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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sting Set to Play Moscow

Sting, the former lead singer of the British band The Police, is coming to Moscow in mid-March for a two-night stand at the 5,000-seat Kremlin Palace, a promoter said Tuesday.

The March 13 and 14 visit, which will kick off the 45-year-old's European tour, will be his first to Moscow, said Mikhail Maslov, a promoter working for the concert's sponsor, Alfa-Bank. Tickets, which go on sale within several weeks, will cost between $15 and $150.

Sting -- the former schoolteacher Gordon Sumner who acquired his stage name because of a fondness for black-and-gold striped rugby shirts -- has enjoyed a successful solo career since The Police's breakup in the mid-1980s at the height of their fame, following the release of their "Synchronicity" record.

As a solo artist, the singer and bassist most recently released a record called "Fields of Gold." He has also recorded with the Chieftains, a traditional Irish group, and contributed to the soundtracks of four feature-length films.

Of all the cities on Sting's four-month European tour, Sting's wife, Trudy, chose to accompany her husband only during his four-day visit to Moscow, Maslov said. Less than a month ago she gave birth to the couple's fourth child.

Sting joins a parade of Western pop music stars who have added to Moscow to their itineraries since the demise of Soviet rule. Before the fall of the Iron Curtain, appearances by Western stars were extremely rare, and the audiences severely limited. For example, Bob Dylan's appearance in Moscow in the mid-1980s was not really a concert; he was invited by Yevgeny Yevtushenko to an international poetry conference, and then "allowed" to sing his poetry to the audience.

The past few years, however, have seen full-scale concert appearances by a number of artists ranging from the glittery pop of Elton John to the polished soul of Diana Ross to the outr? rock of David Byrne. Michael Jackson, the avatar of Western mass-consumer pop production, has also played the ancient Russian capital. (Jackson's sister, LaToya, made a somewhat less celebrated appearance recently at a local club.)

Pop and politics became entangled during the recent Duma elections, when a group associated with Our Home Is Russia sponsored concerts by Kool and the Gang and other Western acts in effort to attract young voters.