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Given Name:
     Abramova, Alsou Ralifovna
     July 27th, 1983
     Bugulma, Tatarstan, Russian SFSR, USSR.
Married to:
     Yan Abramov March 18, 2006

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Alsou Biography

Alsou Ralifovna Abramova (Tatar: Alsu Rälif qızı Abramova, Russian: Алсу́ Рали́фовна Абрамова, née Safina, better known as just Alsou (Алсу́, born on July 27, 1983) is a popular singer from Russia. She competed in Eurovision Song Contest 2000 in which she came in second place giving her recognition all over Europe as well.

Early life
Alsou was born in Bögelmä, Tatarstan. Her father, Ralif Rafilovich Safin is a Russian oligarch, a former LUKoil executive and a current member of the Federal Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He is also the owner of the Sochi football team Zhemchuzhina and was named the 100th richest Russian by Forbes Magazine in 2004. Alsou's mother, Razia Iskhakovna, is an architect. She has a younger brother Renard and an older brother Marat, who is not related to a famous tennis player Marat Safin. Alsou is an ethnic Tatar.

When Alsou was a year old her family moved from Tatarstan to Siberia. Until the age of 8, she lived with her grandparents in Siberia. At 5 years old Alsou asked her parents for a piano. She was then allowed to attend a private music school. After living in Moscow due to her father's business, she then moved New York City and later to the UK where she entered a private architecture college. While living in London Alsou visited Russia often.

In 1998, at the wedding of her brother Marat which was celebrated on the bank of the Moskva River, Alsou sat at the grand piano and sang I Will Always Love You. After this private performance her family began to persuade her to pursue a professional singing career.

Beginning of musical career
At the age of 15 Alsou was introduced to music manager Valeriy Belotserkovskiy. She again performed "I Will Always Love You" and impressed the manager. He began work with Alsou the next day. Her debut Russian album was the self titled Alsou (Russian: Алсу́) was released September 16, 1999. It was very successful in Russia and spawned 3 singles: "Winter Dream" (Zimniy Son), "Spring" (Vesna), "Sometimes" (Inogda). After the huge success of Alsou's debut Russian album she was signed to Universal Music Russia and became its first domestic artist.

In 2000, Alsou recorded her first English language single "Solo" and was entered into the Eurovision Song Contest 2000, eventually finishing second overall. "Solo" went on to sell 100,000 copies and became the biggest selling single of all time in Russia, surpassed only by her next single, a duet with Enrique Iglesias entitled "You're My #1". `I really enjoyed performing with him in Kremlin and I hope our paths will cross again`.

After her success in Eurovision 2000, Alsou began a large-scale tour of Russia. She celebrated her 17th birthday by performing in her native town of Bugulma, where 86,000 of the 120,000 population gathered in the main square to see her.

Alsou performed "Solo" again at Congratulations, the 50th anniversary Eurovision concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2005. English career
During 2000-2001, Alsou began working on her debut English album also called 'Alsou', which was released in Russia on June 28, 2001. It was also released in Germany, Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic and Malaysia.

The lead single Before You Love Me was released in the UK on April 30, 2001, soon after charting at #1 on MTV Select and several TV-appearances by Alsou. However, it only managed to chart at a disappointing #27 in the UK.

The single faired better in Australia where it peaked at #3 on the Australian Singles Chart without any major promotion; although, due to a lack of promotion and effort on behalf of Mercury and London Records (Universal Music internationally), the album was cancelled in both the UK and Australia.

A follow-up single, "He Loves Me", was released only in Germany on October 15, 2001, with limited success.

Between "Number" albums
Alsou's debut Russian album was re-released twice - in 2001 and 2002, spawning two singles -"Autumn (Osen)" and "When Love Comes To Me (Kogda Lubov Ko Mne Pridiot)".

In the summer of 2002, Alsou began a tour of the former Soviet countries. Her new video for an up-and-coming single "Flying Over The Clouds (Letyashaya Nad Oblakami)" was shown in Russian cinemas before the Russian romantic movie Atlantida. Alsou had recorded two songs for the movie.

Trilogy and 19
In August 2002 more studio sessions began for a second Russian longplay. Alsou was also preparing for her concerts in Moscow at the same time. The "Trilogy" project was deemed by the local papers as one of the most "important social and cultural events". The uniqueness of the "Trilogy" idea was that no one singer in the world had ever given three completely different performances during a period of only 10 days.

The first show was held in the "Rossiya" concert hall, where Alsou performed her old set entitled "Alsou And Her Authors", which had never been presented in Moscow before. The second show was an exclusive orchestral concert in Tchaikovsky Hall, where there are only 1,500 seats. The third show was a Euro pop show entitled "Solo". It was held in the Olympic Sport Complex and contained new Russian and English songs, with a fantasy-oriented set. After the third show, Alsou shot a video for the song "Yesterday" (Vchera).

On January 23, 2003, Alsou released her new Russian album entitled 19. The CD was received well by critics, and by April 2003 the sales had reached 500.000 copies. 19 spawned such singles as "Vsyo Ravno" (Anyway), "Vchera" (Yesterday), "The First Time" (Perviy Raz), "Dreams" (Mechty) feat. Karl Frierson (mixed by Pit Baumgartner from De Phazz), "Flying Over The Clouds" (Letyashaya Nad Oblakami) and "Etkey" (Father, a Tatarstan single).

After success of 19, she was nominated for the First National Music Award, "Muz-TV". On June 5, 2003, after arriving in Moscow from working in foreign studios, Alsou unexpectedly found herself the winner of the "Best Female Artist" nomination. The voting was held all over Russia, and Alsou could not stop the tears of joy.

Second English album
For almost four years, Alsou worked on her second English album 'Inspired'. It was recorded in London and Los Angeles. The lead single, "Always On My Mind", was written by Alsou and Morten Schjolin. The video was shot in May 2004 by well-known director Joseph Kahn. At the beginning of 2005, the single premiered on Capital FM and became the best news single of the week. However, despite the heavy UK promotion, a sexy video, touring as a support act with boyband Westlife, and performing in the London club G.A.Y., the commercial single was cancelled by Alsou's UK label Mercury Records, though physical copies were available for a short time. Inspired remains unreleased.

Alsou is credited on most of the tracks recorded for Inspired. The album was produced by several of the industry's best producers including Rhett Lawrence and Bass Bros. Inspired features a cover version of Lionel Richie's "Hello". Another well-circulated track is the Nelly-featured "Wish I Didn't Know". The album is more guitar-flavored than Alsou's previous works. Originally it was intended to record the album with mostly ballads, but then the album's direction changed.

The last known recorded Alsou English track is a wedding song, "Miracles", written by Alsou and her then-future husband Yan. It was released as a limited single for the guests of the wedding.

The Main Thing
Alsou's third Russian album Samoe Glavnoe (The Main Thing), her first LP in 5 years, was released March 31, 2008 by Universal Music Russia. The singles from this album are "Sky" ("Nebo", released back in 2005), "The Main Thing" ("Samoe Glavnoe", 2006, the video was shot when she was pregnant though it is not visible), "And My Love Has..." ("A u moei ljubvi", 2007, shot in Nevada desert and directed by Alan Calzatti).

Future plans
Alsou is recording an album in Tatar language, and hopes to release some English material which was not published previously and a "Greatest Hits" collection till February 2009, when she will celebrate 10 years on the stage.

Non-musical work
In June 2004, Alsou performed in the British mystical thriller Spirit Trap with Billie Piper, Luke Mably, Emma Catherwood and Sam Troughton. The film premiered in August 2005. Alsou's powerful self-written ballad "Teardrops" plays over the credits. The film got basically poor reviews and small returns at the box office, though it was soon released on DVD.

A release of her second motion picture is awaited in 2008 - earlier in 2006 she starred in Russian historical drama "Vivat, Anna Ioannovna!" from a cycle of films about Russian monarchy. Alsou has also recorded a song for the movie, a melody from which serves as 1st track (Intro) of "Samoe Glavnoe".

Personal life
On March 18, 2006 Alsou married Yan Abramov, a millionaire, who comes from a Mountain Jewish family. Yan allegedly proposed to her with a fireworks display. On September 7, 2006 Alsou gave birth to a 7lb daughter named Safina at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. The name for the girl was chosen by Yan. It is spelled the same as Alsou's maiden name, but with the accent falling on the second syllable, making that the only pronunciation difference (Alsou's maiden name is pronounced with the accent falling on the first syllable). It is said to be an ancient Arabic name, which means 'a ship'. On April 29, 2008 Alsou gave birth to another daughter named Mickella.

Before Alsou turned 18, she had already achieved great success and was honored several times.

The National Singer of Tatarstan Republic
The Honourable citizen of Bugulma
The Best selling Russian artist ("World Music Awards 2001")
The Best Russian singer ("MTV Europe Music Awards 2001")
The Best selling single of 2000 (National Russian "Record" award for "You're My #1")

Alsou Casting Credits


all release dates are Russian unless noted otherwise
Алсу (1999) - Her debut album in Russian
Alsou (2001) - First album in English
Алсу (2001) - Re-release of her Russian debut album, including 2 new songs
I Had An Autumn Dream [Мне приснилась осень] (2002) - Second re-release including 5 new songs
19 (2003) - Second Russian album
Inspired - Second English album, remains unreleased
Самое главное (2008) - Third Russian album

English singles
"Solo" (2000) - a European single released prior to Eurovision Song Contest
"You're My #1" (2000, featuring Enrique Iglesias) - best selling single in Russia of all time
"Before You Love Me" (2001) - first UK/Australian single, charting #3 in Australia and #27 in the UK, #1 on MTV UK
"He Loves Me" (2001) - the last single from 'Alsou' released in Europe
"Run Right Out of Time" (2002) - promo single with the Gala magazine (Russian Edition)
"Always on My Mind" (2004) - cancelled European single from Inspired
"Miracles" (2006) - a limited 1-track single released for the guests on Alsou's wedding

"Зимний сон" (1999)
"Весна" (1999)
"Иногда" (1999)
Solo (2000)
You're My #1 2000
Before You Love Me 2000
He Loves Me 2001
Осень 2001
Все равно 2002
Летящая над облаками 2002
Вчера 2002
Эткей 2002
Мечты 2003
Первый раз 2003
Everybody 2004
Always On My Mind 2004
Небо 2005
Самое главное 2006
А у моей любви 2007

Other collaborations
Livin' on a Prayer (2003, a duet with Bon Jovi recorded for the Russian edition of their album This Left Feels Right and released to Russian radio stations, but then cancelled). How High the Moon (2005, a guest appearance with Sting, Richie Sambora and Joss Stone, released worldwide on Les Paul's album American Made World Played).