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Ruslana Empty Ruslana

Post  PeterCrouch on Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:02 am

Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko (Ukrainian: Руслана Степанівна Лижичко, Ruslana Stepanivna Lyžyčko; born on 24 May 1973)[1] is a World Music Award winning and MTV Europe Music Award nominated artist, and the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004.

She is a singer, songwriter, producer, conductor, and pianist. She writes, composes and produces her own songs and music videos. Since 28 December 1995 she has been married to Oleksandr Ksenofontov, a Ukrainian record producer. Together they have run the company Luxen Studio since 1993, producing radio and film trailers.

She won the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 with the song Wild Dances receiving points from 34 of the 35 countries participating in the contest.

As of 2009, despite the fact that she was invited as a Special Guest Star, she nevertheless was awarded two special trophies at the 6th Asia Song Festival. The first of them was the golden statue of The Best Artist Award of The Asia Song Festival 2009, the main award of the festival and the second special award for the contribution to the cultural exchange between Ukraine and Asia in music.

Early life

Ruslana was born on May 24, 1973 in Lviv, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine) to Ukrainian parents, Nina and Stepan Lyzhychko. She was raised in the Lviv Oblast (province). Encouraged by her mother, Ruslana studied from the age of four at an experimental musical school and sang in different bands, including in the vocal-instrumental band Horizon, the band Orion and the children’s ensemble Smile. After finishing secondary school, Ruslana entered the Music Conservatory in L'viv where she graduated as a classical pianist and conductor in 1995. She has a half-sister named Anna.

Musical career

Early musical period

Ruslana started her career as the winner of the Slavyanskiy Bazar song competition in Vitebsk, Belarus in 1996 with the song Oj, letili dyki husi. In the same year, she was among the nominees for the "Ukrainian Singer of the Year" award and the video for "Dzvinkyi Viter" (Wind Bells) was awarded "Music Video of the Year". Since her early career, Ruslana's producer was Alexander Ksenpfontov, whom she married in 1995.

In 1997, Ruslana began working on Christmas with Ruslana - the first L'viv Christmas television project of an All-Ukrainian scale including the video clip Ballad of a Princess which was the first animated music video made by a Ukrainian singer..

Her first album Myt' Vesny - Dzvinkyi Viter ("A Moment of Spring – Wind Bells"), released in 1998, received high praise from the critics.

Still, wider recognition didn't come until 1998 with the song Svitanok (Sunrise) and the album Myt' Vesny - Dzvinkyj Viter Live. Svitanok was the first Ukrainian big-budget music video. In 1999, Ruslana was awarded Person of the Year, the song "Svitanok" was awarded Song of the Year and its accompanying music video was awarded Music Video of the Year.

In 1999, she worked on the Christmas musical Ostanne rizdvo 90th (The Last Christmas of the 90's), which won the Ukrainian Movie of the Year award. With the video clip to the song Znaju ya (I Know), which is about the ancient people of the Hutsuls living in the Ukrainian Carpathians, Ruslana set new standards for modern video clip filming.

Wild Dances Project

Ruslana's father is from the West-Ukrainian area of the Hutsuls, the dwellers of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. They have a unique culture with an ancient and rich history which inspired Ruslana to create her concept album Wild Dances. It combines powerful and permeating ethnic drums, trumpet sounds of the trembita, an ancient Hutsul music instrument, with modern dance beats.

The album Dyki Tantsi (Wild Dances) was released in June 2003 in Ukraine. It was the first album ever to be certified 5 times Platinum in Ukraine, selling more than 500,000 copies. The English language counterpart, Wild Dances, was released in many European countries in the autumn of 2004. Previously, the lead single Wild Dances had brought Ruslana the victory at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 and entered various European single charts. It was certified Gold in Sweden, Russia, Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. On the single charts in Ukraine, Greece and Belgium, the song peaked at #1.

Eurovision Song Contest

Ruslana performing "Wild Dances" at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004

Main article: Eurovision Song Contest 2004

Ruslana was internally chosen by the NTU to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. Before the contest, she was a hot favorite for victory by the bookmakers. At the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, she performed her self-composed song, Wild Dances and won the contest receiving 280 points. In the semifinal, the song received points from all other participating countries; in the final, Switzerland was the only country not giving any points to the song.

In the days following the contest, the Ukrainian nation went slightly Ruslana-mad. The singer was widely featured in local media. She was appointed advisor to the prime minister. The president bestowed one of the country's highest honors on her. For a while, she appeared poised to threaten Taras Shevchenko for the status of the nation's most beloved artist.

Main article: Eurovision Song Contest 2005

Ruslana performing "The Same Star" during the interval act of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005

Ruslana opened the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 with the song Heart on Fire. As part of the interval act, she performed The Same Star. A remixed version of Heart on Fire was released on her 2008 album Wild Energy.

Main article: Best of Eurovision

Ruslana's song Wild Dances was named the Best of Eurovision in an internet voting arranged by the German public television broadcaster ARD. During the television program Grand Prix Hitliste, Wild Dances was presented as the winner, ahead of famous songs, such as Waterloo and Germany's only winner, Ein Bißchen Frieden, which finished sixth and twelfth, respectively. The program was viewed by a television audience of approximately six million people in Germany.

Main article: Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008

Ruslana was a guest performer at the national final of Azerbaijan with her Wild Energy show. Azerbaijan made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.

Wild Energy Project

Ruslana's new project Wild Energy is based on the science fiction novel by Maryna and Sergij Diachenko Wild Energy. Lana. In a future city which experiences a global energy crisis, far more threatening than lack of oil and gas, people are lacking their will for life, their energy of the heart - the fuel for people. Lana, one of the synthetic inhabitants, sets out to find the mystical energy source. After many adventures she discovers that the wild energy comes from her own heart. Wild Energy combines the art of music and video production, literature and social commitment in an extraordinary way. In June 2006 Ruslana presented the new single and video Wild Energy in a unique fantasy style. In this video clip the singer develops from a synthetic blonde girl into her wild image. Within the frames of the FIFA World Cup 2006 Ruslana went on tour in Germany to support the Ukrainian national football team. She performed in Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Leipzig, and Nuremberg.

In Grand Theft Auto IV, Ruslana hosts Vladivostok FM. Her song Wild Dances is featured as one of the songs on Vladivostok.

In March 2008 Ruslana's Ukrainian album Amazonka was released in Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The English album Wild Energy was released in Canada on 2 September 2008 and was released in several European countries on 10 October 2008 and China in November. The album was recorded at the Hit Factory Studio in Miami and contains two collaborations with American Urban superstars T-Pain and Missy Elliott.[8] On this release Ruslana creates her own distinctive technique of incorporating ancient ethnic styles of the Carpathian Mountain people with modern popular music.

Her outfits reflect the culture of the native people in Ukraine.

Political activities
Main article: Orange Revolution

In autumn 2004 Ruslana actively supported the democratic processes in Ukraine known as the Orange Revolution, to which her song "Dance with the Wolves" was devoted. She declared her support for Viktor Yushchenko during the disputed Ukrainian presidential elections. She became one of the prominent figures that addressed the mass crowds rallying in support of Yushchenko's demand that his original defeat be declared fraudulent. From spring 2006 to summer 2007 she was a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament for the party Our Ukraine.

Due to political reasons the music video supporting her second single extracted from the Wild Dances album, Dance with the Wolves was censored in Russia as it contains fragments showing Ruslana in the Independence Square.

Ruslana endorsed Yulia Tymoshenko during the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election[11] and actively supported her candidature during the election campaign.

Social commitment

Ruslana performing at her Charity Concert for children suffering from the consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy

Ruslana was appointed Good Will Ambassador of Ukraine by the UNICEF and combats trafficking in human beings. She released two video clips which aim to make potential victims aware of the dangers of human trafficking. In February 2008 Ruslana performed at an anti-human trafficking event in Vienna, Austria, organized by UN.GIFT (The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking) in front of 117 international delegations. Her song Not For Sale became the anthem of the anti-trafficking campaign.

Within the frames of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev she gave a charity concert for children suffering from the consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy. For another charity project Ruslana joined forces with German rock star Peter Maffay[15]. In April/May 2007 they went together with artists from 14 countries on a four weeks tour through Germany. The funds gathered benefited children in need.

Ruslana has also staged numerous charity concerts benefiting Children's hospitals in Kiev, L’viv and Dnepropetrovsk

With her project Wild Energy Ruslana supports the use of renewable energy. She regards the energy of the sun, the water and the wind as an energy independence. The project gradually developed into this bigger meaning. Ruslana wants to make people aware of the dangers of global climate change.

After large regions in Western Ukraine were hit by a flood in July 2008 Ruslana set up the co-ordinating and relief centre "Carpathians. Flood. SOS! 2008". The aim of the centre is to create a database of the people in need, to provide emergency humanitarian help and to collect and distribute donations both from the public and from other Ukrainian artists and sportsmen to support the victims of the flood.

Commercial Activities

For some time Ruslana has been the face of Garnier in Ukraine. In the spring of last year L’Oreal Cosmetics offered Ruslana an endorsement contract where she will become a new face of L’Oreal. She has appeared in various commercials.Ruslana 180px-Ruslana_at_concert_1


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