Lena Katina is one half of the duo formerly known as t.A.T.u, Russia’s most famous contemporary musical act. She was born and raised in Moscow by an artistic family, being involved in the performance arts since she was young. She went to school for piano at the age of six and was admitted to the children’s chorus Neposedi (Naughty Children) when she was twelve.
The height of her career was when she auditioned for a new group, called t.A.T.u, in 1999. She skyrocketed to international fame for the group’s hit “All the Things She Said” in 2002, from their English album “200 km/hr in the Wrong Lane.” The music video was controversial because it featured Katina and her band mate, Julia Volkova, kissing when they were still teenagers. It is arguable that their lesbian image was more popular than their songs, but they remained in the news for years to come and released two more English-language albums, “Dangerous and Moving,” and “Waste Management.”
Although the girls’ supposed lesbianism was later proven to be a marketing scheme by Ivan Shapovalov, the band’s manager, Katina and Volkova are still outspoken advocates of gay rights. They were able to take the fame from their controversy and use it towards a positive cause. Lena Katina said herself when she was eighteen,
“There are other teenagers, some who are not straight, and they have lots of problems with parents and other people. We’re helping them not to be afraid. That’s what people like about us, I think. We’re not afraid of anything. We just do what we want to do.” – Lena Katina, in a 2003 USA Today interview
Katina began pursuing her solo career in 2011, after t.A.T.u disbanded due to disagreements between herself and Volkova. She is currently living in Los Angeles with her new husband and completing her first studio album.
The song that started it all, “All The Things She Said”:
One of Katina’s songs of her solo career, “Never Forget”:
“Cherrytree to Reissue ‘200km/h In The Wrong Lane’ with Unreleased Song ‘A Simple Motion’ and Special Remixes.” Cherrytree Records, 02 Oct 2012. Web. 15 Oct 2013. http://www.cherrytreerecords.com/profiles/blogs/cherrytree-to-reissue-200km-h-in-the-wrong-lane-with-unreleased-s.
Gardner, Elysa. “For Russia with love comes naughty T.A.T.U .” USA Today. USA Today, 05 03 2003. Web. 15 Oct 2013. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2003-03-05-tatu_x.htm.
“The Singer: Lena Katina.” Lena Katina. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct 2013. http://www.lena-katina.com/index.php/en/thesinger.html