Earlier this week, Manizha won Russia’s impromptu 2021 national final with “Русская женщина” (Russian Woman). Like the selection itself, the song was a surprise and had not been released or publicised prior to the first live performance. In an interview since her win, she has revealed that the song will be undergoing a revamp for Rotterdam.
Speaking to Russian site mk.ru, Manizha revealed that her entry will undergo a revamp before her Eurovision performance. This revamp will include the addition of more English lyrics.
There are also English lines (Every Russian woman needs to know), but we will refine it a little bit, I will add a few sentences in English, so they are clear to everyone.Manizha on the revamp
However, she stressed that the song will not be fully translated, and Russian lyrics will remain in the final version. This makes the song Russia’s first entry since 2009 to contain Russian lyrics.
For me it is very important to preserve the Russian language. I sing in English myself and understand how fun it is. But when I watch Eurovision, I always think how cool it is to sing in the language of my country. It’s class. As it was in Portugal with Salvador Sobral, with Maria Serifovic in Serbia…Manizha on the importance of singing in Russian at the contest
In a three-way 100% public voting format, Manizha won with 39.7% of the public vote. You can watch her national final performance below:
Manizha was born in 1991 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. She and her family fled the Tajikistani civil war in 1994 to settle in Moscow. She began her career as a child singer, eventually performing in the Ru.Kola project and as part of music groups Assai and Krip De Shin. Following these stints, she went on to study gospel music in both London and New York City.
She began her solo career in 2016 by releasing a string of singles as an independent artist. In addition, she has released two albums, Manuscript and ЯIAM in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In 2019, she released her EP Womanizha.
As reflected in the lyrics of “Russian Woman”, Manizha identifies as a feminist and is a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. This, her Muslim background and Tajikistani heritage have attracted online abuse via her social media channels.
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