Former Russian Eurovision representatives Dima Bilan, Alla Pugacheva and Philipp Kirkorov have all made it into the ranks of the fifty richest Russians in showbiz and sport, in a list compiled on behalf of Forbes magazine.
Bilan, who was runner-up at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, comes in at twelth place on $4.1m, whilst "queen of Russian pop" Pugacheva is a little way down the list in 14th position, after amassing $3.5m in personal wealth during a career which took her to the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. Further down the list still is Philipp Kirkorov, whose Eurovision career spans not only a solo performance for Russia in 1995, but appearances behind the scenes across the years, notably leading the Belarussian delegation at the 2007 contest.
Doing the rounds
The list also makes mention of how its stars gained their fortunes, and Alla Pugacheva in particular has been grafting hard, doing the rounds of Russian venues from metropolitan Moscow to Arctic Vorkuta. Recently quoted as saying she will only stop performing when she can no longer wear a mini-skirt, Alla is one of Russia's stalwart performers, and despite her own and ex-husband Kirkorov's poor placings at the song contest (15th and 17th place respectively), they remain popular figures in Russian showbiz. Bilan, on the other hand, represents a new wave of young Russian artists in an era when Russia's results are no longer so unimpressive.