Valery Leontev - Margarita

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The popular Russian singer Valery Yakovlevich Leontev (°1949), was born in Ust-Usa, in the Russian republic of Komi. He is a pop singer who had the highlight of his career in the '80s in the Soviet Union. After his youth in Ivanovo he wanted to study oceanography at the University of the Far East in Vladivostok, but he was refused and decided to pursue a singing career while he was making a living as a flax spinner and a postman.

In 1971 he took part in a regional singing competition in which he ended as the runner-up, and he began to be successful. In 1982, however, he got throat cancer and his career as a singer hung on a thread. However, he was operated on successfully and in 1983, he started studying at the Krupskaya Institute of Culture in Leningrad, where he would get his diploma in 1987.

Meanwhile he performed with the most diverse genres of music, from opera to rock songs and variety, while he also starred in films. Soon his glitter costumes, spectacular lighting effects and bombastic dance scenes would become his trademark. Many awards at festivals would follow.


Elsewhere on this site can read that, in 1986, the Russian composer of popular tunes Yuri Aleksandrovich Chernavsky (°1947) had written the song Margarita for the then hardly known singer Sergey Yuryevich Minaev (°1962). The lyrics had been written by the poet Aleksander Markevich and were inspired by Margarita's flight on the broom.

Read more about Serge Minaev

Without waiting for the release of the record of Minaev, Chernavsky proposed to Valery Leontev to make a new version of this song with new arrangements. In 1990, the song was released on Leontev’s album Грешный путь [Greshny Put] or Path of Sin. Movie director Vadim Korotkov (°1960) and script writer Yuri Vyacheslavovich Grymov (°1965) were asked to make the first video clip ever in the Soviet Union.

With his version of Margarita, Valery Leontev won the television contest Песня 89 [Pesnya 89] or The Song of '89. He would reinterpret the song again several times, including a version with the famous Choir of the Russian Army from St. Petersburg. In 2009 he had the idea to sing it in a duet with the French singer Patricia Kaas, who is very popular in Russia. However, we do not know if that ever happened.


Technical details

Valerij Leontjev - Margarita

Грешный путь [Greshny Put] (CD)

Valery Leontev


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