Pelageya (Пелагея) (b. 1986) is a Russian female vocal artist. At the age of 9 she was awarded the title "Best Russian folk-singer." Pelegeya leads a musical group named, "Pelageya". She appears regularly on the Russian version of the TV show, The Voice as a coach. Her style is described as folk, folk rock, and art rock. She often sings traditional Cossack warrior songs stylized for rock.
Pelegeya's signature song is entitled Lyubo, bratsy, lyubo or Lovely it is to live, brothers, lovely, made popular during the Second World War. It is the dying words of a Cossack chieftain on a riverbank, remembering his wife, his mother, and his horse after leading 40,000 men on into a bloody battle.
In Russian folk songs, solo voices are often answered by a chorus. Pelegeya's rendition of the Under a Green Willow on the Russian Voice with her team has astounded listeners over the planet. The song was written by a Russian officer in the early nineteenth century about a soldier mortally wounded under a willow tree, watching a black raven flying over his head. The raven is an ominous sign of impending death. The lyrics are:
Don't caw black raven
Over my head Oh, you black raven. I am still alive!
Fly please, black raven, Home to my father and mother And give my bloody cloth To my young wife.
Tell her, black raven That I've married another, That I found a bride In a wide field beyond the river!
The wedding was peaceful, Under a willow bush, Oh, peaceful, quiet, Under a willow bush.
My sharp sabre was the matchmaker, My bayonet was the best man. Oh, my sharp sabre, My bayonet was the best man.
The bullet married us quickly, Mother earth married us. Oh, the bullet quickly,Mother earth married us!
- "Pelageya is not only the best artist (She's not only a singer her performances are also acting) in Russia but in the world at this time!....It is sometimes hard to believe that she sings alone because her voice is so complex. Powerful harmonics give the impression that she is multiplying herself....I can't listen to it without having tears in my eyes, this voice makes all the cells in your body resonate! I saw videos of [her] concerts in which old soldiers burst into tears....
- "Her singing was serene, and her power to captivate became more evident with each song that passed. Songs that invoked all sorts of emotions and reactions, from agony, to silence, to wonder – it was all there. ...from Africanesque rhythms, to Miami conga beats, to Bossa Nova smoothness. The Russian-folk-rapping was there too, and so was Fifth Element chorus, again without the aid of computer audio enhancement....this group is one of the best I’ve ever seen. They have such an uncanny ability to merge diverse musical styles from all over the world and fuse them with nearly-forgotten folk songs from the farthest reaches of Russia...Pelageya is not only a national treasure but also Russia’s gift to the world.