Legends of Ukrainian show business that remain in trend throughout the XXI century

Legends of Ukrainian show business that remain in trend throughout the XXI century

Collected the names of 22 music industry figures who remain popular and influential from 2000 to the present day

Ukrainian show business is a very fragile and unstable mechanism. Since independence, it has experienced a lot of shocks that few other countries have experienced in the entertainment industry. Economic, social, and political upheavals. Since 2022, a full-scale war.

That's why most of those who decide to prove themselves in this field cannot withstand the tension and pressure of the circumstances. To stay in the Ukrainian show business for ten years and still be relevant, influential, and important is a serious achievement.

But some have managed to do it for much longer. The heroes of this article are people who have managed to keep the bar high throughout the 21st century. Since 2000, they have continued to be significant - thanks to their songs, media projects, and organizational and pedagogical talents. Of course, these are not only the musicians themselves but also those who create the infrastructure for the realization of talent.

It is largely thanks to these people that the very words "Ukrainian show business" have the right to exist. They are the ones who shape the sustainability of this sphere, and the traditions in it, and ensure the connection of times. Some of them even after their deaths.

Each of them deserves a good word. You can read a short story about each of them, which consists of four sections:

  1. Projects they created or were involved in.
  2. The importance of the personality/group.
  3. Activities outside of show business.
  4. Activities during a full-scale war.

Andrii Danylko

  1. Creator of SERDUCHKA. Author of the album "Ha-ra-sho!" (2003), which sold several million copies. Participant of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 (2nd place) and guest of honor at several of these competitions. Permanent member of the jury of the National Selection for Eurovision. Member of the jury and coach for several seasons of the X-Factor project. Author of the instrumental album "After You..." (2005).
  2. Serdiuchka began singing in the late 1990s and has remained one of the most powerful figures on the Ukrainian pop scene since then, with Danylko as one of her main artistic influences.
  3. He has hosted and co-hosted many TV projects (SV Show, Verka Serduchka Show, etc.). He starred in the Hollywood comedy Spy (2015).
  4. Since spring 2022, he has been giving charity concerts in support of Ukrainians affected by the war.

Kuzma (Andrii Kuzmenko)

  1. Leader of the band Skriabin. Co-host (with Nataliia Mohylevska) of the Chance TV project. Member of the electronic duo MOLOTOV20 (with Serhii "Shura" Hero). Co-founder of the band "Paiuschiye Trusy". Founder of the online radio S.R.A.K.A.
  2. In addition to becoming famous himself, Kuzma was an authority who inspired dozens of Ukrainian musicians (from O. Torvald to DZIDZIO). After his death in February 2015, his influence on the Ukrainian scene and society is no less than when he was alive. Today, he is the main Ukrainian star who has passed away.
  3. He is the author of literary works (Me, Victory and Berlin, The City Where Money Doesn't Walk, etc.). He is the host of several non-musical TV projects (Shykanemo, Battle of Nations, Dacha).
  4. In 2014, Kuzma helped the defenders of Ukraine who participated in the ATO. If he were still alive today, he would probably either be serving or desperately volunteering.

Yuriy Nikitin

  1. In 1993, he founded the production company NOVA, which eventually turned into a systemic structure with a label and a PR agency. He is a music producer of the TV projects "Star Factory" and "Superstar".
  2. Nikitin is the only producer who has remained in trend throughout almost the entire era of Ukraine's independence. SERDUCHKA, Iryna Bilyk, NeAngely, NikitA, Aviator, Arktika, KAZKA, and Roksolana are just the most famous of his artists.
  3. In the past, he was the CEO of the Tonis TV channel.
  4. Since the spring of 2022, the artists Nikitin collaborates with have been actively touring the world with charity concerts. In the spring of 2023, he founded Ugreator, a platform for the creative industries.

Mykola Bagraiev

  1. Founder of the Tavriia Games (1992-2008) and Black Sea Games (since 1998) festivals. Founder of TAVR Media radio holding (about 10 stations), M1 and M2 TV channels, M1 Music Awards and Golden Firebird music awards. He is a co-owner of the ticket operator TicketsBox.
  2. Almost all of Bagraiev's projects are fundamental to the creation of the infrastructure of the Ukrainian entertainment industry. He is one of the few people in this field who has a systemic vision.
  3. In different years, he was a member of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, a member of the Ukrainian parliament (2002-2014), and an advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine. He is the owner of RTM-Ukraine. Founder of Tavrian Games LLC, which organizes events of any format.
  4. Since February 2022, all of Bagraiev's media companies have been refusing to use Russian-language content and promoting Ukrainian-language content. "Russian Radio Ukraine was renamed Radio Bayraktar. The Black Sea Games 2023 festival was held during a full-scale war.

Anzhelika Rudnytska

  1. President of the art agency Territory A. Co-founder and host of the hit parade "Territory A", TV projects "Musical Space", "Territory DANCE", and "Let it be colorful for you!". She is a singer.
  2. In the second half of the 1990s, the hit parade "Territory A" was the main center of Ukrainian-language music in the information space. The touring tours of pop artists, organized by Rudnytska together with Oleksandr Bryhynets, became a powerful mechanism for promoting the Ukrainian mainstream at that time. After the charts closed, Rudnytska continued to be actively involved in the art agency and is still doing so today.
  3. Among Rudnytska's projects are the charity events Angels of Memory, Candle of Memory, Territory of the Book, and several art festivals across the country. She is an artist, scholar, teacher, writer, and volunteer.
  4. She founded and published the first part of the project "100 Years of Unbreakable. The History of the Ukrainian Struggle in Song". She created and produced the music program "Territory of Christmas. The Power of the Family". She is also engaged in volunteer work.

Masha Yefrosynina

  1. In 1999, she became a co-host (with Yurii Horbunov) of Pidyom (Rise) on the New Channel. The program's episodes became a powerful media platform for Ukrainian performers in the 2000s. Co-host (with Pavlo Shilko) of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kyiv. Co-host of the music TV projects "Star Factory" and "Showtime". She is a top YouTube blogger who regularly conducts interviews with pop stars on her channel (740 thousand subscribers).
  2. Yefrosynina has been and remains one of the key media personalities who popularized the heroes of the Ukrainian stage of the 21st century.
  3. She has hosted and co-hosted about 20 TV projects (Dancing with the Stars, Ukraine's Got Talent, etc.). Co-founder of the charity project Charity Chain. Founder of the Masha Foundation charity organization.
  4. Over the past two years, she has implemented many charitable initiatives to support Ukrainians affected by the war ("Unbreakable Mom", "From Big Hearts for Little Ones", etc.).

Sviatoslav Vakarchuk

  1. Leader of the band Okean Elzy. Author of the music projects "At Night", "Brussels" and "Orangery". Member of the jury of several seasons of the talent show The Voice. He was involved in the production of Khrystyna Soloviy and Leo Mantis. Author of the hit song "He's Waiting for Her" (performed by Oleksandr Ponomarov). He is the owner of the Supersymmetry company.
  2. Vakarchuk's talented songs, charisma, and irrepressible social energy are a national treasure of Ukraine that is very difficult to assess and is only growing in scale over the years.
  3. Former chairman of the Voice political party (2019-2020). Former member of the Verkhovna Rada of two convocations. Winner of the Vasyl Stus Prize (2014). Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Winner of the TV show "The First Million" (2005).
  4. Since February 2022, Vakarchuk has been constantly engaged in charitable activities - on tours with Okean Elzy and during solo performances at the front. He is a lieutenant in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Oleh Skrypka

  1. Leader of the band Vopli Vidopliasova. Founder of the Kraiina Mriy and Rock Sich festivals. Host of the radio programs Nashi Vechornytsi and Krayina Mriy. Coach in the talent show "The Voice" for two seasons. Organizer of ethno-disco parties as DJ O'Skrypka.
  2. Regardless of whether new songs are released by VV or not, Skrypka remains a stable artistic brand and personal authority in the music industry.
  3. Participant in the TV musicals Evenings on a Farm near Dykanka and Cinderella. He is a film dubbing actor and has appeared in several films. Co-owner of the restaurant "Kanapa" on Andriyivskyi Descent. He is engaged in the production of the author's wine. After 2014, he supported ATO participants. Participated in many charity projects in support of children's hospitals.
  4. During 2022-2023, he implemented a number of charitable projects through his Kraiina Mriy (Dreamland) foundation, and regularly performs concerts, with proceeds going to help war victims.

Oleksandr Ponomarov

  1. He is one of the main male voices of the Ukrainian stage over the years of independence. Winner of the Chervona Ruta festival and many music competitions. The first-ever participant from Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest. He was the first pop artist to perform the Ukrainian national anthem at official events. Winner of several Golden Firebird and YUNA music awards. Coach of The Voice for four seasons. Founder of the production center "From Morning to Night".
  2. Having gone through the era of personal fame in the 1990s and 2000s, in the late 2010s Ponomarev began invaluable work on forming ties between different generations of the Ukrainian pop scene. The manifestation of this work was a series of hits recorded together with Mykhailo Khoma, Artem Pivovarov, Taras Topolia, and ALEKSEEV.
  3. He starred in the TV musical "Evenings on a Farm near Dykanka" and the series "Personal Life".
  4. For the past two years, he has been regularly performing charity concerts (most often together with Mykhailo Khoma) in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He is the author of the superhit Ukraine Will Win (2022).


  1. Winners of the Golden Firebird and YUNA awards. Co-authors of the Jazzy and Symphony Hip Hop music projects. Participants of the Sziget festival in Hungary. They collaborated with the British band Apollo 440.
  2. The pioneers of the Ukrainian hip-hop movement, who have been ensuring the presence of this musical style in the wide information field of our country for 30 years.
  3. The band's frontmen, Fagot and Fozzy, are also actively realizing themselves solo - both in music and literature, film dubbing, and TV projects. They regularly participate in community projects.
  4. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, TNMK has been continuously raising money for tactical medicine for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As part of this activity, they have given more than 50 concerts outside of Ukraine and regularly perform in the country.

Igor Kondratiuk

  1. Co-author, producer, and host of the TV project "Karaoke on the Maidan". Producer of the TV shows "Chance", "American Chance" and "Star Duet". Long-term coach of the talent show "X-Factor", who led his contestants to victory three times (Aida Nikolaychuk, MELOVIN, Elina Ivashchenko). Former producer of Vitalii Kozlovskyi. Member of the jury of the Junior Eurovision 2020 national selection.
  2. "Karaoke on the Maidan", "Chance" and "X-Factor" have become platforms where dozens of Ukrainian performers have been trained, many of whom later reached the top level.
  3. Host and producer of several intellectual shows ("What? Where? When?", "Brain Ring" and others). Host of the author's TV show Kondratiuk on Monday (2020-2021).
  4. Kondratiuk has not cooperated with Russian show business since 2014. In 2022-2023, he participated in charity events in support of Ukraine. He publicly announced a personal donation of 300 thousand hryvnias to the Armed Forces to motivate other Ukrainians to help the army.

Pavlo Shylko

  1. Co-founder and general producer of the YUNA National Music Award (since 2012). In the past, he hosted several author's programs on Gala Radio (Pashina's 20, Let's Get Up, etc.). Co-author of songs by Ukrainian Eurovision participants SERDUCHKA (Dancing Lasha Tumbai) and Tina Karol (Show Me Your Love). Co-host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kyiv. Host of several TV projects (15 Minutes to Tomorrow, Melomania, etc.).
  2. One of the few media personalities who works hard for the development of Ukrainian show business and constantly creates platforms where talented musicians can present themselves.
  3. The creator of Pasha English, a proprietary methodology for learning English. Co-founder of the medical YouTube channel MED+. Sports TV commentator for several Olympic Games. Participant of the TV project "What? Where? When?" Dubbing actor (Horton, Darwin's Mission, etc.).
  4. In 2022, he created the art project "Stormy Poems" and the concert battle show "Battle of Names". He is a participant in volunteer programs for the International Foundation for Innovation and Nadezhda foundations, the OKHMADYT medical clinic, and the national program Save a Limb.

Oleksandr Polozhynskyi

  1. Founder and frontman of the band Tartak (1996-2020), author of the music projects Buv'ye and Ol'Iv'ye. Former host of the programs "Russian Hills", "Fresh Blood", and "My Music" on M1 and M2 TV channels, author's program "Sounds of Pro" on Radio NV. Producer of the album of Ukrainian lyrical songs "Po-Vilno" (2011).
  2. In addition to his purely musical achievements, Polozhynskyi's unique contribution lies in his constant media activity to promote Ukrainian indie music and numerous creative collaborations with other artists.
  3. He is the producer of the calendar project "UPA. People and Weapons" (2012). He was an active participant in protests in support of Andriy Antonenko during his stay in pre-trial detention.
  4. Since February 2022, he has been a member of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In September 2023, he performed a unique duet concert, where he performed songs with more than ten Ukrainian artists.

Maria Burmaka

  1. Laureate of the 1989 Chervona Ruta Festival. She is the author of two albums of Ukrainian children's songs, the album "Favorite Classics" (2021) based on the lyrics of Ukrainian poets. Former host of the TV program Music for Adults and other TV projects.
  2. She is one of the few singers who has been combining original art projects with civic activism for decades and is an iron moral authority for a large number of Ukrainians.
  3. She was an active participant in the Revolution on Granite (1990) and both Maidans. She was a member of the jury of the BBC Book of the Year literary award (2008).
  4. Over the past two years, she has participated in several charitable projects, including as an ambassador of the Humanitarian Foundation in Poland. She has released several songs, one of which ("Love Steel") is dedicated to the defenders of Azovstal.

Viktor Pryduvalov

  1. Author of numerous music videos for Ukrainian artists of all kinds - from mainstream to indie and underground. Winner of several music awards. Author of the music project Void. Co-founder of the InshaMuzyka label.
  2. For 25 years, Pryduvalov has been creating music videos that become events and help Ukrainian artists promote their work. Each work of the director has its artistic angle.
  3. He is the director of the films The Disappearing City, Kobzar's Workshop, and the TV series Barbie's Wedding.
  4. He directed the editing of the documentary What's Next (2023), dedicated to the life of Kharkiv under shelling. He directed the music video "Haydamak" for the band Haydamaky.

Iryna Bilyk

  1. Author and performer of numerous hits. A singer who has been selling out large halls for the past 30 years. Winner of the Golden Firebird and YUNA awards.
  2. People may talk less or more about Bilyk, her songs may become popular or not. But she was and is the only pop artist in Ukraine who has remained active and visible throughout the years of independence.
  3. She participated in the program of Bill Clinton's visit to Ukraine (1995). She starred in the TV musicals "Sorochynsky Fair" and "Starry Vacations". In 2018, she released the song and video "Don't Hide Your Eyes" in support of the LGBT community.
  4. Over the past two years, she has given many charity concerts (the Ukrainian Soul tour with Serhiy Myronenko). She has covered the Russian-language songs "Snow" and "We Will Be Together" in Ukrainian.

Kuzia & Brothers Gadiukin

  1. The authors of the textbook Ukrainian rock hits "Fine City Ternopil", "We are the guys from Bandershtadt", "Drug addicts in the garden" and others. Frontman Serhiy "Kuzia" Kuzminsky is one of the apologists for promoting trans dance culture in Ukraine (under the stage name DJ Hubert).
  2. The long lines at Kuzia's tribute concert in Kyiv in 2011 were the most telling evidence of the band's importance for Ukraine. Therefore, even after the reunion of the band without Kuzi, it remains a significant phenomenon that exists outside of time.
  3. In the 1990s and 2000s, the band members Pavlo Krahmalov and Ihor Melnychuk wrote a lot of music for advertising and sound design for several Ukrainian TV channels. Since 2014, the band has supported ATO participants.
  4. Since the spring of 2022, the band has been touring constantly with charity performances. The band supports the Mriia Charitable Foundation, which was founded by paramedic Taira.

Pavlo Zibrov

  1. A singer with many hits ("Maryna", "Khreshchatyk", "Woman of Love", etc.). Multiple winner of the "Hitman of the Year" award, and winner of the "Music Platform" award. Guest of almost all music talent shows. He is a judge on the TV show "Everyone Sings".
  2. Zibrov is the only representative of the old (Soviet) type of pop music who skillfully adapts to the realities of fast-paced show business. Self-irony is his saving grace on this path.
  3. Professor, lecturer at the Department of Variety Singing of the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts. Participant in the League of Laughter humor festivals. He is a holder of several orders.
  4. For the last two years, he has been regularly participating in charity concerts and singing in military units. He has released several new songs.

Nataliia Mohylevska

  1. Author and performer of many hits (Moon, Sent a Message, La La La, etc.). Multiple winner of the Golden Firebird Award. Producer and host of the talent show "Chance", and music producer of the second season of "Star Factory". Co-host of the TV show Star + Star. Coach of the talent show "The Voice. The Voice. Founder of Talent School, which prepares young artists for a career in show business.
  2. A top star who in the 2010s consciously gave up her career in favor of teaching artistic skills to younger generations. Mohylevska forms a link between generations in her profession.
  3. She is the winner of the TV show Dancing with the Stars. She is the prototype of one of the main characters in Lada Luzina's novel The Adventures of Nataliia Mohylevska and the Witch Ivanna Karamazova.
  4. In 2022, she created the concert performance "I'm at Home" to support Ukrainians during a full-scale war. She sang the hit song "I Say No" with military man Yuriy Gorodetskyi. She received an award from an Armed Forces unit for her support during the war.

Dmytro Shurov

  1. Founder and leader of the band Pianoboy. Former musician of the bands Okean Elzy and Esthetic Education. Participant in Sviatoslav Vakarchuk's Brussels project. Author of the soundtrack to the TV series Servant of the People. Coach of the talent show "X-Factor" (2017-2018).
  2. Shurov played his first concert with OE in April 2000. His arrival was both the beginning of a new era for the band and the beginning of his journey. If we were to describe Shurov's contribution in one sentence, it would be as follows: the systematic development of musical culture in Ukrainian society.
  3. He is an ambassador of the He For She movement. Participated in numerous charity projects (Sincere. Heritage, Courage Bazaar, Tabletochki).
  4. During 2022-2023, he performed a lot in the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and participated in various charitable projects. He is an ambassador of the VOICE OF LIFE project, which aims to rescue Ukraine pianos from the territories of hostilities. Music producer of the National Selection for Eurovision.

Green Grey

  1. Top rock stars of Ukraine in the 1990s and 2000s. Winners of two MTV EMA awards as the best Ukrainian music project of the year (1996, 2009). The founder and guitarist of the band Diesel is the organizer of jam sessions that have become a school for several generations of musicians.
  2. Green Grey have an impact not only through their songs but also through their organizational activity and constant striving for innovation. They have been promoting the culture of electronic music in Ukraine for many years. Now Diesel and his team are developing a music project based on artificial intelligence.
  3. They collaborated with the Ukrainian branches of Greenpeace (protesting against nuclear weapons testing) and UNICEF (finding families for children without parents).
  4. In February 2022, Diesel joined the TRO and then signed a contract with the Armed Forces. Murik participated in charity projects. In December 2023, the band held a charity tour of Ukraine.

Taras Petrynenko

  1. Author and performer of the unofficial national anthem, the song "Ukraine". Winner of the Golden Firebird Award (1997) and the National Legend of Ukraine State Award (2023).
  2. The song "Ukraine" was first performed in 1987, and since then it has been an eternal hit that will be relevant as long as Ukraine exists. Petrynenko's song was performed by a choir at many celebrations, covered by Panivalkova and S.K.A.Y. bands, and by the winners of talent shows. This song lives beyond time.
  3. Petrynenko was a member of the Shevchenko Prize Committee (2016-2019).
  4. Some of the musicians with whom Petrynenko collaborates are now at the front. The 70-year-old artist himself takes part in charity concerts.

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