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Come to Bucha, J.D. Vance. It will open your eyes, and maybe your heart: David Junk

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Author David Junk, former CEO of Universal Music Russia, reveals never-before-told stories about signing Alsou and t.A.T.u. and taking them to Eurovision

Plus: Alla Pugacheva, Philipp Kirkorov, Verka Serduchka, Sergey Lazarev, Tina Karol, ABBA, Tvorchi and Mumiy Troll

Rockin’ The Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin's Russia (Rowman & Littlefield; July 2), the new book by David Junk with Fred Bronson that details Junk’s exciting and dangerous time in Moscow, would not be coming out on July 2 if it were not for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The two authors met at the 2000 competition, held in Stockholm. The American-born Junk accompanied the first Russian artist signed to Universal Music Russia, the teenaged singer Alsou. Bronson was covering the pan-European song contest for Billboard. They quickly became friends and stayed in touch long after Eurovision.

Some 22 years later, Junk told Bronson he wanted to write a book about his time in Russia, dealing with oligarchs, record piracy, stolen diamonds and murder, as well as signing a number of Russian artists to the label and welcoming visiting Universal acts to Russia like Mariah Carey, Elton John, Sting, and Bon Jovi.

Then Junk asked Bronson if he would co-write the book, and the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

There are multiple chapters in the book about Alsou and t.A.T.U., about how Junk discovered them and signed them, and their adventures at Eurovision and beyond, up to their ultimate implosions.

Other artists who have performed at Eurovision are also mentioned in the book, including a wild, unbelievable chapter all about Russian superstar Alla Pugacheva and her then-husband, Philipp Kirkorov. Junk also signed the boy-band duo Smash!!, and writes extensively about founding member Sergey Lazarev, who went on to have his own solo career and compete in Eurovision. Other Eurovision performers referenced in Rockin’ The Kremlin are ABBA, Tvorchi, Mumiy Troll, Tina Karol and Verka Serduchka.

From his humble beginnings growing up on a farm in Ohio to his recent return to Ukraine to observe first-hand the long-running war, Junk’s story is a compelling narrative, with danger lurking around every corner. He describes his good times working in Russia, and the not-so-good times in this fast-paced read, which Publishers Weekly calls, “an exciting and colorful look at a dynamic period in Russia’s cultural history.”

The book has also earned praise from Ruslana, who won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine in 2004. She writes: “‘I led an American pop music invasion… to Russia. It was too loud and brash, like rock ’n’ roll’—these words from David Junk impressed and inspired me. He tries to find meaning behind the cause to which he devoted over three decades of his life—bringing America and Russia closer together after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Visiting my homeland, Ukraine, David questions if dedicating these thirty years was in vain. His story is captivating.”

Rockin’ the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin's Russia is published by Rowman & Littlefield and will be available in stores and from online booksellers on July2.

About the Authors

David Junk was the first CEO of Universal Music in Moscow, and for a decade he promoted international artists in Russia, including stars like Mariah Carey, Elton John, U2, Sting, and Bon Jovi. He also signed many Russian artists to Universal, including t.A.T.u. and Alsou. David was Vice-President Eastern Europe at Universal Music in 2003, opened the first Universal Music office in Kyiv, Ukraine, and developed music reality shows for Ukrainian TV. David was also the North American Entertainment Relations Director of Gibson Brands, Inc., where he started company operations in Russia and opened the first Gibson Guitar showroom in Moscow. David is also the host of Art During Wartime, a podcast dedicated to the vibrant and diverse culture of Ukraine.

Fred Bronson is the author of six books, including The Jacksons: Legacy, The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and three Billboard charts books. For over three decades, he has been reporting on the music industry for Billboard Magazine, covering many topics including American Idol, the Eurovision Song Contest, ABBA, and Motown. Bronson has been called “America’s foremost chart journalist” by the editor of Billboard Magazine and as an expert on music has guest-starred on American Idol four times. He was a guest judge, with Kristin Chenoweth, on the premiere episode of the TV series, CMT’s Next Superstar. His articles have also appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and the Los Angeles Times.

Learn more about Fred at fredbronson.com

Book Website: rockin-the-kremlin.com

For publicity and interview queries, please contact:
Tanya Farrell, Wunderkind PR, tanya@wunderkind-pr.com, 646-450-8030
Emily Afifi, Wunderkind PR, emilya@wunderkind-pr.com, 908-399-3368