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t.A.T.u. (or Tatu pronounced , listen (help·info)) are a Russian pop duet formed in Moscow, Russia in 1999 by Ivan Shapovalov. The group consists of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova, who became the most successful international recording act exported from Russia, with a fan base from countries all over the world. Their debut album, 200 Po Vstrechnoy was the first from a Russian act to reach gold status internationally. With the release of their debut English album, 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane t.A.T.u. became the first act to receive an IFPI Platinum Europe Award for the same album in two languages.

By the end of auditioning, Shapovalov and Voitinskyi narrowed their search down to 10 girls, including ex-members of the group Neposedi, Katina and Volkova. Both girls stood out among the others, especially because of their appearance and vocal experience, but the producers decided to start with 15 year-old Lena Katina, who sang "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette. Katina began recording demos, including "Yugoslavia" a song about the Kosovo War, which Voitinskyi had written about the turmoil he experienced. After the demos were cut, Shapovalov insisted that another girl be added to the project, so soon after they added on 14 year old Yulia Volkova.

The group released their debut album on May 21, 2001. 200 Po Vstrechnoy (200 on the Counter) included 9 tracks, and 2 remixes. At the same time, the girls released their second video and single, titled "Nas Ne Dogonyat." It countered the claim that t.A.T.u was just a one-hit wonder. After one week of heavy rotation on MTV Russia, it went straight to #1 on MTV's "Russian Top 10" (a weekly chart show with Russian-only videos competing with each other) and #7 on the MTV Top 20. The single received success on radio as well, listed on 1st National Radio "Russian Radio" and 7 other national radio stations in Russia.The Single has sold close to seven million copies in Russia alone.

Later in July, hip hop group Flipsyde released their album We the People, which included a track titled "Happy Birthday", which used piano instrumentation from "Gomenasai" as well as some vocals from the soon to be released song.

A reality show titled "Travel Party" was planned to air on Muz Tv on November 13, 2006, however it was never aired. It was supposedly following t.A.T.u. during their promotional tour in Japan.

In early 2007, recording began on t.A.T.u.'s third studio albums. During the span of 2007, t.A.T.u. were in and out of the studio recording with Sergio Galoyan and other producers. In June 2007 the titles Upravleniye Otbrosami and Waste Management were given to the upcoming Russian and English album. As of September 28, 2007 it was announced that the Russian album could be released by the end of the year, while the English album will be released around the same time as 'You and I.

On May 17, t.A.T.u. issued a statement directed at their gay fans, "When t.A.T.u.'s second album came out, many of our fans of alternative sexual orientation thought that we lied and betrayed them. This is not true! We’ve never done that and we’ve always advocated love without boundaries." On May 26, they flew out to Moscow to speak out against the Government for the cancellation of Moscow Gay Pride.


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