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Mirage (?????, Mirazh) were a 1980s Russian pop group founded in Moscow in 1986 by Russian composer-keyboard player Andrey Litjagin. The original lineup of Mirage included Litjagin, lyricist Valery Sokolov, guitarist Alexey Gorbashov, guitarist Sergey Proklov, dancer Svetlana Razina (also the girlfriend of Litjagin), vocalist Ekaterina Boldysheva, vocalist Natalia Gulkina and classically trained vocalist Margarita Suhankina. Their music came at a time when perestroika was radically changing the Soviet Union and their energetic disco sound captured the mood and feeling of their generation.Mirage borrowed their musical style from other disco groups of the time such as Modern Talking and Bad Boys Blue.Gulkina and Suhankina shared vocals on the debut album The Stars Await Us. However, Suhankina was trying to become a professional opera singer and was reluctant to tour with the group. The group toured without her and sang to a pre-recorded tape featuring her vocals.Following the success of the first album, the demand for live appearances was high. Litjagin decided to create several "doubles" of Mirage which would tour different cities in Russia simultaneously and perform using pre-recorded tapes of the original studio vocals by Gulkina and Suhankina.Financial and creative disagreements led to Gulkina quitting the group in 1988. Gulkina rightly felt that she should be allowed to perform under the name Mirage as she provided most of the vocals. However, Litjagin and Sokolov disagreed and they retained the right to use the name Mirage. Gulkina went on to form a new group called "Stars".The second album Together Again was released in 1988 and featured only Suhankina on lead vocals. The album was a greater success than the first and was greatly received. The appearance of a talented guitarist, Alexey Gorbashov, in the project and his participation in the creation of the second album has allowed the group to ascend on the other level and to become the professional group. The connection of a dance music with a rock guitar of Gorbashov has given rise to a birth of absolutely new style of the music. The album featured some of the group's best known songs including "Music has connected us" and "Together again" Once again, the group toured with dancers performing with pre-recorded tapes however the media soon realised that Suhankina was the real hidden vocalist and the group shamefully disbanded. To be issued on CDs, both albums were re-mixed with the vocal of Ekaterina Boldysheva in 1994.In 1991, professional singer Ekaterina Boldysheva joined the group. She was the first and unique vocalist of the group who acted live. The third album of the group Not for the first time has been recorded with her voice. But the difficult economic situation in the country has prevented the group from the production of the album. As the result, the third album of the group "Mirage" with a voice of Boldysheva was published in 2008.In 2005, a show took place at the "Olympic" arena in Moscow. All the ex-members of Mirage participated in the show. It became the group revival.In 2007, the members of Mirage, Andrey Litjagin, Boldysheva, Gorbashov were awarded medals and diplomas ┬źProfessional of Russia┬╗ for the contribution into the culture and art in Russia.Many of the former members of Mirage have gone on to have successful solo careers in Russia. Suhankina now performs as a classical singer. Litjagin revived Mirage in 2003 with three new girls performing to remixed versions of old Mirage songs. The new project enjoyed limited success. The second revival was attempted by Gulkina and Sukhankina (the original vocalists of Mirage) in 2005, and it caused a serious conflict with Litjagin. Some years ago being in the state of creation crisis Andrew Litygin initiated court disputes against the former colleagues of the group "Mirage".


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