Foundation date: 1995
The country: Russia
Biography of the group “Brilliant”
“Brilliant” is a Russian female pop group that has been performing since the mid-1990s. One of the first women’s groups in the country, which presented the national stage with many talented solo artists.
History of creation
The Brilliant group has been leading its history since 1995, when composer Andrei Grozny (ex-soloist of the Kar-Man group and producer of Viktor Saltykov, the Amega and Bounty groups) with an old friend, musician Andrei Shlykov, decided to create a women’s a group similar to the British “Spice Girls”.
Andrei Grozny – producer of the group “Brilliant”
The first to join the group was 18-year-old Olga Orlova – her producers were recommended by the soloist of the once popular MF-3 group Christian Ray, in whose video high school student Olga starred shortly before.
Lukyanova, Friske, Orlova and Iodis
Orlova suggested that Grozny take his girlfriends into the group, the dancer Varvara Koroleva and Polina Iodis, who at that time was studying in Moscow at the Faculty of Law and left the institute for the sake of the group. Olga acted as the soloist of the group, while the rest of the girls worked mainly as backup dancers.
The first composition of the “Brilliant”: Varvara Koroleva, Olga Orlova, Polina Iodis
For the first 2 years, even Russian musicians, not to mention the listeners, did not know the girls by sight, although the songs from their debut album “There, Only There” were very popular. The artists began to be recognized after the release of the first clips in late 1996 and early 1997: by that time, the “Brilliant” had undergone the first changes in the composition – Varvara decided to leave the team and devote herself to her family.
The Queen was replaced by a 20-year-old graduate of the College of Arts, Irina Lukyanova. Then 21-year-old Zhanna Friske was invited to the group to play the role of artistic director. The producers offered the journalism student to choose outfits and put numbers for the group members, but in mid-1997, the charismatic Zhanna became the fourth member of the girl band.
Zhanna Friske and Olga Orlova became best friends
In this composition, the “Brilliant” existed for 2 years, having achieved considerable popularity. Their hits “Clouds”, “Cha-cha-cha” and “Where are you, where?” sounded from every radio, and the video for the song “Flowers” was regularly played on the most famous music channels. At the end of 1998, Polina Iodis announced her departure from the team, deciding to devote herself to extreme sports. Today, the girl is one of the founders of the Federation and the Russian Surfing Championship and has been living in Bali for several years now.
“I left without regrets, which were not later. At that time, we toured a lot, but did not develop, ”recalls Iodis.
In mid-1999, the ranks of the “Brilliant” were replenished by the ex-soloist of the youth group “Class” – 19-year-old Ksenia Novikova, who periodically recorded backing vocals for the group. Together with Ksenia, the group released the songs “Winter will come in autumn” and the incredibly popular “Chao, bambina!”, For which a very erotic video was filmed for those times (dir. Philip Yankovsky – the son of Russian actor Oleg Yankovsky). All of Russia discussed Zhanna Friske in a transparent negligee, who showed the “sharon stone gesture” in the video. The viewer’s attention was fueled by the fact that many TV channels refused to put this video on the air.
Meanwhile, a remix of the hit, created with the participation of Alexei Ryzhov, a member of the Disco Crash group, sounded at all discos in the country, and the girl band’s album “About Love” was sold out at breakneck speed.
Zhanna Friske in the video “Chao, Bambino”
In 2000, due to a conflict with Andrei the Terrible, Orlova left the group. The singer was expecting a baby, but for a long time hid this fact. As a result, the management told the soloist that she did not need her services. “We ordered a group of beautiful girls, not pregnant mothers,” Olga was told. Pregnant Orlova managed to “light up” in the video for the song “White Snow”, but a month later the clip was redone, and all the episodes with the singer were cut out.
In the early 2000s, Zhanna Friske began to engage in solo work, combining work in the “Brilliant”. Suspecting the imminent departure of the soloist from the group, the producers invited 18-year-old Yulia Kovalchuk, a student of the Moscow State Institute of Cinematography, to join the team. Kovalchuk’s debut in the team was the song “Au-au”, directed by Roman Prygunov, author of the films “DuhLess” and “DuhLess-2” with Danila Kozlovsky.
In the photo: Irina Lukyanova, Zhanna Friske, Ksenia Novikova and Yulia Kovalchuk
The most popular songs of the “Brilliant” in these years were the singles “Over the Four Seas” and “And I kept flying” (verses by Ksenia Novikova) – both songs received the prestigious Golden Gramophone award. The clips for these hits caused a special stir among the male part of the fans.
In September 2002, the group presented the album “Over the Four Seas”, performed in genres unusual for the group: from disco house to rap. The album even included “heavy” compositions, which came as a surprise to the artists themselves. Friske summed up that the team is turning from a girlish team into a female one. This was also confirmed by journalists who sought to send Zhanna and Irina Lukyanova to “retirement”.
In June 2003, Anna Semenovich came to the “Brilliant” (right)
In March 2003, Irina found out that she was pregnant, and the doctor gave her a choice: either work or a child. The singer chose the latter and left the “Brilliant” – later she returned to dancing. In place of Lukyanova, they took a former figure skater, 23-year-old Anna Semenovich – the girl interviewed the group, after which she received an offer to become part of it. Together with Semenovich, “Brilliant” released the hit “Orange Song” and the album “Orange Paradise”.
After participating in the extreme reality show “The Last Hero”, Zhanna Friske left the group. Many associate the departure of the singer with the wedding of Andrei the Terrible. Jeanne and the producer once had a short romance, and Grozny even made an offer to the singer, but she refused the admirer. “From that moment on, everyone’s personal life went its own way,” says Andrey. Despite this, Grozny and Shlykov remained her producers throughout Friske’s entire creative career.
Zhanna Friske left the “Brilliant” in September 2003
In 2004, the 23-year-old Ukrainian singer Nadezhda Ruchka joined the group, who had previously sung in the Party group and worked in a casino. In the updated composition, the team recorded the songs “New Year’s Song”, “Palm Trees in Pairs” and “Oriental Tales” (with the Iranian-Swedish singer Arash).
The video for the last song caused a lot of negative feedback – in particular, the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, Heydar Jemal, said that the clip offends the feelings of Muslims, and the depraved atmosphere of the video has nothing to do with the morality of the followers of Islam. Nevertheless, the song became a real hit, and soon the Brilliant released an album of the same name.
In March 2007, Anna Semenovich left the group, who was replaced by the 22-year-old ex-soloist of Strelok Anastasia Osipova. Six months later, Ksenia Novikova went on a long maternity leave: first, her eldest son Miron was born, and a year and a half later, Bogdan. In her place, they took Natalia Asmolova, whom Shlykov noticed during one of the castings: the girl did not differ in pomp, but she impressed the producer with her outstanding vocals.
In the photo: Anastasia Osipova
Natalia stayed in the group for only 3 months. She was replaced by Friske’s younger sister, Natalya, in the “Brilliant”. However, she was able to survive in the team for only a year – almost simultaneously with her, Kovalchuk left the Brilliant, whose contract had ended.
For some time, Friske’s sister Natalya sang in the “Brilliant”
At the casting, the producers chose the singer Nadezhda Kondratiev as a replacement for the departed artists (in the end, she never became a soloist, only appearing with the group once) and dancer Anna Dubovitskaya. Interestingly, businessman Sergei Anokhin, who once met with Novikova and Friske Sr., became Dubovitskaya’s spouse in 2011. The members of the team confirmed that many girls liked Anokhin, but this did not cause discord in the group.
In 2008, a bright 18-year-old brunette, world vice-champion in ballroom dancing, Yulianna Lukasheva, came to the “Brilliant”. With her participation, the tracks “Odnoklassniki” and “You Know, Darling” were recorded and the collection “Odnoklassniki” was released with old covered hits.
In November 2009, Yulianna left the group – she was replaced by Marina Berezhnaya with “very fashionable r’n’b vocals and outstanding external data.” In mid-2011, Ksenia Novikova returned to the group from the decree, which in parallel began to work on solo projects.
In July 2014, the group performed at the New Wave festival in Jurmala – already without Anna Dubovitskaya, who went on maternity leave after the wedding. In the summer of 2015, after 8 years of “service”, Anastasia Osipova left the group – she was replaced by ex-soloist Natalia Asmolova. As for the first time, Asmolova lasted only a couple of months at the Brilliant and left after Ksenia Novikova – she switched to her own Ksyusha project and the Our Meaning of Life charitable foundation she created.
Despite the inconsistency of the composition, the group is still popular
At this time, storm clouds were gathering over the ex-soloist of the band Zhanna Friske. A woman who recently gave birth to a son was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her brain. For 2 years she bravely fought the disease. Money for the treatment of the people’s favorite was collected with the help of Channel One. Managed to collect more than 60 million rubles; but even the doctors of an elite American clinic could not save the singer. In the summer of 2015, Zhanna Friske died. Olga Orlova, who until the last hours of her life was next to Jeanne, experienced the hardest loss.
Zhanna Friske before her death
In October 2015, Silvia Zolotova and Kristina Illarionova, graduates of the Construction College, joined the Brilliant. In December 2016, on the occasion of the band’s 20th anniversary, the group released the Best 20 compilation. In the summer of 2017, there were again three participants in the group – Nadezhda Ruchka, who for a long time was suspected of having an affair with Alexander Marshal, went on maternity leave after marrying businessman Denis Boyarko. Nadia announced that she would not return to “Brilliant”.
The new composition of the “Brilliant”: Berezhnaya, Zolotova, Illarionov, Asmolova
In January 2016, aspiring artist Elena Petrova came to the show “Let them talk”, accusing the “brilliant” Silvia Zolotova and her fiancé, composer Denis Kovalsky, of beating their mutual friend with particular cruelty at the birthday party. The girl claimed that because of the fight she lost the child. Sylvia and Denis denied Petrova’s story and, in turn, accused her of thirst for PR.
- There, only there (1996)
- Just Dreams (1998)
- About Love (2000)
- White Snow (2000, compilation)
- Over four seas (2002)
- Orange Paradise (2003)
- Oriental Tales (2005)
- Odnoklassniki (2008, compilation)
- Best 20 (2016, compilation)
At the moment, the “Brilliant” are Marina Berezhnaya, Sylvia Zolotova and Kristina Illarionova. Sometimes Asmolova performs with girls, and at the beginning of 2018 there were rumors that Veronika Romanova, the host of the Startup morning program on the RBC TV channel, could become a new member of the group.
In 2017, the girls released three singles “Redhead Girl”, “The Sun” and “This is Love”, as well as a video for the last song, which was filmed in Portugal. The group actively tours, performs in clubs and takes part in concerts.
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