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Elton John Won’t Cancel Concert in Russia

Elton John
D Dipasupil, Getty Images

Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay legislation has provoked a boycott among a growing number of celebrities and entertainers, but Elton John won’t be adding his name to the list.

During a recent chat with the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, John was asked whether he’d be canceling his upcoming Russian concert date, scheduled for Moscow on Dec. 6, and he undoubtedly surprised a few fans when he answered, “I’ve got to go.”

It wasn’t a decision he arrived at easily. “I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say very carefully,” John continued. “There’s two avenues of thought: Do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go.”

And anyway, this visit won’t be the first time he’s dealt with Russian hostility toward his lifestyle — and it didn’t work out too badly for him before. “I went in 1979, and I knew we were being watched all the time,” he recalled during the interview. “I had an interpreter that they’d clearly set up. Actually, I ended up having sex with him on the roof of my hotel.”

Next: Top 10 Elton John Songs

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