Russian duo TaTu abandons lesbian image! ( - Canada)

Time of publication: 03.08.2004
Before Madonna and Britney shocked the world with a kiss, there was TaTu.

The duo, whose name in Russian is short for "This girl loves that one," shot up the charts with driving rhythms, catchy melodies, and an image of two schoolgirls in love against the world.

Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova were the first group from Russia to score a hit on the pop charts, selling over 8 million copies of their debut CD.

Now, as they get set to record their follow-up CD in Great Britain, a new element has popped into the mix. One of the girls, 19-year-old Volkova, is pregnant by her married lover.

And the girls who once claimed they had sex three times a day with each other are playing coy.

"If I stroke Lena's hand, does it necessarily mean we're lesbians," Volkova told CTV News. "Would you say the same thing if I kissed my mother?"

But the love in their racy videos looks far from familial. Some music critics have even branded the them pedophilic pop.

Though many saw the whole sexual message as a PR move, some young fans bought it.

"I believed they were lesbians," one fan said. "There was so much buzz after their first video. I believed they were two girls doing something new."

The fledgling lesbian movement in Russia has generally been against the unwanted attention caused by TaTu and the recent pregnancy.

Their message is that our relations aren't serious, they're just an amusement for male fantasies and they'll grow out of it and find themselves some hairy chested men," Nastya Vdova told CTV News. [ ]

Not surprisingly, the mind behind the TaTu magic belongs to a man, former-producer and psychiatrist Ivan Shapovalov. He says no problem to the new addition -- after all image only gets you so far.

"If we attract attention and have no message, it doesn't work," says Shapovalov. "It's got to have a message."

But what is the TaTu's message?

The duo has played up the sexual ambiguity from the beginning and it's got them to the very top. And even with a baby on board their talent is sure to see them through ... that is, not their vocal ability, but the talent of knowing which buttons to push and what sells.

Based on a report from Ellen Pinchuk in Moscow

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