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Витас

Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov (Russian: Виталий Владасович Грачёв), better known by his stage name Vitas (Russian: Витас), is a Russian pop singer, composer, actor, and fashion designer who was born 19 February 1981 (as said by the singer himself, other sources say 1979 or 1980) in Daugavpils, Latvian SSR.

His 2000 song, "Opera No. 2" ("Opera #2"; released as a single in 2001) has been forwarded frequently via the Internet, which accounts for much of his worldwide recognition. He is known for using his high falsetto voice, and in China he has been given the nickname the "Dolphin Voice Prince". His eclectic pop music is often difficult to categorise, incorporating elements of techno, dance, classical, jazz, and folk music. He designs his own stage costumes. DIVA (ДИВА) is the name of the band that accompanies Vitas during his concerts.

Vitas has achieved much notablity through Russian television, and since 2005 his career has advanced into Asian markets. "He has signed with entertainment labels such as Universal which distributes his music in Taiwan, and he has toured extensively in China and several other countries. He has performed duets with many other singers including Demis Roussos, Lucio Dalla, and Vitas' grandfather Arkadiy Davydovich Marantsman (Аркадий Давыдович Маранцман), with whom he sings "Friendship".

Biography

Early life

Born Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov on 19 February 1981, Vitas was raised in Odessa, Ukraine. He showed an interest in music from an early age. The young Vitaliy's grandfather taught him to play accordion, and he began writing songs as a child. He later studied music more formally. He attended an art school in Odessa and as a teenager appeared in various theatrical productions. He was "discovered" by visiting producer/manager Sergey Pudovkin, who asked Vitas if he would come to Moscow. This invitation was extended on the basis of Vitas' acting skills: Pudovkin had not yet heard him sing. Vitas travelled to Moscow with demos of his music and began working with Pudovkin.

Notability and early career

Vitas became notable in Russia in December 2000 with hit Opera No. 2, which was notable for use of Vitas' surprisingly high-pitched and energetic use of falsetto.

His concert program Philosophy of Miracle premiered at the State Kremlin Palace on 29 March 2002, establishing a record for Vitas as the youngest artist ever to perform a solo concert at this prestigious venue. A DVD of this concert was released. He also presented his fashion collection "Autumn Dreams" on the stage of the State Kremlin Palace in 29 September 2002.

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. Vitas' voice enchanted not only the audience but Mr. Dalla himself, so the composer invited Vitas to come to Rome to take part in the rehearsals of "Toska", the modern version of the legendary opera.

Vitas presented his second solo program "The Songs of My Mother" in the Russia Concert Hall, Moscow in November 2003. Two albums: "The Songs of My Mother" and "Mama" of the artist were released for the premiere. The album "The Songs of My Mother" included the songs which are considered to be the gold reserves of Russian pop-music. Another album "Mama" included several new songs composed by Vitas. The two albums were a dedication to his mother who died in 2001. In 2003, he gave 264 solo concerts in places including Russia, Australia, Canada, Israel, Germany, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Vitas 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

The album A Kiss As Long As Eternity was released on 8 October 2004.

The Production Center "Pudovkin" organized a major world tour with the program "The Songs of My Mother" in Russia and the USA, Germany, Kazakhstan, Israel and the Baltic States in 2004–2006.

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, "Star" and "Opera No. 2," in that program.

Vitas' premiere "Return Home" took place in March 2007 on the stage of Kosmos in St. Petersburg. More than twenty new Vitas' compositions were included in the premiere. Many new songs have become favorites for fans via the Internet such as "Crane's Crying", "Shores of Russia", "I Ask All Saints", "The Little Prince", "I Repeat Your Name" and others. This concert 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, but is only purchasable on Vitas' website.

In October 2007, Vitas was signed with American company 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 his single 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.

"Sleepless Night" tour includes concerts in China; Vitas wears more elaborate costumes in this concert than his "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 will be the title track of the upcoming album "Mommy and Son, Conversation About Life." He is also planning a North American Tour in early 2011.

Vitas is one of the stars in the Chinese film Mulan about the life of legendary and mythical heroine Hua Mulan, which premiered in Beijing on November 16, 2009. He has recorded music for the film's soundtrack.







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