Laima Vaikule

Laima Vaikule (born 31 March 1954) is a Latvian actress, singer, director, and choreographer, best known in Europe and in the former USSR for such popular hits as "Vernisage" and "Charlie," among other songs.

Laima Vaikule
Iveta Vejone, Raimonds Vejonis and Laima Vaikule at Laima Rendez Vous Jurmala 2017 (cropped).jpg
Laima Vaikule in 2017
Born (1954-03-31) 31 March 1954 (age 67)
Cēsis, Latvia
OccupationSinger, actress
Years active1970–present


Vaikule was born on 31 March 1954, in Cēsis, Latvia. Her parents moved to Riga when she was three. Young Laima was fond of music and dancing. In 1966, at the age of 12, she took part in a competition of young singers and was noticed. Between 1970 and 1973, she studied nursing at the Vilnius Medical College, while also continuing to sing with a band. Eventually, she became a lead singer with a local band in Riga, Latvia and worked night gigs at local clubs and restaurants for several years. In the 1980s she studied acting and directing at Moscow State Institute for Theatrical Arts (GITIS), graduating as actress and director.

In 1985, Laima Vaikule made her first hit in the Soviet Union. Since 1986, Vaikule has been enjoying a fruitful collaboration with popular Latvian composer, Raimonds Pauls, and Russian poet Ilya Reznik, who wrote such hits as "Vernisage", "Charlie" and "Skripach na kryshe" ("Fiddler on the roof"). She is among the original organizers of the Jurmala Festival of popular music,[1] along with Raimonds Pauls. During the 1980s and 1990s Laima Vaikule was a regular participant at international music competitions and festivals across Europe. Vaikule was awarded the Golden Lyra at "Bratislavská Lýra, 87",[2] was a guest singer and a host at "Jurmala 92" festival, and also took part at "AU music world" in Monaco, among other festivals and competitions. She was awarded the title National Actress of Latvia and was awarded the Grand Prix (1996) for her special contribution to the music and culture of Latvia.

In a 2018 interview to the Ukrainian press, when asked about performing in the Russian-annexed Crimea, Vaikule responded "I won't go there, whatever royalties they offer me" and explained "I'm a citizen of the European Union, I don't have the right to travel there", receiving criticism from Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov and several cultural figures.[3] She later went on Russian national television, where she said her answer had been misinterpreted and what she meant was that the law forbids her from going to Crimea, not that she would not want to perform there. After asked by the anchor, whether she would perform in Crimea if no Latvian law forbade it, Vaikule answered positively.[4]

Laima Vaikule is currently living and working in Riga, Latvia and owns a second home in Moscow, Russia.

Laima Vaikule is an animal rights activist and a vegetarian.[5][6][7]

Popular songsEdit

  • It's Not Evening Yet
  • Yellow Leaves
  • Vernisage
  • What Does the Pianist Play
  • Fiddler On the Roof
  • Charlie
  • On Piccadilly Street

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ Novaya Volna. Official site
  2. ^ USSR Yearbook, 1988. Russia: Novosti, 1988. 42.
  3. ^ "Laima Vaikule: Latvian pop star angers Russia with Crimea snub". BBC. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Latvian singer Laima Vaikule faces Crimean controversy". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  5. ^ Российские знаменитости устроили акцию протеста на льдах Белого моря против убийства тюленей [Russian celebrities staged a protest on the White Sea ice against murdering of seals]. ИА Регнум. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  6. ^ Зона, свободная от убийства [Murder free Zone]. НТВ. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  7. ^ Зелёные знаменитости: вегетарианство входит в моду [Green celebrities: Vegetarianism is catching on]. Retrieved 3 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c "Биография Лаймы Вайкуле". РИА Новости. 1 March 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 07.07.2011 г. № 900 - О награждении орденом Дружбы Вайкуле Л." Presidential Executive Office (in Russian). 7 June 2011. Archived from the original on 18 April 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Certificate of Merit of the President of Latvia". Valsts prezidenta kanceleja. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  11. ^ ""Русское Радио" подвело итоги года: в Кремле состоялась XXIV Ежегодная Церемония вручения национальной музыкальной Премии "Золотой Граммофон"". Интерфакс (in Russian). 29 November 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2021.

External linksEdit