Mogilev, Belarusian SSR, USSR
Natalia Podolskaya (Natalla Padolskaja, Belarusian: Натальля Падольская, Russian: Наталья Подольская, born May 20, 1982) is a Belarusian singer who performed for Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest on May 21, 2005 and was ranked No. 15. In 2008, she became a Russian citizen.
Natalia was born in 1982 in Mogilev, Belarus. At the age of nine she studied piano at music school and started singing at the age of nine in the Studio W group of the Mogilev Music and Choreography School. She went on tour in Belgium, Germany and Poland. Still a teenager she won grand prix at the music festivals "Zornaja rostan" (Belarus), "Mahutny Boza" (Belarus), "Goldenfest" (Poland).
Between 1999 and 2004, she studied law at a small private law school called Belarusian Law Institute and continued to gain experience as a solo performer. Natalia regularly took part in music shows on Belarusian radio and television and, in 2002/2003, she was finalist in the national Belarus TV festival ‘On the Crosses of Europe’. In 2002, Natalia moved to Moscow and joined the Moscow Institute of the Modern Art.
Natalia became well known in 2002 after her performance at the music festival "Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk". The same year in Prague, 16 members of ‘Universetalent Prague 2002’ International Jury marked her performance as very high: Natalia Podolskaya won the ‘Best Song’ and ‘Best Singer’ categories.
In early 2003, Rayan Lobsher and Michael Jay wrote Unstoppable especially for Natalia and invited her to take part in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest as the UK representative. However, Podolskaya was determined to sing only for her home country Belarus.
In 2004, Natalia Podolskaya got through the auditions and became a participant of Star Factory-5 in which she was taught by the best singing, dancing and acting teachers in Russia. It was here that Natalia met Victor Drobysh, the famous songwriter and producer. With his help she recorded her first album Pozdno ('Поздно', Late, 2004), which was released in December 2004 and was a success.
Turned down by Belarusians, Natallia decided to come to Eurovision as a representative of Russia. In February 2005, the Russian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest took place. TV viewers chose a winner by televoting. Natalia was chosen to represent Russia with her song Nobody Hurt No One at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev, Ukraine.