Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov
Born Country: Latvia
Born in: Daugavpils, Latvia
Famous as: Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Svetlana Grachyova (m. 2006)
children: Alla Grachyova, Maksim Grachyov
Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov, famous by his stage name Vitas, is a Russian singer-songwriter. He is well-known for his distinctive head voice and a five-octave vocal range. It is often hard to classify his eclectic musical style that includes elements of classical, jazz, dance, techno, and folk music. Vitas’ passion for music became evident quite early, and he also began writing songs as a child. He got early fame with ‘Opera #2,’ which evolved as his signature song. Music video and live performances of ‘Opera #2,’ along with his ‘The 7th Element,’ in which he performed his trademark ‘turkey call,’ earned him widespread fame. He became the youngest artist to perform a solo concert, ‘Philosophy of Miracle,’ at the ‘State Kremlin Palace.’ Over the years, Vitas has produced many albums, including ‘The Songs of My Mother.’ He was the only foreign performer at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He has performed solo concerts in countries like Germany, Australia China, and Canada.
- Vitas was born Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov on February 19, 1979, in Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. He displayed liking for music very early and learnt to play the accordion from his grandfather. He started writing songs right from his childhood.
- He attended an Odessa art school and performed in several theatrical productions during his teens.
- Vitas grabbed the spotlight for the first time in December 2000, after releasing his song ‘Opera #2,’ which was noticed for his remarkable high-pitched and energetic vocals, and eventually emerged as his signature song. The song became part of his debut album, ‘Philosophy of Miracle,’ which released in 2001. ‘Opera #2’ not only became hugely popular but also earned the best-selling single (in Russia) prize three years in a row, a ‘People's Hit’ prize, and a ‘Golden Gramophone’ award.
- His popularity increased further with ‘The 7th Element,’ another song of ‘Philosophy of Miracle,’ in which he performed his trademark ‘turkey call.’ According to reports, ‘Philosophy of Miracle’ sold at least 3.5 million copies in China alone, while an estimate of ‘Gemini Sun’ records mentions that ‘Opera #2’ and ‘The 7th Element’ were downloaded over 20 million and 15 million times respectively. Opera #2’s music video and the television performance of ‘The 7th Element’ became quite popular on internet, thereby increasing his global fame.
- His first concert, ‘Opera #..,’ was held at the Concert Hall "Russia" in Moscow, in February 2001. He performed many of the songs from the album ‘Philosophy of Miracle’ in the first ‘Philosophy of Miracle Concert’ held at the ‘State Kremlin Palace.’ This made him the youngest artist to perform a solo concert at the historical venue.
- He covered the song ‘Caruso,’ by Lucio Dalla, in 2002. He was later invited by Dalla to perform it along with the latter at the ‘San Remo in Moscow’ concert in 2003, in the ‘State Kremlin Palace.’ He also received invitation from Dalla to participate in the rehearsals of the modern version of Puccini's opera, ‘Toska,’ at Rome.
- Vitas dedicated two new albums, ‘The Songs of My Mother’ (2003), and ‘Mama’ (2003), to his late mother, who he lost in 2001. Among the two, the latter included many new songs, while ‘The Songs of My Mother’ comprised of cover versions of several popular older songs like ‘The Bird of Happiness,’ which are considered "the gold reserves of Russian pop music.” Vitas performed the songs of the two albums at hundreds of venues across several countries from 2004 to 2006, during his extensive world tour, ‘The Songs of My Mother’. It was his second tour to premiere at the ‘Russia Concert Hall,’ Moscow, in November 2003.
- Vitas’ popularity in China rose gradually after he performed ‘Opera #2’ and ‘The Star’ at ‘The Year of Russia in China’ in Beijing, in June 2006.
- His ‘Return Home’ concert in Bucharest, Romania, on February 25, 2009, fetched television networks TVR2 and TVRi their highest ratings in 12 months. While ‘Return Home’ tour (2006-2009) resembled the conservative atmosphere of ‘Songs of My Mother’ (2003–2006) tour, his ‘Sleepless Night’ tour (2009–2012), including concerts in China, was more elaborate in presentation.
- On May 12, 2009, Vitas performed ‘The Star’ at a benefit concert held in memory of earthquake victims of the Chinese province of Sichuan. Hi October 2009 released song, ‘Mommy and Son,’ was also dedicated to the earthquake victims. This song became the title track of his September 2011-released studio album, ‘Mommy and Son,’ which also included new tracks like ‘Young Rook’ and ‘Once More.’
- Over the years Vitas released many other studio albums like ‘A Kiss as Long as Eternity’ (2004), ‘Say You Love’ (2009) and ‘Come Just For You!’ (2016); and performed in different concert programs like ‘My Love Story’ (2014–2017), and ‘I'll Give You Love’ (2018–present). His upcoming studio album is titled ‘20’.
- Vitas has also tried his hands at acting. He portrayed a pop singer in the murder mystery television series ‘Сволочь ненаглядная’ (‘Beloved Scoundrel’), and also appeared in the comedy ‘Crazy Day.’ Apart from recording music for soundtrack of the 2009 Chinese film ‘Mulan,’ Vitas has also played the role of Gude in the film. He portrayed Bolshevik Comintern official Grigori Voitinsky in the 2011 Chinese film ‘The Founding of a Party,’ and appeared in the lead with Chinese actress-singer Huang Shengyi in the musical ‘One Night To Be Star’.
- His 2001 music video, ‘The 7th Element,’ which was uploaded on Reddit, went viral in June 2015, raising his fame to new heights. He also garnered considerable popularity after his song ‘Smile’ became viral in 2017, particularly in Brazil.
- He self-designs his stage costumes and is accompanied by the brand ‘DIVA’ during his concerts.
- In 2006, he married his girlfriend of seven years, Svetlana Grankovskaya, in Odessa. They had met at an Odessa night club, in 1999. Together they have a daughter Alla Grachyova, born on November 21, 2008, and a son Maksim Grachyov, born on December 26, 2014.
- Although, Vitas prefers to keep his personal life private, he appeared along with his family in a few shows, including ‘Let Them Talk,’ in January 2012. In one of his interviews, he mentioned about a controversy surrounding a man, who claimed to be his biological father.
- He fell on the wrong side of the law on May 10, 2013, after he hit a cyclist with his car near VVC Exhibition Centre in Moscow. Though the cyclist was not hurt and rather videoed whatever followed between Vitas and the police, the singer was arrested. The incident garnered considerable media attention and was widely reported on Russian TV channels. This controversy resulted into cancellation of his forthcoming concerts in China.
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