Doda (singer)Dorota Rabczewska-Stępień (born 15 February 1984), known professionally as Doda, is a Polish singer-songwriter, actress, producer, and television personality. A two-time MTV Europe Music Award winner, she is among the most successful Polish artists in terms of number of prizes won. Doda is notable for her innovative and controversial performances and music videos. She rose to fame as a member of the Polish rock band Virgin, with whom she released three studio albums: Virgin (2002), Bimbo (2004), and the triple platinum Ficca (2005). After the group disbanded in 2007, she continued with a solo career, releasing two platinum albums: Diamond Bitch (2007) and 7 pokus głównych (2011). In 2016, Virgin reunited and released their fourth studio album Choni. In 2018, Doda made her acting debut in a feature film Pitbull. Ostatni pies, and the following year she released her third solo studio album Dorota.
Doda was featured on CNN's list of 10 most famous Poles in history in 2008. She was also included on the list of 50 best Polish female vocalists compiled by Machina in 2010, while Polish magazine Viva! listed her among 10 most influential women in Poland in 2011. Wprost named Doda one of the 100 most influential Poles in 2011 and one of the 50 most influential Poles in 2019, and featured her on its lists of 50 most influential Polish celebrities and 50 most influential Polish women in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Forbes Poland included her in its annual ranking of 100 most-valuable stars of Polish show business every year since 2006 until it was last published in 2014. Helen Pidd of The Guardian named her "one of the most successful Polish musical artists of all time."
Life and career
Early lifeDorota Rabczewska was born in Ciechanów, Poland. In her youth, she was coached in athletics for four years (long jump, 100 metres). She won the Voivodeship Championships for 100 and 60 meters, long jump and shot put. She also won bronze in the Polish Championships. She then quit sports for a musical career. She started her musical career in 1998 as a teenager, at the Buffo Theater in Warsaw. Simultaneously, she took singing lessons from Elżbieta Zapendowska, one of the most famous singing coaches in Poland.
2000–2006: Virgin eraAfter auditioning at the age of 16, Doda became the vocalist for the Polish hard rock band Virgin. In 2002, they made their debut by releasing their first studio album titled Virgin. It was promoted by two singles: "To Ty" and "Mam tylko Ciebie". To promote the band and the album further, Doda took part in the Polish version of the reality TV series called The Bar.
Two years after their debut, the band released their second studio album called Bimbo. It was released on 17 May 2004. The album debuted at number one on the Polish Album Sales Chart. The first single to be released from the album was "Dżaga". It became their first mainstream hit. In its music video, Doda and her future husband Radosław Majdan – Polish goalkeeper are seen having sex. The next singles were ballads "Kolejny raz" and "Nie zawiedź mnie". To promote Bimbo Virgin embarked on their first concert tour Bimbo Tour.
After a line-up change the group performed their new single, a power-ballad "Znak pokoju", at the Sopot International Song Festival and won its Viewers' Choice Award. It was also their breakthrough hit on the radio. On 17 October 2005, they released their third studio album called Ficca, this time with more radio-friendly pop-rock sound. It was promoted during their second concert tour called Ficca Tour. The next single was a ballad "2 bajki", another huge hit in their career.
In April 2006, Doda was rushed to the hospital due to a problem with her intervertebral disc making the band fall into a hiatus for a while. After having complicated spinal surgery she returned with a voice role on the Polish version of the film Asterix and the Vikings taking the role of Abba. Later that year, the group released their new hit called "Szansa", which was inspired by Doda's surgery. The song won the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole. Also, the reissue of Ficca was released. It spent six weeks at number one on the Polish Album Sales Chart and sold over 100,000 copies, becoming the best-selling album of their career. Ficca was certified triple platinum by the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry (ZPAV).
The group toured North America, where Doda had to be rushed to the hospital for a second time due to her spine injury. By the end of the year, Doda had terminated her contract with her manager. On 1 January 2007, the founder of Virgin and its guitarist, Tomasz Lubert, announced that he would finish his involvement with the band, leading the group to be disbanded while Doda continued her career as a solo artist.
2007–2010: Solo career and Diamond Bitch era
In 2007, Doda signed a solo contract with Universal Music Poland. On 27 June, she released her first solo studio album called Diamond Bitch. It was preceded by the single, "Katharsis", which was released in June. To promote the album Doda embarked on her first solo concert tour called Diamond Tour; some concerts took place outside Poland, in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The album went straight to number one on the Polish Album Sales Chart and stayed there for five consecutive weeks. The album received platinum certification from ZPAV for sales of over 45,000 units. "To jest to" was chosen as the second single to promote the album. However, the biggest hit, "Nie daj się", was released in June 2008. It received huge radio airplay and topped many radio charts. It remains the biggest hit of Doda's solo career to date. In August 2008, the reissue of Diamond Bitch was released. Later that year, Doda starred as herself in the film Serce na dłoni directed by Krzysztof Zanussi. In 2009, two final singles from Diamond Bitch were released: "Rany" and "Dziękuję".
During the Diamond Bitch era, Doda won eleven awards at VIVA Comet making her the most successful artist to have won that award in the world along with Tokio Hotel (they also won 11 awards). She won Video of the Year award for three years in a row and the Artist of the Decade award. She won two MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Polish Act and came second in the Best European Act category in 2009. At the 2008 National Festival of Polish Song in Opole Doda received the Superjedynka Award for Best Artist.
In March 2010, a tour called Rock'n'Roll Palace Tour began. It lasted a year.
2010–2013: 7 pokus głównych eraIn June 2010, Doda released the English-language version of the first single from her second studio album, "Bad Girls". In July, the Polish-language version of the song was released. "Bad Girls" became a big hit, particularly in 2011, after the premiere of its big-budget music video, delayed due to the illness of her then-fiancé Nergal, leader of the death metal group Behemoth. Her second studio album, 7 pokus głównych, was released on 30 May 2011. This time Doda presented a brand new electro-rock music style. The album was released with seven different covers, each representing different temptation; all covers are the same edition of the album. It sold over 30,000 copies and was certified platinum by ZPAV. Songs from the album were also recorded in English and were meant to be released internationally under the title The 7 Temptations. However, the material remains unreleased. Only few demos were uploaded onto Doda's official YouTube channel and her official website. These include "Let's Get It Started", "My Way or No Way", "XXX" and "Singing in the Chains" which earned Doda 2014 World Music Award nomination for the World's Best Song.
7 pokus głównych was promoted during Doda's third headling tour, The Seven Temptations Tour, which began in May 2011, and lasted a year and a half. "XXX" was the second single released from 7 pokus głównych. Its music video, as well as the music video for "Bad Girls", are considered the best in Polish music history. In September 2011, Doda received her third MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Polish Act. In November 2011, she became a columnist for the Polish edition of Maxim magazine, writing for its first two issues In December, she posed for Playboy USA.
In February 2012, Doda released a song "Kac Wawa", theme from the Polish comedy movie of the same name. Also in February Doda won VIVA Comet Award for Video of the Year for "XXX". By doing so she surpassed the record previously held by Tokio Hotel and herself and became the only artist in the world to win 12 VIVA Comet Awards. It is also Doda's fourth Video of the Year award. In June, she released a collaboration with her best friend and impersonator Dżaga titled "Twa Energia". At the end of 2012, another single from 7 pokus głównych was released. It was a collaboration with Polish rap legend Fokus, "Fuck It". Its controversial music video with scenes of violence between both artists, was banned on TV. However, it managed to gain popularity on the internet and on a day of its premiere it was viewed over million times on YouTube. The last single from the album was a haunty electro-ballad titled "Electrode", released in 2013.
2013–present: Fly High Tour – Doda Live, singles, acting and Virgin reunionIn December 2012, Doda signed a new recording deal with EMI Music Poland (since 2014 part of Warner Music Poland). Shortly afterwards she began the recordings of her third solo studio album. In May 2013, she embarked on a brand new, one-and-a-half-year tour, Fly High Tour – the first in her career to be filmed and released on DVD as Fly High Tour – Doda Live. In October 2013, Doda released a single called "Wkręceni (High Life)", recorded for the Polish comedy movie Wkręceni.
In 2014, she signed a new contract with her former label Universal Music Poland. On the New Year's Eve 2014, she released a new single "Riotka", which was later certified platinum by ZPAV. Its English-language version was recorded and released as "Not Over You". In May 2015, Doda's fifth solo concert tour, Riotka Tour began. One of its concerts was filmed in November 2016 and released on DVD in 2017. On 25 June 2015, a single called "Nie pytaj mnie" was released. It went on to receive a gold certification from ZPAV. Both "Riotka" and "Nie pytaj mnie" were written by Chelcee Grimes who previously worked with Kylie Minogue and The Saturdays. In October 2015, Doda's manager announced that "Riotka" and "Nie pytaj mnie" would remain as stand-alone singles and would not be included on singer's third studio album as she's taking different musical direction; the album is yet to be released as Doda currently records with her former band Virgin since their reunion in 2016.
On 20 November 2015, Doda performed with Slash at his concert from World on Fire World Tour which took place in Poland. She sang "Sweet Child o' Mine".
In May 2016, she was cast as Andżelika (Angelica) in IMKA Theatre's play called Słownik Ptaszków Polskich.
In August 2016, Virgin announced their reunion. That same month, they released their first single in ten years, "Hard Heart". In November, Virgin released their fourth studio album Choni. Its most successful single, "Kopiuj-wklej", was certified gold in Poland.
In 2017, Doda guest starred in the TV series Daleko od noszy. Reanimacja as Aniela. The following year, she starred in a feature film Pitbull. Ostatni pies directed by Władysław Pasikowski, which she also co-produced. She played Mira and received favourable reviews for her performance.
Her third solo studio album, Dorota, was released in 2019. It charted at number four in Poland.
Doda was born to Paweł Rabczewski (a weightlifter) and Wanda. She has a nine-year-older half-brother Rafał with the same mother. He was her road manager. She also has a twelve-year-older half-brother Grzegorz and sixteen-year-younger half-sister Paulina with the same father.
In 2003, she met her future husband Polish goalkeeper, Radosław Majdan. He later proposed to her during their vacation in Jerusalem, Israel, and they were married on 5 March 2005. Three years later, in May 2008, the couple divorced.
On 9 May 2009, it became public that she had a relationship with the frontman of the blackened death metal band Behemoth, Adam Darski (aka Nergal). In December 2009, the couple got engaged.. Darski was diagnosed with leukemia, Doda offered her own bone marrow for transplant but it did not match. Doda appealed to the wider public for marrow donations, which resulted in great public response and Darski receiving the right transplant and recovering from the illness. In March 2011, it was reported the couple had called off the engagement and broken up. That same year, Doda started dating a choreographer Błażej Szychowski. Since 2014, she was in a relationship with a businessman Emil Haidar. In July 2015, they got engaged. However, in November 2015, Doda released a statement announcing that their relationship was over.
On 14 April 2018, she married a film producer Emil Stępień in a private ceremony in Marbella, Spain. They got engaged the previous year, however, they did not make their relationship public until after they got married.
Doda is a member of Mensa Poland.
Blasphemy chargesIn May 2010, the Warsaw prosecutor's office charged Doda with the crime of "offending religious sensibilities" for remarking in a year-earlier television interview that she believed more in dinosaurs than she did in the Bible because "it is hard to believe in something written by people who drank too much wine and smoked weed." In January 2012, she was found guilty and fined 5,000 złoty by local court Warszawa-Mokotów. Her appeal was not effective. In June 2012, district court in Warsaw upheld the verdict of the local court.
Some of Polish publicists, as politician Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, logician Wojciech Krysztofiak, pharmacologist Jerzy Vetulani and members of Palikot's Movement criticized the judgment. Doda commented that "she was a victim of Polish anachronistic jurisdiction" and said that she will submit the case to European Court of Human Rights for consideration.
As lead artist
As featured artist
As lead artist
As featured artist
Tours; Solo tours
; As guest act