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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia's Other Tsoi Seeks Pop Stardom in America




Many have failed to parlay a pop music career in Russia into success in the far richer American market. The rock group Gorky Park had a song climb into the mid-30s of the Billboard charts some six years ago - "Bang" - and that's about it. From pop queen Alla Pugachyova to mere pop princesses like Zhanna Aguzarova, the original leader singer of Bravo, or Laima Vaikule, another pretty blond who sings, every effort to conquer New York or Los Angeles has foundered.


That's about to change, according to pop singer Anita Tsoi - who held a press conference this week at the offices of newspaper Argumenty i Fakty to announce that Jed Allen, the actor who plays C.C. in the "Santa Barbara" soap opera, and martial arts king Chuck Norris are teaming up to make her a star.


It's not the first time Tsoi has drawn on people in high places. Her show business career began two years ago, amid talk she was trading on the name of both Sergei Tsoi - her husband, who is Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's press attach? - and of the late Viktor Tsoi, who is no relation but who is still famous, and sometimes pops up in her music videos.


Anita and Sergei Tsoi have both rejected suggestions that she was a Luzhkov-made success, and on Tuesday Anita said that her handful of music videos, two CDs and numerous concerts had caught the attention of New Hollywood International - a company determined to put Russian celebs on the international show business stage.


New Hollywood International was founded by Norris - who also owns a stake in Moscow's Beverly Hills casino - and by "Santa Barbara's" Allen, musical producer Tristan Dell and television producer Ed Fishman. Allen, who accompanied Tsoi to the Argumenty i Fakty press conference, said she was chosen as their first star-to-be because of her beautiful voice, charm and good English.


Tsoi was fresh from a month in Los Angeles spent working on an American album with a poet she said wrote lyrics for the soundtrack to the movie "Titanic" and a composer she said wrote music for Placido Domingo (she did not give their names, and no one asked for them). She will return in December to perform in Las Vegas, and then in Chicago and Atlantic City. Will she be the first Russian to conquer America? Time will tell.