Vahtang Kikabidze

Vahtang Kikabidze

Georgian singer
Date of Birth: 19.07.1938
Country: Georgia

Biography of Vakhtang Kikabidze

Vakhtang (Buba) Kikabidze was born on July 19, 1938 in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Although his mother was a professional singer, Vakhtang did not feel any inclination towards singing himself. Instead, he had a passion for drawing. Despite their difficult living conditions, his mother supported his artistic pursuits, even though she worried about his future as an artist.

Vakhtang's interest in music developed later in his life, during his senior years of school. He discovered his love for music when he started attending rehearsals of a local amateur orchestra with his friends. Witnessing his peers and older boys perform and sing with a microphone amazed him. He began attending rehearsals of a student orchestra, where he played the drums and occasionally filled in as a singer for his sick brother.

Academically, Vakhtang did not excel, particularly in mathematics, which caused him to repeat his second year three times. After finishing school, he enrolled in Tbilisi University, but he never completed his studies, just like his time at the Institute of Foreign Languages from 1961 to 1963. His true passion was music, and he was willing to dedicate himself entirely to it. He said, "I did not want to study, eat, or drink. I wanted to be in the Philharmonic!"

In 1959, Kikabidze started working at the Tbilisi Philharmonic and went on his first tour with a Georgian pop band. He performed songs in Georgian, Russian, Italian, and English, and he was particularly skilled at imitating popular foreign performers. However, he soon realized that he needed to find his own style. He later formed a group called "Velo" with his friends, and in 1967, they established the band "Ore-oro," where Kikabidze became the lead singer.

Kikabidze made his debut in cinema in 1966, starring in the musical comedy "Meeting in the Mountains" directed by Nikolai Sanishvili, alongside renowned Georgian actress Leila Abashidze. Three years later, the famous director Georgiy Daneliya invited Kikabidze to play the lead role of a young doctor named Benjamin Glonti in his tragicomedy "Don't Grieve!" It was a significant risk to cast someone without any formal acting training or substantial film experience. However, the film, featuring notable actors such as David Abashidze, Evgeny Leonov, Sergey Filippov, Anastasia Vertinskaya, and Frunzik Mkrtchyan, was a huge success. It received numerous awards at international film festivals, and Kikabidze won the Best Actor award at the International Film Festival in the Spanish city of Cartagena.

Kikabidze continued to act in films, though less frequently. He appeared in the detective film "The Investigator" by Georgiy Kalatozishvili, followed by notable roles in films such as "Melodies of Vera Quarter" by Georgiy Shengelaya, "Entirely Lost" by Georgiy Daneliya, and "The Missing Expedition" by Veniamin Dorman.

However, his popularity reached new heights with Georgiy Daneliya's comedy film "Mimino," where Kikabidze portrayed a pilot from a small Georgian village who dreams of flying large airplanes. The whole country fell in love with the song "Chita-Grita-Chita-Margarita" performed by Kikabidze in the film. The song became a national sensation and was requested on radio and television programs.

In addition to his film career, Kikabidze pursued a solo music career. He toured all five continents, performing in prestigious venues such as the London Palladium. In 1996, he was included in the international encyclopedia "Who's Who," and in 1999, his star was laid in the "Star Square" in Moscow.

In 2000, Kikabidze collaborated again with Georgiy Daneliya, playing the role of Captain Foma Kalandadze in the comedy film "Fortune." The movie was filmed on a small riverboat and barge on the Volga River in Nizhny Novgorod. Kikabidze, being an avid fisherman, enjoyed the filming experience.

Despite being known for his charm with women, Kikabidze has been married to Irina, a soloist at the Opera and Ballet Theater, for many years. They met in the early 1960s and soon got married. They have two children, Konstantin and Marina, and three grandchildren.

Overall, Vakhtang Kikabidze has had a successful career in both music and acting. He has become a beloved figure in Georgian cinema, known for his roles in films such as "Don't Grieve," "Mimino," "Melodies of Vera Quarter," "Entirely Lost," and "TASS Is Authorized to Declare." Although he has acted less frequently since the early 1990s, he continues to dedicate his time to his solo endeavors.