alla pugacheva

Best-selling music artists of all time. The list starts out normally enough (The Beatles, Elvis, Abba, Led Zeppelin). But at No. 5 comes…Alla Pugacheva?
Alla was/is apparently the biggest pop star in Russian history. Although it’s rarely a good thing to have this in your bio: “Although hugely popular in Russia and other former Soviet republics among older generations, she is also widely disliked by many, not least for the amount of airtime given to her by the Federal channels and the continual gossip about her life in popular tabloids. For many she epitomizes the stale, repetitive, state-endorsed pop-culture fed to the population through the media.”
Or: “Pugacheva is also credited (and blamed too) for helping many young and unknown artists to rise to fame. Although most of them have become pop stars of often dubious talents, some of them later became such rock legends as Slava Butusov of Nautilus Pompilius.”
Of note is the fact she was named the “National Artist of the Soviet Union” in 1991, which of course led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union later that year.
And this priceless line, which actually makes me applaud her cheekiness: “While never directly opposing the Soviet regime, her outspoken and unrestrained manner of behaviour, such as saying ‘Cheer up! Ho Chi Minh may be dead, but I’m still alive!’ at a concert held on the day of Ho Chi Minh’s death, would have constituted grounds for regulatory action or even arrest.”