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All About t.A.T.u.

t.A.T.u. (Russian: Тату) is a Russian pop music duo consisting of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova. The two girls were marketed as a lesbian couple, but their sexual orientation was the subject of much speculation, until in December 2003 they admitted on Russian television that they were not in a lesbian relationship together and it had been exploited as a marketing strategy devised by Ivan Shapovalov. They are notorious for shocking the public and trying to break taboos.

The original t.A.T.u. concept was developed by a former Russian child psychologist and marketing executive, Ivan Shapovalov who has become a record producer.

Katina and Volkova knew each other before starting t.A.T.u.; both sang in the popular Russian children's group, Neposedi, from which Volkova was allegedly banned for "inappropriate behaviour" (Volkova once implied that it was because she had molested the other girls in the chorus; later she said it was for smoking, drinking and swearing. Neposedi denied that she was expelled). Not long after Volkova left Neposedi, Katina did the same.

Shapovalov originally chose Lena Katina at a casting in 1999 to sing a song about the war in Yugoslavia. Later, he decided to form a duo and added Yulia Volkova (who had been in the same casting as Katina). Both were 14 at the time. Elena Kiper, Shapovalov's former lover and originally deputy manager of t.A.T.u., says that the idea was hers. She fell asleep at her dentist's, had a dream in which she kissed another woman and awoke remembering the words "Ya soshla s uma" (meaning "I've lost my mind"), the title of the song she then wrote the lyrics for what became t.A.T.u.'s first single. Kiper has also stated that their ideas for the group's image were influenced by the 1998 Swedish film Fucking Åmål, directed by Lukas Moodysson. Shapovalov and Kiper later fell out over his non-payment of her royalties.

Yulia Volkova

Yulia Volkova was born in the family of a successful businessman in Moscow on February 20th, 1985. At the age of 7, parallel to the ordinary school, Yulia entered a music school, piano class. When she was 9, Yulia became a member of the famous children vocal and instrumental group "Neposedy" (The Fidgets). At the casting Yulia sang the Russian folk song "Oy, to ne vecher".

Lena Katina

Lena Katina was born in Moscow on October 04th, 1984 in the family of the famous musician - Sergey Katin. When she was seven, Lena entered an ordinary school and within a year she entered music school, piano class. When she was ten, she became a soloist in the famous children group "Avenue". When she was 13, Lena became a member of the vocal and instrumental group "Neposedy" (The Fidgets) where she met Yulia Volkova


Ivan Shapovalov

Shapovalov was born on May 28, 1966 in Kotovo, Russia to artist father, Nikolay Aleksandrovich and physics teacher mother Nadezhda Richardovna. In 1988, Shapovalov graduated from Saratov Medical Institute, for Child psychology. From 1992 - 1999 he was a marketing director and advertising director. In 1999, Shapovalov with Voitinskyi, Sergio Galoyan, Renski and then-lover Elena Kiper, created t.A.T.u.

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Boris Rensky
In spring 2004, Katina and Volkova left their manager Ivan Shapovalov while they were supposed to be recording their second album because they believed that the quality of the material was too low. They had a contract with Universal Music Russia, but their new manager Boris Rensky (who was formerly Shapovalov's business partner and financier of the group) negotiated a new contract with Universal Music International. The new contract was for 4 more albums (which included Dangerous and Moving).




In March 2009, after the release of Veselye Ulybki in Russia, Boris posted information, that t.A.T.u.'s project was in hiatus and the girls will concentrate on solo careers. It didn't mean no plans for t.A.T.u., they released an English version of Happy Smiles, Waste Management, to promote the upcoming movie "You and I" due for release in Russia in spring 2011. Lena www.lenakatina.com/ will work with the old management team but Yulia www.juliavolkova.com/en/ will have a new team.



Very Latest

Feb 2014 - the girls performed together again In Sochi at the Winter Olympic Games.