2013 - Entering the Hall of Fame
The long awaited premiere of the music video Obnimi Menya (Hug Me) took place at the beginning of February 2013. The video directed by Alex Lamakh shows snippets from a love story between a man and a woman.
February was a prolific month for Dima as on Valentine’s Day he performed at the annual Big Love Show in the Olympiiski Palace.
Later on that month Dima received an invitation to perform at the Greek national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest as a special guest. The Greek audience gave him a warm welcome as he took to the stage to sing his winning song Believe in a duet with the Greek singer Demy. While in Greece, he didn’t miss the opportunity to meet the members of his Greek Fan Club in Athens.
Dima managed to fully impress his younger fans, as he was nominated for the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award in February 2013 and won the award after the voting that ended on the 25th of March. He is the first Russian artist to take the orange blimp figurine home!
Dima’s new song Dotyanis (Reach for me) hit the airwaves on March 26th 2013.
At the annual ZD Awards held on April 19th Dima received two awards: one for Best Singer and the other for Best Duet for the collaboration with Yulia Volkova for the song Lyubov-Suka (Love Sucks).
On the 10th anniversary of the TopHit.ru service a TopHit Hall of Fame was inaugurated and Dima was one of the few privileged people to enter it. At the TopHit awards ceremony which took place the same night, Dima’s hard work and sheer talent was acknowledged once more as he received the prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Russian Pop Music. Dima’s late producer Yuri Aizenshpis was also awarded a place in the Hall of Fame.
On April 26th Dima helped write history as he hosted the last episode of the well-known show The Russian Top 10 before the MTV Russia music channel was closed down.
On the 27th of April the television channel OE launched its 2012 OE Music Awards giving the opportunity to more than 36 thousand viewers (including 11 thousand from Argentina, Romania, China and the Czech Republic) to cast their votes and choose their favourites. Dima and Yulia Volkova were among them, as their music video for the song Lyubov-Suka was the winner for the Best Sex Video category.
In May, Dima went to Kiev to shoot his latest music video Dotyanis, which recreates an apocalyptic setting accompanied by fire and explosions. His partner in the video is Yulia Sarkisova, alongside whom he also appeared in the breathtaking video for the song Zadykhayus. Gosha Toidze directed the video for Dotyanis.
Dima was chosen to be part of the national jury during the Russian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. As 2013 marked the 5th anniversary of his 2008 Eurovision win, his fans surprised him on the 24th of May with a flash-mob posted on Twitter under the hash-tag #BilanEurovisionVictory5years.
A few days later, on the 26th of May, Dima became a godfather for the first time in his life. His beautiful godson Alexander is the son of Yana Rudkovskaya (Dima’s producer) and Evgeny Plushenko, the internationally acclaimed figure skater.
On the 27th of May, Dima’s 8th album, Dotianys, was released on iTunes reaching the top three in terms of sales in the blink of an eye. The concert accompanying this release was organised the next day in an event attended by many celebrities alongside Dima’s friends and mentees from The Voice. The concert offered the audience a mix of songs – tracks from the new album as well as older hits.
The lyrics of the songs are at the centre of Dima’s latest album Dotyanis (Reach For Me), as they allow the fans to catch more than a glimpse of his feelings. The album combines thoughtfulness, sadness and contemplation over the passing of time and the relationships people have throughout their lives. Most of the album was produced by Dima’s good friend Andrey Cherny (sound producer), to whom the artist gave special thanks. He also took this opportunity to thank his other close collaborators - Denis Kovalsky, Slava Lungu and Lara D’Elia among others. Dima himself wrote the song Strannicza.
The 3rd of June was marked by the release of Dima’s music video for the song Dotyanis (Reach for me), which recreates an apocalyptic setting accompanied by fire and explosions. Very soon after, on the 7th of June, fans were able to take a peek at the singer’s day-to-day life, as the third episode in his series of reality films was made available – as always, there were no retakes, or scripted scenes, just truthfulness and love for his craft. Also in June, the Russian music industry celebrated its achievements in the 2013 Muz-TV Awards ceremony. Dima was the star of the show as he was awarded the main prize - Best Male Singer. This was his 11th trophy, an absolute record in the awards' history!
Later during the summer, the music video for Dima’s new song, Malysh (Little Darling) was shot and released, following the romantic journey of a couple in love, as they go through moments of happiness, excitement and disappointment. The female lead role is played by the model Olga Rudyka, winner in this year’s most beautiful Playboy appearance category (Playmate of the Year). The unique feature of this video is the fact that fans, selected by Dima himself, had a significant contribution to its making. Fans gathered from all corners of the country, in numbers that surpassed all expectations, for the opportunity to be cast in their favourite artist’s music video. The song itself has a particular story: despite the fact that at the first listening Dima was not entirely convinced by the track, he nonetheless decided to record it. After all the final touches were added to the song, it became evident that it could strike a sensitive cord in the listeners’ hearts. After its official release, the song hit the airwaves of all the major radio stations, its tune being highly appreciated by the fans.
During August, the singer toured the Black Sea coast, giving no less than six concerts. At the end of the summer, the fabulous four The Voice coaches, Alexander Gradsky, Pelageya, Leonid Agutin and Dima Bilan, were reunited for the filming of the second season of the talent show, to the delight of the fans. Come autumn and Dima joined Yana Rudkovskaya at the Crocus City Hall in a ceremony Kids Music Awards aimed at supporting young talents and helping less-privileged children from orphanages around the country.
Dima never ceases to prove that he is a staunch supporter of charitable causes. This autumn he also actively took part in a fundraising event meant to help the people affected by the severe flooding in the Far East. In a charitable concert organised by Channel 1, Dima took to the stage with Margarita Pozoyan, his finalist from last year’s The Voice. More than 575 million rubles were raised for the cause.
In the wake of the Winter Olympic Games 2014, Dima was one of the privileged few to carry the Olympic flame that arrived in Moscow on October 6th. Only the best in their craft have been honoured with this duty and Dima was proud to hold the torch alongside sports giants like Svetlana Khorkina and Konstantin Tzyu.
October was a busy month for Dima as this is also when he started shooting for The Voice Kids, similar to the successful show run by Russian Channel 1, but with younger hopefuls.
The release of the long awaited compilation album Malish took place on the 11th of November. Its success was undisputed as it landed in the Top 10 right from the start.
However, Dima doesn’t restrict himself to being a singer. This year, he accepted to do the voiceover for Prince Hans, one of the main characters in the new Disney animation movie Frozen. The singer says that he has fond childhood memories of Disney movies and that’s one of the reasons why he decided to do this in the first place. Work on giving the character a Russian voice was not without its challenges, the singer admits. He even managed to get some of the lyrics for his duet with Natalya Bystrova changed. The film hit the screens in Russia on November 30th.
Awards for 2013:
- Prize Kids' Choice Awards - "Best Russian Artist" (March 25, 2013)
- “ZD Awards” – “Male singer of the year”, “Duet of the year” – “Lubov-suka” (with Julia Volkova) (April 19, 2013)
- “Muz-TV 2013” – “Best male singer” (June 7, 2013)
- "Fashion People Awards 2013" - “Fashion Singer of the Year” (June 17, 2013)
- Kinder Muz Awards - Best "Duet with a Star": Dima Bilan and Eve Samieva - "Ne boysya, malish" (September 29, 2013)
- “Golden gramophone” by “Russian radio” awards – “Lovi moi cvetnie cni” (November 30, 2013)