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!