Valeria is one of the divas of Russian pop music. She started as an adult pop singer, then turned to more pop and dance recordings during the later years of her career. Valeria (Anna Perfilova) was born in Aktarsk, Saratov Region on April 16, 1968, into a musician's family. She finished local music school and moved to Moscow in 1985 to study vocals at Gnesinykh Academy, from which she graduated in 1990. She met producer and then-husband Alexander Shulgin in 1989. Their first work was the English-language album The Taiga Symphony. The recording sessions, which started in 1990, took place in London, Munich, and Moscow. Musicians from such bands as Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and Pet Shop Boys were involved in the recording process. The album was released in 1992 in Russia and several European countries. Along with The Taiga Symphony, Valeria recorded Russian romance songs on the album Pobud So Mnoy ("Be with Me"), including reworked versions of old Russian romances. The video collection of the same title was released shortly after. At the end of 1993, Valeria was awarded with a "Woman of the Year" title by Russian Journalist's Soyuz (non-government organization of Russian journalists).
In 1995 Valeria released her new album, Anna, which was inspired by her daughter, who was born the same year. The album's sound was more pop-oriented than its two predecessors. The songs "Samolet" ("Airplane") and "Moskva Slezam Ne Verit" ("Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears") topped the Russian charts. Her next major work was the 1997 album Familia, Pt. 1 ("Family, Pt. 1"). Valeria herself described it as more personal, family-oriented, and intimate, with a strong but melodic guitar-driven sound. 1999's Samoe Luchsheye ("Very Best") compilation included the brand new track "Ty Gdet-to Tam" ("You're Somewhere There"), which became a hit due to its simplified pop-dance sound. The same pop-oriented sound was present on Valeria's two maxi-singles, "Metelitsa" ("Snowstorm") and "Riga -- Moskva" ("Riga -- Moscow"). These singles were pre-released as press for Valeria's new album, Perviy Internet Albom ("The First Internet Album"), which saw its release in summer of 2000.
After a tour in support of Perviy Internet Albom, Valeria started work on her new album, Glaza Tsveta Neba ("Sky-Color Eyes"). After ending her musical and personal relationships with Alexander Shulgin, Valeria signed a new contract with producer Iosif Prigozhin, who later became her husband. Their first album, Strana Lyubvi ("Country of Love") was released in 2003, breaking the sales records of CDs. 2006 saw the release of Valeria's autobiography, I Zhizn, I Slezy, I Lyubov ("Life, Tears, Love"). The book became a best-seller, as did a new album, Nezhnost Moya ("My Tender") -- another album of simple pop songs. The next year, Valeria decided to move to the European stage. Surrounded by world-famous producers such as Ray St. John, David Richards, and Chantal Kreviazuk, she released her second English-language album, Out of Control, in March 2008, with some success. ~ Alexey Andreychuk