Dinmukhamed (“Dimash”) Kanatuly Kudaibergen was born on 24 May 1994 in Aktobe, to Kanat Kudaibergenuly Aitbayev (Kazakh: Қанат Құдайбергенұлы Айтбаев) and Svetlana Aitbayeva (Kazakh: Светлана Айтбаева). His father Kanat Aitbayev previously led the regional Cultural Development Board of Aktobe. His mother Svetlana Aitbayeva is a soprano singer at the Aktobe Philharmonic Society, a Member of the Standing Committee on Social and Cultural Development (Deputy of Maslihat of Aktobe region) and Artistic Director of the children’s studio Saz in the Aktobe region.
Kudaibergen was brought up in a close-knit musical family, and his grandparents played a major role in his upbringing, which follows a traditional Kazakh custom.
Kudaibergen began performing at a young age, singing and playing the piano. His first appearance on stage was at the age of two in a minor role in a local theatre production. At home Kudaibergen took an interest in musical instruments, and his parents and his music teacher noticed that he had absolute pitch. At the age of five, he began to take piano and vocal lessons at the children’s studio of the local music college. Kudaibergen first sang on stage the same year, at the age of five. At the age of six, in 2000, he won the national piano contest Aynalayin.
At the age of five, Kudaibergen began to take piano and vocal lessons at the children’s studio of Aktobe’s Akhmet Zhubanov Music College. He later attended Gymnasium No. 32 in Aktobe. Kudaibergen completed a Broadway Musical master class in 2009. In 2014 he graduated in Classical Music with Major in Vocal (Bel Canto) from the music institute of K. Zhubanov University in Aktobe. He began his studies in Contemporary Music (Jazz, Pop) at Kazakh National University of Arts in Astana, where he graduated with Major in Vocal on 27 June 2018. On 18 June 2020, he graduated from the same university with a Master’s Degree in Composition by defending his Master’s thesis with a perfect score, and receiving a recommendation for admission to doctoral studies in music.
He speaks Kazakh and Russian, and is studying English and Mandarin. He has performed songs in 12 different languages, Kazakh, Russian, English, Mandarin, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Serbian, Turkish, Ukrainian and Kyrgyz.
2010–2014: Early career
From 2010 to 2013 Kudaibergen participated in and won four major singing competitions, in Kazakhstan (Sonorous Voices of Baikonur, 2010, and Zhas Kanat, 2012), Ukraine (Oriental Bazaar, 2012), and Kyrgyzstan (Meikin Asia, 2013).
With winning the prestigious National Zhas Kanat Contest in 2012, Kudaibergen gained for the first time wide attention from the Kazakh national media. He won the three-day vocal competition with a full jury score of 180 out of 180 points; the first time in the history of the contest. That same year he released his first self-composed work “Körkemim” (Kazakh: Көркемім). In 2013 he was invited to perform as a guest singer at the Türkçevizyon Gala Night in Denizli, Turkey. Kudaibergen continued to perform in public.
In December 2014, Kudaibergen was awarded a laureate of the State Youth Prize Daryn.
2015–2016: Slavianski Bazaar, international performances and Unforgettable Day Tour
Following his graduation, Kudaibergen performed in various European and Asian countries. In 2015, he was invited to participate at the Slavic Bazaar in Vitebsk, Belarus, an annual international contest for prominent singers, after one of the organizers had seen him perform live in Kazakhstan. Kudaibergen went on to win the Grand Prix on 13 July 2015, with a score of 175 points out of 180. During the three days of the contest, he was the clear favorite of both the jury and audience. With his original renditions of the Kazakh folk song “Daididau”, the Russian singer Alla Pugacheva‘s “Blizzard Again” (Russian: Опять Метель) and the French singer Daniel Balavoine’s “SOS d’un terrien en détresse”, he gained wide recognition from the jury and international media. Chairman of the jury, Polad Bülbüloğlu, stated that Kudaibergen possessed three voices in one: a low and medium voice, and altino, a rare voice, and that he used all of them professionally.
Upon winning Slavianski Bazaar, Kudaibergen regularly appeared in national TV shows and public events. His guest performances included at Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy; at the theatrical show Mangilik El, dedicated to the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate; at the 2015 Eurasia International Film Festival in Almaty; and he performed at an Astana Opera Concert that was attended by the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Kudaibergen released his second own composition “Unforgettable Day” in August 2015. In October 2015, Kudaibergen was selected to represent Kazakhstan at the 2015 ABU TV Song Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. Kudaibergen performed “Daididau”, receiving a standing ovation. In November, Kudaibergen performed at the closing ceremony of Mary – Culture and Arts Capital of the Turkic World festival, in Turkmenistan.
Kudaibergen released his self-titled debut extended play (EP) on 1 January 2016. He appeared on various TV shows singing “My Swan” (Kazakh: Аққуым) in a duet with Mayra Muhammad-kyzy. In February 2016, his rendition of “Daididau” was selected by the European Broadcasting Union to represent Kazakhstan in their “Around the World in 80 Minutes of Music” program dedicated to the World Radio Day 2016 that was played by radio stations around the world. In March Kudaibergen sang with his parents at the Women’s Day concert in Astana, and took part in the “All Stars for My Beloved” concert dedicated to International Women’s Day at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow. In March and April, he went on tour with the Kazakh University of Arts Symphony Orchestra in Vienna, Austria; Maribor, Slovenia; and Belgrade, Serbia, performing “SOS d’un terrien en détresse” and “Daididau”.
Kudaibergen had his first headlined tour from April to December 2016, holding 25 concerts in 25 regions of Kazakhstan, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of independence of Kazakhstan, as well as two concerts in Kazan and Ufa, Russia. He named his tour Unforgettable Day, after his own song by the same name. The concerts consisted of a wide variety of songs in various languages.
In July 2016, he was invited to perform at the Slavic Bazaar opening ceremony in Belarus, where he sang a duet with Nagima Eskalieva, and was also honored to raise the flag of the festival. In 2016 Kudaibergen also served as a judge at Bala Dausy 2016 (Voice of Children 2016),
Other performance highlights of Kudaibergen in 2016 included his guest performance at the annual Zhas Kanat Contest; and his performances of “Diva Dance” at an Astana Day Concert that was attended by the President of Kazakhstan; of the rap song “I Am Kazakh” (with Yerbolat and Alashuly) at Almaty’s 1000th Birthday Gala Concert; at a UNESCO event in Paris, France; his performance at the Turkic Culture Festival in Seoul, South Korea, performing for the presidents of South Korea, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan; and he represented Kazakhstan, alongside baritone Sundet Baigozhin, as a guest singer at the Big Opera 2016 TV competition in Russia.
In November 2016, the director of Astana Opera State Theatre, Toleubek Alpiyev, invited Kudaibergen to work as an opera singer, stating that his voice would be “ideal for baroque opera”, but he decided to pursue a career in contemporary music.
2017: Singer, success in China and solo concert Bastau
In early 2017, Kudaibergen appeared in the fifth season of Hunan Television‘s I Am a Singer under the recommendation of director Hong Tao, and signed a contract with Black Gold Talent in Beijing. At 22, he was the youngest participant in the history of the show, and competed against professional and top-selling Chinese singers as a ‘wildcard’ competitor. Kudaibergen’s mother later said that he hoped to reach at least the middle stage of the competition.
|showSinger 2017 – Ranking of Dimash Kudaibergen|
In Episode 1 of Singer 2017 Kudaibergen sang “SOS d’un terrien en détresse”. With winning this episode, Kudaibergen’s name became prominent in social media and his success made headlines in China, Kazakhstan as well as French media and TV programs.
Kudaibergen also won Episode 2, with his version of Vitas’ “Opera 2”, and came in third in Episode 3 with his rendition of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On“. Hunan TV and the Chinese media named him “a bridge for Kazakh-Chinese cultural cooperation”. Between the recordings of episodes 3 and 4 of, Kudaibergen performed at the 2017 Winter Universiade Opening Ceremony, singing Sarah Brightman’s “A Question of Honor” with Zarina Altynbayeva. He performed his first ever Mandarin song, “Late Autumn” (Chinese: 秋意浓) in Episode 4 and ranked 3rd. During the broadcast of Episode 4, Kudaibergen’s meeting with Jackie Chan, his childhood idol, was shown. Kudaibergen won Episode 6 with his rendition of Lara Fabian’s “Adagio” – a performance which was praised by Fabian.
For Episode 7 Kudaibergen performed his rendition of the traditional Kazakh folk song “Daididau”, accompanied by the Folk Instrumental Ensemble of Kudaibergen’s university, the Kazakh National University of Arts. Kudaibergen and the instrumentalists performed wearing traditional Kazakh costumes (shapan). He started the performance by playing a traditional piece named “Adai” (Kazakh: Адай) on the dombra, and then sang “Daididau”. He came in third. His performance was received positively and sparked interest in Kazakh music and culture in China. Kudaibergen later said in an interview that this gave him the opportunity to “make sure once again that music knows no boundaries”. After the broadcast of Episode 7, a documentary about Kudaibergen aired on Hunan TV.
Kudaibergen sang his own song “Unforgettable Day” for Episode 10, with a section of the lyrics translated into Mandarin. He came in third place. Within a few days “Unforgettable Day” reached the top of the Fresh Asia Music Charts. On 5 April, he released his first Chinese single “Eternal Memories” (Chinese: 拿不走的记忆), theme song of the movie Battle of Memories (Chinese: 记忆大师).
In Episode 12 of Singer, the semi-final, Kudaibergen sang Adriano Celentano‘s “Confessa” in Italian, followed by “The Diva Dance” from the movie The Fifth Element. He placed second and was promoted to the final. On 12 April, he released his single “Go Go Power Rangers”, theme song of the movie Power Rangers in China.
In the final of Singer 2017, Kudaibergen sang “A Tribute to MJ” in a duet with Laure Shang. He finished Singer 2017 as runner-up. For the final episode of Singer 2017, Episode 14, the gala episode, Kudaibergen performed a new song in Kazakh, “Give Me Love” (Kazakh: Маxаббат Бер Маған; Makhabbat Ber Magan).
During Singer, Kudaibergen appeared on various Chinese TV programs, including “Happy Camp”, My Boyfriend’s A Superstar/Fan Fan Boyfriend and Come Sing with Me (where fans were selected to sing with their idol); and had many other performances in China, including at the Chinese Top Ten Music Awards in Shanghai, where he won his first Chinese Award, namely for “Best Asian Singer”; at the Top Chinese Music Awards in Shenzhen, China, which are considered to be the Asian equivalent to the Grammy Awards, where he performed “Unforgettable Day” accompanied by Ouyang Nana on the piano, and won the “Most Popular International Singer” Award; and at the Meeting on the Silk Road Gala, held by the Embassy of Kazakhstan and China’s Department of Culture, in Beijing.
Upon returning to Kazakhstan after the completion of Singer 2017, he was welcomed with a congratulatory event in Astana.
Following Singer 2017, Kudaibergen appeared and performed on numerous TV shows and public events in China, Kazakhstan and France.
His performances in France included his performance of “SOS d’un terrien en détresse” in the popular France 2 TV show Les Années Bonheur; his charity performances at the Global Gift Galas in Paris and Cannes (to which he was invited by the foundation’s Honorary Chair Eva Longoria); at the Cannes Film Festival. and at the Ruhani Zhangyru UNESCO Gala in Paris.
On 27 June 2017 he held his first large-scale solo concert Bastau (“Beginning”) in Astana, Kazakhstan. Most of the three-hour concert was accompanied by a live orchestra; guest singers included Terry Lin, Loreen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Marat Aitimov; and Kudaibergen performed duets with Maira Mukhamedkyzy, Kristina Orbakaitė and with his parents, Svetlana Aitbayeva and Kanat Aitbayev. Along with popular pieces from Singer 2017 and pre-Singer, he also debuted his new songs “My Star” (Kazakh: Жұлдызым), “Without You” (Kazakh: Кім екен), “Last Word” (Kazakh: Сөз соңы), and “Leyla” (Kazakh: Лейла). Bastau was well-received and sold out to a crowd of around 30,000 people.
In July, Kudaibergen’s new song “Ocean over Time” (Chinese: 时光·沧海) was released in China as the theme song for the game Moonlight Blade, that later won a Hollywood Music in Media Award. In the same month he sang at the Closing Ceremony of Slavic Bazaar in Vitebsk, Belarus, where his international career had started in 2015; and performed several songs for the audience of the 2017 Eurasia International Film Festival and its honorary guests Nicolas Cage and Adrien Brody.
On 16 September, Kudaibergen performed as the headliner at the Gakku Open-Air Festival in Almaty, to a crowd of 150,000 people. Prior to this event, his highest recorded note was G#7 in whistle register, on par with Mariah Carey. At the Gakku Festival, he surpassed himself by hitting D8 during “Unforgettable Day”.
2018: Continued success in China and breakthrough in Russia
In 2018, Kudaibergen continued having numerous performances in China. To highlight a few; He performed “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Auld Lang Syne” (in Mandarin), accompanied by pianists Wu Muye and Maksim Mrvica, at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala; “Jasmine” in a duet with the Grammy-winner Wu Tong at the Chinese New Year Gala; a rendition of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” as a guest performer at Singer 2018; and “Daididau”, accompanied by an orchestra, at the One Belt One Road Gala. He was invited as guest and performer at the “Choose Big Star” variety show; performed “You and Me” in a duet with Wáng Lì at the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival, and premiered his first English single “Screaming” at the “Idol Hits” show. In December he performed his own composition “Unforgettable Day” at the Miss World 2018 Final, and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” at the Hainan International Film Festival.
In May, Kudaibergen performed at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. In July, he appeared at the Slavic Bazaar 2018 in Vitebsk, Belarus, as a judge and guest performer, and sang “SOS d’un terrien en détresse”. In September, he participated as a guest at the international contest for young pop singers New Wave in Sochi, Russia, where he performed “Sinful Passion” for the first time, and sang “Adagio” at the closing ceremony.
In November 2018 his collaboration with the renowned Russian composer Igor Krutoy started with their first single “Love of Tired Swans” (Russian: “Любовь уставших лебедей”, “Lyubov’ ustavshikh lebedey“). Many performances in Russia followed and in December, at the annual “Pesnya Goda” Gala in Moscow, “Love of Tired Swans” was awarded one of the best songs of 2018.
2019: The World’s Best in the United States and solo concert Arnau
In early 2019, Kudaibergen participated in the CBS talent competition The World’s Best, in which he was presented to the US audience as the “Six Octave Man” and “man with the world’s widest vocal range”. He performed “SOS d’un terrien en détresse” in the audition round and “All by Myself” in the battle round. Despite being listed as front-runner, Kudaibergen withdrew from the competition after his performance of “Adagio” in the champions round (semi-final), citing that he wished to leave the opportunity to younger performers (the other two contestants of this round were the 13-year-old Indian pianist Lydian Nadhaswaram and the 12-year-old Kazakh singer Daneliya Tuleshova).
He held his second large-scale solo concert, Arnau, in the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on 29 June 2019, and the sell-out performance attracted 40.000 people from 64 countries.
In 2019, the collaboration with Igor Krutoy continued with the songs “Mademoiselle Hyde”, “Love is Like a Dream” (Russian: Любовь, похожая на сон), “Know” (Russian: Знай), “Olimpico” (also known as “Ogni Pietra”), “Where Love Lives” (Russian: Там, где живет любовь), “Passione”, “Ulisse” (duet with Aida Garifullina) and “Ti Amo Così” (with Aida Garifullina and Lara Fabian), “Love of Tired Swans” (Russian: Любовь уставших лебедей) . In October and November, he joined Krutoy as a guest performer on the Igor Krutoy Anniversary Tour, performing in New York City, Dubai, Minsk, and Düsseldorf.
On 5 December 2019, Kudaibergen was awarded “Best Vocalist in Classical Music” and won a Special Prize for “Discovery of the Year” at the Russian National Music Awards “Victoria” that are considered the Russian equivalent to the Grammy Awards.
Kudaibergen gave his first solo concert in the USA on 10 December 2019. The show was titled Arnau Envoy and took place at the Barclays Center in New York. The venue was sold out with 19,000 spectators from 63 countries.
Among Kudaibergen’s 2019 performances in Russia were his guest performances at the New Wave in Sochi, his headlining performance at the closing ceremony of the WorldSkills championships in Kazan, and the Igor Krutoy Anniversary Gala on Ice in Moscow.
He also had more performances in China, including a Queen medley that he performed with the Super Vocal Finalists at Singer 2019; a headlining performance at the Mount Emei Music Festival; at the Asian Culture Carnival; at the Opening Ceremony of the Jackie Chan International Action Film Week; at the Closing and Award Ceremony of the Silk Road International Film Festival; and a guest performance at Masked Singer China.
Other international performances included the premiere of his song “Olimpico” (also known as “Ogni Pietra”) at the Opening Ceremony of the European Games in Minsk, Belarus; and he represented Kazakhstan at the 2019 ABU TV Song Festival in Tokyo, Japan, performing “SOS d’un terrien en détresse”.