With a career spanning more than a decade, Valerij Meladze became one of the most popular male singers among a Russian adult audience. He is famous for power ballads -- downtempo songs with often romantic lyrics, written by his brother and producer Konstantin Meladze. Valerij (Valerian) Meladze was born on June 23, 1965 in Batumi, Georgia (ex-Soviet Union). He studied piano at the city's music school, along with his brother Konstantin, who played violin and piano. After going to the same university as his brother, Valerij should have graduated as an engineer, but he changed his mind after he saw Konstantin Meladze play keyboards in a university musical band. Half a year later, Meladze joined the university band Aprel ("April") as lead vocalist.
In 1989, both brothers joined art rock band Dialog ("Dialog). They released two albums: Posredine Mira ("In a Center of the World") in 1991 and Osenniy Krik Yastreba ("Hawk's Autumn Scream") in 1993. Both releases are very hard to find now. Meladze debuted as a solo artist in 1993. His song "Ne Trevozh Mne Dushu, Skripka" ("Don't Hurt My Soul, Violin") became a big hit. His first solo album, Sera, was also a major hit, containing songs such as "Sera," "Limbo," and "Posredine Leta" ("In the Middle of Summer"). His song "Noch Nakanune Rozhdestva" ("Christmas Night") was in heavy rotation during the New Year holidays. His next album, Posledniy Romantic (Last Romantic) was released in 1996 to big success. After two sold-out shows in Moscow, a live CD and video cassette, Olympic Live, were also released. Meladze's next albums, Samba Belogo Moty'lka ("White Butterfly Samba"), Vse Tak I Bylo ("That's How It Was") and Nastoyascheye ("Real") produced dozens of radio hits. In 2003, Meladze collaborated with girl band Via Gra ("Nu Virgos"), which was also produced by his brother. The songs released from this collaboration, such as "Okean I Tri Reki" ("The Ocean and Three Rivers") and "Prityazhenya Bolshe Net" ("No More Attraction") received widespread success on both TV and radio, and introduced Meladze to a younger audience. Both, Konstantin and Valerij Meladze worked as producers of Fabrika Zvezd -- 7 (Stars Factory -- 7), the Russian American Idol, in its 2007 TV season. In October 2008 Meladze released his new album, Vopreki ("Despite"). The title song from this album was featured in the soundtrack to Admiral. ~ Alexey Andreychuk, Rovi