- Jul 2011
Back in 1999, they were just teenagers. Each was just 14 years old, actually. Volkova had performed already at some child pop band; but she was a bad girl, who, by some accounts, was kicked out of that for smoking, drinking, and cursing at other band members lmao Katina basically had NO real music experience at all.
That was when then young and himself basically unknown producer Ivan Shapovalov found them
One has to understand that Russia was a very different place, in those days.
Plenty of the shit they did back then, T.A.T.U., the full on lesbo kisses on stage, and all that, actually would be straight up ILLEGAL, today, after 2013 "homosexual propaganda" law, etc
Back then, however, in a more liberal and open and curious Russia, it made the girls into superstars
They became one of very few Russian music artists to become famous not only in Russia and ex-USSR region, but outside, even in the West, singing in English, as well as in Russian
MTV Europe Music Awards, 2005
In Japan, they became absolutely huge also lmao
They had ostensibly broke up in 2012; but, then gloriously reunited for the Winter Olympics opening in Sochi in 2014:
They remain very popular in Russia.
Here, some kids perform a T.A.T.U. song on the child version of Russian adaptation of "The Voice", last year:
Volkova has been performing solo a lot, in recent years, she's moved on from T.A.T.U. and become a star in own right now, I'd say
Katina is still around also, here, she performs at the afterparty for the MuzTV Awards this year, Russia's number one musical awards
Volkova, though, is a much bigger star, today.
This is, doubtlessly, due to her alleged paramour, Gia Zarandia
Zarandia is a "businessman", as most media over there diplomatically identify him. In reality - he is a high ranking member of the Gali clan, one of the richest and most powerful factions of the Georgian mafia. Hence his nickname on the streets of Moscow: "Gia Galsky" ("Gia of the Gali"). A very prominent organised crime figure. A recognised Vor v Zakone (Thief in Law, highest rank in the criminal world of the ex-Soviet region).
He has been said to love Yulia dearly, and to spoil the hell out of her and indulge all her whims. There was even some murky business, few years back, some guy, who was apparently among T.A.T.U.'s tour staff back in the day, allegedly claimed to have some compromising pics of her, possibly nude lesbian stuff with Katina lol Demanded money from her. This was back when her relationship with Gia Galsky wasn't public knowledge, as now. Likely, the poor SOB had no idea who he had just messed with... Long story short, there was a mysterious fire/gas explosion in his apartment, nothing left of the guy or his computer, or any pics, presumably. Seems Yulia told Gia, rather than go to police or whatever, and he had his boys solve that problem quickly and permanently...
As to Shapovalov, he seems to be doing ok too. Beat cancer couple years ago.
He's got new things going on, also, a new project, Podnebeses (Under Heaven), since 2016, every year, he tours the country with his own reality show, where he looks for promising young artists he could help turn into stars
So far, however, T.A.T.U.. is his ceiling, the biggest thing he'd ever done, and perhaps will ever do
I get that it may not feel good, may make him feel, in fact, like a bit of a one trick pony. But, hell, I doubt he is alone in that... How might the producer of the "Beatles", whatever his name, have felt? Or of Elvis, say? Or of Michael Jackson? Etc.
IMHO, it's fine to be known for creating just ONE artist/act, as long as it is a truly GREAT one