Valentina's father is a Gypsy violinist Dmitriy Ponomaryov, her mother is a Russian pianist Irina Lukashova. Valentina was born when her parents were students of the Moscow Conservatory and lived in a student dormitory. Valentina was growing among classical European and Gypsy music.
Her parents travelled a lot so Valentina studied at many schools. After she finished her school she entered the Khabarovsk Arts Institute. She studied both vocal and piano. As a student she learnt about jazz and took a great interest in it.
Valentina took external degrees and was invited to a theater to act the part of a Gypsy singer in a dramatic play "The Living Corpse" (by Lev Tolstoy). Her role included several songs and was a great success with the audience.
In 1971 the singer left the band and became an actress in the Gypsy "Romen" theatre in Moscow. In 1973, trio "Romen" performed on stage, with Valentina as a singer. In 1973 the trio was the laureate of the USSR Variety Performers Contest.