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MOSCOW — Pop star and actor Justin Timberlake has added two Russian gigs to his 2014 European tour.
It will be the first time Timberlake has performed in Russia.
The Grammy- and Emmy-award winning talent will perform May 15 in St. Petersburg and May 17 in Moscow after playing venues in Northern Europe and Scandinavia.
Tickets go on sale to the public Nov. 23, with pre-sales for fan club members opening Nov. 20.
The first gig, at St. Petersburg’s Soviet-era SKK (Sport and Concert Complex), is scheduled three days after the last of Timberlake’s Scandinavian dates, at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland, which has already sold out. The second Russian gig is at Moscow’s Olympic sports stadium, built to host field and track events during the city’s 1980s Olympic games.
Designed to promote his latest two-part album, The 20/20 Experience, this is Timberlake’s first solo tour in six years.
The album has sold nearly four million copies, and tracks from it have hit the U.K.’s Billboard Top 100.
Recent performances in Russia by international stars have been marked by controversy.
A court in St. Petersburg this week fined the organizers of a concert given in the city last year by Lady Gaga after ruling the show had breached laws on the promotion of homosexuality and alcohol consumption to young people.
A similar case over a performance by Madonna in the city was thrown out by another local court last year.
Timberlake was last in Russia in 2011, when he was in Moscow to promote Friends With Benefits with his co-star, Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis. At a press conference she sprang to his defense when a Russian reporter asked why Timberlake had given up singing for acting.
A bristling Kunis snapped back in fluent Russian: “Why cinema? Why are you here?!”
When a bemused Timberlake realized what was going on, turning to Kunis, he joked: “This is my bodyguard.”
The two were reported to be romantically linked at the time.
Timberlake has a large following in Russia and in September was featured on the cover of the Russian edition of GQ magazine.
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