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Alla Pugacheva
Алла Пугачёва
Portrait of Pugacheva performing on stage in 2016.
Pugacheva performing in 2016
Pronunciation IPA: [ˈalːə bɐˈpʊɡɐˈtɕɵvə]
Alla Borisovna Pugacheva

(1949-04-15) April 15, 1949 (age 73)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Other names Boris Gorbonos
  • Russia
  • Israel
Years active 1965–present
Notable work
Title People's Artist of the USSR
Political party
  • Right Cause
  • Civic Platform
Mykolas Orbakas [lt]
(m. 1969; div. 1973)
Alexander Stefanovich
(m. 1976; div. 1980)
Yevgeniy Boldin
(m. 1985; div. 1993)
(m. 1994; div. 2005)
Maxim Galkin
(m. 2011)
Children 3, including Kristina Orbakaitė
Musical career
  • Singing
  • piano
  • Melodiya
  • Balkanton
  • Supraphon
A. Pugacheva

Alla Borisovna Pugacheva (born 15 April 1949), is а Soviet and Russian musical performer. Her career started in 1965 and continues to this day, even though she has retired from performing. For her "clear mezzo-soprano and a full display of sincere emotions", she enjoys an iconic status across the former Soviet Union as the most successful Soviet performer in terms of record sales and popularity.

Pugacheva's repertoire includes over 500 songs in Russian, English, German, French, Kazakh, Hebrew, Finnish, Ukrainian, and her discography has more than 100 records, CDs and DVDs. In addition to Russia and the former Soviet Union, Pugacheva's albums were released in Japan, Korea, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Pugacheva has sold more than 250 million records.

She became a People's Artist of the USSR in 1991, a Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 1995, and was decorated as a Chevalier of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" II, III and IV degrees. She represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 with the song "Primadonna", finishing in 15th place.

Early life and education

Pugacheva was born to Boris Mikhailovich Pugachëv and Zinaida Arkhipovna (born Odegova) Pugachëva in Moscow, on 15 April 1949. In 1956, she enrolled in music school No.31, and attended the Ippolitov-Ivanov music college. She went on to study at school No.496, finishing her studies there in 1964. She then studied in the choral-conducting department of the college. Pugacheva recorded her first track "Robot" in 1965, for a morning programme on Radio Yunost.


Pugacheva finished college in 1966 and subsequently toured with the group Yunost' (Youth) in Western Siberia. The following year she began working as a piano accompanist at the State Circus Musical college. She provided the leading vocals to a number of bands, including Novy Elektron (New Electron), part of the Lipetsk State Philharmonic Society, in 1966, Moskvichi (Muscovites) in 1971, Oleg Lundstrem's band in 1972–73, and Vesyolye Rebyata (Merry Folks) in 1974–75. She recorded songs throughout that period for numerous movies.

In 1974, she came in 3rd place in the All-Union competition of musicians. In 1975, she received the Grand Prix of the international contest "Golden Orpheus" performing the song "Harlequin" by Emil Dimitrov. The Amiga label released her winning song as a single in East Germany. Subsequently, in Bulgaria, the Balkanton label released the live recording of "Harlequin" from the festival as a single. One year later, Pugacheva returned to the "Golden Orpheus" to perform a concert outside the competition. The Balkanton released the live tracks as Pugacheva's first album Zolotoy Orfey 76. In that same year, Pugacheva recorded a number of songs for the musical drama-comedy The Irony of Fate as the singing voice of Nadja, the female protagonist.

The Woman Who Sings, 1977

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0428-0022, Berlin, Palast der Republik, Ala Pugatschowa
Pugacheva in Berlin in 1976.

Pugacheva went on to work on the musical film The Woman who Sings in cooperation with the band Ritm (Rhythm) in 1977. She played the leading lady, a famous pop singer who sacrifices her personal life for her career. The soundtrack, which was co-written by Pugacheva and composed of pop songs, culminated with the dramatic title ballad "Zhenshchina, kotoraya poyot". The Soviet audience, regarding the film as autobiographical, brought the soundtrack to reach record audience of the year in 1979, as it was bought by 55 million people. The soundtrack was first released in 1977 as part of the double album Zerkalo dushi (Mirror of the Soul), which was a collection of her songs from 1975 to 1977. The Victor label released a collection album Alla Pugacheva in the same year in Japan. In 1978, performing the song "Vsyo mogut koroli" ("Kings Can Do Anything"), Pugacheva received the Amber Nightingale prize at the Sopot International Song Festival which at the time meant automatically winning the Grand Prix of the Intervision Song Contest. In 1980, the Kansan label of Finland released her above-listed works as the compilation album Huipulla (At the Top). Tonbandausnahmenkompanie Bayer GmbH did the same in West Germany, releasing Alla Pugachova.

Stockholm, 1980–1988

During the 1980s, Pugacheva was a frequent visitor to Stockholm. She started out with multiple guest appearances on the popular Swedish radio show Galaxen (April 1980 year) conducted by Jacob Dahlin, and later frequently appeared on his TV show Jacobs Stege (Jacob's Ladder). Dahlin and Pugacheva used to perform duets, such as "Superman" where Dahlin sings as the title character. In Stockholm, Pugacheva recorded an album in English, released by the World Record Music label in Sweden as Watch Out and by the Melodiya label in the Soviet Union as Alla Pugacheva in Stockholm.

Private life

Пугачева и Ельцин
President Boris Yeltsin awards the 2nd Degree Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" to Pugacheva, 15 April 1999.

In 1969, she married Lithuanian circus performer Mykolas Orbakas [lt], and on May 25, 1971 she gave birth to a daughter, Kristina Orbakaitė, who is also a popular singer. Pugacheva divorced Orbakas after four years of marriage in 1973. She married film director Alexander Stefanovich (1945–2021) in 1976 and starred in several of his movies. The union was dissolved in 1980.

In 1985, Pugacheva married producer Yevgeniy Boldin, with whom she had numerous professional collaborations. She had a working and romantic relationship with a young musician and singer, Vladimir Kuzmin during this period. In 1993, she divorced Yevgeniy Boldin stating that their professional lives interfered too much with their personal life.

In 1994, she married a pop singer, Philipp Kirkorov. Their divorce was announced in November 2005.

On 23 December 2011, Pugacheva married satirist Maxim Galkin, who is 27 years younger. The couple has twins delivered by a surrogate mother.

Honours and awards

Dmitriy Medvedev with Alla Pugacheva
President Dmitry Medvedev awards the 3rd Degree Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" to Pugacheva on her 60th birthday.
Vladimir Putin 25 July 2001-6
Pugacheva with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk, 25 July 2001.

Pugacheva's most notable title is "People's Artist of the USSR", the highest honour that could be bestowed to a musical artist in the state, awarded to her in 1991. While the lesser titles of "Accomplished Artist of the Russian SFSR", and "People's Artist of the Russian SFSR" had been already awarded to her in 1980 and 1985 respectively, the government was hesitant to award her its highest honour, reportedly largely because of statements and actions on her part that were inconsistent with the Party's agenda. Pugacheva is listed in the Russian Encyclopedia (2005).

On 15 April 2009, her 60th birthday President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev awarded Pugacheva the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland.

  • Orden for Service II.png Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", 2nd class (15 April 1999)
  • Orden for Service III.png Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", 3rd class (15 April 2009)
  • Orden for Service IV.png Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", 4th class (17 April 2014)
  • Ribbon bar of order of St. Mesrop Mashtoc.png Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots (Armenia, 26 September 2009)
  • AZ Dostlug Order ribbon-2.png Dostlug Order (Azerbaijan, 4 September 2009)
  • People's Artist of the USSR (20 December 1991)
  • People's Artist of the RSFSR (1985)
  • Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1980)
  • Honorary citizen of the city of Makhachkala (2006)
  • State Prize of the Russian Federation (7 June 1995) – For outstanding contribution to the development of literature and art
  • Belarus president award Through Art – to Peace and Understanding (7 July 2006)
Preceded by
Living Legend Award
Alla Pugacheva
Succeeded by
Joseph Kobzon


Famous songs

  • «Две звезды» (Two stars)
  • «Я тебя поцеловала» (I kissed you)
  • «Миллионы алых роз» (Millions of scarlet Roses)
  • «Папа купил автомобиль» (Dad bought a car)
  • «Мадам Брошкина» (Madame Broshkina)
  • «Осенний поцелуй» (Autumn Kiss)
  • «Осторожно листопад» (Careful leaf fall)
  • «Песенка про себя (Также как все)» (A song about myself (Just like everyone else))
  • «На Тихорецкую состав отправится» (The train will go to Tikhoretskaya)
  • «100 друзей» (100 friends)
  • «Айсберг» (Iceberg)
  • «Волшебник-недоучка» (The half-educated Wizard)
  • «Всё могут короли» (Kings can do anything)

Original solo albums

Year (P) Number Original title Title in English Format Label, country
1976 Золотой Орфей 76 Golden Orpheus 76 Live LP Balkanton, Bulgaria
1977 C60 09799-2 Зеркало души The Mirror of the Soul* Double LP Melodiya, USSR
1979 C60 11975-6 Арлекино и другие Harlequin and Other Songs* LP
1980 C60 14429-0 Поднимись над суетой Be Beyond a Fuss of Life*
1980 C60 14935-6 То ли ещё будет Something's Still to Come*
1982 C60 17663-6 Как тревожен этот путь How Disturbing Is This Way* Double
1985 C90 21357-8 Ах, как хочется жить Ah, How I Want to Live LP
1985 WRM LP01 Watch Out Watch Out World Record Music, Sweden
1986 C60 24717-8 ...счастья в личной жизни! ...and Happiness in Private Life* Melodiya, USSR
1986 C60 25059-0 Пришла и говорю I'm Here Talking to You*
1990 SUCD 60 00122 Алла Alla CD
1991 10191-40191 Рождественские встречи 1990 Christmas meetings 1990 2LP Russian disc, USSR
1992 STEREO R60 00887 Рождественские встречи 1991 Christmas meetings 1991 Russian disc, Russia
1995 SZCD0475 Не делайте мне больно, господа! Don't Hurt Me, Gentlemen CD Soyuz, Russia
1998 Ex 98073 Да! Yes! Extraphone, Russia
2001 АБП 0037 Речной трамвайчик River Tram Alla, Russia
2002 АБП 0038 А был ли мальчик Was There a Boy?
2003 АБП 0055,

МТ 702909-288-1

Живи спокойно, страна! Live Peacefully, My Country! Alla & Monolit, Russia
2008 АБП 0055,

МТ 702909-288-1

Приглашение на закат Invitation to a Sunset Alla

* Official English title.

Other albums

Церемония вручения государственных наград Российской Федерации 22 декабря 2014 года 04
President Vladimir Putin awards the 4th Degree Order "For Merit to the Fatherland"" to Pugacheva, 22 December 2014
Airvita Tupolev Tu-134 at Kharkiv Airport
Airvita Tupolev Tu-134 at Kharkiv Airport in 1998. The aircraft was operated for Alla Pugacheva
  • 1978 Alla Pugacheva (released in Japan) – compilation
  • 1978 Ala Pugachova. Ogledalo na dushata (released in Bulgaria) – compilation
  • 1979 Alla Pugacheva i Iosif Kobzon – split
  • 1980 Diskoteka A – instrumental remixes
  • 1980 Alla Pugatšova. Huipulla (Alla Pugacheva. At the Top; Kansan, Finland)
  • 1980 Alla Pugačevova. Zrcadlo duše (Czech version of Zerkalo dushi)
  • 1981 Alla Pugačova (Czech version of To li eshche budet...)
  • 1981 Alla Pugatšova. Tähtikesä (Alla Pugacheva. Starry summer; Kansan, Finland)
  • 1982 U nas v gostjakh maestro (Our Guest is the Maestro) – live / split
  • 1982 Parad Planet – split
  • 1983 Million Roz (released in Japan) – compilation
  • 1983 Alla Pugačova. Dávná píseň (a Czech compilation)
  • 1984 Alla Pugacheva – Soviet Superstar. Greatest Hits 1976–84 (World Record Music, Sweden) – compilation
  • 1985 Alla Pugacheva – Soviet Superstar vol.2 (released by the World Record Music in Finland) – compilation
  • 1988 Pesni vmesto pisem (Songs Instead Of Letters) – split with Udo Lindenberg
  • 1989 Paromshik – (Ferryman) (Finnish release of Rechnoy paromshchik)
  • 1991 Alla (Ritonis, Riga)
  • 1994 Veryu v tebya (I Believe in You) – compilation
  • 1995 Put' zvezdy (The Path of a Star) – compilation
  • 1996 A 13 CD compilation of songs previously released only on LP and MC
  • 1996 Poët Alla Pugacheva (Alla Pugacheva Sings; songs by Aleksandr Zazepin) – compilation
  • 1997 Dve zvezdy (Two Stars; with Vladimir Kuzmin) – compilation / split
  • 1998 Syurpriz ot Ally Pugachevy (Surprise from Alla Pugacheva) – tribute

CD singles

  • 1997 Primadonna (Eurovision 1997)
  • 2000 Bely sneg (White Snow)
  • 2000 Madam Broshkina
  • 2002 Eto lyubov (It's Love)

There is an unknown number of single and EP releases published all over the world.

Films and TV appearances

  • 1978 Teatr Ally Pugachevoy, Estonian Television
  • 1978 The Woman who Sings, Mosfilm
  • 1981 Lyubovyu za lyubov' (Love For Love) Mosfilm
  • 1984 Vstrechi s Alloy Pugachevoy (Meetings with Alla Pugacheva), USSR TV
  • 1985 Prishla i govoryu (I Came and I'm Speaking), Mosfilm
  • 1985 Sezon chudes (Season of Miracles), Odessa Film Studio
  • 1989–2002 Rozhdestvenskie vstrechi (Christmas Meetings), USSR TV, Ostankino, Public Russian Television, Russian State Television
  • 1995 Zhdi i pomni menya (Wait for Me, Remember Me), Public Russian Television
  • 1997 Laat de Leeuw (Late de Leeuw), VARA
  • 2003 Za dvumya zaytsami (Chasing Two Rabbits)
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