Ruslana among winners at World Music Awards in Las Vegas
by Tatiana Matviichuk
KYIV - At this year's ceremony of the World Music Awards on the famous stage of the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Ruslana, the winner of the 2004 Euro-Vision Song Contest, won the prestigious award in the category of World Best-Selling Artist from Ukraine.
The golden statuette was presented to her by Volodymyr Klitschko, world-renowned Ukrainian boxer. Ruslana appeared with Mr. Klitschko on the famous red carpet surrounded by journalists.
The World Music Awards are presented to artists based on official figures of international record sales as given by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). In effect, this makes the listeners who buy the licensed album copies the only main judges for the awards.
The 2004 World Music Awards were presented to the world's top-selling recording artists in various music categories and to the best-selling recording artists of the year from each of the major record-buying countries. Ruslana was among internationally recognized artists such as Eros Ramazzotti (Italy), Philip Kirkorov (Russia), Dido (Britain), and Avril Lavigne (Canada) who also was named the World's Best Pop Rock Artist, as well as 13 other singers, mostly European, but also African, Australian, Chinese, Japanese and Latin, who were named best-selling artists.
In Las Vegas, Ruslana was congratulated by Seal, Celine Dion, LaToya Jackson, Ms. Lavigne, musicians from Guns 'n Roses and others. "The visit to Las Vegas opened to me the backstage world of American show business - we communicated with professionals of modern music studios and some of them will help us with our project," she explained at a press conference in Kyiv on September 27.
Ruslana also announced the appearance in Europe of her English-language album "Wild Dances" with three tracks recorded at the Hit Factory in Miami, and a new single "Dance with the Wolves."
Thanks to Ruslana, Ukraine was represented for the first time at the World Music Awards. The presentation is shown on the television channels of 160 countries. Thus, following her recent Euro-Vision success, this marked the second time that Ruslana focused the world's attention on Ukraine.
Ruslana had applied to the Word Music Awards long before, but progress was slow. "We held three series of negotiations on our initiative without any result and the turning point was the winning of Euro-Vision contest, when the organizers expressed maximum interest in my visit to Las Vegas," she said. Ruslana's delay in making it to the list of World Music Awards can be explained by rampant problems with CD piracy in Ukraine that made it difficult to accurately judge listeners' preferences based on licensed record-selling figures.
Before the award presentation, Ruslana's album "Dyki Tantsi" had gone double platinum in Ukraine; and the single "Wild Dances" had gone gold in Belgium and was reaching the same level in Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and countries of Eastern Europe.
Ruslana said she believes that "the ethnic aspect of her music gives the project a future" and that she is going to win a Grammy and an MTV Award. To establish close contacts with American show business, Ruslana said she plans to go to the United States for an extended period of time.
However, she promised Kyiv's journalists that she will work only with Ukraine's blessing. "I want my success and me to be associated only with Ukraine," she underscored.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, October 17, 2004, No. 42, Vol. LXXII
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