Will Elton John Tour in Russia?
After defending his reasoning to tour in Russia in September the British newspaper the Daily Mail now reports that Elton John may not travel to the country, which has come under fire this year for its highly controversial anti-gay laws.
According to the Daily Mail, the singer plans on holding concerts in Moscow on Friday and Saturday, but local officials may cancel the shows if they believe his performances will break Russia’s "homosexual propaganda" law.
Also contributing to the concerts’ possible demise is John’s large rider, or his list of requests, which is apparently 50 pages long and includes his hotel dressing room in Moscow be transformed into a "paradise garden" with several "decorative birds" and trees.
The pop star came under fire when he announced he was going to perform in Moscow just months before the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi, despite the country’s anti-gay laws.
"On one hand, I want to say, ’I’m not going and you can go to hell, you guys.’ But that’s not helping anyone who’s gay or transgendered over there," he said. "I’ve been going to Russia since 1979," John said. "I’ve been going quite frequently, and I’ve always had a wonderful rapport with the Russian audiences and with the Russian people. And you know there are a lot of great Russian people out there who are outraged by what’s going on, but they don’t have - I don’t want to abandon them.
"Now, I’ll probably get criticized for going, and I can understand that. It’s just that I, as a gay man and a gay musician, cannot stay at home and not support these people who have been to lots of my concerts in the past," the singer continued.
"I’m aware of the situation and I will be diplomatic. I’m not going to go into Russia and tell [Vladimir Putin] to go to hell and things like that. That’s not the way things are done. You chip away at something, and you hope there will be dialogue and that the situation can get better.
"You don’t just go in there with guns blazing and say, ’Well, to hell with you.’ Because they’re going to say, ’To hell with you, and get out of the country.’ That’s not going to solve anything. But if I can go there, maybe I can talk to some people in the administration," he said.
In November it was reported that Russian officials sued Lady Gaga’s concert organizers for breaking the "homosexual propaganda" law and "harming children" when the pop star performed in Saint Petersburg last year.