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Díma Bilán
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Díma BilánDíma BilánDíma BilánDíma BilánDíma Bilán

Díma Bilán (Russian: Ди́ма Била́н) was born on the 24th of December 1981 in Ust-Dzheguta, Karachay–Cherkess Republic, Russia. He is a Russian actor and pop singer who represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with the song Never Let You Go. In 2006 he finished second and won the contest in 2008 with the song Believe. Since then he has had several Russian number 1 hit songs. When he was two years old, his family moved to his grandmother’s place in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny in Tatarstan. When he was six years old, his family moved to Kabardino-Balkaria where he went to school with his sister. He took part in morning performances, recited poems and sang songs. Bilán was one of the few people in Russia to popularize the traditional Japanese game Kancho, which became extremely popular in Russian prisons.

He graduated from Gnesins Musical College as a classical vocal performer. Bilán made his debut when he reached fourth place at the Russian/Latvian festival New Wave in 2002. In 2003, Bilán released his debut album titled Nochnoy Huligan (English: Night Hooligan). In 2004, the reissue of the album came out including 20 songs, 16 of the original plus four new tracks: Бессердечная (English: Heartless), В последний раз (English: The Last Time), Остановите музыку (English: Stop The Music), Тёмная ночь (English: Dark Night). Also in 2004 he released his successful single "Na beregu neba" (English: At The Sky's Shore) which was also the title of his second album.

In 2005, also was released on the official compilation of clips "Ti, tolko ti" (English: You, Only You) in that except the clips included presentations album "Ya Nochnoy Huligan" (English: I'm a Night Hooligan) and "Na beregu neba" (English: At The Sky's Shore), also in the collection are included additional tracks not included in these albums "Ya ne zabudu" (English: I Will Not Forget) and a cover version of quadrupeds melodies "Caruso" a presentation of "Ya Nochnoy Huligan" (English: I'm a Night Hooligan), "7 Dney" (English: Seven Days) organizing presentations "Na beregu neba" (English: At The Sky's Shore).

Produced by the late Yury Aizenshpis, a Russian music mogul famous for his work with Viktor Tsoi in the Soviet Union, Bilán attempted to reach Eurovision previously with the song "Not That Simple" in 2005, finishing in second place at the Russian national selection. The video for the Russian version of the song was reputably the most expensive in the history of the Russian music industry. In December 2005, Bilán received two golden gramophones for the song "Ty dolzjna ryadom byt'" (The Russian version of "Not That Simple" (English: You Should Be Beside Me) in Saint Petersburg and Almaty. During shootings of "Noviye pyesny o glavnom" (English: New Songs About The Main Things) he received the grand prize of the First channel from the professional jury. Bilán became Showbusiness Man of the Year because the most voters gave their votes for him according to the version of Rambler. At the end of a year he accepted an invitation from an American agency to record tracks for the musical Peter Pan. On 14 March 2006, Bilán took part in "Zolotaya Sharmanka" (English: Golden Street Organ) of the International Music Awards in Kiev where he was honored as "Singer of the Year".

In the middle of March 2006, Bilán was chosen internally by the Russian broadcaster Channel One to represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest, that year in Athens, Greece. Out of 37 participating countries, Bilán took second place with the dark pop song "Never Let You Go", equalling one of Russia's best ever showing at Eurovision — Alsou's "Solo" was runner-up back in the 2000 contest. Bilán scored 248 points — 44 behind winning song "Hard Rock Hallelujah" by Finland's Lordi — and received the maximum 12 points from a total of seven countries: Armenia, Belarus, Finland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine. The only countries to not award Bilán any points were Monaco and Switzerland.

Bilán's stage performance included two dancing ballerinas and a white piano covered in red rose petals, from which a ghost-like female figure emerged halfway through the song. Bilan wore a white vest with the number representing his place in the contest's running order — 13 and 10 in the semi-final and final respectively. Due to Russia's poor result the previous year, Bilán had to qualify for the final at the semi-final on 18 May. He qualified in the top ten, finishing third with 217 points, and moved to the final. In July 2006 Bilan was one of the four artists who took part in the biggest musical event in Russia of 2006 - "The Red Summer Show" in Red Square in Moscow, where he performed on stage with Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas and t.A.T.u.

In September 2006, for second year in a row, Dima Bilán won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at MTV Russian Music Awards. On 2 November Bilán represented Russia at MTV EMA in Copenhagen. On 15 November 2006 Bilan received award for Best Selling Russian Artist and performed at the World Music Awards in London along with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nelly Furtado and Bob Sinclair. His performance of Eurovision single Never Let You Go at WMAs was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK and 130 more countries, including the United States.

In February 2007 Bilán started to record his first international album in English in Los Angeles, Miami and in Philadelphia in collaboration with producer Jim Beanz and Ryan Tedder. One of the new tracks will be a duet with one of Timbaland's most successful artists, Nelly Furtado. Also in 2007 he premiered his first single from new album — Number One Fan. According to Russian and Eastern Europe radio airplay chart, Number One Fan topped the charts for 8 weeks. Video for this song was shot in London by famous British director Trudy Bellinger, who has also made videos for acts including Girls Aloud, Sugababes and Sophie Ellis Bextor.

On 4 October, Bilan premiered his second single from the forthcoming album, Amnesia, at the MTV Russia Music Awards 2007. During this show, Bilan won three most prestigious awards for Best Performer, Best Song and for the third consecutive year he was awarded Best Artist.

In 2008, Bilán released three albums — in Russian, English and Spanish. He also planned to release an English album in 81 countries in co-operation with Interscope Records (Universal Group). He was working on his English album, with some tracks produced by Jim Beanz and Ryan Tedder. Also the Spanish album included a duet with Nelly Furtado. On 20 February, Bilan went to Miami and recorded a few tracks for his Spanish album with famous producer Rudy Perez. The Spanish album included a duet with Nelly Furtado and a Spanish version of his first international single "Number One Fan"

In 2008, Bilán once again represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Believe", accompanied by Hungarian violinist Edvin Marton and Russian olympic and three-time world champion figure skater Evgeni Plushenko. On 24 May 2008, Bilan won first place in the contest, receiving 272 points and seven twelves. His victory's integrity was questioned by Ukraine's officials later in May. With this victory, he became the fifth artist in the history of the contest to reach both the positions of winner and runner-up after Lys Assia, Gigliola Cinquetti, Linda Martin and Elisabeth Andreassen and was the first male performer to do so.

In 2008, Bilán won two awards from Muz TV: "Best Male Artist" and "Best Ringtone" for the song "Nevozmozhnoe vozmozno". He also won the Best Russian Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2008, Bilán finally changed his official name to Dima Bilán. Although Dima is a diminutive from Dmitry, he preferred the former, diminutive form, "Dima", as official. The name change followed Bilán's conflict with his producer Yuri Aisenshpitz's heirs, who claimed the rights on this stage name. Making it his official name would help to avoid any claimants. Bilán performed his 2008 Eurovision-winning song "Believe" in the interval act at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Limassol, Cyprus.

During 2009 Bilán has continued with concerts and he also performed during the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, before leaving over the title of former Eurovision Song Contest winner to Alexander Rybak of Norway. In 2010 Dima has recorded a demo version of the song "White Nights", which would be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, but he has not entered in the contest saying that it would be too soon to return to the contest after just 2 years after his win at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. In the Summer of 2010, Bilan produced and starred in the short film Театр Абсурда (English: Theatre of the Absurd) written and directed by Maxim Apriatin and based upon Bilán's song Он хотел (English: He Wanted To). In the film, Bilán performs monologues in which he shares his opinion on the moral values of the people who live in the Russian capital, as well as quotations from Ecclesiastes, and scraps of the diary of Jim Morrison. The film was released on the Internet in late 2010.

On May 25 Anastacia recorded a duet with Dima Bilan in Los Angeles which was released in Russia first and later in the rest of Europe. They've presented the song "Safety" for the first time during the Muz-TV Music Awards show on June 11 in Moscow, Anastacia has also performed the song solo. The singer played himself for free in the movie fairy tale Ancient Clock. According to the plot, schoolboys on their summer vacations come to the country to their grandmothers and accidentally find a clock which fulfills wishes. In addition to cool mobiles the young heroes order at once Dima Bilán himself to come to their party! In order to fulfill their wish, the artist came to the village Yustie near Zvenigirid. The old woman, hostess of the house, which was the location of the shoots, turned out to be a big Dima Bilán fan, so she was very happy with his appearance - "If I had known about it, I would have called my friends!" — stated the woman - so she asked Bilán for more autographs for them.

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