Vitas

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Vitas
Birth nameVitaly Vladasovich Grachev
Born (1979-02-19) 19 February 1979 (age 41)
Daugavpils, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
OriginOdessa, Ukraine
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals (countertenor), keyboards, accordion
Years active2000–present
Associated actsDIVA (ДИВА), Nappy Roots
Websitevitas.com.ru
Autograph

Vitaly Vladasovich Grachev (Russian: Виталий Владасович Грачёв; born 19 February 1979), known professionally as Vitas (Russian: Витас, IPA: [ˈvʲitəs]), is a Russian language singer and actor. He is known for his unique falsetto which he displays when performing his "turkey call" in "The 7th Element" and his trademark falsetto choruses. 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"[1] became popular on various social networks, accounting for much of his worldwide recognition.

Vitas designs his own stage costumes.[2] DIVA (ДИВА) is the name of the band that accompanies Vitas during his concerts.[3] He has achieved prominence through Russian television, and since 2005 his career has developed in Asian markets.[4]

He has sung with entertainment labels such as Universal, which distributes his music in Taiwan, and has toured extensively in China[5] and several other countries.[4]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Vitas was born in Daugavpils, Latvian SSR,[6] but was raised in Odessa in southern Ukraine. 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.[7]

Rise to fame and early career[edit]

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.

In February 2001, Vitas held his first concert, "Opera #...", at the "Russia" Concert Hall in Moscow, and presented his first concert tour, Philosophy of Miracle, which ended in early 2003.[8]

Vitas received an invitation from Lucio Dalla, the composer who created "Caruso", to perform this song together with the author at the "San Remo in Moscow" concert in the State Kremlin Palace in 2003. Mr. Dalla then invited Vitas to come to Rome to take part in the rehearsals of "Toska", a modern version of Puccini's opera.[citation needed]

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 in 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 "Pudovkin" Production Center continued "The Songs of My Mother" tour in Russia and the United States, Germany, Kazakhstan, Israel and the Baltic states.[4]

In addition to his singing career, Vitas also starred in a murder mystery television series called "Сволочь ненаглядная" ("Beloved Scoundrel"), in which he played a pop singer with an unusually high voice.[9] He also starred in a comedy called Crazy Day.[10]

Development of music and image[edit]

In June 2006, Vitas was invited by China Central Television to take part in a grand event entitled "The Year of Russia in China" in Beijing. Vitas performed two songs, "The Star" and "Opera #2" during the event, marking the beginning of his popularity in China.[citation needed]

Vitas' "Return Home" tour, beginning in 2006, had a conservative atmosphere similar to the "Songs of My Mother" tour. The concert performed in Saint Petersburg on 4 March 2007 was later released on DVD on Vitas' website, as well as officially in some countries, albeit with many songs 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 released the Audio Visual Connect Series Vitas compilation CD + DVD set featuring eight music videos with the corresponding songs also on audio CD, in addition to a bonus audio track.[11] In 2008, Vitas 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 included concerts in China and more elaborate presentations than the more conservative "Return Home" program. Vitas performed his "Return Home" concert in Bucharest, Romania on 25 February 2009. The concert was broadcast on the Romanian TVR2 and TVRi television networks, achieving their highest ratings in twelve months.[12] A benefit concert, with Vitas performing "The Star", was held on 12 May 2009 in Sichuan province in memory of the victims of the previous year's earthquake there; a song known as "Mommy and Son" was released in late October 2009 in remembrance of the victims. It was the very first title track of the "Mommy and Son" album (released 1 September 2011), which included new songs, such as "C'est La Vie" (French for "Such is life"), "Once More", "Let the Father Teach!", "Young Rook" and others.[1]

Vitas played the role of Gude in the Chinese film "Mulan", which premiered in Beijing on 16 November 2009.[13] He recorded music for the film's soundtrack.[4][14]

In early 2011, Vitas performed a series of seven "Sleepless Night" concerts in New York City, 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.[citation needed]

In June 2015, Vitas' 2001 music video "The 7th Element" became popular after it was posted on Reddit.[15]

In 2017, Vitas' song "Smile" became especially popular in Brazil, where Facebook pages such as "South America Memes" were responsible for memes using footage from his performance of the song at the "Songs of My Mother" tour. On 5 October, he thanked the pages for his popularity.[16]

Personal life[edit]

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.[citation needed] They have a daughter and a son.

In February 2010, during a concert in Saint Petersburg, Vitas sang the song "Lullaby" for his daughter.[citation needed]

In January 2012, Vitas and his family were interviewed on the talk show "Let Them Talk". In 2007, appearing on the Russian television show "Everybody Is At Home", Vitas 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 even though Vitas claimed it. As a show of forgiveness to the man's family, Vitas sang and danced with the man's mother.[citation needed]

Vitas was arrested on 10 May 2013 for hitting a cyclist with his car. Russian TV channels Russia-1[17] and Channel One Russia[18] 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.[19][20] The incident took place northeast of Moscow near the VVC Exhibition Centre. The cyclist was uninjured and proceeded to film the scene with police afterward. The video depicts an unshaven and unsteady Vitas being held by authorities. Concerts planned in China that year were cancelled.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Russian[21] English[1] Year
Философия чуда Philosophy of Miracle 2001
Улыбнись Smile! 2002
Мама Mama 2003
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 Crying: Return Home 2 2007
Хиты ХХ века 20th Century Hits 2008
** Audio Visual Connect Series: Vitas (CD + DVD)[5] 2008
Скажи, что ты любишь Say You Love 2009
Шедевры трех веков Masterpieces of Three Centuries 2010
Романсы Romances 2011
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 World - My Love Story Part II 2014
** Come Just For You! 2016
** Made in China 2016
Бит бомбит Bit Bombit 2019

DVDs[edit]

Russian[21] English[1] Year
Витас в Кремле Vitas at the Kremlin 2002
Песни моей мамы The Songs Of My Mother 2003
Лучшее от Витаса на DVD The Best from Vitas on DVD 2007
Возвращение Домой в Санкт-Петербурге Return Home in Saint Petersburg 2007
Возвращение домой в Москва Return Home in Moscow 2007
Бессонная ночь Петербург Sleepless Night in Saint Petersburg 2010
Две столицы Two Capitals 2011
Лучшее от Витаса на DVD (2) The Best from Vitas on DVD (2) 2011
Мама и сын Mommy and Son 2013
Лучшее от Витаса на DVD (3) The Best from Vitas on DVD (3) 2014

Singles/EPs[edit]

Original[21] English[1] Year
Опера #2 Opera #2 2001
Good Bye ** 2001
Свет Нового Дня Light of a New Day 2008
真童话 Fairy Tale 2010
That Song (Remix of 7th Element by Drangabeats) ** 2015
Делю любовь на доли I Divide Love Into Shares 2015
Roll With The Beat ** 2018
Opera #2 (HD) ** 2018

Videos[edit]

Original[22] English[23] Year
Опера №2 Opera #2 2000
Опера №1 Opera #1 2001
Дождь в Тбилиси Rain in Tbilisi Unreleased, 2001
Блаженный Гуру Blessed Guru 2001
Улыбнись Smile 2002
Звезда Star 2003
Мама Mama 2003
Птица счастья The Bird of Happiness 2004
Поцелуй длиною в вечность Kiss As Long As Eternity 2004
Берега России Shores of Russia 2005
Lucia Di Lammermoor Lucia Di Lammermoor 2006
Криком журавлиным Crane's Crying 2006
Ямайка Jamaica 2007
La Donna è Mobile[24] The woman is fickle 2009
Люби меня Love Me 2009
Мама и сын Mommy and Son Unreleased[25], 2010
Раз, два, три One, Two, Three 2011
Фронтовики War Veterans 2012
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
Делю любовь на доли I Divide Love Into Shares 2015
Made in China (ft. Sergey Pudovkin) ** 2016
Roll With The Beat (ft. Nappy Roots) ** 2018
Подари мне любовь Give Me Love 2018
Симфоническая Symphonic 2018
Делала Delala 2019

Concert programs[edit]

Russian English Year
Опера №... Opera #... 2001
Философия чуда или Улыбнись Philosophy of Miracle or Smile 2002–2003
Песни моей мамы The Songs of My Mother 2003–2006, 2019
Возвращение домой Return Home 2006–2009
** ASIA TOUR 2007 2007
** ASIA TOUR 2008 2008
Бессонная ночь Sleepless Night 2009–2012
Мама и сын Mommy and Son 2011–2013
Скажи, что ты любишь Say You Love (China Tour 2011) 2011
История моей любви My Love Story 2014–2017
15 лет с вами 15 Years With You (China Tour 2015)
** Come Just For You (China Tour 2016) 2016
Подари мне любовь Give Me Love 2018–present
20 20 (China Tour 2019) 2019

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
2009 Mulan (2009 film) Gude
2011 The Founding of a Party Grigori Voitinsky

Awards and achievements[edit]

Year Category Recording
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[26] "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.[27] "Opera #2"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Discography. Albums and singles. - Vitas' official website".
  2. ^ Source: Shanghai Daily
  3. ^ DIVA website (Russian)
  4. ^ a b c d "Vitas' official site. Press release". Vitas.com.ru. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Gemini Sun Records Press Release". Vitas.com.ru. 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  6. ^ http://www.mega-stars.ru/music_stars/vitas.php
  7. ^ "Biography of Vitas". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  8. ^ VITAS - Full Concert: "Opera #..." (Moscow, 2001), February 2001, retrieved 6 May 2018
  9. ^ Beloved Scoundrel (Сволочь ненаглядная) - Part 1, December 2002, retrieved 6 May 2018
  10. ^ Crazy Day, 2005, retrieved 6 May 2018
  11. ^ "Vitas: Artist Who You Have Been Waiting For" Archived 28 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Vitas'official site. News". Vitas.com.ru. Archived from the original on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  13. ^ "《花木兰》电影官方网站". Mulan.ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  14. ^ "Vitas Guest Stars in 'Mulan' – AsianFanatics Forum". Asianfanatics.net. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  15. ^ "Reddit - Videos". www.reddit.com. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Vitas". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  17. ^ TV news of Russia-1 about Vitas' incident on 10 May 2013 (Russian)
  18. ^ TV news of Channel One Russia about Vitas' incident on 10 May 2013 (Russian)
  19. ^ Russian television Channel One Russia shown Vitas' Ukrainian driving license after accident on 10 May 2013 with all personal data (Russian)
  20. ^ Russian television Russia-1 shown Vitas' Ukrainian driving license after accident on 10 May 2013 with all personal data (Russian)
  21. ^ a b c Дискография. Альбомы и синглы. - Официальный сайт Витаса (in Russian). (Vitas discography)
  22. ^ Видеоклипы - Официальный сайт Витаса (in Russian). (Vitas official site: music videos)
  23. ^ "Music Videos - Vitas' official website".
  24. ^ Sung in Italian.
  25. ^ Съемки клипа Витаса – «Мама и сын». Tochka.net (in Russian). 25 March 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Победителем NEWSmusic Pop Top 2007 стал Витас". NEWSmuz.com. 28 December 2007.
  27. ^ International Songwriting Competition[failed verification] Archived 1 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]