T.A.T.U. - Russia's greatest girl band is 20 years old

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011

Lena Katina

Yulia Volkova

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 :)
Likes: BigLeRoy

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
I've only heard of Pussy Riot.
lol Well, the T.A.T.U. never went to prison, of course. But, they were and are much more famous, I dare say.

They were on Jay Leno's show in 2003 and wore T-shirts that said "Fuck War!" in Russian (in protest against the US War on Iraq); it became legendary back in Russia also

"Khuy Voyne" (also transliterated Huy Voynye, etc.; Russian: Хуй войне!, pronounced [ˈxuj vɐjˈnʲe], English translation: "Fuck war" or "Dick to the war") is a phrase developed by former t.A.T.u. producer Ivan Shapovalov during the girls' promotional tour in the USA in early 2003.

On February 25, 2003, the women performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and mocked NBC's insistence that they neither kiss nor comment on the Iraq War by performing "All the Things She Said" from their first English album 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane in white T-shirts that bore the slogan across the front, and by blocking their faces with their hands as they kissed during a break in their performance. The stunt prompted NBC to ban t.A.T.u. from any future performance, but it also helped their international record sales.[1][2]

On February 26, when the shirts were banned from Jimmy Kimmel Live! and replaced with ones that said "Censored", they wrote the slogan on Jimmy Kimmel's hand.[3] The girls also wore the shirts to TRL on March 3 and Last Call with Carson Daly on March 5.

The documentary Anatomy of t.A.T.u. states that when the slogan was being created, Shapovalov said that it is a Russian slang way to say "No to War" (Нет войне!), however the slang translations may vary to "Dick to War" (word-by-word) or a creative way of saying "Fuck War".

Fans in Russia wore their own versions of the shirts at performances, but when shown on Russian TV, the shirts were edited with an extra stroke through the letter Х to say Жуй войне! literally "Chew to the War!".


Similar Discussions