Make that money…and you may well land in Forbes Russia. The magazine has published its annual list of the 50 most successful stars in Russia. On that list we see several familiar names, including Eurovision alumni Polina Gagarina, Philipp Kirkorov, Dima Bilan, Sergey Lazarev, Ilya Prusikin and Elena Temnikova.
Black Star Inc. founder and 2012 pre-selection bronze medalist Timati and Eurovision 2009 host Ivan Urgant have also made the list.
Unlike the lists of Forbes Russia in 2019 and 2020, the 2021 list does not only focus on the most successful people under 40. Instead the list includes every single public figure, regardless of their age.
Featuring sportspeople, musicians, television personalities, bloggers and models, the list brings together leaders from a variety of fields.
Top-earning Russian Eurovision stars according to Forbes (2021)
Timati (NF 2012, third place) – $10.4 million
Since debuting on the Russian music scene, Timati has built an entire empire. Although his Eurovision 2012 effort stalled in the national final, he hasn’t sat still. With his company Black Star Inc., he’s become one of the main players in the Russian music industry over the past decade. In 2020, he parted with Black Star, but still remained the owner of a large package of shares of the company he founded and became the sole owner of several side hustles, including a hair salon and fitness centres. It’s music to his ears — and his bank account!
Polina Gagarina (Eurovision 2015) – $6 million
“A Million Voices” singer Polina Gagarina has recorded an annual income of over $6 million for the third year in a row. Her career has been filled with ups and downs, but Polina recently achieved huge commercial success with her touring show Obezoruzhena (Disarmed). The Moscow native also uses Instagram for commercial purposes, frequently posting product advertisements. In the Forbes ranking, Polina is the top-earning female musician and the second highest-earning female overall.
Ivan Urgant (Eurovision 2009 host) – $5.6 million
Eurovision 2009 co-host Ivan Urgant is a frequent returnee on Forbes lists. The grandson of the famous Russian actress Nina Urgant mostly earns his money from presenting jobs. Since 2012, he has presented his own late night talk show Evening Urgant on Russia’s Channel One.
Philipp Kirkorov (Eurovision 1995) – $4.9 million
The Eurovision 1995 alum has a career with a capital C (and one doused in glitter and sequins). Rising to fame at the age of 18 in a 1985 episode of Wider Circle, he’s enjoyed watching his career climb from one peak to another. Although his own Eurovision participation was less successful, Kirkorov has been the brain behind many outstanding performances from his protegés, including Sergey Lazarev, Ani Lorak, DoReDos and Natalia Gordienko, among others.
Dima Bilan (Eurovision 2006 and 2008) – $3.1 million
Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan recorded a significantly lower income in the past year compared to the preceding years. Nevertheless, the “Believe” singer still earned significant income over 2020. Despite participating in fewer commercial activities, Dima still had a strong year in terms of music, releasing two albums during the pandemic.
Elena Temnikova (Eurovision 2007) – $2 million
Former Serebro member Elena Temnikova is among the highest earning female musicians too. Ever since going solo, Temnikova has managed to stay in the charts with her deep house repertoire. At the start of this year, the Kurgan native released her fifth solo album.
Little Big (Ilya Prusikin) (Eurovision 2020) – $1.3 million
Forbes has projected that Little Big and its frontman Ilya Prusikin earned an income of $1.3 million over the past year. The group from St. Petersburg has long been successful both in their own country and abroad. Originally selected as Russia’s act for Eurovision 2020, Prusikin recently revealed that the group had no intention of returning to this year’s contest.
Sergey Lazarev (Eurovision 2016 and 2019) – $1.2 million
A former child star, Lazarev is accustomed to success. With two Eurovision participations, several albums and countless concerts, Lazarev jut doesn’t stop. He recently recast himself as the captain of the 100 of the Russian version of All Together Now. For 2022, he has announced a long list of new dates as part of his new tour Ya ne boyus’! (I’m not scared!).
Are you surprised by the ranking? Did you know that these Russian Eurovision stars were that successful? Let us know in the comments down below!