Russian Prime Minister allegedly paid tribute band £20,000 for private concert
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly flew UK ABBA tribute act Bjorn Again to Moscow to perform a concert especially for him.
The band’s founder, Rod Stephen, told The Independent they had been paid £20,000 for the gig, which he said took place on January 22.
Stephen said Putin watched the 15-song performance alongside a “glamorous” woman from behind a veiled curtain, shouting “bravo” at the finale.
“We got the call to go out there about a year ago and I thought it was a prank,” Stephen said.
“I remember someone on the line saying ‘Hello, this is the Moscow Kremlin‘ – I told him to pull the other one.”
The band allegedly performed at a tiny theatre on the shores of Lake Valdai, some 200 miles north of Moscow.
However, Putin‘s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied the he ever saw the concert.
When asked why he thought Putin would deny seeing the band, Stephen said: “You can hardly have a machine gun in your arms with your top off one minute, then turn around and say you like ABBA. I think that’s why they’ve tried to keep it secret.”