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|Birth name||Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachov|
|Origin||Daugavpils, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, and accordion|
|Associated acts||DIVA (ДИВА)|
Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachov (Russian: Вита́лий Владасович Грачёв, tr. Vitaly Vladasovich Grachyov), known professionally as Vitas (Russian: Ви́тас, tr. Vitas; IPA: [ˈvʲitəs]), is a Ukrainian singer who sings in Russian, and is also known as the "Russian Chayanne". He is known for his unique head voice and possesses a five-octave vocal range. His eclectic musical style incorporates elements of techno, dance, classical, jazz, and folk music. His song "Opera 2" and the music video for "The 7th Element" have been forwarded over email and on various social networks frequently, accounting for much of his worldwide recognition.
Vitas designs his own stage costumes. DIVA (ДИВА) is the name of the band that accompanies Vitas during his concerts. He has achieved much notability through Russian television, and since 2005, his career has advanced into Asian markets. He has sung with entertainment labels such as Universal which distributes his music in Taiwan, and he has toured extensively in China and several other countries.
Vitas was born in Daugavpils, a city in southeastern Latvia known for its overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population. He showed an interest in music from an early age. He attended an art school in Odessa, and appeared in various theatrical productions as a teenager.
Rise to fame and early career
Vitas came to public attention in Russia in December 2000 with the song "Opera #2", which was notable for his surprisingly high-pitched and energetic vocals. In the music video, Vitas portrays an eccentric lonely man with fish gills who lives in a bathtub with jars of fish and plays the accordion naked.
Vitas received an invitation from Lucio Dalla, the composer, who created "Caruso", to perform this song together with the author at the concert "San Remo in Moscow" held in the State Kremlin Palace in 2003. Mr. Dalla then invited Vitas to come to Rome to take part in the rehearsals of "Toska", the modern version of Puccini's opera.
In dedication to his mother who died in 2001, Vitas released two albums, The Songs of My Mother and Mama. The Songs of My Mother included classic Russian songs which are sometimes considered to be the "gold reserves" of Russian pop-music. In November 2003, Vitas presented his second tour program, The Songs of My Mother in the Russia Concert Hall, Moscow. Compared to the flamboyant nature of his previous Philosophy of Miracle tour, The Songs of My Mother was more conservative, drawing on classic Russian songs. From 2004 to 2006, Vitas' management, the Production Center "Pudovkin" continued "The Songs of My Mother" tour in Russia and the US, Germany, Kazakhstan, Israel and the Baltic States.
In addition to his singing career, Vitas also starred in a murder mystery television series called "Beloved Scoundrel" in English, and "Сволочь ненаглядная" in Russian in which he played (appropriately) a pop singer with an unusually high voice. He also starred in a comedy called Crazy Day.
Development of music and image
In June 2006, Vitas was invited by CCTV to take part in the grand event "The Year of Russia in China" in Beijing. Vitas performed two songs, "The Star" and "Opera #2", in that program. This marked the start of Vitas' popularity in China.
Vitas' "Return Home" tour started in 2006, which was similar to Songs of My Mother in its conservative atmosphere. The concert performed in Saint Petersburg on 4 March 2007 was later released on DVD on his website as well as officially in some countries, though many songs have been removed. The full concert in Moscow was later released on DVD.
In October 2007, Vitas was signed with now-defunct American label Gemini Sun Records. Gemini Sun has released the Audio Visual Connect Series Vitas compilation CD + DVD set featuring 8 music videos with the corresponding songs also on audio CD, plus a bonus audio track. In 2008, he also released Light of A New Day, a 40-minute track of non-lyrical vocalization and instrumentation. The song is available as a free download on his website.
The "Sleepless Night" tour includes concerts in China and has a more elaborate presentation than the more conservative "Return Home" programme. Vitas performed his "Return Home" concert in Bucharest, Romania on 25 February 2009. This concert was broadcast on Romanian television networks TVR2 and TVRi, achieving their highest ratings in twelve months. Also, a benefit concert, with Vitas performing "The Star" was held on 12 May 2009 in Sichuan province in memory of the victims of the earthquake that occurred the previous year; a song known as "Mommy and Son" was released in late October 2009 in remembrance of earthquake victims. This is the very first title track of the new album "Mommy and Son" (released on 1 September 2011), which includes new songs, such as "C'est La Vie" (French for "Such is life"), "Once More", "Let the Father Teach!", "Young Rook" and others.
In early 2011, Vitas performed a series of seven Sleepless Night concerts in North America. Concerts were held in New York, Toronto, Chicago, Miami, Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Vitas also appeared in the 2011 Chinese film The Founding of a Party, playing the role of Grigori Voitinsky. He also starred with Huang Shengyi in the musical One Night To Be Star.
Vitas has been known to be secretive about his personal life, and has frequently declined interviews about it. He married his wife, Svetlana, in 2006. They have a daughter and a son.
In February 2010, during a concert in Saint Petersburg, Vitas sang the song "Lullaby" for his daughter.
In January 2012, Vitas and his family were interviewed on the talk show Let Them Talk, where he discussed his personal history as well as his development as an artist. In March of that year, a distraught Vitas appeared on the talk show again to confront the allegations of a man who claimed that he was Vitas' biological father. After much backlash from Vitas' friends and family, and the man's admission of lying, the DNA results proved he was not Vitas' father. As a show of forgiveness to the man's family, Vitas sang and danced with the man's mother.
Vitas was arrested 10 May 2013 for hitting a cyclist with his car. Russian TV channels Russia-1 and Channel One Russia reported widely on the accident. These and other TV channels displayed Vitas' driving license with his personal data, which had been presented to journalists by a police officer. The incident took place just northeast of Moscow, near the VVC Exhibition Centre. The cyclist was not hurt and proceeded to film the situation that took place with the police afterward. The video depicts an unshaven and swaying Vitas being held by authorities, his wife begging the officers to protect them and not allow the bystanders to film and taunt, and his four-year-old daughter crying in the background. Reports later surfaced alleging that Vitas threatened the cyclist with a fake handgun, but the court ruled these accusations to be unsubstantiated. Vitas was fined 100,000 rubles on 26 August 2013 for assaulting a policeman. He alleged that he had kicked at the officer in an automatic response to protect his wife, and apologized for this action. The scandal did not seem to affect his popularity in Russia, as he afterward sold out at all upcoming appearances. However, concerts planned in China that year were cancelled.
Vitaliy's grandfather, Arkady Davidovich, died on 29 July 2013 at the age of 90.
Awards and achievements
|2001, 2002, 2003||Best selling single Russian Record Prize||"Opera #2"|
|2001||Komsomolskaya Pravda and Internet Survey "Forum 2001" Musical Discovery of the Year||—|
|2000, 2001, 2002||Three-time-laureate of the festivals "The Song of the Year" (2000, 2001, 2002)||—|
|2001, 2002||Two-time-laureate of the People Prize "Golden Gramophone"||"Opera #2", "Smile!"|
|2001, 2002, 2003||Three-time-laureate of the Musical Prize "PODIUM" for the most stylish achievements in pop music||—|
|2001, 2002, 2003||Russian "People's HIT" Prize||"Opera #2", "Smile!", "The Star"|
|2001, 2003||Radio station "HIT FM" Prize "100 Per Cent HIT"||—|
|2002||National Musical Prize "Ovation" Soloist of the Year||—|
|2004||Russian Internet portal AFISHA.COM||—|
|2007||Order of Service to the Arts||—|
|2007||Best Album – NewsMusic Poll||"Crane's Crying"|
|2011||International Song Writers Contest Winner, 3rd place Music Video Category for "Opera #2". Also won second place in People's Choice vote.||"Opera #2"|
|Философия чуда||Philosophy of Miracle||2001|
|Песни моей мамы||The Songs of My Mother||2003|
|Поцелуй длиною в вечность||A Kiss as Long as Eternity||2004|
|Возвращение домой||Return Home||2006|
|Криком журавлиным, Возвращение домой II||Crane's Cry, Return Home Part 2||2007|
|Хиты ХХ века||20th Century Hits||2008|
|**||Audio Visual Connect Series: Vitas (CD + DVD)||2008|
|Скажи, что ты любишь||"Say That You Love Me"||2009|
|Шедевры трех веков||Masterpieces of Three Centuries||2010|
|Мама и Сын||Mother and Son||2011|
|Только ты. История моей любви, Часть 1||Only You. My Love Story, Part I||2013|
|Я подарю тебе весь мир. История моей любви, Часть 2||I'll Give You the Whole World. My Love Story, Part II||2014|
|Сделано в Китае||Made in China||2016|
|Философия чуда||Philosophy of Miracle Tour||2002–2003|
|Песни моей мамы||The Songs of My Mother Tour||2003–2006|
|Возвращение домой||Return Home Tour||2006–2009|
|Бессонные ночи||Sleepless Night Tour||2009–2012|
|Мама и Сын. Избранное. Лучшее и новое для Вас||Mommy and Son. The Best and New For You||2011–2013|
|Мировое тур "Скажи, что ты любишь"||"Say You Love" World Tour||2011–2012|
|История моей любви||My Love Story'||2014–present|
|Витас в Кремле||Vitas in the Kremlin||2002|
|Песни моей мамы||The Songs Of My Mother||2003|
|Возвращение Домой Петербург||Return Home in Saint Petersburg||2007|
|Возвращение домой Москва||Return Home in Moscow||2007|
|Лучшее от Витаса на DVD||The Best from Vitas on DVD||2007|
|**||Myth Of The Shaking Soul Voice||2007|
|**||Audio Visual Connect Series: Vitas (CD + DVD)||2008|
|Бессонная ночь Петербург||Sleepless Night in Saint Petersburg||2010|
|Опера #2||Opera #2||2001|
|Свет Нового Дня||Light of a New Day||2008|
|Эта песня||That Song (Remix of The 7th Element by Drangabeats)||2015|
|Опера #2||Opera #2||2000|
|Опера #1||Opera #1||2001|
|Блаженный Гуру||Blessed Guru||2001|
|Птица Счастья||The Bird of Happiness||2004|
|Поцелуй Длиною В Вечность||Kiss As Long As Eternity||2004|
|Берега России||Shores of Russia||2005|
|Лючия ди Ламмермур||Lucia Di Lammermoor||2006|
|Криком Журавлиным||Crane's Crying||2006|
|La donna è mobile||The woman is fickle||2009|
|Люби меня||Love Me||2010|
|Раз два три||One-Two-Three||2011|
|Мне бы в небо (Дуэт с Ксеноной)||I'd Like To Go Up To Sky (duet with Ksenona Ksenia)||2012|
|Я подарю тебе мир||I'll Give You The World||2013|
- "Vitas, the Man With the Five-Octave Voice". 14 August 2012.
- "Discography. Albums and singles. - Vitas' official website".
- "Gemini Sun Records Press Release". Vitas.com.ru. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- Source: Shanghai Daily
- DIVA website (Russian)
- "Vitas' official site. Press release". Vitas.com.ru. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Vitas: Artist Who You Have Been Waiting For"
- "Vitas'official site. News". Vitas.com.ru. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "《花木兰》电影官方网站". Mulan.ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Vitas Guest Stars in 'Mulan' – AsianFanatics Forum". Asianfanatics.net. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Reddit - Videos". www.reddit.com. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- TV news of Russia-1 about Vitas' incident on 10 May 2013 (Russian)
- TV news of Channel One Russia about Vitas' incident on 10 May 2013 (Russian)
- Russian television Channel One Russia shown Vitas' Ukrainian driving license after accident on 10 May 2013 with all personal data (Russian)
- Russian television Russia-1 shown Vitas' Ukrainian driving license after accident on 10 May 2013 with all personal data (Russian)
- "Победителем NEWSmusic Pop Top 2007 стал Витас". NEWSmuz.com. 2007-12-28.
- International Songwriting Competition[not in citation given] Archived 1 May 2013 at WebCite
- "Дискография. Альбомы и синглы. - Официальный сайт Витаса" (in Russian). (Vitas discography)
- Listed on official site as The Song Of My Mother: same track listing as The Songs of My Mother DVD, repackaged for the Chinese market.
- "The Songs of My Mother DVD track list". Vitas.com. Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Видеоклипы - Официальный сайт Витаса" (in Russian). (Vitas official site: music videos)
- "Music Videos - Vitas' official website".
- Sung in Italian.
- Sung in Chinese. Fanmade video promoted by official site.