Russia has a reputation for sending its biggest and most succesful stars to the Eurovision Song Contest. And today Forbes has given further credence to that notion with the release of the Forbes ranking of power celebrities (which includes athletes and singers). Income is the key variable, though editors also factor in mentions in TV and media and searches on the Russian search engine Yandex.

Alexander Ovechkin, the Russian ice hockey player and capitain of the Washington Capitals in America’s National Hockey League, topped the list with an income of $14 million.

Philipp Kirkorov ranked second behind him, but was the highest-earning Russian singer of the past year with an income of $7.4 million. That ain’t a surprise, as Kirkorov has consistently sold out stadiums in his homeland over the past two years owing to his touring show “Ya”. And then there are the royalties he likely receives as the co-author of countless hits — “You Are The Only One”, anyone? — which continue to make an impact years later.

Timati, the rap star who came third in Russia’s national final in 2012, had an income of $6.6 million, putting him fourth on the power list. The rapper doesn’t just make money from his music and performances. Timati also owns his own brand Black Star, which includes a very succesful music label that’s signed Russian artists including Egor Kreed, Natan and L’One.

Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan raked in a few hundred thousand less than Timati, earning $6 million in the year, which was enough for fifth on the list. The release of the singles “V Tvoyey Golovey”, “Monstry V Tvoyey Golevey” and his recent duet with Sergey Lazerev “Prosti Menya” probably added to that turnover.

“A Million Voices” sweetheart Polina Gagarina earned $1.9 million, which will leave her looking much happier than in her dramatic music video for her recent single “Dramy Bolshe Net”. That was good enough to put her 22nd on the list — just three places behind Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. (Maria, who regularly tops the list, fell 18 places this year owing to her recent ban from the sport, which impacted her earnings and reputation dramatically).

Sergey Lazarev is earning a little less than last year, with his income falling from $1.3 million the year of his Eurovision participation to $1 million this year. Even so, that’s still good enough to reach 31st on the list.

The pop trio Serebro — that’s Katya Kishchuk, Olga Seryabkina and Polina Favorskaya — each did rather well, pocketing $800,000 each.

The family of Alla Pugacheva (Russia 1997) is also rolling in the rubles. Her husband Maxim Galkin earned $4.8 million, while daughter Kristina Orbakaite saw $1.4 million flow her way.

The hosts of Eurovision 2009 continue to see their fortunes rise, with three out of four of them appearing in the top 50. Semi-final hostess and supermodel Natalya Vodyanova earned $2.3 million (25th on the list), followed by grand final host Ivan Urgant, who earned $2.1 million (but still ranked 21st in the overall power ranking). Andrey Malakhov earned slightly less than the two, but still received $1.2 million. We’re sure he will cope.

Are you surprised by those numbers? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Russia Eurovision news

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Zebb
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Zebb

Big incomes, good promotion and touring as the reasons why half of ukrainian artists fully go into russian music industry, receiving backlash then like it has happened with Lorak and bunch of other names.

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

So these are only the money they’ve paid taxes for..(joke).
I don’t like Russian politicians, but citizens, music fans love their ESC artists.

Lars Nilsson
Guest
Lars Nilsson

This article supports the hypothesis that successful Russian artists (and songwriters) are selected for ESC (and agree to participate) by presenting data. In my opinion, it is interesting.

Nancy G
Guest
Nancy G

Thank you for seeing sense! Nika (below) = crazy.

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

I think in many countries an Esc appearance is a springboard to stardom.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Yas Polina and Dima, king and queen better get those coins <3

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

What exactly is your objection to the lead paragraph? In what way is this supposed to be an analysis?
She is merely informing the reader about the Forbes power ranking, which is one (1) indicator of fame, and the fact that some of the artists Russia has sent to Eurovision do place high on that list.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

This was supposed to be a reply to Nika.

Nika
Guest
Nika

Well… Maybe you see some deep essense of the article. I don’t. Some artists in Russia do well – as well as in any other country. Not all of them have ever represented Russia at ESC. On the other hand there are Russia representatives who don’t do THAT well. Is that something out of the ordinary? Why not focus on some other country and leave Russia alone?

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

There is no deep essence of the article. There is no hidden agenda here. Forbes released a list and someone reported on it, that’s it.
And bringing up someone’s age doesn’t really help your case. Rather it signals the fact that you lack an argument.

Nancy G
Guest
Nancy G

Nika — you make absolutely no sense at all. “Leave Russia alone”? This implies someone has said something bad about Russia. In reality this article seems to celebrate that Russia draws on its top talent for Eurovision, which is praise. You need to consult Google Translate more carefully.

Nika
Guest
Nika

“Russia has a reputation for sending its biggest and most succesful stars to the Eurovision Song Contest. And today Forbes has given further credence to that notion with the release of the Forbes ranking of power celebrities (which includes athletes and singers)”. Dear Renske from Netherlands, What did you mean to say by this article? You are probably a bit too young to bring the analysis of this kind to public. Will you tell us abourt Julia Savicheva, Petr Nalich, Dina Garipova, Tolmachev Sisters, etc… They’ve all represenetd Russia at ESC not too long ago. Mmm? Do you remember them?… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

how is she supposed to know the incomes of those past ESC stars? If they weren’t in the Forbes article then there’d be no way. Get a grip.

Nika
Guest
Nika

The incomes of Russian participants is none of our business. What scared me was the direct quotation from Forbes without any attitude. Just some Russian stars happenned to be mentionned there and it so happenned by coincidence that Renske had heard these names before. I wonder if she knows any other Russian participants whether they are mentionned by Forbes or not. For now it looks like that she doesn’t since only some of her “defenders” reply to me but not herself.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Nika, it’s not too much of a leap to assume that Russia’s “biggest and most successful” stars will also be among their wealthiest. As well as being talented performers, they are smart businesspeople who don’t work for peanuts. This article is focusing on the ESC stars who are on the Forbes Russian celeb rich list. It’s not casting shade on the less wealthy ESC stars. Many of them are at different stages of their lives or (like the Babuski) haven’t pursued that sort of big showbiz career. Russia is a lucky country that it has so many talented, successful pop… Read more »