He’s the performer who represented Russia at Eurovision 1995, and is also known as a producer and songwriter. Now the maestro Philipp Kirkorov has been awarded Russia’s prestigious Order of Honour medal. The honour was presented by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The award is presented to Russian citizens who have made high achievements in the field of either economic, government, public, scientific, sociocultural, sport or charitable work.
It can specifically be aimed at those who contribute to the promotion of Russian culture, and for “very fruitful public, charitable and community activities”.
In Kirkorov’s YouTube description of the award ceremony, he notes the honour was for “his great contribution to the development of a variety of arts of the country and many years of fruitful activity.”
Putin pinned the medal to Kirkorov who had dressed for the occasion in a black velvet blazer from Dolce & Gabbana. The blazer is part of D&G’s recent Heraldic Sicilia collection, which pays tribute to the crests of aristocratic Sicilian families.
The award was initially confirmed on 30 April, Kirkorov’s 50th birthday. At the recent ceremony, Kirkorov had the opportunity to make a speech, where he profusely thanked Putin and wondered if the president was a fan of his music. He told Putin and the audience:
How much you have done for us, for our country, can not even be understood. But we try not to lag behind, and in my jubilee, at 50, I also tried to do something for people, for the theatre, for the musical stage. Thank you very much, this award is a very important sign for me that you sometimes listen to music that is for the mood.
As well as representing Russia at Eurovision 1995, where he placed 17th with “Kolybelnaya dlya vulkana”, Kirkorov has built a behind-the-scenes career.
He has co-written several Eurovision songs, sometimes as part of the so-called “dream team” with Greek maestro Dimitris Kontopoulos. These include “Work Your Magic” (Belarus 2007), “Shady Lady” (Ukraine 2008), “Shine” (Russia 2014) and “You Are the Only One” (Russia 2016). Kirkorov has also served as Russia’s Head of Delegation.
As well as his Eurovision contributions, Kirkorov has built a substantial music career in Russia and still enjoys a career as a popular entertainer.
However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In 2010 he was accused of slapping, dragging and kicking a female assistant when he was unhappy with the lighting at a concert.
Kirkorov initially denied the reports, but later sought a psychiatric assessment in Israel, before releasing a statement saying, “Twice a year I have serious attacks, when I do not remember or understand anything that I do.”
He later returned to Moscow and was declared mentally sound.