced a casting for his new show, "Хочу V ВИА Гру" ("I want to be in VIA Gra"). The casting was formatted as a reality TV show, consisting of eight episodes, by the end of which three new soloists were chosen by popular vote: Erika Gerceg, Anastasia Kozhevnikova and Misha Romanova. In November 2013, they released their new single and music video, entitled, "Перемирие" ("Truce"). Meanwhile, during Meladze's casting show, Dmitriy Kostyuk, ex-general producer of Nu Virgos, announced his own new lineup. In fall 2013, he presented his VIA Gra: Darya Rostova, Darya Medovaya and Aina Vilberg. At a show in Kiev, they performed singles from their new album "Магия" ("Magic"). This caused further tensions between Meladze and Kostuyk, who were already at odds since the dissolution of the old Nu Virgos. In May 2014, the new Nu Virgos released their second single since, "У меня появился другой (I've Got Another Man)", featuring Georgian rapper Vakhtang. In 2014, the group was criticized in Ukraine for having accepted awards in Russia while many Ukrainians believed their country was a victim of Russian aggression. In November 2014, Nu Virgos were featured on a new single released by Russian rapper Mot, titled "Кислород" ("Oxygen").
In March 2015, VIA Gra released their new solo single, "Это было прекрасно" ("It's been great"). The song was well received, but critics panned the single, citing that the song sounded relatively similar to many of the group's previous works, including "Обмани, но останься" and "Я не боюсь". In July 2015 VIA Gra released a new compilation album called "Всё лучшее в одном" ("All The Best In One") which featured the most popular VIA Gra songs throughout the group's history. In November 2015 VIA Gra released a new single "Так сильно" ("So Much"). They performed this song along with a medley of previous VIA Gra songs ("ЛМЛ", "У меня появился другой", "Перемирие" and "Сумасшедший") at the 2016 "Big Love Show" on 15 February 2016. In November 2016, the group released a new single entitled "Кто ты мне?" ("Who Are You to Me?"). As all other songs released by the group, the music and lyrics were written by the group's producer, Konstantin Meladze.
|September 2000—April 2002||Alena Vinnitskaya||N/A||Nadia Meikher||N/A|
|April 2002—September 2002||Anna Sedokova||Tatiana Naynik|
|September 2002—November 2002||Nadia Meikher||Tatiana Naynik|
|November 2002—January 2003||N/A|
|January 2003—May 2004||Vera Brezhneva||N/A|
|May 2004—September 2004||Svetlana Loboda||N/A|
|September 2004—January 2006||Albina Dzhanabaeva||N/A|
|January 2006—April 2006||Khrystyna Kots-Hotlib||N/A|
|April 2006—April 2007||Olga Romanovskaya||N/A|
|April 2007—July 2007||Meseda Bagaudinova||N/A|
|July 2007—March 2008||N/A||N/A|
|March 2008—January 2009||Tatiana Kotova||N/A|
|January 2009—March 2010||Nadia Meikher||N/A|
|March 2010—November 2011||Eva Bushmina||N/A|
|December 2011—September 2012||Santa Dimopulos||N/A|
|October 2012—December 2012||N/A||N/A|
|November 2013—March 2018||Erika Gerceg||Anastasia Kozhevnikova||Misha Romanova||N/A|
|March 2018–September 2018||Olga Meganskaja||N/A|
|September 2018-present||Ulyana Sinetskaya||N/A|
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