Kamaliya Zahoor (Ukrainian: Камалія Захур, Russian: Камалия Захур; born May 18) is a pop-dance music artist, opera-singer, songwriter, violinist, model, Hollywood actress and former Mrs. World.
Kamaliya (real name Natalya Shmarenkova; Russian: Наталья Шмаренкова) was born in Zabaikallye, Chita Oblast, Russia.
When Kamaliya turned three, her military father was deployed to Budapest, where she danced and sang in a children's ensemble called "The Jingle". When her family later moved to Lviv, she learned to play the violin and studied opera.
While in Lviv, Kamaliya and her family were affected by the Chernobyl disaster. During a family picnic, a heavy rain cloud appeared overhead and a downpour started, it turned out to have been a radioactive Chernobyl cloud. Ever since then, Kamaliya has been struggling with health problems.
In 1993 Kamaliya underwent lymph node cancer surgery, which was thought to have appeared due to the Chernobyl radiation. In 2007 the artist was diagnosed with serious thyroid problems and has been under constant observation by doctors and hormone medication ever since.
In 2003 Kamaliya wed the British/Pakistani influential publisher Mohammad Zahoor. Besides performing, Kamaliya’s other big love is animals. She has an extraordinary array of pets including 8 dogs, 2 rabbits, 3 cats, 3 parrots, and 5 horses. She is an avid horse rider.
In her native Russia/Ukraine, Kamaliya is a household name, icon and one of the most successful artists known on the international music arena. A regular on all of the major live music, fashion, life style events and television shows around the globe, she has appeared in limelight no less than 50 times this year.
As a stunning, one-woman powerhouse of creativity, Kamaliya has released four hit albums and is recognized by millions as a multi-talented, multi-award-winning performer who is about to make her mark on the UK and European dance scene working with mixers like Digital Dog and Buzz Junkies. As the go-to producers for top dance artists such as Armand Van Helden, Cascada, Robyn, and Kelis they have worked on her debut single 'Crazy In My Heart' which was released on December 12th, 2011 and became the Gay anthem immediately and topped the Club charts in the UK.
After that, she released two more singles "Arrhythmia" & "Rising UP" from her debut English language album "Kamaliya".
In 2012 she joined hands with "99 red balloons" producer Uwe Fahrenkrog- Peterson to release a single with the frontman of ex-Modern Talking Thomas Anders. The single was a hit in Eastern Europe. In 2013 she released 4 singles "Butterflies", "I'm alive", Love me like" & "Never wanna hurt you (Bad Love Baby)" from her extremely successful album "ClubOpera". The album was a combination of club music with Opera arias, both performed by Kamaliya. All singles got top positions in Europe and even gold status in certain countries. In September 2013, Kamaliya gave birth to twin baby girls Arabella & Mirabella, and remained out of the limelight for a while.
But in March 2016 she released her first single "Timeless" from her next album. The song has been No.1 for 8 weeks in the Austrian charts and in the Top 15 in the German and Swiss charts. Her single "Freedom" was the longest-living song in the German MTV 100 Charts being there for almost 3 years. Her latest single "You gimme lovin" is for almost a year in the German top 100 charts for now. Her singles "I'm Alive" and "Freedom" got a Gold disc in Austria. Kamaliya has won many accolades in her career including the equivalent of a Grammy for her hit ‘Is It Love’ which was nominated for Russia’s ‘Song of the Year’ and the title of Honored Artist of Ukraine for her outstanding achievements in developing Ukrainian culture which was given to her by The President of Ukraine in 2004. Crowned Mrs. World in 2008, Kamaliya is the only woman from there to have ever won a Global beauty contest. After winning, Kamaliya joined an international peace delegation to promote South Korea and she continues to use her success to help and support a range of charities.
Having performed charitably in orphanages since the age of 16, she has also participated in an "All Ukrainian Tour" against juvenile drug abuse and crime, an "All Ukrainian Charity Tour" in support of children with AIDS alongside actively helping the earthquake-affected people of North Pakistan by providing medicines, tents, food, blankets, and other much-needed supplies.
In 2006 Kamaliya took part in an International Congress on Disaster Management in Islamabad as a Good Will Ambassador while in 2007 she went on a charity mission to Pakistan where all of the proceeds were handed to the government of Pakistan to fund the infrastructure of medical research facilities for children with heart problems and to build a HIT education complex in Taxila, Pakistan. After this mission in 2008, Kamaliya won the prestigious “Person of the Year Award” alongside “Good Will Ambassador” awards. She has also taken part in an international charity program called “We Live on One Planet”, to protect animals included in the Red Book.
In September 2013 Kamaliya gave birth to twin girls -Arabella & Mirabella. Since then Kamaliya is more involved in, besides her singer carrier, children's charities, domestic violence, and family values. Her Foundation has donated complete equipment worth millions of dollars to the ICU unit of the Kyiv pediatric Cardio Surgery Center. This equipment yearly saves the lives of about 10000 children.
Since March 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and started the war in the Donbas and Luhansk areas of Ukraine, Kamaliya cut her ties with Russia where she was a very popular singer. Since 24th February when Russia invaded Ukraine, Kamaliya became a volunteer and she and her charities based in Germany, Poland, and Ukraine help Ukrainian Army at the frontlines and Ukrainian refugees in Europe, particularly, in Germany. She also took the mission of Pakistan's flood awareness to the outside world and raised funds for the flood affectees.
After her success in the Mrs World Pageant Kamaliya used her talent as an actress to diversify into the film. In 2010 she debuted in the comedy “My Widow’s Husband” alongside a host of popular Russian actors. Kamaliya played the lead in the hit film. She went on to film another comedy in the form of ‘Million up to the sky’ where she had the female lead playing a seductive assistant who escorts her all-too-busy and married boss everywhere he goes. Kamaliya played the lead role in the Malaysian-UAE sci-fi movie "Mantera" in 2010. She acted in a major Hollywood blockbuster “Officer Down” in 2012 featuring Stephen Dorff, James Woods, Stephen Lang, and Vincent Purcell. She played in the 8-episode comedy ”Fathers & Sons” where she plays the lead female role. In the film, What about Love, produced by Klaus Menzel, Kamaliya plays the part of the Eastern European origin wife of the US ambassador in Romania who also is an established singer alongside such notable actors as Sharon Stone & Andy Garcia. The film is planned for release in 2024. From 2012-2013 - she was the main character of the Ukrainian reality show "Riches cry too" - a replica of Wives of New York.
Kamaliya got worldwide fame due to her lead role in the FOX reality show "Meet the Russians" released in 2013.